Before talking about oscilloscope probes, let me give you some explanation about oscilloscopes. Oscilloscopes are basically a measurement devices. What they measure is electronic voltage in time dependent scale in an electronics. What we need to understand that there is a current in the circuit result from electric. Sometimes it may not work well and this result in breaking in your electronics. To check and measure your circuit, oscilloscopes are used differently than voltmeter since oscilloscopes have time-dependent scale graph. To check you electronics, you should connect oscilloscopes to the your electronics and after that you can control your electronic voltage. Oscilloscopes have used nowadays not only by engineer or electricians but many students and people from different backgroud. After this short explanation, let’s contiue to the our basic question. What is the oscilloscope probe and where it is in the oscilloscope to help our measurement?
Oscilloscope probes are kind of bridge between your electronic device and oscilloscope. It supplies the connection between two. It is both physical and electrical connection. When oscilloscope probe is connected to the oscilloscope, it transfers the signal which is from your electronice device to the oscilloscope to measurement. If your probe is inappropriate, broken or not properly working, it is almost impossible to reach correct results from your measurements. Consequently, your electrical problem stays without solution because you cannot see the problem by using your measurement. That is the reason the importance of the oscilloscope probes, how do they work and what are the types. Let’s examine all these questions in subtitle.
How Do Oscilloscope Probes Work?
Their design is easy to understand. There are three basic point in a oscilloscope probe and they are probe head, proble cable and probe compensation box. Additionally to that, there are three key points connect the probe to the oscilloscope. Physical attachment which is the first step to get signal from your device, knowing impact on circuit operation which help you to choose correct probe and signal transmission what we want to have accurately. Probe head help you to touch the tip on the probe to the test device and its point. You can see them as spring-loaded hook to supply the connection. Proble cable, as you can imagine supplies electrical connection and current between oscilloscope and the device.Probe compensation box help us to get better signal from the device.The fidelity of the compensation box performance is depend on the attenuation. Attenuation is a kind of impact on the signal by resistance and capacitance. Adjusting the attenuation on signal is important, so you can reach the correct measurements. After explanation of the basic parts, we can say that oscilloscope probes working principles easier than you think. You just need to have correct probe and oscilloscope and you should find the point in the circuit to the measure the electronic voltage in time dependent scale.
How To Use Oscilloscope Probes?
As we mention above, oscilloscope probe is a connector. So, what you need to do is basically supply the connection between oscilloscope and the your device. To do that, take the probe hand and the touch the circuit which you want to measure by using tip. Before do that, connect the SMA or BNC connector tip which is screwed to the compensation box, to the oscilloscope’s probe channel. Adjust attenuation if you need. Then what we mention firstly, supply the connection by using probe head. After all these, you can see the graph by x and y axis on the screen and you can start to analyze them.
Basically,you can use your oscilloscope probe in this way but sometimes you need different features about the probes according to your electronic device. In this situation, you shoul change the your oscilloscope probe according to their types. So, let’s briefly look at to the types of oscilloscope probes.
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What Are The Basic Types Of Oscilloscope Probes?
There are four basic oscilloscope probes to meet users need literally. Passive probes, active probes, differential probes and current probes are these four types of it.
If you want to use general purpose using, unexpencive, rugged and common version of oscilloscope probe, passive probes suits your needs perfectly. Passive probes do not include any active component like transistor of amplifiers but it include wires, connectors and if required compensation.
Active probes as your assumptions, contains active component like amplifiers which is difference from the passive probes. They can more correctly measure weak signals or high speed signals.
If you want to measure differences between two signals, you are right place to choose differential probes. High- frequency signals or very low amplitude signals are mostly measured by this type of probe. It uses differential- amplifier to convert the difference as differently from other.
If there any current in your transmitter, current probes can detect and transfer it to the oscilloscope by converting it into the voltage for measuring in the oscilloscope. Current probes differently from others, measure AC and DC currents. It is benefited from ferrite cores to transfer the DC current and AC current uses a transformation. When they come together in the probe’s core, current probe can measure them.
As you can see from 4 basic types of oscilloscope probes, knowing your purpose to use your oscilloscope and choosing the correct oscilloscope probe to meet your electronic devices needs and voltage. Also, you can make some changings in your probes if you have helper apparatus. When you learn how to use, how it working and its types, using an oscilloscope and probe is not difficult anymore.