Oscilloscopes monitor the signal behavior over a set period of time, displaying the pattern as a function against a two-directional coordinate system. They are also capable of transforming non-electric signals like vibration or sounds and displaying them as a function. They are commonly used to control and fine-tune the settings of an electric device. Modern oscillographs are usually small handheld devices with a display that shows monitored signals, and three control sections - vertical section, horizontal section, and trigger section. These devices use probes to connect to a signal.

Oscillographs can measure the amplitude, minimum, maximum, average, and mean voltages, rise and fall time, period, duty cycle, and frequency of an electric signal. These parameters are required to establish the strength and behavior of the signal. In order to begin working with the device, you should attach the electric probe to the source of the signal, adjust the controls to monitor and demonstrate the signal you desire in a fitting form and start taking measurements.