Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 14, 2011

Oscilloscope Probe Noise when Physically Shocked

at 10:27 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks


The recently unemployed Dave Jones from the EEVblog has done a very extensive investigation of an issue he noticed which is the Noise an Oscilloscope Probe generates when Physically Shocked. I would have guessed it was just the switch that was not keeping a good contact when experiencing the jolt but watch the video to see what the culprit was.

I remember having a similar (but totally different) thing happen to me years ago when I was installing a small PA mic in a small hall. The amp was a very cheap and tiny thing that was driving a efficient 5 watt horn speaker. I was surprised at the thump I could generate just by walking on the 50 foot cord that connected the mic to the wall mounted jack. I never looked into it and just thought it must be a rapid change in the dielectric properties of the cable when it was squeezed rapidly. If that is not the case please clue me in with the comments.

Congrats to Dave now that he has taken the plunge into full time video blogging. We are sure to see lots of interesting things in the weeks and months to come! If you are curious what made Dave decide to take the plunge be sure to listen to The Amp Hour radio show, episode 37 which Dave and Chris Gammell do together.


 

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5 Responses to “Oscilloscope Probe Noise when Physically Shocked”

  1. Dave Jones Says:

    Thanks Alan
    Looking forward to having extra time to work on the blog for a while at least.
    Although it seems I *still* don’t have enough time to get the stuff I want done!
    Must be some weird life sucking vortex thing… *glances at wedding ring* :->

    Dave.

  2. Dave Says:

    Some electrical wire insulation is made from PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride). It makes excellent insulation, since it’s tough, flexible, resistant to most acids, bases, etc.

    However, it can also be EXTREMELY piezoelectric.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pvdf#Usage

    Dave

  3. pencilneckgeek Says:

    The cable can also generate electrical signals. The effect is called “triboelectric effect”. I used to manufacture RF Millivolt meters and the DC signal cable between the probe and meter had to be specially-made with an internal dry lubricant to minimize the triboelectric effect. We had to test each batch by building a terminated length with a simulated probe and shake the snot out of it and see if it generated any signal. Once during my tenure we had to send an entire 1000 ft reel back to Belden because it was wildly triboelectric.

  4. Andreas Says:

    the triboelectric effect was also mentioned (and demonstrated) by Dave, however I would say that having an impulse amplitude at a max of 2V clearly to the piezoelectric effect, as the demonstration of the triboelectric effect resulted in an impulse of round about one magnitude lower.

  5. Electronics-Lab.com Blog » Blog Archive » Oscilloscope Probe Noise when Physically Shocked Says:

    […] Dave shows how the piezoelectric effect applies to oscilloscope probes. [via] […]

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