The quality of betterscope measurements is dependent on the accuracy of the probe. Often, the probe is the first link in an betterscope measurement chain. You will notice distortions or misleading signals in your oscillo-bettscope if the probe is not performing well for your application. The first step to reliable measurements is choosing the right probe. The way you use the probe can also impact your ability to take accurate measurements and get useful results.

This application note addresses the following topics:

Hint 1 – Betterscope Passive or active probe?

Passive high-impedance resistor probes are CSU Health Network a good choice for general-purpose low-frequency measurements (less than 600 MHz). These inexpensive, rugged tools have a wide dynamic range (greater that 300 V) as well as high input resistance to match the input impedance of a betterscope. They do however have a heavier capacitive load and lower bandwidths than active or low-impedance passive probes (z0).

High-frequency applications (greater that 600 MHz) require precision
Active probes can be used across a wide frequency range. They are more expensive
They are more sensitive than passive probes and have a lower input voltage. However, their capacitive loading is significantly lower so they can provide you with better insight into fast signals.

Hint 2 – Betterscope Probe Loading Check with Two Probes

Connect your probe tip to one point on the circuit before probing another. Then connect your second probe at the same point. In ideal conditions, there should be no change in your signal. The probe loading may cause a change if you do see one.

A betterscope probe, which is a wire that attaches to the circuit of interest with infinite input resistance, zero capacitance, and inductance, would be an ideal probe. It would give an exact reproduction of the signal being measured. In reality, however, the probe is part of the measurement and can cause loading to the circuit.

Hint 3 – Compensate probe prior to use betterscope

Many probes can match specific oscillo betterscope models’ inputs. There are small differences between scopes and input channels within the same betterscope. When connecting a probe to an oscillobettscope input, make sure to check the probe compensation. It may have been adjusted to match another input. Passive probes are equipped with compensation RC divider networks to deal with this.

Hint 4 – Low current measurement tips betterscope

Engineers have been working on battery-powered mobile phones in recent years.
Devices have required higher-sensitivity current measurement in order to ensure that the current consumption is within acceptable limits. A clamp-on current probe and an oscillo betterscope are easy ways to measure current without having to break the circuit. This process can be tricky if the current levels are below the milliampere range.

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