Measuring duty cycle – Fluke 87 V User Manual
Measuring Duty Cycle
Duty cycle (or duty factor) is the percentage of time a
signal is above or below a trigger level during one cycle
(Figure 9). The duty cycle mode is optimized for
measuring the on or off time of logic and switching
signals. Systems such as electronic fuel injection systems
and switching power supplies are controlled by pulses of
varying width, which can be checked by measuring duty
To measure duty cycle, set up the Meter to measure
frequency; then press Hz a second time. As with the
frequency function, you can change the slope for the
Meter's counter by pressing E.
For 5 V logic signals, use the 6 V dc range. For 12 V
switching signals in automobiles, use the 60 V dc range.
For sine waves, use the lowest range that does not result
in multiple triggering. (Normally, a distortion-free signal
can be up to ten times the amplitude of the selected
If a duty cycle reading is unstable, press MIN MAX; then
scroll to the AVG (average) display.
Figure 9. Components of Duty Cycle Measurements