'square wave' falls into negative voltage

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 23, 2011
I am looking at a fast 'square wave' that I've generated with a crystal at 23+ MHz, and divided down with two binary counters. The wave is not very square, but square enough to work as a clock I think. I am curious why, once per period, the wave will fall off into negative voltage (as seen on the oscilloscope) before coming back up. This happens at the falling edge of the waveform. So peak to peak becomes something like 7.6V, when the circuit input voltage is 5V.



Joined Apr 30, 2011
IF you're using a plug in type breadboard you can find information on techniques for minimizing stray capacitance and inductance by googling "stray capacitance breadboard". Usually the biggest issues are component placement and signal routing.


Joined Dec 26, 2010
Sometimes this kind of thing may be seen when using an oscilloscope with a probe, even when there is no overshoot present in the original waveform. There are at several ways in which this can arise:

  1. Ground "bounce", particularly if the probe ground lead is not as short as it might be.
  2. Probe misalignment (in a compensated attenuating probe, most commonly 10X).
  3. Inherent frequency response irregularities in probe or scope, not so common and should only be seen at the limit of the equipment bandwidth.
Ground bounce gets to be more of a problem with wider bandwidth scopes, so that at higher frequencies the ground connection length may need to be reduced by using a short spring contact rather than a wire and a crocodile (alligator) clip.


Joined Oct 2, 2009
It also depends on what you call an oscilloscope. If you are using a sound card as an oscilloscope, the sound card is AC coupled and so will not have DC response. Also if your scope or scope probe is set for AC input the same thing will happen. You need a scope and scope probe whose frequency response goes all the way down to DC.


Joined Jul 17, 2007
The inductance of the wiring and the capacitance of the probe can create a series resonant LC circuit that will ring like the dickens when the output of the IC changes states. Adding some resistance in series will quiet down the ringing, at the cost of increasing the rise/fall times.

See the attached.