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Used Oscilloscopes

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Keysight Used Oscilloscopes offers a wide range of industry leading pre-owned oscilloscopes, ranging from older generation Agilent oscilloscopes to the newest Keysight oscilloscopes models. So whether you are a first time buyer, replacing a model like-for-like or looking to upgrade - we have something for you.

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FAQs

What is an Oscilloscope?

Simply put, an oscilloscope is your go-to instrument when conducting a wide range of measurements on an electric circuit. It is an indispensable tool when developing, testing and understanding electronic devices or components. An oscilloscope connects directly to your device under test (DUT) and visually displays the signal it receives. It allows for extensive analysis and troubleshooting when working with electrical and electronic circuitry, making it the single most versatile and valuable tool on your workbench.

Watch the “Oscilloscope Survival Guide - The 2-Minute Guru (s1e1)” now
 

Digital Storage Oscilloscopes

One of the most commonly used types of scope is the Digital Storage Oscilloscope, or DSO. A DSO samples and converts analog inputs to digital data, making it available for display, analysis and storage (hence the name) for further comparisons. As a DSO can measure signals such as voltage and current over time with accuracy, this is a great choice to help with debugging and general diagnostics to ensure your circuits and devices behave exactly as intended.

Mixed-Signal Oscilloscopes

Mixed-Signal Oscilloscopes, or MSOs, go one step further. They provide all the capabilities of a DSO, but add the option of connecting a logic analyzer. This lets you simultaneously input both analog and digital signals. These can then be displayed and aligned all on the same screen. If you need to monitor and test time-sensitive interactions between analog and digital signals, this instrument will help you do just that. In addition, it tends to be more user-friendly than a pure logic analyzer: If you have worked with a DSO before, it will not be that difficult to switch to an MSO.

Conclusion

Oscilloscopes are vital tools for a wide variety of industries, such as telecommunication, engineering and the sciences. Read our full Oscilloscope Basics Guide form our Knowledge Hub. A sturdy instrument can potentially serve you for many years, making it well worth the investment. Should high prices have so far deterred you from purchasing an oscilloscope or upgrading your current one, the Keysight Used Equipment Platform might be just the solution for you. Here, you can find high-quality instruments at significant discounts. Thanks to our ongoing trade-in program, we are continually adding more items to our inventory. Check our latest offers above.

How to Use an Oscilloscope?

How you can and should use your oscilloscope depends on the model and accessories you have available as well as the measurements you are looking to perform. The simple steps below should set you up for most standard usage situations.

9 Simple Steps – This is How You Use Your Oscilloscope

  1. Start by connecting your probe to the oscilloscope and boot up the instrument.
  2. Make sure the correct channel is turned on and all others are turned off.
  3. Set coupling to DC to see the entire signal or to AC to filter out DC components.
  4. Make sure probe controls are set to the correct attenuation.
  5. Using the trigger button, set your trigger event and source.
  6. Test and tune your probe on the built-in square wave generator by attaching both the ground hook and probe tip. If the image of the waveform does not appear static yet, adjust the trigger level slightly to stabilize it.
  7. If needed, tune the compensation capacitor built into the probe head by adjusting the screw controlling it, until the edges of the square wave are perfectly angular – or simply use the “Auto” tune button, if your scope provides one.
  8. Now you’re ready to start your measurements. Attach your probe and ground clip to your device or component under test.
  9. Don’t forget to use the oscilloscopes display controls to center the resulting waveform on the screen and to zoom in or out as needed.

Overall the more capabilities your oscilloscope has to offer, the more complex setup will become. For example:

  • If you are looking to use an MSO to acquire and analyze both analog and digital signals, timing skews can occur.
  • De-skew controls will align the separate signals for accurate time correlation.
  • You will also need to decide betweentiming and state acquisition, letting the scope either take rhythmically timed samples or whether to go by specific logic state events of the signal.

Work with your oscilloscope and its accompanying fact sheet or user guide to familiarize yourself with all the options available to you. Want to read more? Check out our Oscilloscope Basics Guide or watch our new Mega Guide on how to use oscilloscopes:

How to Use an Oscilloscope to Measure Voltage?

The default settings of most oscilloscopes will display voltage over time. In other words, the waveform displayed on the oscilloscope’s screen, maps a signal with voltage on the vertical or y-axis and time on the horizontal or x-axis. To review how to set up your oscilloscope for measurements have a look at the notes in the “How to Use an Oscilloscope” section above.

Watch “Measuring Voltage with an Oscilloscope - The Keysight 2-Minute Guru (s2e5)” now
 

Manually Calculating Voltage Using an Oscilloscope

The most basic way of calculating voltage is to then count divisions from top to bottom and multiply this by the volts/division (y-axis scale) displayed on the screen. With the majority of oscilloscopes, however, such manual calculations will be unnecessary.

The Easy Way of Calculating Voltage with your Oscilloscope

Simply choose the “measure” button or touch screen option and select “peak-to-peak voltage”. Alternatively, mark two points with the screen cursors to measure their difference. Some scopes even feature a fully integrated digital volt meter (DVM). With an MSO, you will be able to not only measure analog signals parameters such as voltage over time, but can also verify concurrent digital signal integrity simultaneously. Although triggering works very differently for digital and analog signals, your MSO will de-skew and synchronize them, allowing for accurate and easy measurements. It really provides almost all the functions of a logic analyzer with much greater ease of use and versatility.

Performing a Logic Circuit Test

On top of measuring voltage on your analog signal as described above, you can also use your MSO to measure the digital signal and perform a logic circuit test.

  1. Connect two oscilloscope probes to Channel 1 and Channel 2 and press the “Auto” key.
  2. Use the display controls to center both waveforms on the screen in order to show their intersections and a complete cycle.
  3. At the intersections of the waveforms, use the cursor to measure the voltage, i.e. the low and high voltage flips, then also record the logic output level, i.e. the logic high and logic low.

More on Oscilloscopes: How to use an Oscilloscope – The Oscilloscopes Basics Guide.

How to Measure Inductance with an Oscilloscope and a Signal Generator?


With your oscilloscope you can measure inductance even without an LCR meter. For example, you may use a current probe to measure the inductance on a voltage-current slope, by reading the peak current (amps) and time between pulse (microsecond). Inductance can be found by multiplying these values and dividing the sum by the peak current. You can also create a Tank circuit by setting up an inductor, with a known capacitance, and placing it in series with a resistor. Inductance can then be calculated from the resonant frequency. Alternatively, connect a resistor (with a known value) to the system or inductor under test. Apply a signal and adjust the frequency, so that equal voltages appear across both devices. A DSO will work just as well as an MSO here, as you will only need to rely on the analog functionalities of the scope. More about this topic in this our YouTube series:

“What is Inductance? The 3 Effects of Inductors - The 2-Minute Guru (s2e9)”
 

Read more in our Oscilloscope Basics Guide.

Knowledge Base

Learn Oscilloscope Fundamentals and Get the Most out of Your Equipment

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