I hooked up a crystal oscillator (4 pins) to Vcc + Gnd and observed the generated waveform using my scope. I think everyone will agree the waveform shown is very distorted and I am not sure why. Any ideas?
This is a classic square wave as detected by a scope set up with an inadequate ground connection. A few tips (in order of importance):
1 - Connect the scope ground as close to the clock ground as possible.
2 - Make sure the clock chip is bypassed as close as humanly possible to the ground and power leads, with the capacitor leads as short as possible.
3 - If you have a choice of ground leads for the scope, use the shortest one available.
4 - Connect the scope probe as close to the clock output as possible.