Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Video Review of 33500B Series Waveform Generators

Hi there, I'm David. I'm a new contributor to this blog and I hope to help Neil update content one this blog fairly regularly. I've been a test engineer for about 13 years now and I figured that I could help others understand interesting features, issues, and tribulations that are found with test equipment.

For my first post I'm going to direct you to an independent video review of Agilent's 33500B Series Waveform Generators. The 33500B series was introduced in 2012 and people are starting to get their hands dirty with them. This review was published by Watt Circuit Blog which is run by a couple of engineers in England. In this long running video review, the blogger uses the 33522B in their demonstration. He covers many aspects of the 33500B series ranging from unboxing the unit to using it to characterize an IC. A write up with pictures is published on Element 14. He likes it.







Since its a long video, I'm going to link directly to a few points that might be of interest to you.


Unboxing the unit - This section includes first impressions and a front and rear panel walk through. 
Powering up the unit - Using the front panel by setting up a multi-tone frequency modulated signal.
Adding noise to a signal - using summing modulation and visualizing it on a scope
Replacing a pulse generator - setting up fast edge times, phase control between two channels, and pulse bursts.
Setting up a frequency sweep - Using a scope to  to check frequency response of a filter. This uses the frequency sweep function of the generator
Using a function generator to characterize circuit performance - Testing a level shifter IC with a PBRS signal. Characterizes the IC by sweeping frequency and adding noise.
Benchlink SW - discusses and demonstrates the free Agilent Benchlink software to generate your own waveforms.
Importing a .CSV file - demonstrates how to import a comma separated (.csv) file using a USB stick.
LAN connectivity - LAN and web user interface to control the generator
Summary - Gives a nice summary and discusses Trueform technology, robustness of the unit, discusses upgrades, and mentions that the review only scratches the surface of features of these generators.

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