Oscilloscope Probes

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Probes - the "Fingertips" of your Oscilloscope

Probes take a signal from a test/measurement point and lead it to the input socket (usually BNC) of an oscilloscope channel. Mechanically, the probe has a test probe/needle (occasionally hook or clip) that can be used to reach even fine measurement points. Functionally, there are different designs of probes, with which the measurement is adapted to the input of the oscilloscope. Basic distinction between passive (simple, compensated voltage divider) and active probes (more complex circuits, own supply required: high voltage probes, differential probes, current probes etc.).

Many higher-quality oscilloscopes have additional connections for probe detection at the BNC input sockets. By means of a coding with contact pins, corresponding probe models are able to tell the oscilloscope which graduation is connected. The oscilloscope and the probes used must come from the same manufacturer or be compatible.