If you’re serious about moving things to the next level with electronics, an oscilloscope is one of the best investments you can make to debug and analyze circuits or even your software. You can use it to capture, visualize and analyze the relationship between time and voltage, accurately measuring the delays between pin state changes, visualizing the rise and fall times of signals, etc. Unfortunately, the learning curve can be a bit steep at first and even on relatively basic models there are still a lot of switches and knobs to figure out. Tektronix has made getting over the initial bump in the road a lot easier, though, with their wonderfully accessible “Introduction to Oscilloscopes: Lab Experiment“. It’s based on their own scopes (duh), but the information is common to any traditional scope out there, and they do a great job of walking you through the fundamentals. Well worth a read if you’re considering an oscilliscope or if you’re wondering what you can do with one if you did make the investment. For further information you may also want to look at Tek’s XYZs of Oscilloscopes Primer, though you need to register to access this document.
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