oscilloscope safety - don’t blow up your scope or circuit (2023)


How not to blow up your scope or your circuit - or cause an unsafe condition. Properly grounding and paying attention to grounding is essential for the safety of oscilloscope usage.

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Hey, guys, what's up Eddie aho here with kiss analog comm.

Today we are going to talk safety let's, not blow up our scope let's, not blow up our circuit and let's, not scare that bejesus out of ourselves and start jumping for power switches and trying to turn things off.

Okay, hopefully that will not happen and I'm gonna give you a couple tips or things to think about.

Okay, let's do it all right? The scope has all these old connectors right? And you've got two channels on this go if you're connecting your scope up to your circuit.

And you don't put this little ground tip on the same part of your circuit reference to the same spot.

Then your scope will reference to them for you.

And you don't want that to happen your scope will short those for you wait does that well let's see that center pin is your signal, that's, what you're clipping onto the outer ring.

The connects to this B and C is your shield, it's, your return, that's your ground.

However, you want to call it it's connected to this little thing right here and it's connected to that.

Okay, your ground plug.

So these guys are all shorted together.

Anything metal on your scope that you can touch should be tied to earth ground.

Okay, that means that your power cord that little round.

Third prong is a safety ground.

And anything metal should be tied to that that's to protect yourself from bein shot.

You know, if internally something somehow a line power got shorted one these you touch this and then it's off to notes on your band.

You get shocked.


So when you float a scope so that these are not connected earth ground.

And you can float the scope by giving an isolation transformer that's thought to be the safer way.

Another way to do.

It is suicide, plugs or cheater, plugs, yeah, I like to know what else you guys call those I've called them or I've.

Heard them called number of things.

Those are the two things come to mind right now.

But those are those little plugs that you're a see plug plugs all three prongs into, but only two prongs your line and neutral come out to plug into your power, isolating your ground.

So that your instrument is not tied to ground that's, the cheap easy way to isolate your scope all right.

So now your scopes floating.

Okay, these metal things you don't know, what potential they can be you reach over and touch this.

Why maybe touching one of those things and maybe something or here's floating another potential.

And you get a little zap floating the scope could be scary and could be dangerous.

So let's say, you're, floating your scope, and you think you're being safe well.

But then you realize, hey, I want to come by and I want to connect my computer up to my land and your computer's plugged into AC power.

Well now your scope.

And all these metal things are tied back to earth ground.

Okay, because these things back here, like say, anything metal those things.

And these things are all tied together, and they are tied to this.

So you isolate this, but then you plug in a computer PC or something some kind of LAN connection.

Something else is plugged into AC power.

And that has a ground connection.

Well, now your scope is grounded again.


So be aware of that be very careful, I, gotta say that I've worked in places where we've had scopes floating thought were safe.

And then somebody hooked up a computer to the land connection.

So we could download and print some some printouts.

And then next, you know, things are working kind of strange.

And luckily, nothing scary happened.

But things were not working well.

And we found out is because of the computer being plugged in so that's, a real life situation that can happen and just be careful if your probing a DC circuit battery-operated DC, powered or your circuit is isolated with the transformer.

Then, hey now, you're safe from having this shorting to earth ground.

So that's a safer scenario, you still have this scenario where if you have these two ground straps tied to different parts of your circuit, then your shorty in that circuit together, right here on your scope.

So those are two things to be aware of.

For instance, Trump shooting AC power.

And you just happen to by accent, put this on something other than earth ground.

Something let's say, worst case scenario, maybe the 115 volt line coming in.

And you happen to touch that.


Now you got a dead short with your power, and that would be that be a scary deal, because that little wires not meant to carry 15 amps, which your breaker is probably set for so that'd, be scary.

Okay, that probably look like in fuse anyway, there you go be safe, make sure that you have your scope tight correctly.

They make differential probes.


Probes can make it safer and also make sure that you don't tie this to anything if you're on the AC side of the power, make sure you tie that to something that's referenced to earth ground.

Okay, if you're not sure turn off power, take an old meter and all them things out.

Okay, that's the safe way to do it.

Hey, scopes are cheap now or much more affordable that's.

And you can get a very nice go.

Something like this for 150 bucks.

You can get scopes.

I've, got top 10 lists.

I put out scopes under $300.

You still don't want to lose 300 bucks.

So be careful with your scope and be careful with yourself in your circuits.

And hopefully this is so short video.

Help give me a thumbs up if you liked it.

Thanks guys, powered by AC power.

The same thing this thing is powered by then this is earth ground.

So anything you want to tie that ground probe to better be earth, ground.

Okay, that's the other way to short out the scope that's, probably the more serious way your circuit that you're troubleshooting may be.

It can only put out an amp, you know, but now if you're troubleshooting an AC circuit, and you short this chassis to something hot on your circuit, maybe 115 volts or your DC, or you know here.


So if you short that to something on your AC set your circuit, you know, fireworks could happen.

And that would really be scary.

So don't do that be careful just be cognizant of that make sure you're careful where you're putting this ground, if you're not sure unplug, everything take your own meter and ohm your circuit out and make sure the two places you want to put your ground straps.

Two are the same potential all right? Okay? So you might say, well, I'm only gonna use one of them then and I'll let the other one just hang off, not not connect it.

Well, you can do that.

And if they're reference to the same return, well that might work before, yeah, but the reason they're coaxial cables is to give you a nice clean quiet signal without using the ground.

And using that shield, you might pick up loud noise.


So you might not be happy at that.

So just beware be careful and safe scoping.

Alright, guys, I hope you like that, I hope that was helpful and I know, a lot of people are buying scopes that you know, today's scopes are so affordable.

And we just want to be safe and I hope.

This was helpful.

Give me a thumbs up.

If you like that, thanks guys.


What is the safety precautions of oscilloscope? ›

Always use the power cord provided with the oscilloscope. Proper grounding of the oscilloscope will prevent a buildup of electrostatic charge, which could be harmful to the oscilloscope and the operator. Do not damage or circumvent the ground pin on the power cord provided.

What are the hazards of oscilloscope? ›

Besides the danger of exposing high voltage circuits (several thousand volts are used on the CRT), there is the hazard of the CRTs imploding and scattering glass at high velocity. Avoid vibration and mechanical shock. Like most electronic equipment, an oscilloscope is a delicate instrument.

What device is used to protect an oscilloscope? ›

Surge protectors are generally placed in series with the instrument input and are normally needed for instruments connected to long data communication or power lines where large transient voltages may occur.

Will an oscilloscope interfere with a circuit under test? ›

Of course you would. Because an oscilloscope probe has a capacitance, resistance and inductance, it's going to affect the signal you're measuring and can affect the operation of the circuit.

What are three safety precautions to take in the use of the monitor? ›

Using the Monitor Safely
  • Keep this user guide in a safe place for later reference.
  • Read all warnings and follow all instructions.
  • Sit at least 18" (45 cm) away from the device.
  • Allow at least 4" (10 cm) clearance around the device to ensure proper ventilation.
  • Place the device in a well-ventilated area.
Mar 28, 2023

What are the safety precautions in electrical circuit laboratory? ›

Always wear gloves, laboratory coat & shoes while working with hazardous chemicals. Wear goggles and masks while working with those chemicals which are toxic & hazardous to eyes. If in any case chemical comes in contact with skin or eyes then immediately rinse it with cold water and take further medical help.

How do you handle an oscilloscope? ›

Oscilloscope Instructions
  1. Set the oscilloscope to display channel 1.
  2. Set the vertical volts/division scale and position controls to mid–range positions.
  3. Turn off the variable volts/division.
  4. Turn off all magnification settings.
  5. Set the channel 1 input coupling to DC.
  6. Set the trigger mode to auto.

What does a oscilloscope do in a circuit? ›

Oscilloscopes (or scopes) test and display voltage signals as waveforms, visual representations of the variation of voltage over time. The signals are plotted on a graph, which shows how the signal changes. The vertical (Y) access represents the voltage measurement and the horizontal (X) axis represents time.

What is the disadvantage of oscilloscope? ›

The disadvantage of using a digital oscilloscope to look at the pulses from γ-ray detectors is that individual pulses generally are of a different amplitude (reflecting differing energies deposited in the detector), and that they arrive randomly in time. A digital oscilloscope shows only one pulse at a time.

Do people still use oscilloscope? ›

Analog oscilloscopes are still in use because they are generally less expensive than digital counterparts, have similar performance quality except on the high-end, and can display rapid and varying signals close to real-time. The typical analog oscilloscopes do not offer the storage of waveform graphs.

Should oscilloscope be grounded? ›

Its to stop the 'scope reading the EMI flying around. Earthing the 'scope probe ground is connecting the long cable screen of the probe to earth. The screen stops radiated interference disturbing the voltage on the measurement wire at the centre of the probe cable.

How much power can an oscilloscope handle? ›

2 Answers. The maximum voltage is ±300V, period. It doesn't matter what the settings on the scope are, or whether the voltage is AC or DC. Any voltage less than that will not damage the scope, but what you see on the display may or may not be useful, depending on the settings.

What are the disadvantages of digital oscilloscope? ›

The only disadvantage of the digital oscilloscope is that it does not accept the data during digitisation, so it had a blind spot at that time.

Why use an oscilloscope instead of a multimeter? ›

Scopes have much faster measurement engines and much wider measurement bandwidths than digital multimeters, but typically do not have the same accuracy and resolution strength as a multimeter. Oscilloscopes generally have a resolution equivalent to a 3.5-to-4-digit digital multimeter.

How sensitive is an oscilloscope? ›

Vertical Sensitivity

The smallest voltage detected by a general-purpose oscilloscope is typically about 1 mV per vertical screen division.

What are 4 safety precautions? ›

Basic Safety Rules
  • STAY ALERT - and stay alive. ...
  • WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES - work clothes should fit properly. ...
  • USE THE RIGHT TOOLS - if you need a hammer, get a hammer. ...
  • LEARN HOW TO LIFT - Lifting takes more than muscle; it is an art.

What are the basic safety precautions? ›

Basic Safety Rules
  • Always wear your seatbelt when in a vehicle or heavy equipment. ...
  • Always inspect equipment and tools. ...
  • Always use fall protection when working at heights. ...
  • Stay of out the blind spots of heavy equipment. ...
  • Never put yourself in the line of fire. ...
  • Utilize proper housekeeping measures to keep work areas clean.
Nov 22, 2019

What safety precautions are you required? ›

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Ensure you have the correct posture for back and neck protection.
  • Make sure you take regular breaks.
  • Always operate machines, tools and other equipment properly.
  • Always ensure emergency exits are clear and accessible.
  • Report hazards to your supervisor.
Sep 7, 2022

What are the two safety measures commonly used in circuit? ›

Thus, Electric fuse and proper earthing are two safety measures commonly used in electric circuits and appliances.

What are 3 safety devices in circuits? ›

Namely, fuses, circuit breakers, and ground fault circuit interrupters.

What is the most common safety device in electrical circuit? ›

Fuse is a safety device used in circuits which prevents damage to electrical appliances and avoids fire.

What are the 3 main control sections of an oscilloscope? ›

A basic oscope consists of three different systems – the vertical system, horizontal system, and trigger system. Each system contributes to the oscilloscope's ability to accurately reconstruct a signal.

What are the four controls on a oscilloscope? ›

The Basic Oscilloscope Controls
  • VERTICAL - Controls the vertical alignment of the traces as well as which traces are shown, their scale, which one is the selected one, etc. ...
  • HORIZONTAL - Controls the time scale and position. ...
  • TRIGGER - Controls the triggering. ...
  • ACQUIRE - Controls the method of aquiring samples.

What are the three primary oscilloscope controls? ›

Signal frequency is calculated by dividing 1 by the signal period. The controls of a typical oscilloscope can be grouped into three major categories: vertical, horizontal, and trigger. These are the three main functions that are used to set up an oscilloscope.

Why should we use oscilloscope? ›

Engineers use oscilloscopes to measure electrical phenomena and quickly test, verify, and debug their circuit designs. The primary function of an oscope is to measure voltage waves. Those waves are displayed on a graph that can tell you many things about a signal, such as: The time and voltage values of a signal.

Why would you use an oscilloscope to test an electrical circuit or component? ›

The o-scope is useful in a variety of troubleshooting and research situations, including: Determining the frequency and amplitude of a signal, which can be critical in debugging a circuit's input, output, or internal systems. From this, you can tell if a component in your circuit has malfunctioned.

What are some interesting facts about oscilloscopes? ›

The German physicist Ferdinand Braun developed the first cathode-ray oscilloscope in 1897. Speed of response is the oscilloscope's chief advantage over other plotting devices. General-purpose oscilloscopes have plotting frequencies of up to 100 megahertz (MHz), or 100 million cycles per second.

Are oscilloscopes safe? ›

"Never connect a normal oscilloscope probe to the ends of the load. In fact, the oscilloscope's GND terminal is connected directly to the earth conductor and therefore you could make a direct short circuit between the circuit phase and the earth, with relative risks of explosion, electrocution or fire.

What are the errors in oscilloscope? ›

There are six primary sources of error inherent in the digital oscilloscopes used for delta-timing measurements. These sources include timebase center frequency accuracy , timing instability , vertical noise , bandwidth effects , interleaving or calibration error , and interpolation (aliasing) error .

Which problems are faced while using more than one oscilloscopes 4? ›

What is the problem with using more than one oscilloscopes? Explanation: When one more than one oscilloscope is used, the trigger sweeps of each can't be synchronized simultaneously. As a result dual trace oscilloscopes are used in order to save the cost.

How long does an oscilloscope last? ›

Today's Digital Storage Oscilloscopes (DSOs) such as the Tektronix MDO3000 are capable of a wide range of complex operations, often involving substantial voltages from power sources having high available current. With proper care and maintenances, these instruments will last indefinitely.

Do electricians use oscilloscopes? ›

An industrial electrician might use an oscilloscope for a variety of purposes, including: Troubleshooting and diagnos.

Is oscilloscope a skill? ›

The second most common hard skill for an electronic test technician is oscilloscopes appearing on 8.3% of resumes.

Can you use an oscilloscope without a probe? ›

This is basically possible. Add a BNC socket to your box and connect it to the scope via a standard BNC cable. The input resistance of the scope is high enough not to have a noticeable influence on the measurement when the sense resistor is small (a few Ω).

How often do you need to calibrate an oscilloscope? ›

The recommended calibration interval for most Keysight oscilloscopes is 12 months. However, you will need to evaluate your testing environment and accuracy requirements to determine if the standard cal interval suits your specific needs.

Should you compensate an oscilloscope probe? ›

Probes should always be compensated when used with an oscilloscope for the first time and whenever performing important measurements. The probe compensation procedure is very simple: the probe is connected to the scope's built-in probe compensation signal and ground.

Can you measure AC with oscilloscope? ›

One way to measure AC current with an oscilloscope is to measure the voltage dropped across a shunt resistor. Since the voltage dropped across a resistor is proportional to the current through that resistor, whatever wave-shape the current is will be translated into a voltage drop with the exact same wave-shape.

What is the voltage limit of oscilloscope? ›

A typical scope will offer selectable full scale input ranges from ±50 mV to ±50 V. As higher voltages can be measured using 10:1 and 100:1 attenuating oscilloscope probes, the important thing here is to check that the scope has a small enough voltage range for the signals that you want to measure.

Is oscilloscope current or voltage? ›

Most oscilloscopes only directly measure voltage, not current, however you can measure current with an oscilloscope, using one of two methods. Measure the voltage dropped across a shunt resistor: Some power supply designs may have shunt resistors built into the design for feedback.

What not to do with an oscilloscope? ›

Do not exceed the stated voltage. Always set the scale to its maximum setting before changing any inputs, to prevent overdriving the oscilloscope. Avoid damage by being prepared with some idea of the signal level to be connected with the oscilloscope. Overdriving the inputs can damage the front-end components.

Which is better digital or analog oscilloscope? ›

Analog oscilloscopes are often easier to use than digital oscilloscopes, particularly for engineers familiar with the technology. Analog oscilloscopes are often better suited for observing low-frequency signals, as they can display waveforms with greater accuracy and stability.

Why is digital oscilloscope better? ›

The best characteristics of digital oscilloscopes are their high storage memory and real-time signal accuracy. Having cutting-edge DSP techniques, they are appropriate for studying high frequency transients.

Can you use an oscilloscope as a voltmeter? ›

CR oscilloscopes are good voltmeters because they have almost infinite resistance so it is very close to an ideal voltmeter. Therefore, a cathode ray oscilloscope can be used as a voltmeter.

What is the cost of oscilloscope multimeter? ›

Buy for ₹15,919

Sold by amiciKart and Fulfilled by Amazon.

Can an oscilloscope trace? ›

An oscilloscope is equipped with a probe that you touch to a location of interest in a functioning circuit. The voltage detected by the probe is then shown graphically on a screen, in an image known as a trace. An example is shown in Figure 1, where the trace is of a sine wave derived from an audio signal.

How much is an oscilloscope worth? ›

An o-scope that has a narrow bandwidth of 200 MHz can go for a few hundred dollars; however, a top-of-the-line oscilloscope with a measurement bandwidth of 1 GHz can go for almost $30,000!

How accurate is oscilloscope? ›

Accuracy is not regarded as important for most oscilloscopes. You can make measurements within a few per cent (most DSOs quote 3% to 5% DC accuracy) but for accurate measurements you have to reach for a multimeter. With precision oscilloscopes, however, accurate measurements are possible at full speed.

What are the safety precautions before you measure the voltage? ›

What are multimeter safety precautions? Before you take a measurement with your multimeter, you should visually inspect it first. Check the meter, test probes and accessories over for signs of physical damage. Make sure all plugs fit securely and keep an eye out for exposed metal or any cracks in the casing.

What safety precautions should you take when working with DC machines? ›

Before starting any work, turn off the power and check that the work can be conducted safely. Shut down the operation of your product and motor when any abnormality occurred. It might cause a fire, injury or electric shock. Do not pull or pinch lead wires while the power is on.

What are three 3 safety precautions relating to machine safety which should be observed when using a lathe? ›

What are some things you should avoid doing?
  • Do not wear gloves, rings, watches or loose clothing. ...
  • Do not lean on machine. ...
  • Do not make adjustments while the machine is operating. ...
  • Do not place hands on work turning in the lathe.
  • Do not use calipers or gauges on a workpiece while machine is moving.

What precautions should be taken while handling electrical devices? ›

While handling electrical devices, the following precautions must be taken:
  • Insulation must be worn to avoid electricity passing through the body to the ground.
  • The area where the devices are used should be dry. ...
  • Damaged electrical devices must not be used.
  • Devices should have an earthing wire connected to them.

What are the safety hazards of multimeter? ›

Shock hazards can occur if the meter and test leads are not properly maintained. Arc flash can occur if the meter is not properly rated for the voltage, the meter is exposed to transient voltages outside of its operating conditions, or because of defective parts or components.

What precautions should be taken when using electrical measuring instruments? ›

Electrical safety checklist

Use a meter with fused current inputs and be sure to check the fuses before making current measurements. Inspect test leads for physical damage before making a measurement. Use the meter to check continuity of the test leads. Use test leads that have shrouded connectors and finger guards.

What are the 15 safety precautions when working with electricity? ›

The safety guidelines are given to help the electrical workers.
  • Switch off, isolate and properly earth the circuit before doing any work with the circuit.
  • Avoid water while working with electricity. ...
  • Always use insulated tools while working. ...
  • Display Danger Board at the place of work.

What are the five major precaution use when using electricity? ›

1- Always use insulated tools while working.
  • 2-Never use equipment with frayed cords, damaged insulation or broken plugs.
  • 3-Know the wire code of your country.
  • 4-Never use an aluminium or steel ladder if you are working on any receptacle at height in your home. ...
  • 5-Avoid water at all times when working with electricity.

What voltage is considered by OSHA to be a safe working voltage? ›

OSHA regulations require guarding live parts operating at 50 volts or more, irrespective of AC or DC, or frequency (hertz) measureable.

What are 10 electrical safety tips? ›

10 Electrical Safety Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
  • Always turn off the Power. ...
  • Have the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher on Hand. ...
  • Use More Than One Outlet. ...
  • Feel Your Outlets. ...
  • Child-Proof Your Outlets. ...
  • Investigate Flickering Lights. ...
  • Install Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupters. ...
  • Don't Use Extension Cords Long-Term.
Jul 11, 2019

What are the 9 general safety precautions for all power tools? ›

  • • KEEP WORK AREAS CLEAN. Cluttered benches invite accidents. • AVOID DANGEROUS ENVIORONMENTS. ...
  • • GUARD AGAINST ELECTRIC SHOCK. Prevent body contact with. grounded surfaces. ...
  • • AVOID ACCIDENTAL STARTING. Don't carry plugged in tool with finger on switch.
Sep 27, 2007

What are 3 safety measures equipment you should use when handling chemicals in the lab? ›

  • Safety goggles. As one of the most sensitive parts of your body, your eyes are especially vulnerable when you're working with hazardous chemicals and materials. ...
  • Eyewash stations. ...
  • Safety showers. ...
  • Lab coats. ...
  • Protective gloves. ...
  • Fire extinguishers. ...
  • Chemical fume hoods. ...
  • First aid kits.
Jul 3, 2019

What 4 things should you check before using equipment to ensure it is safe? ›

In particular equipment must be: suitable for the job it's being used for. maintained to keep it safe at all times. inspected at suitable intervals if wear and tear might compromise safety.

What are 3 precautions that are needed in relation to workshop machines? ›

Do not wear gloves or lose clothing when operating equipment such as drills or lathes which can draw you into the machine. Do not use the machine if guards have been removed. Do not use the machine if the interlocks are not working. Do not remove guards or override safety devices including interlocks.

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