Sunday, April 3, 2011

Using a Counter to Augment an Oscilloscope's Measurements

I made this video to demonstrate how a Frequency Counter can be used to augment the measurement system on an oscilloscope.  In this case, I need an exact count of the number of pulses in a 1 second period.  I use the Totalize function on a Tektronix FCA3120 to count the dropped pulses produced from a Tektronix AFG3252 function generator.  As you can see, the deep memory Tektronix MSO4104B oscilloscope can measure quite a few pulses with 20M of memory, but nowhere near a continuous 1 second or longer period.  In this case, the frequency counter is the ideal tool.

One technical note--although Frequency Counters are available up to 40GHz in bandwidth, various techniques are used for making this measurement that would miss a single dropped pulse.  The Totalize function is limited to about 160MHz, or pulses that are about 2ns wide.

No comments:

Post a Comment