Integrated circuits, Electric oscillators, Trigger circuits


The oscilloscope is undoubtedly one of the most important tools in any electronics shop. Presently there are many relatively inexpensive oscilloscopes available, but triggered sweep capability is still reserved for those oscilloscopes costing more than 200 - 500 dollars. The goal of this project was to develop a respectably performing triggered sweep system at a low enough cost to allow inclusion of this valuable feature in any oscilloscope. Two of the most important specifications of an oscilloscope are the bandwidth of the vertical amplifier, and the maximum sweep frequency. The broad class of "inexpensive oscilloscope" would include those with a maximum vertical response of 500 KHz to 5 MHz, and a maximum sweep rate of 50 KHz to 500 KHz. Most of these oscilloscopes would not have triggered sweep capability. For about double the cost, the next step upward would be a semi- professional triggered - sweep oscilloscope having a typical vertical response of 15 MHz and a sweep to roughly 2 MHz (500 nsec). Using these classifications as guidelines, a "respectably performing" triggered sweep for inexpensive oscilloscopes may be loosely defined as one having a 500 KHz (2 usec) sweep, triggerable to at least 5 MHz. Depending on actual cost and application, greater or lesser performance could be considered entirely acceptable. A number of design variations are possible, all of which appear to be a fraction of the cost and complexity of previous designs having comparable specifications. Making this possible are integrated circuits in general, and a modern linear IC "timer" in particular. This report first describes this timer, then uses it as the main element in the generation of a linear ramp. Several trigger and gating circuits are then described. Finally, several of these subcircuits are combined to form three (out of many possible) complete triggered sweep generator systems. As an example of the results, the most expensive circuit costs about 15 dollars in single quantity, yet offers 10 volt per 200 nsec sweep rates, trigger capability from OC to above 15 MHz, trigger level and phase control, and blanking pulse output.

Graduation Date



Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering

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35 p.




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Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Integrated circuits, Oscillators, Electric, Trigger circuits

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Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

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