Iso-tek ISR-6051 Oscilloscope
Another of the most invaluable pieces of equipment when working with radio circuits is the oscilloscope.
This piece of equipment allows you to visually see the electrical signal.
An oscilloscope can be thought of as a time machine, in that it allows you to capture very small slices of time and expand them into a waveform on a screen that would otherwise be impossible to view.
In the case of this model, signals up to 50MHz (50 million cycles per second) may be viewed. In reality, signals beyond the manufacturers specified range may be measured and viewed.
The ISO-Tek ISR 6051 oscilloscope is an analogue type of instrument.
Some of the more elaborate ones may have a storage function present to capture the waveform.
An analogue oscilloscope displays the signal as it happens, because it doesn’t need to digitise the signal before displaying it on the screen, an analogue oscilloscope may be very marginally faster than a comparable digital model. This marginal speed difference is not perceptible to the human eye.
Modern instruments are mainly digital, this can be both a blessing or a curse.
The advantages of a digital oscilloscope are that they can capture single waveforms and store them for later analysis.
The downside of a digital instrument is that the response time, and thus the speed at which signals can be accurately measured and displayed, is dependant on the maximum sampling rate of the main processor and available internal sampling memory.
Of course, modern processing power is very fast, therefore in most day to day uses this limitation causes no problems. It is only in the extreme laboratory uses where it could be cause for concern.