ESC Con 2015

Test & Measurement

Martin Rowe
Senior Technical Editor
Technical information about test and measurement equipment and strategies from the point of view of the R&D or design and development engineer. Topics include T&M hardware such as oscilloscopes and signal generators/analyzers, as well as software and test methodologies.

OIF demonstrates 50 Gbps signals using two modulations

Two videos from OFC 2015 show how backplanes and capper cables are capable of handling 50 Gbps signals. Read More...

Keysight BERT adds adjustable ISI

The M8062A module for Keysight's J-BERT lets you test receivers at speeds to 32.4 Gbps while simulating intersymbol interference from copper trace lengths. Read More...

Fiber inspection tool connects to Android devices

EXFO's FIP-435B handheld fiber inspection tool connects over Wi-Fi to any Andriod tablet or phone, letting you view the quality of a fiber-optic connection. Read More...

70 GHz oscilloscope offers flexibility, low noise

Tektronix gets back in the high-bandwidth game with the DPO 70000SX, not only in terms of bandwidth but with a flexible architecture. Read More...

EMC Symposium 2015 (Santa Clara)

The IEEE International Symposium on EMC was held early this year, due to the international symposium on EMC in Dresden, Germany, this year. As always, the week's program was full with multiple simultaneous tracks. I'll summarize some of the high points. Read More...

Instrumentation amp makes an accurate transimpedance amp too

The interesting topology in this Design Idea turns a monolithic in-amp into a good transimpedance amp for photodiode or similar applications. Read More...

Review: The Extech 480836 E-field meter

Needing an E-field meter and wondering how the more inexpensive ones compare to those costing thousands of dollars more, I purchased the Extech model 480836 handheld meter at $279 to characterize the accuracy. We’ll be comparing it to two other ETS-Lindgren (calibrated) meters. Read More...

The mysterious disappearance of duo-binary signaling

At DesignCon 2015, we heard that Duo-binary modulation isn't sufficient for 56 Gbps data transmissions, yet we saw it in live demonstration. What's going on? Read More...

Testing the iCub robot’s battery with an oscilloscope

The iCub humanoid robot’s new battery backpack was tested and optimized using a Tektronix oscilloscope and power probes to keep the sensors on, the circuits powered up, and motors turning. Read More...

Build 802.11ah waveforms with a signal generator

Keysight Technologies’ N7617B Signal Studio for 802.11 WLAN software lets you create IEEE 802.11ah signals with several Keysight vector signal generators. Read More...

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Instrumentation amp makes an accurate transimpedance amp too

The interesting topology in this Design Idea turns a monolithic in-amp into a good transimpedance amp for photodiode or similar applications. Read More...

Transient load gives power systems a workout

Verify power supply performance with this transient load generator. Read More...

Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights

15 years later, here’s a new take on one of our most popular Design Ideas ever! Read More...

Power transient buffer enables IC & circuit testing

This DI lets you use a versatile function generator to test a circuit’s response to power transients and noise. Read More...

Antilog converter linearizes carbon dioxide sensor

Simplify gas sensor interface with some analog preprocessing. Read More...

Sub-picofarad measurement with CMOS inverters

Measure capacitance down to 2.5pF full-scale using this hex inverter-based design. Read More...

Short circuit tracer/finder uses low power

Build this bench tool and become a master at pinpointing shorts. Read More...

LabVIEW real-time seismic alert system

National Instrument’s LabVIEW has uses beyond instrument control, as demonstrated by this Web app. Read More...

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Keysight BERT adds adjustable ISI

The M8062A module for Keysight's J-BERT lets you test receivers at speeds to 32.4 Gbps while simulating intersymbol interference from copper trace lengths. Read More...

Fiber inspection tool connects to Android devices

EXFO's FIP-435B handheld fiber inspection tool connects over Wi-Fi to any Andriod tablet or phone, letting you view the quality of a fiber-optic connection. Read More...

Compact recorder boasts wide instantaneous bandwidth

Furnished in a rugged portable or standard rack enclosure, the dual-channel IQC5000B RF record and playback system from X-Com Systems accommodates wide signal bandwidths for use in electronic warfare, interference analysis, spectrum monitoring, and surveillance. Read More...

TDR with dual-aspect display speeds cable fault finding

Offering a choice of five output impedances, the TDR2010 dual-channel time-domain reflectometer (TDR) from Megger locates faults on all metallic cables, including twisted-pair wires and coaxial cables. Read More...

70 GHz oscilloscope offers flexibility, low noise

Tektronix gets back in the high-bandwidth game with the DPO 70000SX, not only in terms of bandwidth but with a flexible architecture. Read More...

Portable turnkey systems perform data acquisition, modal analysis

Two lightweight portable units from VTI Instruments, the PMX04-DAQ and PMX-04-MOD PXI-based mainframes allow engineers to carry out high-speed data acquisition and modal analysis from any location. Read More...

Software automates MIPI M-PHY compliance testing

QPHY-MIPI-MPHY software provides automated control of Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscopes to perform physical-layer transmitter compliance testing to the MIPI M-PHY standard, permitting a high level of confidence by measuring a large number of cycles in a short period of time. Read More...

The mysterious disappearance of duo-binary signaling

At DesignCon 2015, we heard that Duo-binary modulation isn't sufficient for 56 Gbps data transmissions, yet we saw it in live demonstration. What's going on? Read More...

Multifunction I/O board fits PC/104 stacks

Furnishing a flexible range of inputs, outputs, and timers on a PC/104 board, the Model 526 analog and digital I/O system operates from a single 5-V power supply for use in a wide range of measurement and control applications. Read More...

Network testers team with cloud-based reporting service

Based on Fluke’s LinkRunner and LinkSprinter handheld network testers, Link-Solutions provides a cohesive way for front-line technicians, field-managed IT teams, system integrators, and VARs to conduct copper, fiber, and Ethernet tests and manage their results via a unified cloud-based dashboard. Read More...

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The Tektronix 1101 oscilloscope-probe power supply

A mechanical design is at once a masterpiece and an expensive expedient. Read More...

What's inside a smart meter? iFixit tears it down

When iFixit's Kyle Wiens had the opportunity to tear down an Elster smart meter, he jumped at it—not to come up with a repair manual but to evaluate the health and safety issues that seem to surround the utilities’ installation of smart meters. Read More...

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The mysterious disappearance of duo-binary signaling

At DesignCon 2015, we heard that Duo-binary modulation isn't sufficient for 56 Gbps data transmissions, yet we saw it in live demonstration. What's going on? Read More...

Testing the iCub robot’s battery with an oscilloscope

The iCub humanoid robot’s new battery backpack was tested and optimized using a Tektronix oscilloscope and power probes to keep the sensors on, the circuits powered up, and motors turning. Read More...

Real-time power GaN waveform monitoring

In this article, we compare the degradation mechanisms of GaN FETs with silicon FETs and discuss the need for waveform monitoring. Read More...

USB 3.1 testing part 2: Type-C cable assemblies

The USB type-C connector will make life easier for consumers, but will require additional compliance testing for designers. Read More...

Characterize interconnects with S-parameters, Part 2

A closer look at not only S11 (return loss or reflected signal), but also S21 (insertion loss or transmitted signal). Read More...

Test Memories at-speed with a slow clock

You may think that testing memory with a low-speed clock would miss many errors, but that's not the case. Read More...

Data-acquisition: The key to a smart electrical grid

Data acquisition of voltage, current, and power has become essential to the operation of today's smart-grid power distribution network. Read More...

BER test method uses real data

A proposed test method from the UNH-IOL shows promise for testing serial data links such as PCIe and SATA without the drawbacks of using predefined test patterns. Read More...

Cable tips for your next measurement

Measurements are often hanging by a cable; Steve Sandler explains why the purchase of a “good” cable may not be sufficient, and provides tips for what you should do for every measurement. Read More...

Characterize interconnects with S-parameters

What can S-parameters reveal about interconnects? Read More...

>> SEE ALL

OIF demonstrates 50 Gbps signals using two modulations

Two videos from OFC 2015 show how backplanes and capper cables are capable of handling 50 Gbps signals. Read More...

Ode to the Oscilloscope

Having been a teenager in the 1960s, and with popular tunes of that decade still in my head, I offer a lyrical rewrite of one of them, with apologies to the author of the ‘60s hit tune, "Hotrod Lincoln". (“You’ve heard the story of the great car race, where Fords and Lincolns were settin’ the pace ) This ode has gone through some refinement, and here is the latest version. Read More...

EMC Symposium 2015 (Santa Clara)

The IEEE International Symposium on EMC was held early this year, due to the international symposium on EMC in Dresden, Germany, this year. As always, the week's program was full with multiple simultaneous tracks. I'll summarize some of the high points. Read More...

Review: The Extech 480836 E-field meter

Needing an E-field meter and wondering how the more inexpensive ones compare to those costing thousands of dollars more, I purchased the Extech model 480836 handheld meter at $279 to characterize the accuracy. We’ll be comparing it to two other ETS-Lindgren (calibrated) meters. Read More...

How cops are finding "grow ops" with AM radios

With the help of radio frequency interference, police have stared to use AM radios in their vehicles to locate illegal indoor marijuana farms. Read More...

National Instruments ups PXI game to Gen 3

Why is National Instruments bringing PXI speeds to the next generation? Larry Desjardin interviews NI, and explains. Read More...

Failed solder joint makes car clock go dark

When the clock on my Subaru Forester went dark, fixing a poor solder joint brought it back to light. Read More...

Farewell, Leonard Nimoy

EDN bids farewell to the actor who inspired many to become engineers and scientists. Read More...

Measure of neutrinos, nature's most elusive particles

When neutrinos pass through matter, they rarely leave a trace, but when they do, it comes in the form of a ghostly ultra-violet cone of light. Read More...

DesignCon and the future of bench instrumentation – Part 2

Why are there are so many form factors on the lab bench? Larry Desjardin describes the dynamics behind them, and where they are going. Read More...

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