The release of a new line of Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWG's), based on the LXI instrumentation standard, opens the door for engineers and scientists who need to generate electronic signals in automated test and remote applications. Spectrum has released seven new instruments in the generatorNETBOX series to give users a wide choice of performance levels.
The units combine the latest digital-to-analog converter (DAC) technology and can generate signals from DC up to 400 MHz in frequency. Furthermore, full remote control is achieved through a simple Ethernet connection to any PC or local area network (LAN) making them easy to integrate into any test system.
Up to 8 fully synchronous channels
The generatorNETBOX instruments are available with 2, 4 or 8 fully-synchronous channels. Top of the range is the DN2.66x series. These fast, high-resolution, AWG's use DACs with 16 bit vertical resolution and offer output rates up to either 1.25 GS/s or 625 MS/s. They also include large on-board memories (up to 2 x 4 GB) and a generous output voltage range of up to ±4 V (± 5V for 625 MS/s models) into high impedance and ±2 V (± 2.5V for 625 MS/s models) into 50Ω.
For lower frequency applications Spectrum has released the DN2.60x series. These products utilize 14 bit DAC technology that can output signals at rates up to 125 MS/s. As such, they offer a cost effective solution for applications where signals with frequency content up to 60 MHz need to be produced.
Advanced waveform replay modes
To allow the generation of long and complex waveforms the AWG's combine their large on-board memories with a number of operating modes such as Single-Shot, Loop, FIFO, Gating and Sequence Replay. In FIFO mode the instruments can stream data continuously from PC memory to the AWG memory over the GBit Ethernet port. The AWG's can even output signals while new waveform data is being sent to the on-board memory.
Each channel of the AWG is clocked using a precision phase locked loop (PLL) control system that can be generated internally or from an external clock or reference. The AWG's flexibility is further enhanced by front-panel multipurpose I/O connectors that allow access to asynchronous digital inputs, asynchronous digital outputs, the trigger output, the run and arm status, the PLL reference clock and a marker output.
Ideal for remote and mobile applications
Small and compact the generatorNETBOX products can be used on a bench top or rack mounted. For mobile applications they can also be powered by an optional 12 or 24 V DC source.
The instruments are fully self-contained and come with all the tools necessary to generate an almost unlimited variety of waveforms. Simply connect the unit to a host computer (e.g. laptop or workstation) or anywhere on the corporate network and start up Spectrum's SBench6-Pro software. SBench6-Pro comes as standard with every unit. It lets you control all the operating modes and hardware settings from a simple, easy-to-use, graphical user interface.
The software also has a host of built-in features for waveform creation, data analysis and documentation. These include the EasyGenerator function for producing standard wave shapes such as sine, rectangular, triangle, saw-tooth, SINC and DC. Waveforms can also be created from equations, imported from other devices (such as digitizers and oscilloscopes) or other software programs. SBench6 allows data import and export in the most popular formats such as ASCII, binary and WAV.
Extensive software support
The units include drivers that allow users to write their own control programs with almost any popular programming language. This includes C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MatLab.
For applications where a generatorNETBOX needs to operate remotely Spectrum offers an embedded server option, DN2.xxx-Emb. This option combines a powerful CPU, a freely accessible SSD, more memory and a remote software development access method. This creates an open platform where you can run your own software while at the same time you can still be connected via LAN for remote access. The option effectively allows the generatorNETBOX to operate independently or, when connected to a LAN, as part of a larger system.
The generatorNETBOX products are available with immediate delivery. All units are shipped factory tested and include Spectrum's SBench 6 Professional version software, support drivers for most popular programming languages and a two year manufacturer’s warranty. Technical support, including software and firmware updates, is available free of charge.