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Measuring a Scope Probe Requires Two Oscilloscope Channels and a Very Flat Signal Source

Obtaining accurate measurement data requires either accurate knowledge and accounting for the probe and fixture influence OR calibration methodology to remove these effects prior to measurement. Vector network analyzer (VNA) users perform a complete calibration of the measurement setup and fixtures before making measurements.  This process assures accurate measurements, with artifacts due to the setup removed, or de-embedded.

Oscilloscope users can also calibrate their passive oscilloscope probes, though the process is much less sophisticated and for lack of a better term, wrong.  The calibration process also generally can’t include the “fixture.” This short article shows you what to measure and a method to accurately measure the response of the probe.  In addition to the probe, there are other errors that need to be removed.  Most importantly, this article will show you how to accurately measure the passive probe response.

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