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Digital Oscilloscopes and Vectorscopes

Oscilloscopes and vectorscopes are two very similar pieces of electronic testing equipment that can display moment-to-moment information about an electrical signal. Digital versions of these devices have numerous additional benefits, such as the ability storage and recall of measurements, the ability to program the device to start recording once it detects a particular trigger, and smart analysis of the data it collects as it’s being collected, allowing you to quickly understand what’s going on with a signal. A vectorscope is very similar, but most often used in audio and video. It can display two signals concurrently to allow you to establish any relation between the two signals. In video, vectorscopes are often used along a waveform monitor.


Nowadays, a lot of high-end oscilloscopes plug into a regular personal computer, and use the screen on that. This makes it much easier to manipulate the display and analyse the data in real time, as well as store it and compare input with input from other testing equipment. Oscilloscopes are used to measure any changes in electrical current. There are a lot of different, specialised devices for niche uses such as troubleshooting the ignition system in a car, but general-use oscilloscopes are used for maintenance of electrical equipment and measuring or diagnosing deteriorating functionality, as well as laboratory use. Analog oscilloscopes and vectorscopes will often work well for these sorts of uses as well, but the ability to store readings and general flexibility of a digital oscilloscope or vectorscope can be very helpful when your experiment or problem gets a bit more complicated.

Other Testing Equipment

Both in a lab and a technical troubleshooting setting, you’ll probably want more than just an oscilloscope for testing purposes. You can check out analysers and data acquisition equipment, where, besides oscilloscopes and vectorscopes, you can find all sorts of testing equipment you might need, from humidity testers to arduino debug equipment.