Jon Titus
User Rank
Re: Part IV: Fundamentals of Digital Debugging
Jon Titus   1/19/2012 5:53:44 PM
Q:  how do you select bandwidth for an oscilloscope?


A:  Check manufacturer's data for either a bandwidth number of a number-of-samples-per second number.  The bandwidth indicated the frequency at which a signal appears at half its actual amplitude (the -3 dBpoint).  So, if you have a scope with a 200 MHz bandwidth, you can probably use it for accurate amplitude measurements up to about 160 MHz (my guess) or perhaps a bit higher.  The signals will still provide good timing information at higher frequencies.  If you see a samples-per-second value, say 1 Gsamples/second, I'd use 1/10th of that as the bandwidth.  That's my rule of thumb.  Watch the specs carefully, though, because sample rates can decrease as you turn on more analog channels.  If you have big bucks to spend have a sales rep stop by for a hands-on demo with your signals.

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