Oscilloscope Guide.com: Oscilloscope Glossary Terms and Definitions

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Oscilloscope Glossary E-P

Effective Bits – A measure of a digital oscilloscope's ability to accurately reconstruct a sine wave signal’s shape. This measurement compares the oscilloscope's actual error to that of a theoretical “ideal” digitizer.

Envelope – The outline of a signal’s highest and lowest points acquired over many displayed waveform repetitions.

Equivalent-time Sampling – A sampling mode in which the oscilloscope constructs a picture of a repetitive signal by capturing a little bit of information from each repetition. Two types of equivalent-time sampling: random and sequential.

Frequency – The frequency equals 1/period.

Frequency Response – A Bode plot of input to output response of an amplifier or attenuator for sine waves with constant amplitudes at different frequencies over a frequency range.

Gain Accuracy - An indication of how accurately the vertical system attenuates or amplifies a signal, usually represented as a percentage error.

Glitch - An intermittent, high-speed error in a circuit.

Graticule - The grid lines on a screen for measuring oscilloscope traces.

Horizontal Sweep – The action of the horizontal system that causes a waveform to be drawn.

Intensity Grading – Frequency-of-occurrence information that is essential to understanding what the waveform is really doing.

Interpolation – A “connect–the–dots” processing technique to estimate what a fast waveform looks like based on only a few sampled points. Two types: linear and sin x/x.

Loading – The unintentional interaction of the probe and oscilloscope with the circuit being tested which distorts a signal.

Mixed-Signal Oscilloscope (MSO) - Digital oscilloscopes that have a larger number of channels for viewing both analog and digital signals together. MSO scopes typically have two tor four analog channels and at least 8 bits of vertical resolution. There are usually 16 digital channels but they typically have only 1 bit of vertical resolution.

Peak (Vp) – The maximum voltage level measured from a zero reference point.

Peak Detection – An acquisition mode available with digital oscilloscopes that enables you to observe signal details that may otherwise be missed, particularly useful for seeing narrow pulses spaced far apart in time.

Peak-to-peak (Vp-p) – The voltage measured from the maximum point of a signal to its minimum point.





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