“Base Noise: The Oscilloscope Parameter Often Ignored.”
When it comes to the main parameters of oscilloscopes, bandwidth, sample rate, and recording length all come to mind. However, there is a parameter that is often ignored: Base Noise.
What is the Base Noise? Why it is so important? The following will explain what it is and why it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Base Noise refers to the “Baseline Noise”, which indicates the vertical noise in the transformation of a simulated front end and a digital end.
As an example, OWON looked at The Base Noise of an oscilloscope. In particular, we looked at the noise a waveform generated while the OWON oscilloscope was turning into its most sensitive vertical position. The range scale of Base Noise was determined by counting the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio). The higher the value, the lower the interference. Thus, the lower Base Noise the signal contained.
How Base Noise influences measurement results:
With the rapid development and advancement of electronics technology, some processing chips are limited in their ability to generate mVs in power. The power ripple might be required at ±5% or even lower. If the Base Noise is very high, the real measured signal would be drowned in the Base Noise of the device, and engineers would then get a false reading. Therefore, Base Noise is very important when measuring small signals.
Since the Base Noise is so important. Why don’t oscilloscope manufacturers mention this?
The main reason: cost control. Most of middle to low end oscilloscopes in the market are designed for larger bandwidth or higher sample rate. Their processor chips are mostly used for overclock running, which causes the other components to overload while running. This then contributes to a large Base Noise effect. Oscilloscope manufacturers are not willing to expose their shortcoming, so a user is unable to learn of a particular oscilloscope brand’s Base Noise until put to use for their application.
OWON conducted a comparison of the Base Noise level of popular oscilloscope on market:
T Company’s oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.
(440uV Peak-Peak Voltage)
R brand popular oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.
(920uV Peak-Peak Voltage)
A Chinese brand 3000 series oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.
(467uV Peak-Peak Voltage)
Lilliput OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position. (380uV Peak-Peak Voltage)
Based on the oscilloscope comparison, most of middle end oscilloscopes had more than 500uV noise. The brand that consistently had the lowest Base Noise was the OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope. Their VPP value held on an average of 350uV. The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope controlled Base Noise better than T Company’s most popular mid-range oscilloscope.
The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope is the latest product release from OWON. With 12‐bit resolution, the XDS series offers the best solution for those who need to measure small signals or be able to read details from a large signal. Highly suitable for Medical, Automotive, Power Supply, and more.
OWON XDS series oscilloscopes come with the OWON 3rd generation technology platform ‐ Xvisual, which advances the performance of the XDS series oscilloscopes over other oscilloscopes available. The new Xvisual platform consists of 3 parts: Low Base Noise, 40M Record Length, 75,000 wfms/s Refresh Rate. One of the main benefits of Xvisual is ease at which the measurement of small signals can be read, and the ability to fully restore the true status of signals.
If you need an economical oscilloscope to measure small signals, the OWON XDS Series Oscilloscopes are your best choice.
Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that provides unique electronic test & measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. www.northtreeassociates.com