Pulse and Rise Time Measurements in Oscilloscope
In many applications, the details of a pulse's shape are important. Pulses can become distorted and cause a digital circuit to malfunction, and the timing of pulses in a pulse train is often significant.
Standard pulse measurements are pulse width and pulse rise time. Rise time is the amount of time a pulse takes to go from the low to high voltage. By convention, the rise time is measured from 10% to 90% of the full voltage of the pulse. This eliminates any irregularities at the pulse's transition corners. This also explains why most oscilloscopes have 10% and 90% markings on their screen. Pulse width is the amount of time the pulse takes to go from low to high and back to low again. By convention, the pulse width is measured at 50% of full voltage. See Figure below for these measurement points.
Rise Time and Pulse Width Measurement Points
Pulse measurements often require fine-tuning the triggering. To become an expert at capturing pulses, you should learn how to use trigger holdoff and how to set the digital oscilloscope to capture pretrigger
data, as described earlier in the Controls section. Horizontal magnification is
another useful feature for measuring pulses, since it allows you to see fine
details of a fast pulse.