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Oscilloscopes can be dangerous!

EFI Tuning Fundamentals

Relevant Module: Fundamental Electronics > Wave Forms

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Just a note from an Oscilloscope jockey, who has been making a living from it for over 40 years:

You have to be very careful what scope you use, what probes you use, and most important, where you connect your probes.

Connecting oscilloscope probes to the wrong place can cause catastrophic results when, instead of just measuring a signal, the scope

affects the circuit operation. For instance, if you try to measure a PWM drive signal in the wrong place, it can cause the component being driven to

stay on when it shouldn't and short out. You should never use an old scope where the clip wire on the probe is connected directly to the ground

plug on the power cord, due to the fact that since at least the 80's,the circuit ground is NOT earth ground.

I know this, because I have already made these mistakes. Don't blow up an ECU or something it is controlling by poking around randomly with a


Thanks for looking out for your fellow members!

Using a battery powered (portable) Oscilloscope can help with alleviating any ground/interference issues.

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