How does a CRO works

CRO Means CATHODE  RAY OSCILLOSCOPE. CRT MEANS CATHODE RAY TUBE First time operation,  General information, Add-on modules(optional), Cro operation, components Tester, Maintenance, Service guide:  The TDS education oscilloscope series is designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s schools and universities. Packed with features and built-in tools, it is easy to learn and simple to operate – ideal for first-time oscilloscope users and students. Featuring the same user interface as other members of the TDS Oscilloscope Family, your students will learn to operate the world’s most popular oscilloscope platform.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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   An oscilloscope is easily the most useful instrument available for testing circuits because it allows you to see the signals at different points in the circuit. The best way of investigating an electronic system is to monitor signals at the input and output of each system block, checking that each block is operating as expected and is correctly linked to the next. With a little practice, you will be able to find and correct faults quickly and accurately. Faced with an instrument like this, students typically respond either by twiddling every knob and pressing every button in sight, or by adopting a glazed expression. Neither approach is specially helpful. Following the systematic description below will give you a clear idea of what an oscilloscope is and what it can do.


     The function of an oscilloscope is extremely simple: it draws a V/t graph, a graph of voltage against time, voltage on the vertical or Y-axis, and time on the horizontal or X-axis.  As you can see, the screen of this oscilloscope has 8 squares or divisions on the vertical axis, and 10 squares or divisions on the horizontal axis. Usually, these squares are 1 cm in each direction:  Many of the controls of the oscilloscope allow you to change the vertical or horizontal scales of the V/tV/t graphs at the same time, so that simultaneous signals from different parts of an electronic system can be compared. graph, so that you can display a clear picture of the signal you want to investigate.


  1. Check that all push buttons in the out position, i.e., released.
  2. TIME/DIV variable controls are hole off control, fully counter-clockwise their calibrated position.
  3. Set all control in mid-range position.
  4. select AC/DC switch which mode you want.
  5. Set INDENS., (INDENSITY ) FOCUS controls for normal.

Setting up

1. Someone else may have been twiddling knobs and pressing buttons before you. Before you switch the oscilloscope on, check that all the controls are in their ‘normal’ positions.  

  • all push button switches are in the OUT position
  • all slide switches are in the UP position
  • all rotating controls are CENTRE
  • the central TIME/DIV and VOLTS/DIV and the HOLD OFF controls are in the calibrated, or CAL position

Check through all the controls and put them in these positions:
2. Set both VOLTS/DIV controls to 1 V/DIV and the TIME/DIV control to 0.2 s/DIV, its slowest setting:
3. Switch ON, red button, top centre:
The green LED illuminates and, after a few moments, you should see a small bright spot, or trace, moving fairly slowly across the screen.
4. Find the Y-POS 1 control:
What happens when you twiddle this?   The Y-POS 1 allows you to move the spot up and down the screen. For the present, adjust the trace so that it runs horizontally across the centre of the screen.
5. Now investigate the INTENSITY and FOCUS controls:
When these are correctly set, the spot will be reasonably bright but not glaring, and as sharply focused as possible. (The TR control is screwdriver adjusted. It is only needed if the spot moves at an angle rather than horizontally across the screen with no signal connected.)
6. The TIME/DIV control determines the horizontal scale of the graph which appears on the oscilloscope screen. With 10 squares across the screen and the spot moving at 0.2 s/DIV, how long does it take for the spot to cross the screen? The answer is 0.2 x 10 = 2 s. Count seconds. Does the spot take 2 seconds to cross the screen? Now rotate the TIME/DIV control clockwise:
With the spot moving at 0.1 s/DIV, it will take 1 second to cross the screen. Continue to rotate TIME/DIV clockwise. With each new setting, the spot moves faster. At around 10 ms/DIV, the spot is no longer separately visible. Instead, there is a bright line across the screen. This happens because the screen remains bright for a short time after the spot has passed, an effect which is known as thepersistence of the screen. It is useful to think of the spot as still there, just moving too fast to be seen. Keep rotating TIME/DIV. At faster settings, the line becomes fainter because the spot is moving very quickly indeed. At a setting of 10 µs/DIV how long does it take for the spot to cross the screen?
7. The VOLTS/DIV controls determine the vertical scale of the graph drawn on the oscilloscope screen. Check that VOLTS/DIV 1 is set at 1 V/DIV and that the adjacent controls are set correctly:   Tht cro  built in source of signals which allow you to check that the oscilloscope is working properly.  A connection to the input of channel 1, CH 1, of the oscilloscope can be made using a special connector called a BNC plug, as shown below:

The diagram shows a lead with a BNC plug at one end and crocodile clips at the other. When the crocodile clip from the red wire is clipped to the lower metal terminal, a 2 V square wave is connected to the input of CH 1. Adjust VOLTS/DIV and TIME/DIV until you obtain a clear picture of the 2 V signal, which should look like this:
Check on the effect of Y-POS 1 and X-POS:
Y-POS 1 moves the whole trace vertically up and down on the screen, while X-POS moves the whole trace from side to side on the screen. These control are useful because the trace can be moved so that more of the picture appears on the screen, or to make measurements easier using the grid which covers the screen. You have now learned about and used the most important controls on the oscilloscope. You know that the function of an oscilloscope is to draw a V/t graph. You know how to put all the controls into their ‘normal’ positions, so that a trace should appear when the oscilloscope is switched on. You know how the change the horizontal scale of the V/t graph, how to change the vertical scale, and how to connect and display a signal. What is needed now is practice so that all of these controls become familiar.


  1. Various important properties of the cro should be are fully checked at certain intervals.
  2. The exterior the cro should be cleaned regularly with dusting brush.

Oscilloscope all comes with an additional facility, a built-in components tester. This allows passive and active components like resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformer, silicon or germanium diodes, Zener diodes, tunnel diodes, Schottky diodes, transistors, JFETs, MOSFETs, UJTs, SCRs, TRIACs, and even linear and digital ICs to be tested while still in circuit. Using the 201 component tester is very simple. Just push in the CT switch, plug in two test probes (supplied with instrument) one at the banana socket marked CT-IN, and the other at the other at the ground socket. A horizontal line about 5 to 6 cms. will be seen. On shorting the two test probe tips a vertical line is seen. Connect the component under test across the probes. Some typical test patterns are shown on the following fig.,  DON’T test any component in live circuit(CRT mode) remove all grounds, power supply, signals connected to the components under test mode. Connected the test leads across component to be tested and observe waveform and compare model wave.

Like a televison screen, the screen of an oscilloscope consists of a cathode ray tube. Although the size and shape are different, the operating principle is the same. Inside the tube is a vacuum. The electron beam emitted by the heated cathode at the rear end of the tube is accelerated and focused by one or more anodes, and strikes the front of the tube, producing a bright spot on the phosphorescent screen.

The electron beam is bent, or deflected, by voltages applied to two sets of plates fixed in the tube. The horizontal deflection plates, or X-plates produce side to side movement. As you can see, they are linked to a system block called the time base. This produces a sawtooth waveform. During the rising phase of the sawtooth, the spot is driven at a uniform rate from left to right across the front of the screen. During the falling phase, the electron beam returns rapidly from right ot left, but the spot is ‘blanked out’ so that nothing appears on the screen. In this way, the time base generates the X-axis of the V/t graph.
The slope of the rising phase varies with the frequency of the sawtooth and can be adjusted, using the TIME/DIV control, to change the scale of the X-axis. Dividing the oscilloscope screen into squares allows the horizontal scale to be expressed in seconds, milliseconds or microseconds per division (s/DIV, ms/DIV, µs/DIV). Alternatively, if the squares are 1 cm apart, the scale may be given as s/cm, ms/cm or µs/cm.
The signal to be displayed is connected to the input.

The AC/DC switch is usually kept in the DC position (switch closed) so that there is a direct connection to the Y-amplifier. In the AC position (switch open) a capacitor is placed in the signal path. As will be explained in Chapter 5, the capacitor blocks DC signals but allows AC signals to pass.
The Y-amplifier is linked in turn to a pair of Y-plates so that it provides the Y-axis of the the V/t graph. The overall gain of the Y-amplifier can be adjusted, using the VOLTS/DIV control, so that the resulting display is neither too small or too large, but fits the screen and can be seen clearly. The vertical scale is usually given in V/DIV or mV/DIV.

The trigger circuit is used to delay the time base waveform so that the same section of the input signal is displayed on the screen each time the spot moves across. The effect of this is to give a stable picture on the oscilloscope screen, making it easier to measure and interpret the signal.
Changing the scales of the X-axis and Y-axis allows many different signals to be displayed. Sometimes, it is also useful to be able to change the positions of the axes.  This is possible using the X-POS and Y-POS controls. For example, with no signal applied, the normal trace is a straight line across the centre of the screen. Adjusting Y-POS allows the zero level on the Y-axis to be changed, moving the whole trace up or down on the screen to give an effective display of signals like pulse waveforms which do not alternate between positive and negative values.
Add-on Modules (optional)

  • Frequency Counter
  • Curve Tracer
  • Function Generator
  • Digital Voltmeter

Other oscilloscope control


screen: usually displays a V/t graph, with voltage V on the vertical axis and time t on the horizontal axis. The scales of both axes can be changed to display a huge variety of signals. on/off switch: pushed in to switch the oscilloscope on. The green LED illuminates.

X-Y control: normally in the OUT position. When the X-Y button is pressed IN, the oscilloscope does not display a V/t graph. Instead, the vertical axis is controlled by the input signal to CH II. This allows the oscilloscope to be used to display a V/V voltage/voltage graph. The X-Y control is used when you want to display component characteristic curves, or Lissajous figures. (Links to these topics will be added later.)

TV-separation: Oscilloscopes are often used to investigate waveforms inside television systems. This control allows the display to be synchronised with the television system so that the signals from different points can be compared. You must not try to investigate television systems because of the dangerously high voltages inside. The correct postion for this control is OFF.

TIME / DIV: Allows the horizontal scale of the V/t graph to be changed.

Trigger controls: This group of controls allows the oscilloscope display to be synchronised with the signal you want to investigate. When the AT/NORM button is in the OUT position, triggering is automatic. This works for most signals. If you change the AT/NORM button to its IN position, the most likely result is that the signal will disappear and the oscilloscope screen will be blank. However, if you now adjust the LEVEL control, the display will be reinstated. As you adjust the LEVEL control, the display starts from a different point on the signal waveform. This makes it possible for you to look in detail at any particular part of the waveform.The EXT button should normally be in its OUT position. When it is pushed IN, triggering occurs from a signal connected to the trigger input, TRIG INP, socket. The slide switch to the left of TIME/DIV gives additional triggering options. AC is the normal position and is suitable for most waveforms. In the DC position, you use the LEVEL control to select a particular DC voltage on the signal waveform where triggering will occur. The +/- button gives triggering on the upward slope of the signal waveform in the OUT position, and triggering on the downward slope in the IN position.

Intensity and focus: Adjusting the INTENSITY control changes the brightness of the oscilloscope display. The FOCUS should be set to produce a bright clear trace. If required, TR can be adjusted using a small screwdriver so that the oscilloscope trace is exactly horizontal when no signal is connected.

X-POS: Allows the whole V/t graph to be moved from side to side on the oscilloscope screen. This is useful when you want to use the grid in front of the screen to make measurements, for example, to measure the period of a waveform. .X-MAG: In the IN position, the horizontal scale of the V/t graph is increased by 10 times. For example, if TIME/DIV is set for 1 ms per division and X-MAG is pushed IN, the scale is changed to 0.1 ms per division.

CAL outputs: The top terminal gives a 0.2 V peak to peak square wave, while the lower terminal gives a 2 V peak to peak square wave, both at 50 Hz. The signals from these outputs are used to confirm that the oscilloscope is correctly calibrated.

component tester: The output socket provides a changing voltage which allows component characteristic curves to be displayed on the oscilloscope screen. When the button is IN, the oscilloscope displays a V/V graph, with the component tester voltage connected internally to provide the horizontal axis. To get normal V/t graph operation the component tester button must be in the OUT position.

Y-POS I and Y-POS II: These controls allow the corresponding trace to be moved up or down, changing the position representing 0 V on the oscilloscope screen. To investigate an alternating signal, you adjust Y-POS so that the 0 V level is close to the centre of the screen. For a pulse waveform, it is more useful to have 0 V close to the bottom of the screen. Y-POS I and Y-POS II allow the 0 V levels of the two traces to be adjusted independently.

Invert: When the INVERT button is pressed IN, the corresponding signal is turned upside down, or inverted, on the oscilloscope screen. This feature is sometimes useful when comparing signals.

CH I and CH II inputs: Signals are connected to the BNC input sockets using BNC plugs. The smaller socket next to the BNC input socket provides an additional 0 V, GROUND or EARTH connection. VOLTS / DIV: Adjust the vertical scale of the V/t graph. The vertical scales for CH I and CH II can be adjusted independently.

DC/AC/GND slide switches: In the DC position, the signal input is connected directly to the Y-amplifier of the corresponding channel, CH I or CH II. In the AC position, a capacitor is connected into the signal pathway so that DC voltages are blocked and only changing AC signals are displayed. In the GND position, the input of the Y-amplifier is connected to 0 V. This allows you to check the position of 0 V on the oscilloscope screen. The DC position of these switches is correct for most signals.


  • Cathode Ray Tube: Rectangular medium short persistence.
  • Accelerating potential: 2000 v.
  • Display: 8.10 cm.
  • Trace rotation: Adjustable on front panel.
  • Calibrator: Square wave generator 1KHz 0.2 v.
  • Z Modulation: TTL level Stabilized.
  • Power Supply: All operating voltages including the EHT.
  • Mains voltage: 220 v-240 v, 50Hz.
  • Mains fluctuations: 10 (per.)
  • Power consumption: 33va
  • Weight: 7.5Kg
  • Operating temperature: 0- 40 degree.


The instruments fails completely, the first and most important steps;

  1. Check mains/line voltage and power fuse.
  2. Will be to measure the deflecting plate voltages of the Crt in almost any case the fault section can be located.

The section represent,

  • Vertical deflection.
  • Horizondal deflection.
  • CRT circuit.
  • power supply.
  • Sweep section.
  • pre-amp.,


Any interruption of the protective conductor inside or outside the instruments or disconnection of the protective earth terminal is likely to make the instruments dangerous. Intentional interruption of the protective earth connection is prohibited. The mains/line plug should be inserted before connections are made to measuring circuits.

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