User:Emran M. Qassem/Oscilloscope

From OpenWetWare
Jump to: navigation, search

Oscilloscope Lab Summary

Partner: Randy Jay Lafler
link to lab notebook for this lab

Lab Goals

  • To learn how to use an oscilloscope
  • To learn how to understand an oscilloscope
  • To learn how to use OpenWetWare
  • To understand the following things about an oscilloscope:
    • How to measure voltages
    • How to use different channels
    • How to measure frequency and period
    • The difference between AC and DC
    • The difference between coupling via AC or DC
    • Limitations of the oscilliscope
    • What triggering is and the different types.
    • Understanding Fall Time
  • To learn how to use a function generator


We plugged everything in, and set everything up as specified: 200Hz varying voltages. We examined square waves and sine waves, taking measurements of frequency, voltage, and period using different methods:

  • We measured by looking by eye at the graph (described in the lab notebook).
  • We measured by using the cursor tool (described in the lab notebook).
  • We measured using the oscilloscopes 'measure' tool (described in the lab notebook).

Most measurements were close, although we did not calculate error.

We explored the trigger function, which is how the oscilloscope makes a wave still on its screen. Detailed explanation is in the lab notebook.

We also explored the AC and DC coupling which helped us to see the difference between the two. AC just measures the AC component of the signal, and DC measures both.

We used specific function generator settings that allowed us to explore the Fall Time of the oscilloscope. Using the wiki article, we were able to calculate the RC Constant.


We did not calculate error for the oscilloscope, but Randy references Nathan in his lab summary here

What did I learn?

  • I learned how to use an oscilloscope and a function generator
  • I learned how to use openwetware wiki
  • I learned how to what triggering, AC and DC coupling, and Fall Time is.

What did I explore outside the standard lab procedure

  • Looked at other peoples lab notebooks in trying to learn how to write a lab manual and summary.
  • Wikipedia article for Fall Time, RC Constant, and Oscilloscopes.

What could make the lab better next year

A better intro to how to navigate the openwetware wiki, as it is very difficult to find specific pages once you navigate away from them unless you make links to them, which is not very clear at the beginning.


  • Alex from 2009, as her work serves as a good outline on what to include.


  • Randy for his good summary.
  • Katie and Dr. Koch for explaining the fall time, RC constant, and triggering to us.
  • Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge)