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Application Notes | Spectrum

When it comes to making measurements with modular digitizers it is important to be aware of some common setup problems that will result in bad data and lost time. Among the setup issues that can arise are aliasing, insufficient amplitude resolution, incorrect amplitude range selection, improper coupling, improper termination, poor trigger setup, and excessive noise and spurious pickup. This article will look into each of these issues and provide insight into how to prevent these errors from occurring.

The scientific field of Mass Spectrometry (MS) has been under constant research and development for over a hundred years, ever since scientists discovered that charged particles could be separated via electromagnetic fields based on their charge-to-mass ratio (Q/m). While spectrometry systems now come in numerous configurations their performance largely depends on a few fundamental elements.

Measurements on mechanical devices and systems using a modular digitizer requires the use of a variety of transducers or sensors in order to convert mechanical parameters such as force, acceleration, pressure, rotational speed, and their kindred into electrical signals you can measure.

Line power measurements are commonly required to evaluate the performance of devices or circuits. Modular digitizers can make these power measurements. Digitizers are voltage responding measurement instruments. They can also measure current using suitable current probes or current shunts.

Modern modular digitizers, like the Spectrum M4i series PCIe digitizers, offer greater bandwidth and higher resolution at any given bandwidth than ever before.

Modular digitizers allow accurate, high resolution data acquisition that can be quickly transferred to a host computer.

With most modern PC based digitizers and data acquisition systems a common problem is caused by the fact that the ADC technology usually runs in advance of PC bus technology. In high-speed and high-resolution digitizer products this causes a bottleneck effect where the ADC can digitize much more data than can be easily transferred to the PC environment.

Self-excited electronics like power supplies, oscillators, transmitters, and signal generators can often be tested using a measuring instrument (digitizer, oscilloscope, spectrum analyzer, etc.) alone. Externally excited electronic devices like amplifiers, filters, receivers, and digital interfaces require a signal source and a measuring instrument for testing. Modular Arbitrary Waveform Generators (AWG’s) and modular digitizers are available with multiple source and measurement channels that can be configured in bandwidth, sample rate, and memory.

“When can a digitizer be used as an Oscilloscope and what is the difference between an Oscilloscope digitizer and a Non-Oscilloscope digitizer?" This is an interesting question and the best way to start to answer it is the look up the dictionary definition of an oscilloscope:

Ultrasound is an acoustic sound pressure (acoustic) wave with a frequency greater than the upper limit of the human hearing range. Ultrasound devices operate with frequencies from 20 kHz up to several gigahertz.