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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.

Review: Rohde & Schwarz HZ-15 near field probes

One of my most used EMI tools is a good set of near field probes. These may be used to quickly identify potential sources of radiated or conducted emissions and are designed to respond to either E-fields or H-fields. Many companies sell probe kits and I’d like to review the HZ-15 kit from Rhode and Schwarz, as being above average. Read More...

Probes & software enhance impedance measurements

Probes and software from Picotest let you measure the stability of op-amps, filters, and power regulators while in-circuit. Read More...

DesignCon Awards nominations open

DesignCon’s Best in Design & Test Awards and the DesignCon Engineer of the Year Award recognize the best of the best in engineering and new product advancements at the chip, board, or system level, with a special emphasis on signal integrity and power integrity. Read More...

Use test data to diagnose failed memory

A technique called ESOE (Enhanced Stop on Error) enhances memory-controller circuits so the controller stores the targeted failure number internally and keeps track of when failures occur. Read More...

8 Ways to clarify spurious emissions

Avoid confusion among engineers by defining terms such as carrier and bandwidth right up front. Read More...

Simple trick to measure plane impedance with a VNA

The measurement of a PCB plane using a VNA may not be as straightforward as you might expect. One simple trick makes it easy. Read More...

Get SMU test results from an Android device

The IVy Android app from Keithley lets you set up tests and get data without programming. Read More...

Impedance measurements stabilize op-amp buffers

In-circuit measurements on an op-amp's impedance reveal how to select compensating resistors and capacitors. Read More...

Case study: radiated interference to industrial controller

As an EMC consultant, I seem to be running into more and more issues with ESD and radiated susceptibility. I believe this is due to the fact noise margins are gradually being reduced as supply voltages move from 5 to 3.3 to 1.8 to 1.2 volts. In addition, products are scaling down in size, and quite frankly, designers still don’t understand basic EMC design principles. Read More...

Modular digitizers support many programming environments

When integrating a modular digitizer into a computer-based measurement system, you'll need drivers and application software to communicate with your instrument and test it. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

LTC Design Note: Robust 10MHz reference clock input protection circuit and distributor for RF systems

Design a protected 10MHz reference input without degrading phase noise. Read More...

Milliohm Squawker great at finding shorts and reverse engineering PCBs

This well thought out tool for “listening to” low resistances really speeds troubleshooting & tracing. Read More...

Versatile noise generator tests signal recovery gear

Accurate noise generator allows mixing-in of a clean test signal. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Probes & software enhance impedance measurements

Probes and software from Picotest let you measure the stability of op-amps, filters, and power regulators while in-circuit. Read More...

Get SMU test results from an Android device

The IVy Android app from Keithley lets you set up tests and get data without programming. Read More...

4-kW HVDC supplies feature low noise and ripple

New LH series 4-kW open stack power supplies from Glassman High Voltage feature extremely low ripple – typically less than 0.1% peak to peak of rated voltage at full load - and noise. Read More...

PXI-based D/A converter speeds test development

Occupying a single slot in a PXI chassis, the M9188A dynamic digital-to-analog converter from Keysight Technologies furnishes 16 channels capable of supplying stimulus waveform signals of up to +30 V or +20 mA per channel. Read More...

Agile signal generator produces multi-emitter simulations

Keysight Technologies’ N5193A UXG agile signal generator not only enables realistic and scalable threat simulations for aerospace and defense applications, but also serves as a slide-in replacement for legacy fast-switching local oscillators often used in large, dedicated simulation systems. Read More...

Software turns oscilloscope to motor-drive measurements

Teledyne LeCroy's HDO8000 12-bit oscilloscope now has software specifically for measuring power and efficiency on three-phase motor drives, variable-frequency drives, and the electronics that power them. Read More...

Power supplies combine linear and switching

Autoranging power supplies from Picotest deliver maximum power at any voltage/current setting. Read More...

Scope option analyzes MIPI RFFE interfaces

The Rohde & Schwarz RTO-K40 serial triggering and decoding option for the company’s RTO oscilloscopes enables developers of RF front-ends and modules that employ the MIPI RFFE (RF front end) control interface to verify and debug their designs. Read More...

B&K Precision expands power supply line

Model 9111 provides up to 180 of power for bench test. Read More...

1-GHz oscilloscope offers touch-screen operation

The WaveSurfer 10 oscilloscope from Teledyne LeCroy not only supplies a bandwidth of 1 GHz and a sample rate of 10 Gsamples/s, but also an advanced user interface that provides access to all important oscilloscope controls through an intuitive touch screen. 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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8 Ways to clarify spurious emissions

Avoid confusion among engineers by defining terms such as carrier and bandwidth right up front. Read More...

Simple trick to measure plane impedance with a VNA

The measurement of a PCB plane using a VNA may not be as straightforward as you might expect. One simple trick makes it easy. Read More...

Modular digitizers support many programming environments

When integrating a modular digitizer into a computer-based measurement system, you'll need drivers and application software to communicate with your instrument and test it. Read More...

EMI pre-compliance test with a microwave oven?

It makes sense to do some “quick-and-dirty” bench testing to see if you stand a chance of passing EMI compliance testing. Here’s how you can do it with typical lab test equipment and an old microwave oven. Read More...

Test cost challenges in LPCT (low pin count test) designs

Learn about techniques for implementing LPCT (low pin count test) in SoCs to maximize throughput and test coverage, and minimize cost. Read More...

Missing datasheet details can cause problems

A lack of information on a datasheet lead to system crashes from a hot-swap controller. Read More...

Customize your oscilloscope to simplify operations

Saved setups, custom scripts, and activation buttons let you streamline oscilloscope operations and simplify measurements for operators and technicians. Read More...

Don't damage thin devices when testing

ICs are easy to damage when performing reliability qualification tests. Read More...

Measurement uncertainty in VNAs vs. TDRs, Part 1

Is there a difference in measurement uncertainty between vector network analyzers and time domain reflectometers? Read More...

Tryout: Teledyne LeCroy WaveSurfer 3000 oscilloscope

The WaveSurfer 3000's Maui user interface lets you get products quickly. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Review: Rohde & Schwarz HZ-15 near field probes

One of my most used EMI tools is a good set of near field probes. These may be used to quickly identify potential sources of radiated or conducted emissions and are designed to respond to either E-fields or H-fields. Many companies sell probe kits and I’d like to review the HZ-15 kit from Rhode and Schwarz, as being above average. Read More...

Use test data to diagnose failed memory

A technique called ESOE (Enhanced Stop on Error) enhances memory-controller circuits so the controller stores the targeted failure number internally and keeps track of when failures occur. Read More...

DesignCon Awards nominations open

DesignCon’s Best in Design & Test Awards and the DesignCon Engineer of the Year Award recognize the best of the best in engineering and new product advancements at the chip, board, or system level, with a special emphasis on signal integrity and power integrity. Read More...

Impedance measurements stabilize op-amp buffers

In-circuit measurements on an op-amp's impedance reveal how to select compensating resistors and capacitors. Read More...

Case study: radiated interference to industrial controller

As an EMC consultant, I seem to be running into more and more issues with ESD and radiated susceptibility. I believe this is due to the fact noise margins are gradually being reduced as supply voltages move from 5 to 3.3 to 1.8 to 1.2 volts. In addition, products are scaling down in size, and quite frankly, designers still don’t understand basic EMC design principles. Read More...

The five instrument standards that rule our industry

Larry Desjardin describes the status and what’s new with the five standards organizations that the test and measurement industry relies on. Read More...

EMC pre-compliance testing ups success rate, part 2 of 3

Save time and money by conducting EMC pre-compliance testing yourself. Part 2 looks at the first three options for performing these tests. Read More...

Guard-bands reduce MOSFET failures in space, part 2

Plots show how radiation affects ON resistance. Part 2 provides test code for selecting the proper guard band. Read More...

Guard-bands reduce MOSFET failures in space, part 1

MOSFETs that go into spacecraft power modules to drive motors need to functions properly after exposure to radiation. Part 1 explains shy guard bands are needed for dice testing. Read More...

The scope...from Hell!

When you buy a cheap scope, what you likely get is a cheap scope. Buyer beware. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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