DIY Voltage Divider for an Oscilloscope

Written by aalhad deshmukh
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Oscilloscopes have a limit on the maximum voltage that can be displayed on their screen. The input channels have a maximum input voltage rating. An attempt to connect a signal of higher voltage than the rating will cause damage to the oscilloscope. To input higher voltages into the oscilloscopes, measures have to be taken to step down the voltage to bring it in range of the input voltage specification. A voltage divider circuit accomplishes the task of stepping down the voltage.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Electrical Wires
  • DC power supply
  • Oscilloscope probe
  • Soldering iron
  • Soldering wire
  • Two 10K Ohm resistors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Solder the two 10K Ohm resistors in series by soldering one of the leads of one resistor to one of the leads of the second resistor.

  2. 2

    Screw in a wire in the positive terminal of the DC power supply and solder the other end of the same wire to the unsoldered lead of the first resistor. Screw in a wire in the DC common terminal of the power supply and solder the other end of the same wire to the unsoldered end of the second resistor.

  3. 3

    Connect the oscilloscope probe to the oscilloscope input channel. The oscilloscope probe is provided with the oscilloscope and has a matching BNC style connector for the input channel connector.

  4. 4

    Connect the positive wire of the oscilloscope probe to the soldered junction of the two resistors. Connect the ground wire of the oscilloscope to the soldered junction between the DC common wire and the second resistor. The oscilloscope wires have crocodile pin connectors for making connections.

  5. 5

    Set the DC power supply to 10 volts DC and turn on the oscilloscope. As the two resistors are equal in value, this voltage will be divided in half at the junction of the two resistors where the positive wire of the oscilloscope probe is connected. The oscilloscope will measure 5 volts DC.

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