Oscilloscope Training

Written by Patty Yu
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When operating oscilloscopes, users must be aware of many factors to assure safety. Oscilloscope training usually teaches users the importance of grounding the equipment, as well as how to handle the devices. When dealing with any kind of electrical equipment, the risk of shock is ever present. People who must handle this type of equipment should receive thorough training on usage and safety.

Oscilloscope Usage Preparations

Proper grounding is the first step when preparing to use an oscilloscope. Not only does grounding protect a person from hazardous shock, but it also protects circuits from electrical shock damage. To ground an electrical device, it must be connected to a neutral reference point, usually earth ground. Plugging the oscilloscope to an outlet grounded to earth ground is one way to ground the device.

Should a high voltage contact any part of an ungrounded oscilloscope case--even parts that seem insulated--it can give the user a shock. If the same thing happens to a grounded oscilloscope, the current would travel through the grounding path into the earth, rather than through the person to the ground. It is also necessary that the oscilloscope shares the same ground as the circuits being tested.

Some oscilloscopes have automatic settings, which can be reset at the push of a button. Oscilloscopes should always be set to standard positions before taking any measurements. If the device does not have an automatic option, it can be manually reset. Different oscilloscope kits will contain different detailed instructions. Users should refer to these manuals for further training and usage questions before operating the oscilloscope.

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