This page last modified on Sunday, November 14, 2010
Waveform Generators Fill a Void
The AFG3000 line of arbitrary waveform/function generators from Tektronix bridge a gap between low-end and high-end signal generators. The top-end AFG3252 creates sine waves at up to 240 MHz and pulses and arbitrary waveforms at 125 MHz. Thus, you can generate signals above 100 MHz without having to use a more expensive 500-MHz RF signal generator.
The AFG3000 line consists of six models, all with a 5.6-in. LCD display that lets you see your outgoing signal without an oscilloscope. The six models consist of three bandwidths (25 MHz, 100 MHz, and 240 MHz) that create sine-wave signals on one or two channels. All but the 25-MHz, single-channel model have color displays. All models let you store up to four arbitrary waveforms, with two models storing up to 64 ksamples and four models storing up to 128 ksamples. All models let you create AM, FM, PM, FSK, and PWM-modulated signals as well as pulses. The dual-channel instruments let you test mixed-signal devices by generating a digital signal on one channel and an analog signal on the other. Because Tektronix designed the AFG3000 series for easy use, they won't let you build waveforms with loops and branches like a full-featured arbitrary waveform generator.
All models come with ArbExpress software that lets you generate waveforms captured by Tektronix scopes or defined in Matlab files or comma-delimited text files. You can upload waveform files through USB, Ethernet, or IEEE-488 ports. Front and rear USB ports let you store waveform data on a USB flash drive.