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Digital Storage Oscilloscopes

TDS400 Series

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TDS400 Series

Features & Benefits

  • Be Confident You Are Seeing Actual Signals with up to 400 MHz Bandwidth and ±1.5% Accuracy
  • Capture Transient Events to the Full Scope Bandwidth with Its 100 MS/s Sample Rate
  • 2 and 4 Channels
  • Record Lengths to 120 K (Opt. XL)
  • Floppy Disk Storage
  • Speed Up Your Circuit Analysis with 25 Built-in Automatic Measurements and Extended Waveform Math/FFT (Opt. XL)
  • Roll Mode Allows You to See Acquired Data Points Without Waiting for the Acquisition of the Complete Waveform
  • Use the Video Trigger Mode to See NTSC, PAL, SECAM Signals or Your Own Custom Video Signals
  • Capture Those Glitches with the 10 ns Peak Detect Mode
Differential Measurements
  • ADA400A Analog Differential Amplifier (10 μV/div sensitivity)
  • P5200/P5205/P5210 High Voltage Differential Probes (up to 5600 V) for Floating Measurements
  • (Please see Differential Preamplifier ADA400A and High Voltage Differential Probes, P5200, P5205, and P5210 for details on ADA400A, P5200, P5205 and P5210)


  • Biophysical/Biomedical Research
  • Electrophysical and Electromechanical System Design
  • Audio System Measurement and Analysis
  • Manufacturing Test and Quality Control
  • Power Supply and Power-related Design
  • Product Service and Maintenance

TDS400A Digital Storage Oscilloscopes

For professionals who demand high precision and fidelity from their measurements, the TDS400A Digital Storage Scopes combine excellent performance and broad feature set, all at affordable prices. A choice of 2 and 4 channel models ranging from 200 MHz to 400 MHz with a 100 MS/s sample rate on all channels makes the TDS400A Series a worthy fit for a variety of demanding applications.

The highly featured, portable and easy to use TDS420A, 430A and 460A personal lab scopes are ideal for simple to complex applications, including electro-mechanical research and analysis, power electronics/power supply design, bio-physical research and analysis, and digital and analog design. With its standard video trigger capability, the scopes are ideal instruments for measuring video signals including NTSC, PAL and SECAM.

The TDS400A Series uses the renowned TDS Graphical User Interface which offers intuitive icon-based menus along with help text, making scope operation extremely simple. Knobs and buttons allow easy selection of commonly used scope functions. The standard floppy disk drive makes the saving of screen images or data to a disk simple. The disk can then be inserted into your PC for importing to desktop publishing or spreadsheet programs.


TDS400A Theoretically achievable resolution with TDS400A Hi-res mode.

Signal Acquisition System

Bandwidth - 200 MHz (TDS420A), 400 MHz (TDS430A, TDS460A).

Channels - 4 (2 on TDS430A).

Sample Rate - 100 MS/s on all channels.

Sensitivity - 1 mV to 10 V/div (with calibrated fine adjust).

Position Range - ±5 Divisions.

Offset Range - ±1 V from 1 mV/div to 99.5 mV/div; ±10 V from 100 mV/div to 995 mV/div; ±100 V from 1 V/div to 10 V/div.

DC Gain Accuracy - ±1.5%.

Vertical Resolution - 8-Bit (256 levels over 10.24 vertical divisions).

Analog Bandwidth Selections - 20 MHz, 100 MHz and full.

Input Coupling - AC, DC or GND.

Input Impedance Selections - 1 MΩ in parallel with 15 pF or 50 Ω (AC and DC coupling).

Maximum Input Voltage - 300 V CAT II ±400 Vp. Derate at 20 dB/decade above 1 MHz. 1 megaohm or GND coupled.

Channel Isolation - >100:1 at 100 MHz for any two channels.

AC Coupled Low Frequency Limit - ≤10 Hz when AC 1 MΩ coupled. ≤200 kHz when AC 50 Ω coupled.

Acquisition Modes

Peak Detect - High frequency and random glitch capture. Captures glitches of 10 ns using acquisition hardware at all real-time sampling rates.

Sample - Sample data only.

Envelope - Max/min values acquired over one or more acquisitions, selectable from 2 to 2000, infinite.

Average - Waveform averages selectable from 2 to 10,000.

Hi-res - Vertical resolution improvement and noise reduction on low-frequency signals, e.g. 12-Bit at 10 ms/div and slower. Enhanced vertical resolution (>12-Bit) for noise reduction, on low frequency signals. Make precise low-level signal measurements (up to 5 μV) with differential amplifier (ADA400A).

Time Base System

Time Bases - Main, Delayed.

Time/Division Range - 1 ns to 20 s/div.

Time Base Accuracy - 0.015% over any interval ≥1 ms.

Record Length (Real Time and Equivalent Time) - Sample points per channel: 500 to 120,000 points (with Opt. XL).

Pre-trigger Position - Selectable from 0 to 100% of record.

Triggering System

Triggers - Main, Delayed.

Main Trigger Modes - Auto, Normal, Single Sequence.

Delayed Trigger - Delayed by time or events.

Time Delay Range - 0 ns to 20 s.

Events Delay Range - 2 to 10,000,000 events.

External Rear Input - >1.5 kΩ; max input voltage is ±6 V (DC + AC peak).

Video Trigger Types - NTSC, PAL, SECAM and custom; TV field, field 2 or both, any line within a field. Line rates -10 kHz to 64 kHz, interlaced, noninterlaced, composite.

Video Trigger Sensitivity - 0.6 divisions of composite SYNC will achieve a stable display.


Waveform Style - Dots or vectors. Infinite and variable persistence from 250 ms to 10 s.

Gray Scaling - With variable persistence selected, waveform points gradually decay through 16 levels of intensity, providing "z-axis" information about rapidly changing waveforms.

Update Rate - 200 ea. 500 point wfms/s with infinite persistence mode selected.

Graticules - Full, grid, cross hair, frame.

Format - YT and XY.

VGA Out - Drives VGA display monitors.


The zoom feature allows waveforms to be expanded, compressed and positioned in both vertical and horizontal axes. Allows precise comparison and study of fine waveform detail without affecting ongoing acquisitions. When used with Hi-res or Average acquisition modes, Zoom provides an effective vertical dynamic range of 1000 divisions or 100 screens.

Measurement System

Automatic waveform measurements






+ Width

- Width





Peak to Peak


+ Duty cycle

- Duty cycle

+ Overshoot

- Overshoot

Propagation delay

Burst width


Cycle mean


Cycle RMS


Cycle area



Continuous update of up to four measurements on any combination of waveforms.

Thresholds - Settable in percentage or voltage.

Gated - Any region of the record may be isolated for measurement using vertical bars.

Snapshot - Performs all measurements on any one waveform showing results from one instant in time.

Cursor Measurements - Absolute, Delta, Volts, Time, Frequency.

Cursor Types - Horizontal bars (volts); vertical bars (time); paired; operated independently or in tracking mode.

Waveform Processing

Waveform Functions - Interpolate-selectable sin(x)/x or linear, Average, Envelope.

Advanced Waveform Functions - FFT, Integration, Differentiation (Opt. XL).

Arithmetic Operators - Add, Subtract, Multiply, Invert.

Autosetup - Single button, automatic setup on selected input signal for vertical, horizontal and trigger systems.

Waveform Limit Testing - Compares incoming waveform to a reference waveform's upper and lower limits.

Computer Interface

GPIB (IEEE 488.2) Programmability - Full talk/listen modes. Control of all modes, settings and measurements.

Hardcopy/Desktop Publishing

Printer - HP ThinkJet, Epson, PostScript, Interleaf, DeskJet, LaserJet, TIFF, PCX, BMP (Microsoft Windows).

Plotter - HPGL.

Interface - GPIB standard.

Hardcopy Interface - Centronics Type and RS-232 (Opt. XL).


Waveforms - 120,000 waveform points of nonvolatile storage (with Opt. XL).

Floppy Drive - 3.5 in. 1.44 MB or 720 KB MS DOS compatible (store waveforms, screen data, and setups)*1.

Setups - 10 front-panel setups.


Type - 7 in. diagonal, magnetic deflection. Horizontal raster-scan. P31 green phosphor.

Resolution - 640 horizontal by 480 vertical displayed pixels.

Power Requirements

Line Voltage Range - 90 to 250 VRMS.

Line Frequency - 48 to 440 Hz.

Power Consumption - 240 W max.

Environmental and Safety

Temperature - Operating: 0 °C to +50 °C. Nonoperating: -40 °C to +75 °C.

Humidity - Operating and nonoperating: Up to 95% relative humidity at or below +40 °C; to 75% relative humidity from +41 °C to +50 °C.

Altitude - Operating: 15,000 ft., nonoperating: 40,000 ft.

Electromagnetic Compatibility - 89/336/EEC.

Safety - UL3111-1, CSA1010.1, EN61010-1, IEC61010-1.

Physical Characteristics










w/acc. pouch






Depth w/front cover installed



Depth w/handle extended



Net approximately



Shipping approximately



*1 Waveforms can be stored to file in MathCAD and Spreadsheet (Excel®, Lotus 1-2-3®) formats for analysis.

Ordering Information

TDS430A (order with Opt. XL)

Two-channel, 400 MHz Digitizing Oscilloscope.

TDS420A (order with Opt. XL)

Four-channel, 200 MHz Digitizing Oscilloscope.

TDS460A (order with Opt. XL)

Four-channel, 400 MHz Digitizing Oscilloscope.

All Include: 1 probe per channel (P6138A 10X Passive Probes); Video Trigger; Reference Manual (070-8035-03); User Manual (070-8034-03); Performance Verification Document (070-8721-02); power cord.

Please specify power plug when ordering.

Instrument Options

Opt. XL - (Mandatory for all TDS400 models) 120,000 point record length; RS-232 and Centronics Hardcopy interfaces; Extended Waveform Math; FFT; Integration, Differentiation; front cover and accessories pouch.

Opt. 1R - Rackmount Kit.


See Additional Accessories for Viewing Hoods and Storage Compartments.

Differential Probes -

400 MHz, 30 dB CMRR. Order P6246.

High Voltage Probes -

2.5 kV, 25 MHz. Order P5100.

20 kV, 75 MHz. Order P6015A.

High Voltage Differential Probes -

Up to 1300 V, 25 MHz. Order P5200.

Up to 1300 V, 100 MHz. Order P5205.

Up to 5600 V, 50 MHz. Order P5210.

Passive Probe 1x - Order P6101B.

Passive Probe 10x - Order P6138A.

FET Probe - Order P6205.

SMT Probe - Order P6562A.

TTL Logic Probe - Order P6408.

Optical Converters -

500 nm to 950 nm. Order P6701B.

1100 nm to 1700 nm. Order P6703B.

DC/AC Current Probe System - Order AM503S or TCP202 DC Coupled Current Probe.

Recommended Accessories

Analog Differential Amplifier - 10 μV sensitivity. Order ADA400A.

Current Measurement Capability - Order TDS400A and AM503S, and appropriate probe.

Also see Additional Accessories for Viewing Hoods and Storage Compartments.

Scope Cart - Order K420.

Rackmount Kit - Order 016-1166-00.

Soft-sided Carrying Case - Order 016-1158-01.

Transit Case - Order 016-1157-00.

Programmer's Manual - Order 070-9876-00.

Service Manual - Order 070-9703-04.

Video Clamp - Order 013-0278-00.


WSTRO - WaveStar™ software for oscilloscopes, Windows 95/98/NT® application for waveform capture, analysis, documentation and control from your PC.

WSTROU - Upgrade from WSTR31 to WSTRO.

LVWIN95 - LabVIEW for Windows 95.

LWCVI95 - LabWindows/CVI for Windows 95.



1 meter. Order 012-0991-01.

2 meters. Order 012-0991-00.

Power Plug Options

Opt. A0 - US Plug, 115V, 60 Hz

Opt. A1 - Euro Plug, 220V, 50 Hz

Opt. A2 - UK Plug, 240V, 50 Hz

Opt. A3 - Australian Plug, 240V, 50 Hz

Opt. A4 - N. American Plug, 240V, 50 Hz

Opt. A5 - Swiss Plug, 220V, 50 Hz

Opt. A99 - No Power Cord

Opt. AC - China Plug, 50 Hz

International power options required on instruments and selected accessories for operation outside U.S. For operation outside U.S., specify A1-A5 power options. See General Customer Information pages for additional description.


Opt. C3 - Calibration Service 3 Years

Opt. C5 - Calibration Service 5 Years

Opt. D1 - Calibration Data Report

Opt. D3 - Calibration Data Report 3 Years (with Option C3)

Opt. D5 - Calibration Data Report 5 Years (with Option C5)

Opt. R5 - Repair Service 5 Years

See General Customer Information for further information.