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10 ways to maximise use of oscilloscopes

15 May 2014  | Arthur Pini

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Adding a "Max Hold" function to the oscilloscope's FFT

Spectrum analysers offer a peak or 'max' hold feature that is very useful when doing swept sine frequency response measurements. Most oscilloscope FFTs do not offer this feature as part of the FFT function, but they do offer roof or maximum math functions that can be combined with the FFT to hold the maximum amplitude occurring at each frequency cell in the FFT. Figure 8 provides an example of this feature.

Figure 8

Figure 8: The red trace, F2 (centre), shows the peak or maximum values for each frequency in the FFT of a swept frequency sine. Trace F1 (bottom) is the FFT without the roof or maximum applied. The F2 descriptor box shows the roof function setup.

The roof (or maximum) function, shown in trace F2 retains the peak amplitude at each frequency cell in the FFT as the input sine wave seeps through a range of frequencies. This allows the user to see the maximum response at each frequency.

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