[Day 2] Debugging Digital Communication (Workshop on Oscilloscopes)

De-bugging Digital Communication
With an Oscilloscope

Convener-Ben Paffhauusen
Notes-Leslie Birch


Ben explained his own journey in learning how to operate an oscilloscope. These scopes are useful for debugging issues in hardware since they show voltage using waves. Typical problems encountered in hardware include power supply, cables, solder points and code. Ben did some demos of the scope with the help of Joel Murphy to show different uses. This workshop was not intended to be a how-to, but more of a general introduction, to make scopes less intimidating.


Here’s a summary of his points.

Some Basics

*All scopes are basically the same
*Range is marked on front of scope
*Different knobs control pattern
*Grid markings represent values like volts
*Must connect to ground on part/board
*Possible interference from wall outlets-can use battery instead
*Many probes available including some with built-in intelligence

Considerations for Scopes

*Hand held scopes are inexpensive
*BitScope-pocket sized open source board that turns computer into scope
*Larger scopes with knobs are easier to wrangle than software based smaller versions

1 Like