Electronic – What will I see in oscilloscope when attempting to analyze Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals


I would like to know what will show up if I put bluetooth or wifi carrier signal (2.4GHz family) in a say 50MHz oscilloscope? Am I going to see something like a rectangular block? And the only information I will get is the amplitude?

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Best Answer

If it's a good scope, you'll see nothing at all, just a flat line representing DC..

Ironically if it's an inferior scope with incompetently designed input amplifiers and the signal strength is high enough, you may see a step in the flat line when the poorly filtered RF carrier is demodulated by nonlinearities in the amplifier, but that will only tell you the presence of carrier and nothing else. And if the carrier is continuous, you won't see the steps, so you'll never know it's there.

This is the same phenomenon as AM radios and landline telephones picking up a distinctive "dud - dududud - dududud" noise from a GSM phone on the same table.