|The octopus is a very
versatile piece of test equipment that should be in any electronic
technician's tool bag. The octopus, when used with an oscilloscope set
in X-Y mode, enables the technician to quickly check components in circuit
and get a visual indication of whether a given component is probably good or
An octopus is easy to build with parts readily obtainable from any electronic supply store, such as Radio Shack. My octopus layout is very similar to many other octopus schematics that can be found on the web. Once I had the parts in hand it only took about four hours to build and test my octopus.
When a part is checked with the octopus it will give a visual display on the oscilloscope. By looking at the examples below you can get an idea of the various displays expected based on the component being analyzed.