How to Use an Oscilloscope

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Contributors: jimblom
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Resources and Going Further

With the tools discussed in this tutorial, you should be prepared to start scoping signals of your own. If you're still unsure of what certain parts of your scope are for, first consult your user's manual. Here are some additional resources we recommend checking out as well:

Going Further

Now that you're a practiced oscilloscop-er, what circuit are you going to be debugging? Need some inspiration? Here are some related tutorials we'd recommend checking out next!

  • PCB Design with EAGLE -- If you're at a point where you need to troubleshoot circuits at the signal level, maybe you're ready to step into designing PCBs. Our EAGLE series of tutorials how to use the freely available software to design your own circuit boards.
  • Recreating Classic Electronics Kits -- If you're in search of a circuit to troubleshoot with a scope, why not make your own version of 50-in-1 electronics kit?
  • Pulse-Width Modulation -- PWM signals are the foundation behind dimming LEDs and driving servo motors. Learn about these signal types and then scope them with your new skills!

Or check out these tutorials using an oscilloscope to inspect a signal.

MCP4725 Digital to Analog Converter Hookup Guide

This is a quick hookup to help you get started with the MCP4725 DAC breakout board. This device allows you to send analog signal from a digital source, like the I2C interface on the Arduino microcontroller.

MIDI Shield Hookup Guide

How to assemble the SparkFun MIDI Shield, plus several example projects.

Boss Alarm

Build a Boss Alarm that alerts you of anyone walking into your office and automatically changes your computer screen.

Piezo Vibration Sensor Hookup Guide

How to combine a piezo sensor, high-value resistor, and an Arduino to create a vibration sensor.

Proto Pedal Assembly and Theory Guide

Getting started with the SparkFun Proto Pedal. We'll assemble the board, then discuss some of the details of the circuit.

Proto Pedal Example: Analog Equalizer Project

Building a gyrator-based analog equalizer using the Proto Pedal.

THAT InGenius and OutSmarts Breakout Hookup Guide

Learn about the benefits of balanced signal transmission, and how to apply the THAT InGenius and OutSmarts breakouts.

SparkFun Clock Generator 5P49V60 (Qwiic) Hookup Guide

The SparkFun Clock Generator 5P49V60 (Qwiic) breakout board offers a wide range of customizable frequencies in a wide range of different signal types using a single reference clock. This hookup guide will go over all of the many available functions and gives the hardware rundown on what exactly is on this board.

Or check out this blog post for ideas.