Function/arbitrary/pulse generator features broad frequency range

Paul Boughton

TTI's new TG5011 is a combined function/arbitrary/pulse generator with a frequency range covering 1uHz to 50MHz. At under GBP900, the generator is claimed to achieve a new price point below that of competitors' products offering only 20MHz or 25MHz bandwidth. The generator offers high-purity sine waves with low harmonic distortion and low phase noise over the full frequency range. Square waves have a rise time of below 8ns with low overshoot giving good wave shape right up to 50MHz. The frequency of these waveforms can be set with up to 14 digits and is based on a TCXO (temperature-controlled crystal oscillator) timebase with a stability of one part per million. The high resolution of the direct digital synthesis (DDS) system means that very low frequencies can be set. For example, a frequency of 1mHz can be set with a resolution of 0.1 per cent and a stability of one part per million.

The TG5011 incorporates a pulse generator mode that provides a wide range of pulse width and delay independent of period. Pulse period can be set between 2000 seconds and 80ns (0.5mHz to 12.5MHz) and the duty cycle can be as low as one in two billion. Rise and fall times (edge speeds) are also independently variable over a wide range. Arbitrary waveforms of up to 128k words can be generated at 14 bits vertical resolution and a sampling speed of 125MS/s. A front-mounted USB port enables external flash memory storage of up to 1000 waveforms.

The memory stick also provides a quick and convenient method for transferring waveform files to and from a PC. Commonly used complex waveforms are provided including sin(x)/x, exponential rise and fall, logarithmic rise and fall, Gaussian, Lorentz, haversine and cardiac waveforms.

The generator comes with Waveform Manager Plus for Windows, enabling complex waveforms to be created using a PC. The TG5011 offers a comprehensive set of digital modulations including AM, FM, PM, PWM and FSK. The modulation source can be any standard or arbitrary waveform, or any external signal applied to the modulation input.

A wideband noise generator creates Gaussian white noise with a high crest factor and a bandwidth of 20MHz. Noise can be added to any waveform or can be used as a modulating source. USB and LAN interfaces are provided as standard, the latter conforming to LXI class C (Lan eXtensions for Instrumentation). A GPIB interface is available as an option. All functions of the generator can be controlled from the digital interfaces, and arbitrary waveform data can be transferred via them. The TG5011 is housed in a highly compact casing with protective buffers and a multi-position stand. With the buffers removed it is half-rack 2U size for rack-mounted applications. Despite its small size it incorporates a 3.6-inch (90mm) diagonal LCD panel that provides a large amount of text and graphical information simultaneously and offers context-sensitive soft key control.

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