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Low-cost portable oscilloscopes provide long capture times

Posted: 06 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Alex Mendelsohn?

LeCroy's WaveJet digital scopes

Oscilloscope maker LeCroy Corp. is extending its line of portable oscilloscopes, thanks to the acquisition of instruments from Iwatsu Test Instruments Corp. One of these new scopes is priced at less than $3,000.

LeCroy's latest Iwatsu-derived WaveJet digital scopes are priced between $2,890 to $7,490, and include a 500-kpoint memory on each channel. According to LeCroy, that buys you 50x to 200x the capture time of competitive products in the WaveJet class.

The WaveJet series offers both 2-channel and 4-channel instruments. These can be selected for bandwidths of 100-, 200-, 350- or 500MHz. All offer a maximum sample rate of 2GS/s, with 500-kpoints of memory per channel.

The long memory provides a capture time of 250?s at maximum sample rate. LeCroy spokesmen note that other oscilloscopes in this class typically offer captures times of only 1.25?s at the same sample rate.

The WaveJet scopes also feature 7.5-inch color displays and USB connectivity. LeCroy contends that these attributes are typically found only in higher classes of oscilloscopes.

The WaveJet scopes also exhibit fast boot-up times. They also include an Auto Setup feature that lets you make measurements in a matter of seconds. The scopes' intuitive front panel also provides one-touch access to horizontal, vertical and trigger menus, while its push-button knobs automatically set delay, offset and trigger level. The color-matched channel LEDs also indicate which channel is active and whether it's controlling math or zoom traces.

Multiple modes
Whether it's the ability to capture 1ns glitches with peak detect, or to sample at 100GS/s with equivalent sampling mode, the WaveJet provides these capabilities. These oscilloscopes also feature a so-called Roll Mode, which lets users watch variations in low-speed signals. You also get an averaging acquisition mode that eliminates the effects of noise or spurious events.

Along with these acquisition modes, WaveJet has a Page Mode that helps provide insight into waveforms being captured. By activating Page Mode, you get the ability to scroll through the history of waveform captures and isolate glitches, runts, or other signal abnormalities. You can also use Page Mode to view signals before or after an event.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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