Portable Oscilloscopes

Many people aren't sure what a portable oscilloscope is used for until they need one. On a farm, they are commonly used to measure electrical current or voltage, in things like electrical fences. Of course, there are a variety of uses in many applications, including everything from fixing televisions to any other kind of electronic equipment, and they come in digital or analog types.

For a portable oscilloscope that is analog, it directly applies voltage that is being measured to an electron beam moving across the screen of the oscilloscope. It gives an immediate picture of the waveform, because the voltage deflects the beam up and down proportionally. On a digital model it will use an analog to digital converter to measure into digital format and then reconstruct the wave on the screen.

Many people prefer the handheld or portable oscilloscope that is analog, because the wave signal of the electrical voltage is shown in real time, without the need to go through the converter to digital, where it is only seen once. The main advantage to a digital portable oscilloscope is that the data can be sent to a computer and stored for later, if you need it to analyze voltage information.

There is certain terminology that comes along with using oscilloscopes, because waves are formed by the pattern they repeat themselves, becoming waveforms, and that can tell you how the voltage is changing. In a flat line pattern, there is no change in voltage, but straight diagonal lines might indicate a steady rate of rise and falls, where sharp angles would mean sudden changes in voltage, meaning that voltage would need to be regulated.

There are several patterns such as sine waves, square or rectangular waves, triangle and sawtooth waves or step and pulse waves that are the most common patterns of waveforms. Another thing measured is the frequency of the wave repeats, which is defined as Hz. So if there are 3 wave cycles per second, you would have a frequency of 3Hz, for example.

For the average person, this might seem like it would be too complicated and of little use on the farm, but you can use your portable oscilloscope for everything from working on your equipment to regulating the voltage on your electric fence. Once you have learned to use one, it is a great way to see if there is a current or if you have sporadic voltage spikes, for example.

When you are looking for this electronic equipment, you can find them available from private sellers and dealers. Sometimes, you will find private sellers that are getting rid of them for reasonable prices, because they hardly use them, but the can cost anywhere from $500 up to a couple thousand dollars, depending on where you get them. Sometimes, you can find dealers that are offering them at close-out prices.

We can save you time by featuring the listings in one convenient place-our website. We make it easier to find the listings by private sellers and dealers, if they are offering something in the marketplace, which can change daily. This can be a good way to locate a great price on a portable oscilloscope!

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