An oscilloscope is used to display and analyze the waveform of electronic signals and signal voltage. An oscilloscope can display both alternating current (AC) or pulsating direct current (DC) waveforms, which could have a voltage as low as 1 Hz or as high as several MHz. Due to the variety of voltages a oscilloscope encounters, it is of utter importance to ensure that an oscilloscope is calibrated regularly and frequently.
Below we have created a guide to help you set the perfect calibration interval for your oscilloscope.
FACTORS THAT AFFECT OSCILLOSCOPE CALIBRATION INTERVALS
Oscilloscope calibration intervals should be based off the following factors:
All oscilloscopes will come with a manufacturer recommendation indicating how frequently to calibrate the instrument. While these recommendations offer a great start for creating the right frequency, it is important to keep other factors in mind when dealing with measurement instruments, especially those that deal with high voltages.
Ensuring an oscilloscope is performing accurately before starting a big project is extremely important. This is because an oscilloscope that has undergone any major project for an excessive period of time, with high voltages, is likely to drift. To assure measurement accuracy and personnel safety, it is vital for calibration be completed before and after projects.
Sometimes equipment trauma is hard to avoid, especially when working with electricity. One major trauma common with an oscilloscope is internal overloads. Internal overloads can occur due to a high volume of usage, mixed with high voltage. To guarantee that an oscilloscope is performing to the best of its ability after an overload or after encountering high voltage trauma, it is important to re-calibrate the oscilloscope before continued use.
AMOUNT OF USAGE
Ideally, an oscilloscope should be re-calibrated based upon the amount it is used and for how long it has been used for. Obviously, this amount will vary depending upon the equipment owner; therefore, it is important to base oscilloscope calibration intervals around personal usage and encounters.