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Major Applications / Uses of Cathode Ray Oscilloscope (CRO) explained in detail

Updated on October 11, 2015
Cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO) applications and uses.
Cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO) applications and uses.

Some uses of cathode ray oscilloscope explained:

CRO is important equipment in electronics engineering. An electronics engineer always has cro on his bench where he is making and testing his circuits. CRO is as important as a simple multimeter. Because of such importance cathode ray oscilloscope is also called sometimes the eye of an electronics engineer. While using CRO the probes are used to measure the voltage, current and wave shapes at particular circuit points. Suppose electronics engineer want to know the shape of the voltage waveform at a particular node in the circuit, what he will do is he simply put the probe of cro at that point and see the waveshape of the signals at the oscilloscope screen.

Some of the important applications of CRO that comes foremost in the ranking of cro applications are:

  1. Meaurement of voltage – Voltage waveform will be made on the oscilloscope screen. From the screen of the cro, the voltage can be measured by seeing its amplitude variation on the screen.
  2. Measurement of current – Current waveform will be read from the oscilloscope screen in the similar way as told in above point. The peak to peak, maximum current value can be measured from the screen.
  3. Measurement of phase – Phase measurement in cro can be done by the help of Lissajous pattern figures. Lissajous figures can tell us about the phase difference between two signals. Frequency can also be measured by this pattern figure.
  4. Measurement of frequency – Frequency measurement in cathode ray oscilloscope can be made with the help of measuring the time period of the signal to be measured.

I have just told you in the above paragraphs the important uses of cathode ray oscilloscope. Now the question that must be coming to your mind now is that why not use a multimeter for measuring current, voltage etc. The answer to this question is that the cro has a screen on which you can actually see the shape of waveform. In multimeter you get only the numeric numbers only. No wave shapes are formed on the screen of multimeter. I hope now your confusion about cro and multimeter is over.

What are the some uses of cro?

This kind of question is often asked in interviews. Try to frame your answer by keeping above 4 point uses that I told you above. The four important applications of cro are just around these four parameters. In fact in electronics and electrical engineering the most important parameters are current, voltage, frequency and phase.

The next twisty question that pops up is on the lissajous pattern figure in cro. So be prepared for this question also in your mind. In the application of cro this lissajous pattern plays a very important role. In our other articles I will try to cover this lissajous pattern in more detail.

Some more uses of cro or cathode ray oscilloscope can be made up by just seeing at the situations where you need the electronic measurement capabilities. Suppose your Tv got some fault and you want to check the fault in electronic circuit of tv. Pick up the probes of cro and start testing the electronic circuit for seeing the waveform on the oscilloscope screen. The role of cro probe is very important in the application of cro. Probes must be accurate, if not than cro probes (low impedence and distortionless property) measurements that you have done on the oscilloscope screen will not be accurate. You will never get the accurate application by using cro with wrong probe combinations.

Use of cro depends on other small components also. By keeping in mind the role of all other small equipments that are attached with cro for its application must be kept in mind. Accuracy matters a lot in the application of cro. The more is the accurate measurement, the better is the applications and the wider use field of cathode ray oscilloscope.

Conclusion of the above article can be repeated in one line that is measurement of voltage, current, frequency and phase of signals in electronic circuits. Applications and uses of cro depends on the accuracy of probes and other small components that are used with cro. One more important that was discussed in less detail was the lissajous pattern. Little bit interview question importance for the application of cro question was also discussed. I hope you have got the important applications of cro idea. We all know about current and voltage measurement and hence cro is used to see the shapes of the waveforms.

CRO probes use and application
CRO probes use and application


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    • profile image

      barasa denis 

      8 months ago

      it is useful lesson

    • profile image


      2 years ago


    • profile image

      the dark knight 

      2 years ago

      thnx for the useful info

    • profile image

      Sneha subrahmanian 

      3 years ago

      This lesson is very useful ,

      Thanks for this

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      it is very good for studt


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