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Oscilloscope Probes and Accessories


Need help choosing the right probe?

Click here for an interactive tool to determine the correct probe for your need. Or download a PDF of all our probes for future reference.

Interactive Probe Selector

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the different types of oscilloscope probes?

Oscilloscope probes may be classified by type or measurement function. Types of oscilloscope probes include passive probes which use only passive components in the signal path, and active probes which include active components, such as amplifiers, in the signal path. Because they include active components, active probes require power from either the oscilloscope, a battery or an external power supply. Measurement functions include single-ended voltage, differential voltage, current, logic and optical measurements.

What are the most common probes used with an oscilloscope?

The most common probes used with an oscilloscope are passive voltage probes. They are simple, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. They do not require an external power source or battery. In order to reduce loading of devices under test, and to provide wide measurement ranges, most passive voltage probes are 10X probes - that is, they attenuate the signal by a factor of 10. For high-frequency signals or when measuring sensitive circuits with a low output impedance, active voltage probes may be required.

What are 1X and 10X on oscilloscope probes?

The 1X and 10X factors on an oscilloscope probe refer to the attenuation of the probe. A 1X probe does not attenuate the signal, while a 10X probe attenuates the signal by a factor of 10. A 10X probe is often used to reduce the loading effect of the probe on the circuit being measured and to provide higher measurement range. For example, if the input signal is 5 volts and a 10X probe is used, the oscilloscope will measure 0.5 volts on its front end. Some oscilloscopes and probes automatically scale the reading on the display, while others require the user to multiply readings by 10.

What are common tips and tricks for oscilloscope probes?

For probing tips and tricks, watch this video

Power probing techniques and tips, watch this video