Let’s be honest, oscilloscopes aren’t exactly something you can just pick up and use without some sort of help or prior experience. Typically, it takes a bit of time and practice to understand how to use one correctly and make accurate measurements. We don’t want you wasting time trying to figure out how to use your oscilloscope – you should be able to spend your valuable time testing so you can get your designs to market faster. This means you need the right material that can quickly teach you how to use your scope. The Keysight Oscilloscopes team is constantly working to provide you with the materials you need, and expert help so you can spend more time characterizing your designs. We have a lot of resources for you, some of which you may not even know exist.
The Educators Training Kit
When I was learning how to use an oscilloscope as a young engineer, the resource I found to be most helpful is the Educator’s Training Kit. Don’t let the name fool you - this is not something that only applies to professors and students. It’s helpful for anyone who wants to learn how to use an oscilloscope. The Training Kit includes fifteen hands-on labs that walk you through how to use various features and applications. The labs range from basic concepts, such as triggering and probe compensation, to more advanced measurements such as capturing infrequent events, gated measurements, and using acquisition modes like peak detect. If you complete all of these labs and you still want more, you can also check out the Advanced Training Guide for your oscilloscope model. This guide starts out by reviewing basics, but also covers more advanced labs, including triggering on logic patterns and decoding serial buses. Most of these labs can be completed using the 11 built-in training signals that come with the Educator’s Training Kit, but some guides also include one or two labs that require you to build a very basic RLC circuit as your device under test (DUT). The kit also includes a slide-set on scope fundamentals so you can make sure you really understand the basics before diving into the hands-on labs. The Educators Training Kit is now a FREE option for all Keysight InfiniiVision oscilloscopes so you can learn more about how to properly use an oscilloscope without having to find extra money in the budget.
Throw away that user’s manual! Well, maybe not - it could still come in handy. But seriously, everyone hates having to dig through a user’s manual just to figure out something like what one of the trigger options should be used for. There are so many different options and measurement types on an oscilloscope, including some you probably didn’t even know were there. For example, did you know you can get help in seconds right on the screen of your oscilloscope? If you don’t know what something is, just hold down the front panel key or menu button associated with it for a few seconds, and a built-in HELP screen will appear. These HELP screens provide quick information and set-up tips. Bye-bye, user’s manual.
Scope Tips from Experts
We’re here to help you. That means not only do we provide you with the most accurate test equipment on the market, but we are also available to help you use it. We are regularly posting new videos, blog posts, webcasts, and application notes to help you characterize your designs more easily.
Our Oscilloscope YouTube channel has quick how-to videos, like the Keysight 2-Minute Guru series, along with detailed demonstrations, like Johnnie Hancock’s demo on NFC Testing. The Digital Design and Test Webcast Series is another free resource that offers live, one-hour presentations by some of our experts on various measurement techniques. If you don’t have time to watch the live stream during the workday, you can always watch (or re-watch) it on-demand at a time that works for you. Some of these recordings can also be found on our YouTube channel.
When the experts here aren’t working on new videos for you, they are spending their time writing up new blog posts and application notes. These blog posts are another quick way to learn about a topic, while application notes dive deep into the specifics of a certain measurement applications. The Oscilloscope Learning Center offers help on various topics such as scope basics, probing, and applications, and provides links to related videos and application notes for your convenience.
I know what you’re probably thinking right now, “Wow, those sound like great resources, but that’s a lot of websites to constantly be checking for new content.” To make your life easier, you can just like our Facebook page. Every time we post new content on all of those free resources I discussed, we usually post a link on our Facebook page as well. The Keysight Oscilloscope Facebook page is the perfect central place to stay up-to-date on all of the new content available.
BenchVue is a free software tool that can quickly and easily connect your Keysight instruments to your PC in seconds. You can use it to control your instruments remotely and analyze data from various tests. Not only is it a great extension of your oscilloscope’s functionality, but it also has a helpful education feature, the Library tab. The Library tab allows you to type in any Keysight product number and it will return any documentation it can find on that product such as a data sheet, application notes, video demos, user guides, etc. This eliminates all of that time you would spend searching the web to find these documents and puts them in one convenient location for you.
I hope all of these resources prove to be helpful when learning how to use your oscilloscope. We will continue working hard to give you new content to help you in your testing. If you have any specific questions or content requests, just let us know in the comment section below.