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Digitizers offer dual time base mode

Posted: 24 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:dual time base mode? oscilloscope/digitizer PCI cards? slow continuous recording?

Strategic Test has introduced a new dual time base option for its line of UltraFast oscilloscope/digitizer PCI cards. Called the ABA Mode, this allows the cards to be configured for slow continuous recording, similar to a data logger, switch to high-speed sampling on detection of the trigger event and then return to slow recording until the next trigger event.

A timestamp is recorded for each trigger event. A pre-trigger can be set so that data is recorded prior to the trigger event at the fast sample rate.

The main uses for the ABA mode are applications that need a recorded history of a process, both leading up to and after the trigger event. For example, safety critical applications and quality testing can require continuous monitoring and high-speed recording in the event of a process or production failure.

While it is possible to pre-define the total number of samples to record so that the measurement card stops by itself, the most common use is likely to be where the measured data is continuously recorded to hard disk for audit trails. The maximum speed that data can be recorded to hard disk is 200MBps when using a RAID controller coupled to four serial ATA disks.

The slowest and fastest sampling rates that can be selected for the ABA mode are a function of the digitizer/oscilloscope card used. Strategic Test offers more than 80 different PCI cards. The minimum sampling rate is 1kSPS on all cards, while maximum sample rates for different cards are:

?16bit resolution : 3-, 1-, 0.5-, 0.25MSPS
?14bit resolution : 50- or 20MSPS
?12bit resolution: 200-, 160-, 100-, 80-, 50-, 25-, 10-, 1MSPS
?8bit resolution : 200-, 100-, 50MSPS.

Cards are available with between 1 and 16 channels.

The ABA mode is included in an option bundle together with the Multiple Recording (memory segmentation), Gated Sampling (start/stop sample clock by external TTL signal) and the Timestamp option. The price for this combination is $990.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe




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