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Compact oscilloscope in which the display, an array of light emitting diodes, is integral with the
probe. The array continuously is scanned column by column at a controllable rate and
concurrently voltages are applied to rows selected in accordance with the amplitude of the test
waveform. Light is emitted from those diodes of the array receiving coincident row and column
excitation to thereby display the test waveform.


An oscilloscope, previously called an oscillograph, and informally known as a scope, CRO (for
cathode-ray oscilloscope), or DSO (for the more modern digital storage oscilloscope), is a type
of electronic test instrument that allows observation of constantly varying signal voltages,
usually as a two-dimensional plot of one or more signals as a function of time. Non-electrical
signals (such as sound or vibration) can be converted to voltages and displayed.

Oscilloscopes are used to observe the change of an electrical signal over time, such that voltage
and time describe a shape which is continuously graphed against a calibrated scale. The observed
waveform can be analyzed for such properties as amplitude, frequency, rise time, time interval,
distortion and others. Modern digital instruments may calculate and display these properties
directly. Originally, calculation of these values required manually measuring the waveform
against the scales built into the screen of the instrument.

The oscilloscope can be adjusted so that repetitive signals can be observed as a continuous shape
on the screen. A storage oscilloscope allows single events to be captured by the instrument and
displayed for a relatively long time, allowing human observation of events too fast to be directly

Oscilloscopes are used in the sciences, medicine, engineering, and telecommunications industry.
General-purpose instruments are used for maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory

work. Special-purpose oscilloscopes may be used for such purposes as analyzing an automotive
ignition system or to display the waveform of the heartbeat as an electrocardiogram.

Before the advent of digital electronics, oscilloscopes used cathode ray tubes (CRTs) as their
display element - (hence were commonly referred to as CROs) and linear amplifiers for signal
processing. Storage oscilloscopes used special storage CRTs to maintain a steady display of a
single brief signal. CROs were later largely superseded by digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs)
with thin panel displays, fast analog-to-digital converters and digital signal processors. DSOs
without integrated displays (sometimes known as digitizers) are available at lower cost and use a
general-purpose digital computer to process and display waveforms.

The earliest method of creating an image of a waveform was through a laborious and painstaking
process of measuring the voltage or current of a spinning rotor at specific points around the axis
of the rotor, and noting the measurements taken with a galvanometer. By slowly advancing
around the rotor, a general standing wave can be drawn on graphing paper by recording the
degrees of rotation and the meter strength at each position.

This process was first partially automated by Jules Franois Joubert with his step-by-step method
of wave form measurement. This consisted of a special single-contact commutator attached to
the shaft of a spinning rotor. The contact point could be moved around the rotor following a
precise degree indicator scale and the output appearing on a galvanometer, to be hand-graphed
by the technician. This process could only produce a very rough waveform approximation since

it was formed over a period of several thousand wave cycles, but it was the first step in the
science of waveform imaging.

The first automated oscillographs used a galvanometer to move a pen across a scroll or drum of
paper, capturing wave patterns onto a continuously moving scroll. Due to the relatively highfrequency speed of the waveforms compared to the slow reaction time of the mechanical
components, the waveform image was not drawn directly but instead built up over a period of
time by combining small pieces of many different waveforms, to create an averaged shape.

Figure 1: Oscillographs
The device known as the Hospitalier Ondograph was based on this method of wave form
measurement. It automatically charged a capacitor from each 100th wave, and discharged the

stored energy through a recording galvanometer, with each successive charge of the capacitor
being taken from a point a little farther along the wave. (Such wave-form measurements were
still averaged over many hundreds of wave cycles but were more accurate than hand-drawn

In order to permit direct measurement of waveforms it was necessary for the recording device to
use a very low-mass measurement system that can move with sufficient speed to match the
motion of the actual waves being measured. This was done with the development of the movingcoil oscillograph by William Duddell which in modern times is also referred to as a mirror
galvanometer. This reduced the measurement device to a small mirror that could move at high
speeds to match the waveform.

To perform a waveform measurement, a photographic slide would be dropped past a window

where the light beam emerges, or a continuous roll of motion picture film would be scrolled
across the aperture to record the waveform over time. Although the measurements were much
more precise than the built-up paper recorders, there was still room for improvement due to
having to develop the exposed images before they could be examined.

In the 1920s, a tiny tilting mirror attached to a diaphragm at the apex of a horn provided good
response up to a few kHz, perhaps even 10 kHz. A time base, unsynchronized, was provided by a
spinning mirror polygon, and a collimated beam of light from an arc lamp projected the
waveform onto the lab wall or a screen.

Even earlier, audio applied to a diaphragm on the gas feed to a flame made the flame height vary,
and a spinning mirror polygon gave an early glimpse of waveforms.

Moving-paper oscillographs using UV-sensitive paper and advanced mirror galvanometers

provided multi-channel recordings in the mid-20th century. Frequency response was into at least
the low audio range.

Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) were developed in the late 19th century. At that time, the tubes were
intended primarily to demonstrate and explore the physics of electrons (then known as cathode
rays). Karl Ferdinand Braun invented the CRT oscilloscope as a physics curiosity in 1897, by
applying an oscillating signal to electrically charged deflector plates in a phosphor-coated CRT.
Braun tubes were laboratory apparatus, using a cold-cathode emitter and very high voltages (on
the order of 20,000 to 30,000 volts). With only vertical deflection applied to the internal plates,
the face of the tube was observed through a rotating mirror to provide a horizontal time base.[10]
In 1899 Jonathan Zenneck equipped the cathode ray tube with beam-forming plates and used a
magnetic field for sweeping the trace.

Early cathode ray tubes had been applied experimentally to laboratory measurements as early as
1919 but suffered from poor stability of the vacuum and the cathode emitters. The application of
a thermionic emitter allowed operating voltage to be dropped to a few hundred volts. Western
Electric introduced a commercial tube of this type, which relied on a small amount of gas within
the tube to assist in focussing the electron beam.

V. K. Zworykin described a permanently sealed, high-vacuum cathode ray tube with a thermionic
emitter in 1931. This stable and reproducible component allowed General Radio to manufacture
an oscilloscope that was usable outside a laboratory setting.

The first dual-beam oscilloscope was developed in the late 1930s by the British company
A.C.Cossor (later acquired by Raytheon). The CRT was not a true double beam type but used a
split beam made by placing a third plate between the vertical deflection plates. It was widely
used during WWII for the development and servicing of radar equipment. Although extremely
useful for examining the performance of pulse circuits it was not calibrated so could not be used
as a measuring device. It was, however, useful in producing response curves of IF circuits and
consequently a great aid in their accurate alignment.

Allen B. Du Mont Labs. made moving-film cameras, in which continuous film motion provided
the time base. Horizontal deflection was probably disabled, although a very slow sweep would
have spread phosphor wear. CRTs with P11 phosphor were either standard or available.

Long-persistence CRTs, sometimes used in oscilloscopes for displaying slowly changing signals
or single-shot events, used a phosphor such as P7, which comprised a double layer. The inner
layer fluoresced bright blue from the electron beam, and its light excited a phosphorescent
"outer" layer, directly visible inside the envelope (bulb). The latter stored the light, and released
it with a yellowish glow with decaying brightness over tens of seconds. This type of phosphor
was also used in radar analog PPI CRT displays, which are a graphic decoration (rotating radial
light bar) in some TV weather-report scenes.

Cathode-ray oscilloscope (CRO)

The earliest and simplest type of oscilloscope consisted of a cathode ray tube, a vertical
amplifier, a timebase, a horizontal amplifier and a power supply. These are now called "analog"
oscilloscopes to distinguish them from the "digital" oscilloscopes that became common in the
1990s and 2000s.

Figure 2: CRO
Before the introduction of the CRO in its current form, the cathode ray tube had already been in
use as a measuring device. The cathode ray tube is an evacuated glass envelope, similar to that in
a black-and-white television set, with its flat face covered in a fluorescent material (the
phosphor). The screen is typically less than 20 cm in diameter, much smaller than the one in a

television set. Older CROs had round screens or faceplates, while newer CRTs in better CROs
have rectangular faceplates.

The first Digital Storage Oscilloscope (DSO) was invented by Nicolet Test Instrument of
Madison, Wisconsin.[citation needed] It was a low speed ADC (1 MHz, 12 bit) used primarily
for vibration and medical analysis.[citation needed] The first high speed DSO (100 MHz, 8 bit)
was invented by Walter LeCroy (who founded the LeCroy Corporation, based in New York,
USA) after producing high-speed digitizers for the research center CERN in Switzerland.
LeCroy remains one of the three largest manufacturers of oscilloscopes in the world.

Starting in the 1980s, digital oscilloscopes became prevalent. Digital storage oscilloscopes use a
fast analog-to-digital converter and memory chips to record and show a digital representation of
a waveform, yielding much more flexibility for triggering, analysis, and display than is possible
with a classic analog oscilloscope. Unlike its analog predecessor, the digital storage oscilloscope
can show pre-trigger events, opening another dimension to the recording of rare or intermittent
events and troubleshooting of electronic glitches. As of 2006 most new oscilloscopes (aside from
education and a few niche markets) are digital.

Digital scopes rely on effective use of the installed memory and trigger functions: not enough
memory and the user will miss the events they want to examine; if the scope has a large memory
but does not trigger as desired, the user will have difficulty finding the event.

Figure 3: Digital Scope

Due to the recent rise in the prevalence of PCs, PC-based oscilloscopes have been becoming
more common. Typically, a signal will be captured on external hardware (which includes an
analog-to-digital converter and memory) and transmitted to the computer, where it is processed
and displayed. Manufacturers include Pico Technology, HanTek, and Analog Arts. [17] [18][19]


Digital Oscilloscopes
While analog devices make use of continually varying voltages, digital devices employ binary
numbers which correspond to samples of the voltage. In the case of digital oscilloscopes, an
analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is used to change the measured voltages into digital
information. Waveforms are taken as a series of samples. The samples are stored, accumulating
until enough are taken in order to describe the waveform, which are then reassembled for
display. Digital technology allows the information to be displayed with brightness, clarity, and
stability. There are, however, limitations as with the performance of any oscilloscope. The
highest frequency at which the oscilloscope can operate is determined by the analog bandwidth
of the front-end components of the instrument and the sampling rate.

Digital oscilloscopes can be classified into three primary categories: digital storage
oscilloscopes, digital phosphor oscilloscopes, and digital sampling oscilloscopes.

Digital storage Oscilloscope

Screen of a digital oscilloscope uses a cathode-ray tube display
The digital storage oscilloscope, or DSO for short, is now the preferred type for most industrial
applications. Instead of storage-type cathode ray tubes, DSOs use digital memory, which can
store data as long as required without degradation. A digital storage oscilloscope also allows
complex processing of the signal by high-speed digital signal processing circuits.

The vertical input is digitized by an analog to digital converter to create a data set that is stored
in the memory of a microprocessor. The data set is processed and then sent to the display, which
in early DSOs was a cathode ray tube, but is now more likely to be an LCD flat panel. DSOs
with color LCD displays are common. The data set can be sent over a LAN or a WAN for
processing or archiving. The screen image can be directly recorded on paper by means of an
attached printer or plotter, without the need for an oscilloscope camera. The oscilloscope's own
signal analysis software can extract many useful time-domain features (e.g., rise time, pulse
width, amplitude), frequency spectra, histograms and statistics, persistence maps, and a large
number of parameters meaningful to engineers in specialized fields such as telecommunications,
disk drive analysis and power electronics.

Digital storage also makes possible another type of oscilloscope, the equivalent-time sample
oscilloscope. Instead of taking consecutive samples after the trigger event, only one sample is
taken. However, the oscilloscope is able to vary its time-base to precisely time its sample, thus
building up the picture of the signal over the subsequent repeats of the signal. This requires that
either a clock or repeating pattern be provided. This type of oscilloscope is frequently used for
very high speed communication because it allows for a very high "sample rate" and low
amplitude noise compared to traditional real-time oscilloscopes.

Digital oscilloscopes are limited principally by the performance of the analog input circuitry, the
duration of the sample window, and resolution of the sample rate. When not using equivalenttime sampling, the sampling frequency should be at least the Nyquist rate, double the frequency
of the highest-frequency component of the observed signal, otherwise aliasing occurs.

Advantages Over The Analog Oscilloscope Are:

Brighter and bigger display with color to distinguish multiple traces

Equivalent time sampling and averaging across consecutive samples or scans lead to

higher resolution down to V

Peak detection
Easy pan and zoom across multiple stored traces allows beginners to work without a

This needs a fast reaction of the display (some oscilloscopes have 1 ms delay)
The knobs have to be large and turn smoothly
Also slow traces like the temperature variation across a day can be recorded
Allows for automation.

Digital Sampling Oscilloscopes

Digital sampling oscilloscopes operate on the same principle as analog sampling oscilloscopes
and, like their analog counterparts, are of great use when analyzing high-frequency signals; that
is, repetitive signals whose frequencies are higher than the oscilloscope's sampling rate. For
measuring repetitive signals, this type can have bandwidth and high-speed timing up to ten times
greater than any real-time oscilloscope.

A real-time oscilloscope, sometimes called a single-shot scope, captures an entire waveform on

each trigger event. This requires the scope to capture a large number of data points in one
continuous record. A sequential equivalent-time sampling oscilloscope, sometimes simply called
a sampling scope, measures the input signal only once per trigger. The next time the scope is
triggered, a small delay is added and another sample is taken. Thus a large number of trigger
events must occur in order to collect enough samples to build a picture of the waveform. The

measurement bandwidth is determined by the frequency response of the sampler which currently
can extend beyond 90 GHz.

An alternative to sequential equivalent-time sampling is called random equivalent-time

sampling. Samples are synchronised not with trigger events but with the scope's internal
sampling clock. This causes them to occur at apparently random times relative to the trigger
event. The scope measures the time interval between the trigger and each sample, and uses this to
locate the sample correctly on the x-axis. This process continues until enough samples have been
collected to build up a picture of the waveform. The advantage of this technique over sequential
equivalent-time sampling is that the scope can collect data from before the trigger event as well
as after it, in a similar way to the pre-trigger function of most real-time digital storage scopes.
Random equivalent-time sampling can be integrated into a standard DSO without requiring
special sampling hardware, but has the disadvantage of poorer timing precision than the
sequential sampling method.


In any given design there must be a set rules and regulation guiding it, in view of this our project
Digital Solid Oscilloscope is not a left out.

Our design was triggered off by first; trying to

figure out how the project can be actualized, getting the desired clue, surfing online to gather
more Intel, and behold the Ideal was achieved.

Below are some of the steps taken

during the hardware development of this project;

Block Diagram Design

A rough sketch on how the project would look like was first drawn, detailing all the components
blocks that would make-up the complete system.

Once drawn and checked for consistency we

proceeded to the second phase.

Schematic Design
Schematic design poses one of the most difficult constraints in the design of this project because
here for sure, we are dealing with discrete components that has one common goal speak the
language of electronics effectively this simply means that all sections of the system should work
in harmony with little deviation from the target.

Soldering is the process of a making a sound electrical and mechanical joint between certain
metals by joining them with a soft solder. This is a low temperature melting point alloy of lead
and tin. The joint is heated to the correct temperature by soldering iron. For most electronic work
miniature mains powered soldering irons are used. These consist of a handle onto which is
mounted the heating element. On the end of the heating element is what is known as the "bit", so

called because it is the bit that heats the joint up. Solder melts at around 190 degrees Centigrade,
and the bit reaches a temperature of over 250 degrees Centigrade. This temperature is plenty hot
enough to inflict a nasty burn, consequently care should be taken.

Good soldering is a skill that is learnt by practice. The most important point in soldering is that
both parts of the joint to be made must be at the same temperature. The solder will flow evenly
and make a good electrical and mechanical joint only if both parts of the joint are at an equal
high temperature. Even though it appears that there is a metal to metal contact in a joint to be
made, very often there exists a film of oxide on the surface that insulates the two parts. For this
reason it is no good applying the soldering iron tip to one half of the joint only and expecting this
to heat the other half of the joint as well

Testing The Circuit

After the construction, the circuit was properly analyzed and short circuit and open circuits were
all corrected. The circuit is then powered with a voltage supply of 5V and some parameters such
as clock pulses were measured. The remote handset was tapped and movement of the gate was


The oscilloscope illustrated in FIG. 1 is a compact, solid state instrument having an insulated
housing such as one formed of aluminum, and a display 280 pixel, which is a light emitting
diode (LED) display, integral with the probe. This oscilloscope is convenient for the trouble
shooting of electronic circuits both because it is very small and therefore easy to handle, and also
because it permits simultaneous viewing of the circuit being tested and of the waveform being


The input waveform picked up by the probe tip and is applied to a range selector. The desired
range may be selected by control knob which attenuates the voltage. The output of the range
selector is supplied to an analog-to-digital (A to D) converter which translates the analog signal it
receives to an N bit signal which appears at the N output leads, respectively, of the A to D
converter. Assuming a relatively large array such as one having 256256 elements, N would be
8. Of course, other values are possible, the number of bits in the code depending upon the
number of rows in the array. In a less expensive instrument the array may be smaller, for
example 6464, and N would then be 6 (and M, which is discussed later, would be 64).

The A to D converter connects to decoder. The latter's purpose is to translate the N bit input code
it receives to a one out of 2N output code. In other words, depending upon the value of the
binary number represented by the parallel input signals applied to decoder 26, the decoder will
produce a single output voltage which appears on one of the 2N output leads of the decoder
formed by a decade counter. In this particular system, the one of the leads carrying the signal will
be at a level +V and all other leads will be at a level -V, where V may be 10 volts or so. The one
signal at level +V is translated by one of the 2N drivers to a voltage of value V and applied to the
row of the light emitting diode array which is connected to that driver.

The columns of the light emitting diode array continuously are scanned, in sequence. The circuits
for doing this are shown at the right of FIG. They include a trigger pulse source which produces
periodic trigger pulses. The source may be synchronized from the input waveform as indicated

schematically by the line. This synchronization occurs when the internal-external switch is in the
"internal" position.

Each time a trigger pulse is generated by source, that pulse is applied via lead to the first stage of
decade counter. This decade counter has 35 numbers of stages as there are columns in the LED
array. The pulse supplied to the first stage of a decade counter continuously is shifted from stage
to stage of the decade counter until it reaches the output stage of the decade counter and it is then
shifted out of the decade counter. The shift pulses are produced by oscillator whose frequency
may be controlled by adjusting the sweep frequency control knob. This oscillator may be free
running but preferably it is synchronized by trigger pulses supplied via lead from trigger pulse

As mentioned above, the trigger pulse source supplies an input pulse to decade counter and the
latter continuously shifts this pulse until it reaches the last stage of the decade counter. After this
pulse is shifted out of the register, a new pulse is supplied to the input stage of the register via
lead. The decade counter has 35 output leads, one from each stage. When a stage receives a shift
pulse, the output voltage present on the output lead of the stage changes from a value +V to -V.
Thus, there are present successive pulses on successive output leads of the decade counter.

The 35 output leads of decade counter connect to 35 column drivers. Each time a column driver
receives a negative pulse, it produces an output pulse of level -v, where -v is somewhat less in
amplitude than the absolute value of the pulse applied by one of the drivers to a row of the array.
As the oscillator operates continuously, the successive output leads of the column drivers receive

successive pulses, respectively, so that the array continuously is scanned column by column

In the operation of the system the columns of the array continuously are scanned in sequence.
The input waveform is translated to a digital quantity by A to D converter and the decoder, in
response thereto, actuates one of the drivers. The row driver selected in any particular time slot
will depend upon the level of the input waveform during that time slot. For example, a relatively
low level signal will cause an output lead, such as 2 or 3, which connects to one of the lower
rows of the array, to receive a drive voltage, whereas an input signal at a higher level will cause
an output lead, such as 6 or 7, which connects to one of the higher rows of the array, to receive a
drive voltage. Whichever occurs, the LED at the intersection of the selected column and the
selected row will be energized and emit light. As the array continuously is scanned in the
horizontal direction and concurrently is driven by the input waveform to energize selected rows
of the array in accordance with the amplitude of the input waveform, the display will produce, on
its face, a luminescent trace corresponding to the shape of the input waveform.

It is assumed in the discussion above that the amplitude of the input wave varies relatively
slowly compared to the time anyone column of the array is receiving an excitation voltage. In
other words, the input wave amplitude is substantially constant during this short interval so that
during the time any particular column is selected one and only one row is concurrently receiving
a drive voltage. If the input wave amplitude varies during this short interval of time, more than
one LED diode may be actuated during the time a column is selected and, in this case, the
actuated diodes will simulate a vertical trace.

With minor modification, the system can be made to cause only a single LED to be actuated
during each column time, even with a rapidly changing input waveform. In this modified circuit,
the A to D converter includes in its output circuit an N stage storage register for temporarily
storing the N bit output word produced thereby. This register may be reset and conditioned to
accept a new input N bit word once each shift period of register in response to the shift pulses
produced by oscillator. Each binary word will then remain in this temporary storage register
within the A to D converter for the period that a column is receiving column excitation.

Assuming the display has say 250 columns and the maximum frequency of the oscillator is 10
MHz, then the maximum sweep repetition rate is 40103 /seconds and the minumum time per
resolution element is 100 nanoseconds (ns). This implies that the row selection circuits are able
to follow 100 ns changes in the input waveform. Suitable driver circuits which are operative at
these frequencies comprise complementary symmetry, metal oxide semiconductor (COS/MOS)
circuits employing SOS technology.

Mechanical Construction of The Electronic Billing System

After finalizing the construction of the circuit, what remains now is the mechanical outlook of
the enclosed system.

In our design we have considered price and usage in real time

application, since the aim of this project is to show that a prototype DSO can be achieved hence
we opted for a aluminum finishing with leather wrapping to give it slic and wonderful look, and
as well as given it the desired ruggedness.


Our project met our expectation as a functional oscilloscope. However, we did not meet our
expectations in the features that we were going to add to the oscilloscope. We are able to display
good resolution waveforms between frequencies ranging from 1 Hz to 2 kHz. By pushing one of
five push buttons, the oscilloscope will change its time per division setting. This functionality
worked flawlessly as the user can either analyze a small section of a waveform or increase the
time span to analyze a longer portion of a waveform. Unfortunately, our level shifter and
attenuator circuit did not work too well. The attenuator attenuated our signal too much, while the
level shifter only shifted the DC point by about 100 mV. Furthermore, we did not have enough
time to implement a spectrum analyzer, as debugging took much more time than expected.

Our greatest challenge was to figure out how the data was going to be transferred between the
two microcontrollers. We tried various different approaches when working on this. We started by
using a handshake protocol between the two boards, but found that it was slow and unreliable.
We got the idea of using an external interrupt on the acquisition board from the method of
communication with the ADC. We found that it was the quickest way and did not require two
handshake signals, just the one external interrupt signal.

Our project required a tremendous amount of wiring and we definitely could have organized this
much better. Optimizing where each circuit would go and shortening the lengths of the wires
would have made our project more neat and presentable. To improve usability, we could have
labeled the push buttons so that the user would know which button corresponded to which time
per division. Also, we could have implemented some cursors to display on the TV screen. This
would make measuring the time per divisions much more accurate compared to just eye-balling
them on the screen.

The analog front end could have been implemented much better if we had more time. The
original plan was to use a bipolar supply but this seemed to cause excess heat in the op amps.
This would have increased our input swing and give us the ability to shift the signal down as well
as up. Also, the biasing resistors could have been increased to reduce attenuation without having
to have large gain into the capacitive load.

There is no man made perfect design on this planet earth hence the need for daily upgrade of our

This design features a static sweep technique that has been coded internally

during the cause of the firm ware development and this makes it awkward when controlling the
sweep rate.

In subsequent design there should be an upgrade in the dynamism of the sweep

mechanism control so that it could be dynamically changed without the need to recode the

controller. With this upgrade, the system can be applied in any working environment without the
need for unnecessary modifications.