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INSTR F311: Electronic Instruments and Instrumentation Technology

Oscilloscopes

BITS Pilani Dr. Sujan Yenuganti (office no: 5699 - O)


yenuganti.sujan@pilani.bits-pilani.ac.in
Pilani Campus
CRO

• A cathode ray oscilloscope is a basic instrument for the study of all types of waveforms.

• Quantities such as voltage, frequency, phase difference, pulse width, delay time, rise time and fall time can be
measured.

• An analog oscilloscope consists of a CRT (Cathode ray tube) and its associated control and input circuitry.

• CRT consists of

 Triode section
 Focusing section
 Deflection section
 Screen.

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CRT

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Triode section

• In CRT electrons are generated at a heated cathode are shaped into a fine beam and accelerated towards the
fluorescent screen. The screen glows at the point where the electron beam strikes.

• The electron beam can be deflected vertically and horizontally by the voltages applied to the deflecting
plates.

• Triode section of a CRT contains a cathode which emits electrons, an anode A1 for attracting the emitted
electrons and a grid for controlling the electron flow from the cathode to the anode.

• Grid is a nickel cup which a hole in it, almost completely encloses cathode.

• Cathode is also made of nickel, is cylinder in shape with a flat electron emitting surface directed towards the
hole in the grid

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Focusing section

• The focusing electrodes A1, A2 and A3 are sometimes referred to as electron lens. Their function is to focus
the electrons to a fine point on the screen of the CRT tube.

• A1 and A3 are held at ground voltage and A2 voltage is adjustable to -2kV.

• A1 is a cylinder shaped, open at the end nearest to the screen and closed at the other end, with a hole at its
center. A1 is highly positive with respect to cathode.

• A2 sometimes called as focusing ring and the negative voltage on A2 tend to slow down the electrons, but
the electrons are still accelerated by A3.

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Deflection section

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Deflection section

• If both the deflecting plates are grounded or left unconnected, the electrons pass between each pair of plates,
do not experience any deflecting force and strike at the center of the oscilloscope.

• When the upper plate voltage is +E/2 and the and the lower plate voltage is –E/2, the voltage difference
between the plates will be E volts.

• The electrons are attracted towards the positive upper plate and repelled from the negative plate. The
electrons are actually accelerated in the direction of the positive plate.

• Deflection factor (V/cm): The voltage required to produce one division of deflection on the screen

• Deflection sensitivity (cm/V): The deflection produced on the screen by a voltage of 1V.

• A horizontal line is produced when an alternating voltage is applied to the horizontal deflection plates and a
vertical line when vertical deflection plates are involved.

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Electrostatic deflection

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Contd..

• Let, Ea = voltage of pre-accelerating anode; (volt)


• e = charge of an electron; (Coulomb)
• m = mass of electron; (kg)
• θ = deflection angle of the electron beam
• vox = velocity of electron when entering the field of deflecting plates; (m/s)
• Ed = potential difference between deflecting plates; (volt)
• d = distance between deflecting plates; (m)
• ld = length of deflecting plates; (m)
• L = distance between screen and the center of the deflecting plates; (m)
• y = displacement of the electron beam from the horizontal axis at time t
• D = deflection of the electron beam on the screen in Y direction; (m)

The deflection sensitivity S is given by The deflection factor G is given by


D Ll d 1 2dEa
S  cm / V G  V / cm
E d 2dEa S Ll d
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Screen

• The screen of a CRT is formed by depositing a phosphor material on the inside of the tube section.

• When the electron beam strikes the screen, the electrons in the screen material are raised to higher energy
levels and emit light when they return to their normal levels.

• The glow may persist for a few milli seconds, few seconds are even longer. Depending on the material
employed the glow can be red, blue, white or green.

• The screen would develop a negative voltage as the primary electrons accumulate and the negative voltage
will be so high enough to repel the electron beam. These electrons are collected by a graphite coating
around the neck of the tube.

• The screen has a thin film of aluminum deposited on the surface collects the electrons and conducts them to
ground.

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Screen brightness

• The brightness depends on the beam speed, so for maximum brightness the electrons should be accelerated
to the greatest possible velocity.

• However if the electron beam velocity is too high when passing through the deflecting plates, the deflection
sensitivity of both the plates will be poor.

• For this reason a post deflection acceleration is provided.

• A helix of resistive material is deposited on the inside of the tube from the deflecting plates to the screen.

• The voltage at the screen end of the helix might be typically at +12 kV with zero volts at the other end.

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CRT

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Waveform display

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Waveform display

Deflection sensitivity is 2 cm/V

time (msec) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4

Point # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Vertical voltage (V) 0 1.5 2 1.5 0 -1.5 -2 -1.5 0


Vertical deflection (div) 0 3 4 3 0 -3 -4 -3 0

Horizontal voltage (V) -2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2

Horizontal deflection (div) -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4

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Deflection section

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Horizontal sweep generator

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Contd..

• A ramp generator and a Schmitt trigger circuit. The ramp generator portion has a transistor Q1 and its
associated components together constitute a constant current source.

• R1 and R2 divide Vcc to provide a constant voltage VB1 across the base of the transistor Q1. This makes the
voltage drop across emitter resistor R3 as a constant quantity and therefore maintains IE1 constant.

VB1  VBE
I E1  I1 
R3

• The inverting terminal of the op-amp is grounded via a resistor R7 and the ramp generator output V1 is applied via
resistor R6 to the op-amp non inverting terminal.

• The output of the Schmitt trigger will be at either +Vsat or –Vsat. When the ramp input is at minimum level, assume the
Schmitt output is at –Vsat

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Contd..

• When the ramp input slowly increases and the moment at which it crosses UTP, it changes its output to +Vsat
• When the ramp starts decreasing and the moment at which it decreases below LTP, it changes its output to
-Vsat once again.

 R6   R6 
VLTP  Vsat  
 VUTP  Vsat  

 R5   R5 

• When the Schmitt output is at –Vsat, transistor Q2 is switched off and the current I1 flows into C1 charging it linearly
producing a ramp output.

• When the Schmitt output is at +Vsat, a base current IB2 flows into transistor Q2 via R4 . This switches on the transistor
and short circuits the capacitor C1, thus discharging rapidly.

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Contd..

• The automatic time base consists of a triggering amplifier A1, a sweep generator and a cascade of wave
shaping circuits designed to synchronize the sweep generator with the applied input waveform to be
displayed.

• Aim: The ramp waveform must be synchronized with the input waveform.

• The waveform to be displayed is applied to the vertical deflection amplifier and to the automatic time base
triggering amplifier.

• The triggering amplifier gives out two identical anti phase outputs V01 and V02.

• One of these two waveforms is passed via switch S2 to the input of a inverting Schmitt trigger circuit.

• The output of the Schmitt trigger will be a square wave exactly antiphase with the input waveform.

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Contd..

• This square wave form is applied to a differentiator circuit, thereby producing a series of positive and negative spikes.

• These spikes are fed to a positive clipper circuit which blocks all the positive spikes and passes the negative spikes.

• These negative spikes are passed via hold of circuit to the sync input of the sweep generator.

• The sync input is capacitor coupled to the inverting input terminal of the Schmitt trigger op-amp in horizontal sweep
generator section.

• When the negative spike arrives, the inverting terminal voltage is driven below the level of the voltage at the non
inverting terminal. So the Schmitt output rapidly changes to positive saturation. (Q2 is switched on and the capacitor C1
discharges rapidly).

• When the ramp voltages goes below the LTP, the Schmitt output rapidly changes to negative saturation (Q is switched
off and the capacitor C1 starts charges linearly).

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Contd..

• The negative spike triggers the Schmitt and reset the ramp to its starting point.

• The output from the sweep generator is fed to the horizontal deflection amplifier.

• The hold off circuit is a spike suppressing circuit controlled by the level of the ramp output from the sweep generator.

• Once a negative spike is synchronized with time base, no more spikes are allowed to pass to the sync input terminal
until the ramp output from the sweep generator approaches the maximum amplitude.

• The display can be made to commence at the beginning of the negative half cycle by switching S2 to V02 of the
triggering amplifier.

• The output V2 from the Schmitt trigger in the sweep generator is fed to a blanking circuit. This pulse waveform is
converted into a train of positive pulses during the sweep time and negative pulses during retrace time.

• The negative pulses (blanking pulses) are fed to the grid of the CRT, which drive the grid sufficiently negative to
suppress the electron beam completely.

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contd..

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Dual Trace Oscilloscope

Dual beam CRT

• Most analog oscilloscopes can display two waveforms rather than just one and so they termed as dual trace
oscilloscopes. The construction is same as that of normal CRT tube except there are two electron guns to
generate two separate electron beams, one for each waveform trace.

• In other type of dual trace oscilloscopes, a single electron gun is involved but the electron beam is split into
two separate beams before it passes to the deflection section (split-beam CRT).

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Deflection system

• Single set of horizontal plates


and a single horizontal
deflection amplifier.

• Two sets of vertical plates for


each channel driven by two
vertical deflection amplifiers.

• Both the beams are made to


sweep across the screen
simultaneously.

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Contd..

• In another most common type of dual trace oscilloscopes, a single electron beam CRT is involved with only
one set of vertical deflection plates. Two separate input amplifiers are employed with a single vertical
amplifier feeding the deflection plates.

• Input to the vertical deflection amplifier is alternately switched between Channels A and B and its
switching frequency is controlled by the time base circuit.
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waveforms

• The input to channel A is a sine wave with a time period T,


and also the input to channel B is a triangular wave with
same time period T.

• Channel A input is switched to the vertical deflection


amplifier and traced on the screen during the time 0 to t1.

• Channel B input is next applied to the vertical deflection


amplifier and traced on the screen during the time t1 to t2.

• Thus the two waveforms are alternately and repeatedly


traced on the screen.

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Peak to peak voltage
measurement

TIME/DIV=0.5 ms/div

VOLTS/DIV=100 mV/div

Vp-p= (vertical p-p divisions)x VOLTS/DIV T= (Horizontal divisions per cycle)x TIME/DIV

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Phase measurement

8 divisions is equal to 360o


1 divisions is equal to 45o

ϕ= (phase difference in divisions)x degrees/div

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Pulse measurement

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Waveform displays

• Let us consider when two sinusoidal signals equal in magnitude and frequency and in phase with each other are applied
to both of the horizontal and vertical deflection plates. Here we get a straight line inclined at 45° to the positive X-axis.

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Waveform displays

• when two sinusoidal voltage signals applied to the horizontal


and vertical deflection plates are of equal magnitude and
equal frequency but opposite in phase. We get a straight line
inclined at 135° to the positive X-axis.

• If the two sinusoidal voltage signals, 90° out of phase and of


equal magnitude and equal frequency, are applied to the
horizontal and vertical deflection plates, a circle would appear on
the screen.

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Waveform displays
• When two equal voltages of equal frequency but with a phase
shift Ф (not equal to 0 or 90°) are applied to a CRO, we
obtain an ellipse

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Waveform displays

Regardless of the amplitudes of the applied voltages the ellipse provides a simple means of finding phase difference
between two voltages.

Y1 X
sin    1
Y2 X 2

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Lissajous figures

• when sinusoidal voltages are simultaneously applied to the horizontal and vertical plates. These patterns are called
Lissajous patterns.

• Lissajous patterns may be used for accurate measurement of frequency. The signal, whose frequency is to be measured, is
applied to the Y-plates.

• An accurately calibrated standard variable frequency source is used to supply voltage to the X-plates, with the internal
sweep generator switched off.

• Let the frequency of wave applied to Y plates (vertical plates) is twice that of the frequency applied to the X plates
(horizontal plates). This means that the CRT spot travels two complete cycles in the vertical direction against one of the
horizontal direction.

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Lissajous figures

fy No of times the tangent touches top or bottom



fx No of times the tangent touches either side
f y  frequency applied to vertical plates f x  frequency applied to horizontal plates

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Lissajous figures
• The above rule, however, does not hold for the Lissajous patterns with free ends.

• Two lines are drawn, one horizontal and the other vertical so that they do not pass through any intersections of different
parts of the Lissajous curve. The number of intersections of the horizontal and the vertical lines with the Lissajous curve
are individually counted. The frequency ratio is given by

fy No of intersecti ons of horizontal line with the curve



fx No of intersecti ons of vertical line with the curve
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