Saturday 24 October 2009

USB Oscilloscope

USB-DSOs: Compact and Sophisticated
A new breed of USB controlled instruments use PCs for the information screen and operation panel.

The days are now over when oscilloscopes heated up labs all around the world due to there high power consumption. With the availability now of USB on virtually every PC and laptop, the space needed for a digital oscilloscope has shrunk to just the size of a match box. Computers are now standard tools for every employee so why should you spend extra money duplicating displays, power supplies and buying boxes with expensive knobs and buttons on?

The Taiwanese-based supplier Acute (distributed in Europe by StanTronic Instruments) offers the DS-1000 Series family of PC-based digital oscilloscopes, which provide the majority of functions and features required by design, test and process engineers.

Graded Performance
The three family members all offer two channels and a vertical resolution of 9 bits/Ch. All units can be cascaded to give up to 6 channels and all channels in use are shown on one display.

The 3 units differ from each other in bandwidth, sampling rate and triggering capabilities. The basic model, called the DS-1002, provides an analogue bandwidth of 100 MHz, a real-time sampling rate of 100 MS/sec in single channel mode and 50 MS/sec in dual channel mode. The equivalent sampling rate for capturing repetitive signals is 2.5 GS/sec with a memory length of 64k points. The second member of the family, the DS-1102, offers an analogue bandwidth of 200 MHz, a real-time sampling rate of 200 MS/sec in single channel mode and 100 MS/sec in dual channel mode. The equivalent sampling rate for capturing repetitive signal is 5 GS/sec with a memory length of 64k points. For users with needs for more memory, the third member of the family called the DS-1202 may be the right choice. It has the same features as the DS-1102 but with an extended memory depth of 512k points.

Whereas the DS-1002 features the classic trigger capabilities like rising/falling edge and delay, the DS-1102 & DS-1202 offer an additional TV trigger and the DS-1202 a TV line trigger as well. In Roll Mode, all units can show signals continuously up to a setting of 200 ms/div and store the signals to hard disk up to the capacity of the disk.

Display Signals
All Acute digital oscilloscopes are operated by the same software, which displays waveforms and all related parameters on the PC´s screen to look like a conventional oscilloscope. Cursors are available for precise measurements of voltage and time parameters. The input coupling can be set to AC, DC or GND for each individual channel. A 20 MHz low pass filter is standard.

Sums, Differences and higher Maths
The power of the PC can be utilised to perform all kinds of maths functions like add, division etc. as well as the famous Lissajous curves. To perform an FFT on a signal, the units offer anti aliasing filters like triangle, cosine, Lanczos and gaussian.

The Acute DSO family (USB 1.1 compatible, USB 2.0 preferred) are shipped with two probes, USB cable, manual and software, all packaged into a quality pouch.

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