"Use Of The Dual Trace Oscilloscope - A Programmed Text", (book) trigonometry and calculus problems

Thread Starter


Joined May 18, 2013
I have recently bought a book to read and learn how to use an oscilloscope. The book is by Charles H. Roth, JR. (title of the book is in the thread title)
I read some where that it was a good book for learning how to use an oscilloscope, I didn't know that it included the use of trigonometry and calculus. I now have to learn trigonometry and calculus to read this book.
Has anyone read this, and if so, can you get by without the math or does it really make a difference. I don't want to learn trigonometry or calculus, mostly because I suck at math and I don't remember it unless I do lots and lots. I also have a problem thinking. I know some people look at math at it is really really easy. I am not one of those people. Is there another book on the oscilloscope that I could use?




Joined Feb 24, 2006
If all you look at is digital waveforms you can skip the other stuff you don't understand. Why bother with stuff you'll never use.


Joined Mar 30, 2015
Tektronix has a good tutorial on oscilloscopes - XYZs of Oscilloscopes. You can get it here. If you don't want to provide the information they ask for, you can search for the PDF on-line.


Joined Mar 14, 2008
Don't feel bad about having difficulties with math. I managed to get through my math courses but never really learned to "think" in math. The more complex math functions still look sort of like a foreign language to me.
So I always tried to limit the math I did to simple arithmetic and algebra, and my trig to simple trig functions.
And, of course, the computer now can usually bail me out if I need more complex solutions (Mathcad, Mathematica, etc.), as well as simulation software such as Spice to take care of a lot of the grunt math.


Joined Dec 17, 2014
Is there another book on the oscilloscope that I could use?


There is a good basic explanation of Cathode-Ray Oscilloscopes in a book by R.A. Penfold titled How to Use Oscilloscopes and Other Test Equipment , Bernard Babani (publishing) Ltd, 1989. This is a short paperback book that I think is quite good but probably hasn't been reprinted recently and may be difficult to locate. Another one is Stan Prentiss, The Complete Book of Oscilloscopes, Tab Books, 1992. Prentiss's book is a much more sophisticated discussion of the oscilloscope than that by Penfold, but there is very little math in the book. Of the two, probably the book by Prentiss would be much easier to get. My preference was for the book by Penfold, as the book by Prentiss I found difficult to get through even though it isn't analyzing operation of 'scopes with math and trig.
Probably there are many good books on 'scopes out there not involving trig and calculus (?).