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As an electronics hobbyist it seems like everybody has an oscilloscope, but why? What makes it more useful than a volt meter or any other test equipment? Maybe you picked up an advanced bench Oscilloscope for a few hundred dollars or a small handheld one like the Xprotolab around $50 (US). Now what can it really do?

An oscilloscope displays an input Voltage over a defined time frame. This definition while accurate simply scratches the surface of what can be discovered while using an oscilloscope to test a circuit.

General Information

Our intention at OscopeTutorial is to provide some steps to help troubleshoot circuits of all types. Where possible very practical household items will be used for experimenting.

Our greatest challenge is trying to explain concepts so they can be used on all of the available makes and models of Oscilloscopes. There are several older books that are model specific, but those step by step directions become difficult for the beginner to translate to their specific scopes. Please check the "Discussion" tab to ask clarifying questions.

Electronics is a huge topic and there is so much to cover and so many sites do a better job at teaching electronics. I do suggest Play-Hookey for great tutorials on DC Theory and AC Theory.

The "Mains" wiring in the wall can be very dangerous to you and your test equipment! Please review the specific article below if you want to test this safely. Also see EEVBlog #279 - How NOT To Blow Up Your Oscilloscope! for an overview of the warnings involved.


Getting Started Start here for some quick tips and other important information about Oscilloscopes.

Power Tutorials

All electronics need power of some kind. Most people don't know (nor need to know) about the kind of power supply to use or what the differences are.

Analog Tutorials

Digital Tutorials

Digital Storage Tutorials


Additional Articles

External Articles

Other Test Equipment

Many of the following articles are linked to from within the articles above but also have direct value.

Volt Meter

Function Generator

Frequency Counter

Dual DC Power Supply


Reference Sources

Oscilloscope Models used for the photos and images on this site.