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How do I ensure I get accurate measurements or data?


How do I ensure I get accurate measurements or data?


Following the procedure listed here will help to ensure an accurate representation of the signal is provided to you for your analysis by the oscilloscope.  Follow the on-line help or the user manual to perform these steps if you encounter difficulties.

  • Allow the oscilloscope to warm up to proper operating temperature (usually no more than 20 minutes).
  • Signal path compensation (SPC) will help to minimize DC inaccuracies caused by temperature variations or long-term drift. Most Tektronix scopes provide a very simple automated SPC routine that is activated using the mouse through menu pull downs or by a couple of simple button pushes. Disconnect all probes from all channels when performingSPC.
  • Connect the probe(s) to the channels you are going to use and check be sure the attenuation of the probe is what you want for your application. Some probes use a switch to change attenuation. Make sure your probe can handle the frequency of the signal you are interested in measuring. Also, check to be sure the attenuation on the oscilloscope for a particular channel is set to the same attenuation as that of the probe connected to that channel. Some Tektronix oscilloscopes have an automated method of verifying that the attenuation of the probe and the oscilloscope channel attenuation settings are the same. If they are not the same the measurements will not be numbers you are really interested in.
  • Connect the probe(s) to the channels you are going to use and check the probe compensation for each. (If you move the probe to another channel, the probe should to be checked for compensation at that new location). To check the probe for testing purposes, you can connect it to the probe compensation signal on the front panel of most oscilloscopes.  Again, some Tektronix oscilloscopes have a probe check feature that guides the user through probe compensation activities and verifies the probe is performing acceptably.
  • Remember to then connect the probe(s) to the device-under-test (DUT).

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