Testing Basics

Training Center Classroom

Welcome to this installment of EE Classroom on Testing Basics!

For all the various components and systems that are part of our Learning Center classrooms, their one common denominator is the absolute requirement for testing. The complexity of electronic devices, and the emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning, mean every step of device design must be tested thoroughly. From a humble probe to a spectrum analyzer, testing hits every level starting with R&D and ending with certification.  

While my EE Dad thought his oscilloscope in the hallway was a practical, green-glow nightlight for my siblings and me (it was about 1000 times the size of nightlight five decades ago), the true purpose of the oscilloscope keeps it on the forefront of test and measurement activities. In this classroom, you’ll find some helpful oscilloscope basics, as well an overview of other electrical measuring instruments. This includes spectrum and network analyzers and some of various measurements you can make with both. And nothing like a bit of Fast Fourier Transform articles to spice up your learning day. 

And, hey, unlike some devices you are testing…these classes aren’t Pass/Fail.

Aimee Kalnoskas

Editor in Chief, EE World Online

Testing Basics Classroom Sponsored by


Basics of oscilloscope probes

Basics of oscilloscope controls

Overview of electrical measuring instruments

The probe tip extends from the end of the insulated probe body, which serves as a handle and also contains components and circuitry specific to the probe type.

Our contemporary digital oscilloscope has far fewer front-panel controls and typically employs multipurpose knobs that are contextual.

Here’s a quick review of some basic instrumentation common to most engineering work benches.

Related Resources

Everything Test: 5 Tracks, 30 On-demand Webinars

Measuring with Modern Spectrum Analyzers

Making Spectrum Measurements with Rohde & Schwarz Network Analyzers

Measuring with Oscilloscopes

Measurements   •   Jitter

The functions and principles of S-parameters

The difference between noise and jitter

Precision and accuracy in oscilloscopes

Measuring and abating jitter

A look at the basics and the need for s-parameters as well as their application and test.

While noise typically manifests as amplitude distortion, jitter pertains to timing of digital signals.

Jitter refers to unwanted variation in frequency, particularly in digital pulses and typically in the clock signal.

The precision and accuracy of voltage measurements made with a digital scope are affected by the speed at which samples are taken.

Analyzers   •   FFTs

The difference between MDO and MSO displays with time domain and FFT

The importance of Fourier Transforms

A fractional Fourier Transform? 

Network analyzer vs spectrum analyzer

Both are useful because they permit users to simultaneously view different electrical aspects of equipment.

The Fourier series is a way of representing any periodic waveform as the sum of a sine and cosine waves plus a constant.

The FFT constructs the frequency domain expression of the desired waveform by factorizing its time domain matrix.

A basic overview of network and spectrum analyzers and their basic mechanisms.

Rohde & Schwarz is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Test & Measurement, Secure Communications, Monitoring and Network Testing, and Broadcasting equipment. Solving complex test and measurement challenges requires innovative solutions from a reliable partner. Engineers around the world trust Rohde & Schwarz to deliver precise and reliable measurements. Whether you need benchtop instrumentation or a turnkey solution for a specific application, our industry-leading T&M equipment never compromises on quality and precision. Learn more about our full portfolio of test and measurement solutions at rohde-schwarz.com.

Copyright © WTWH Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of WTWH Media. Privacy Policy