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Oscilloscope, Proper Shutdown?

  1. May 25, 2016 #1
    I recently purchased my first oscilloscope, a Rigol 1054Z. I have been using it for a few days with one of ARRL's educational boards and always feel awkward when I simply power it off after use. It didn't come with much of a manual and I was just wondering if there is a better way to power it down than just hitting the power button. Maybe a silly question, it just feels a bit like an egg in my hands, I suppose.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2016 #2
    Look at the producer webpage.
    If it is a smart oscilloscope it must have a proper shutdown internal procedure already implemented. The power on-off button is a switch or a push button?
  4. May 25, 2016 #3
    Push button, and thanks, found the actual user's guide.
  5. May 25, 2016 #4


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    Yeah, just shut it off -- no special shutdown procedure needed.

    You're probably used to dealing with HAM rigs that have a big 12V output power supply that feeds a 12V input radio. Then, there is a sequence to power-up and power-down... :smile:
  6. May 25, 2016 #5

    jim hardy

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    In days of analog scopes it was always prudent to turn down the intensity.
    Before embedded computers it was possible to burn the phosphor off the inside of the screen by powering up with sweep sped set slow and intensity high.

    There's a concept named "Writing Speed"
    in the time it takes dot to go across the screen, how many electrons have hit the screen ? Enough to hurt it ?
    Remember current is Coulombs per second.
    At sweep speed of 1 msec/cm, a second's worth of beam current illuminates 10 meters worth of screen
    At sweep speed of 1 sec/cm, a second's worth of beam current illuminates only 1 cm of screen. The phosphors don't get to cool off between sweeps.
    That's writing speed, how many cm per second of trace are to be lit. Obviously low writing speed requires less current in the electron beam that makes the dot..

    So we were taught to form the habit of setting intensity knob all the way down when shutting off the scope.
    Many Tektronix scopes had their power switch on the intensity knob like a radio volume control, forcing you to think about writing speed when you turned the scope on..
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  7. May 25, 2016 #6


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    My old Heathkit scopes do this as well. Looks like a lot of these have their power switches as part of the intensity control also.
  8. May 27, 2016 #7
    Mishima - I was looking at that one - are you considering the hack to get it up to 100mHz ?
  9. May 27, 2016 #8
    Yes, but I'm not sure of the legality of that.
  10. May 27, 2016 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Don't worry. 100 milliHertz is only one cycle every 10 seconds. You won't get in trouble for limiting your oscilloscope to that sampling frequency. :wink:
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