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.

Handheld analyzer performs vector-voltmeter measurements

An optional vector-voltmeter mode for the microwave Site Master S820E from Anritsu—a handheld cable and antenna analyzer that offers coverage of up to 40 GHz—allows the S820E to serve as a drop-in replacement for legacy vector-voltmeter instruments. Read More...

Simplified kurtosis computation detects signal interference

The statistical kurtosis operation, reinterpreted and implemented on an FPGA for this Design Idea, can detect various forms of interference in RF and other signals. Read More...

How to extend calibration cycles

When your business case calls for a long calibration interval, you can use CALT techniques to verify design stability. Read More...

Review: The Vectawave VBM2500-3 RF amplifier

Recently, several of my clients have been requesting help with pre-compliance testing in the 10 to 50 V/m range, well beyond what the simple TPI or Windfreak RF synthesizers alone can muster. So, I’ve been continuing to look for small low-cost RF power amplifiers that can help me achieve these higher power levels. Read More...

PXI module switches test signals

A PXI Reed Relay Matrix from Pickering Interfaces lets you automate tests by switching signals to and from test equipment. Read More...

LXI digitizers reach 5 Gsamples/s

Networked systems are available in two, four, or eight channels at 1.5 GHz bandwidth. Read More...

Review: The Red Oak Canyon “RF Pro Touch” RF generator

This small portable RF generator with very accurate RF output levels incorporates Robert Yarbrough’s model TPI Synthesizer version 4, repackaged with touchscreen control and chargeable battery. Read More...

Test-executive upgrade streamlines power testing

PowerStar 6, the latest version of Intepro Systems’ test executive software, provides a number of features intended to make the testing of power electronics easier, such as an expanded drag-and-drop test library and an integrated configuration manager that allows switching between system configurations without restarting. Read More...

Audio Precision supports Dante pro networked audio

The company's APx58x Series, APx52x Series, APx555 and APx515 audio analyzers now let you test and characterize audio transported on Dante Ethernet-based networks. Read More...

DC power supply furnishes 200 VA

Able to operate in constant-current or constant-voltage mode with automatic crossover, the Model 1320 DC power supply from Global Specialties delivers continual output power of up to 200 VA via three independent outputs. Read More...

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Simplified kurtosis computation detects signal interference

The statistical kurtosis operation, reinterpreted and implemented on an FPGA for this Design Idea, can detect various forms of interference in RF and other signals. Read More...

De-embed transmission lines with FIR filters

This DI uses MATLAB to design de-embedding filters which clean up high-speed signal measurements. 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...

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...

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Handheld analyzer performs vector-voltmeter measurements

An optional vector-voltmeter mode for the microwave Site Master S820E from Anritsu—a handheld cable and antenna analyzer that offers coverage of up to 40 GHz—allows the S820E to serve as a drop-in replacement for legacy vector-voltmeter instruments. Read More...

PXI module switches test signals

A PXI Reed Relay Matrix from Pickering Interfaces lets you automate tests by switching signals to and from test equipment. Read More...

LXI digitizers reach 5 Gsamples/s

Networked systems are available in two, four, or eight channels at 1.5 GHz bandwidth. Read More...

Test-executive upgrade streamlines power testing

PowerStar 6, the latest version of Intepro Systems’ test executive software, provides a number of features intended to make the testing of power electronics easier, such as an expanded drag-and-drop test library and an integrated configuration manager that allows switching between system configurations without restarting. Read More...

Audio Precision supports Dante pro networked audio

The company's APx58x Series, APx52x Series, APx555 and APx515 audio analyzers now let you test and characterize audio transported on Dante Ethernet-based networks. Read More...

DC power supply furnishes 200 VA

Able to operate in constant-current or constant-voltage mode with automatic crossover, the Model 1320 DC power supply from Global Specialties delivers continual output power of up to 200 VA via three independent outputs. Read More...

Multichannel RF/analog recorder stores up to 10 Tbytes

Used for recording extremely long RF/analog waveforms, the TERAQC14 data-acquisition system from Ultraview stores up to 10 Tbytes of wideband content acquired on one to four channels, concurrently triggered by either an internal or external start signal. Read More...

Signal analyzer measures 64 IEPE channels

Connect IEPE accelerometers directly to the Data Translation VIbox, then analyze sound and vibration signals. Read More...

Teledyne LeCroy enhances high-end oscilloscopes

Teledyne LeCroy demonstrated the LabMaster 10Zi-A and WaveMaster 8Zi-B oscilloscopes at OFC 2015. Read More...

PCIe, USB test benches ease simulation-measurement correlation

Aimed at semiconductor companies developing SerDes (serializer/deserializer) I/O blocks and OEMs integrating such chips onto their system pc boards, Keysight's PCI Express and USB test benches allow engineers to use simulation to ensure a candidate design yields a fabricated prototype compliant with PCI-SIG and USB-IF specifications. 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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How to extend calibration cycles

When your business case calls for a long calibration interval, you can use CALT techniques to verify design stability. Read More...

A single misplaced atom can cause a system failure

Inside a semiconductor, a single atom deposited in the wrong place can cause the device to fail. Failure analysis and inspection can uncover the failure. Read More...

Limit the range of a waveform measurement

With these handy hints, you can use an oscilloscope to measure what you want and ignore the rest. Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. 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...

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...

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Review: The Vectawave VBM2500-3 RF amplifier

Recently, several of my clients have been requesting help with pre-compliance testing in the 10 to 50 V/m range, well beyond what the simple TPI or Windfreak RF synthesizers alone can muster. So, I’ve been continuing to look for small low-cost RF power amplifiers that can help me achieve these higher power levels. Read More...

Review: The Red Oak Canyon “RF Pro Touch” RF generator

This small portable RF generator with very accurate RF output levels incorporates Robert Yarbrough’s model TPI Synthesizer version 4, repackaged with touchscreen control and chargeable battery. Read More...

Designing your first PXI test system? Start inside out.

Larry Desjardin gives first time PXI users tips on selecting modules, chassis, and controllers for a successful integration. Read More...

J Robert Oppenheimer is born, April 22, 1904

On this day in tech history, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, American theoretical physicist and father of the atomic bomb, was born. Read More...

Is dark matter about to be discovered?

Evidence for dark matter has been building for decades—it’s about time it showed up. Read More...

Throw it a curve (tracer)

Time and again, curve tracing has proved itself to be an indispensable problem-solving tool. Read More...

EMC questions answered (part 7)

Several great questions on troubleshooting radiated emissions were asked during my recent webinar, Troubleshooting Radiated Emissions, hosted by UBM and sponsored by Rohde & Schwarz last April 2015. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to answer them all, so here they are with answers. Read More...

New test points slash ATPG test pattern count

Embedded deterministic test shows a 2x to 4x improvement in test-pattern count, which reduces test time for digital circuits. Read More...

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...

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