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 not.

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.



                      Short                  1K Resistor    

                1uF Capacitor

                 1N4001 Diode