LXI digitisers eases multi-channel, high frequency signal acquisition

Multi-channel, high-frequency, signal acquisition and analysis is possible with the DN6.22x series of LXI digitisers from Spectrum. The series extends the company’s line of digitizerNETBOX products, by adding eight models that feature high-channel count, fast sampling rates and wide bandwidth.

The entry-level DN6.221 models offer versions with 12, 16, 20 and 24 channels, with each channel capable of sampling electronic signals at rates up to 1.25Gsample/s. The top-of-the-line DN6.225 series increases performance by allowing up to 12 channels to sample at 2.5Gsample/s or six channels at 5.0Gsample/s.

The instruments include all the tools necessary to capture, digitise and analyse electronic signals. They can be connected to a host computer and operate with the company’s SBench 6 software, supplied as standard with every digitiser. The software controls the digitiser’s operating modes and hardware settings from one GUI. It has built-in features for waveform display, data analysis and documentation. Acquired and analysed waveforms can be stored and exported to other devices or other software programs in a variety of formats such as MATLAB, ASCII, binary and wave.

Each channel of a DN6.22x series digitiser features its own ADC, large acquisition memory (1.0Gsample/channel) and independent signal conditioning circuitry. The ADCs are clocked synchronously to ensure that inter-channel timing measurements can be made with the best possible accuracy as well as maintaining a constant phase relationship.

Front-end amplifiers allow input signals to be correctly scaled, so that the digitisers can use the ADC’s 8bit dynamic range. Programmable full-scale ranges (into 50-Ohm termination) go from ±200mV up to ±2.5V or optionally from ±40 to ±500mV. The flexible signal conditioning also includes AC/DC coupling and programmable input offset.

The DN6.221 models, with 1.25Gsample/s sampling rate, are matched with amplifiers that deliver over 500MHz of bandwidth; the DN6.225 models increase this to 1.5GHz. The fast sampling rate, wide bandwidth and long acquisition memory enables the digitisers to capture long, complex, high frequency signals. It also makes it possible to characterise and measure fast events that go down into the nano- and sub-nanosecond timing ranges.

Acquisition modes include single shot mode for capturing transient events, and multiple recording to store numerous signals that arrive in bursts or packets. There is also gated sampling to synchronises the acquisition with another event, while ABA mode mimics the operation of a chart recorder enabling segments with fast and slow sampling rates to be recorded simultaneously.

Each channel of the digitizerNETBOX, as well as two external inputs, can act as a trigger source with the capability of combining all sources by and/or logic functions. The logic feature makes it possible to trigger only when specific patterns appear on the inputs, simplifying complex trigger situations. Trigger events can also be date and time stamped.

All DN6 series instruments feature an industrial chassis with integrated cooling, a replaceable dust filter and low noise power supplies. Front-panel SMA connectors are used for the channel inputs, external clock and external trigger. LED lights show power, trigger and local area network (LAN) status.

Based on the LXI instrumentation standard (following the LXI Device Specification 2011 rev. 1.4), the instruments are also designed for use in automated testing and remote applications. Full remote control is achieved through a simple GBit Ethernet port, which allows connection to any PC or LAN. With their high channel density, the products are well matched to applications where arrays of receivers, sensors, detectors, rectifiers, antennes and other electronic devices are used and tested.

They are programmable and are supplied with drivers that allow users to write their own control programs in popular programming languages, including C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J#, Delphi, IVI, Java and Python code. Third party software support is also provided for LabVIEW, LabWindows and MATLAB.



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