You need to test, we're here to help.

You need to test, we're here to help.

27 July 2017

The Periodic Table of Oscilloscope Tools: Document

Teledyne LeCroy's Document toolset for its oscilloscopes
Oscilloscope users can find themselves managing a lot of detail in the course of driving their instruments. They need to keep track of instrument setups. They have to know standards-based compliance test routines backward and forward. Often, the need arises to remotely control the oscilloscope, interface it with other applications, and export/import acquisition data. And, importantly, the oscilloscope has to aid, and not hinder, collaboration with other members of the engineering team(s).

And thus we arrive at the end of our survey of the Periodic Table of Oscilloscope Tools with the Document portion.
  • Hardcopy: Use the oscilloscope's Print button to pre-define a documentation action and execute that action with the press of one button. Select to create a file of a screen image in a variety of formats; send an email with an attached screen image; copy data to a clipboard; print a document; or save the waveform data, screen images, panel setups, and the end user's annotations as a LabNotebook (see below).
  • Email On Action: Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscopes can be networked and configured to send an email to any user-defined email address. The email contains an oscilloscope or desktop screen image (or both), and can be a Action from a Mask Test or Boolean Compare. This makes it simple and easy to remotely monitor your own or someone else's test and be alerted to a pass, fail, or other abnormal result if the expectation is that testing will require a long period of time to uncover the result.
  • Compliance: Higher-speed serial data standards have comprehensive specifications that describe required performance characteristics. Testing to these standards requires either a detailed knowledge of the test requirement or a standardized compliance test program, such as Teledyne LeCroy's QualiPHY. QualiPHY supports a large number of standards using a scripted test framework to control the oscilloscope (and in some cases, other devices as well) and automate the test setup and test. In the event of failures, you can exit QualiPHY and perform manual testing to debug the root cause. A test report can be automatically generated at the conclusion of test to indicate pass/fail in each relevant area, with the option of including supporting oscilloscope screen displays in the report.
  • WaveStudio is a free tool that provides a fast and easy way to analyze acquired waveforms offline, or remotely control an oscilloscope from your desktop. WaveStudio works either off-line or connected to the oscilloscope. When off-line, simply open a trace file from a USB stick or e-mail attachment from the oscilloscope's save waveform function. When connected to the oscilloscope, simply click on the display capture option to load a screen shot, or click a channel to automatically load in the trace information. WaveStudio provides x and y axis cursors for quick timing and amplitude measurements. There are 21 built-in automatic measurements for accurate and quick results. WaveStudio makes it easy to document your work, whether the oscilloscope is next to you or in a remote location. LabNotebook files and screenshots can be saved for future analysis.
  • LeCroy Serial Interface Bus (LSIB) provides direct export of acquired data from the oscilloscope's PCIe data transfer bus using a standard PCIe x4 connection to a user-supplied host computer. LSIB enables data transfer speeds up to 325 MB/s. Use the same LSIB link to send back remote commands to the oscilloscope from the host PC. Export mode allows data to be read continuously and stored in remote storage for later retrieval and analysis.
  • LabNotebook is a powerful documentation tool that can be simply thought of as "Save Job" or "Save Everything" from a single acquisition into a LabNotebook folder with multiple entries. Each entry combines waveform data, screen images, panel setups, and the end user's annotations saved into a single file that is one entry in a LabNotebook folder, and can then be restored on any Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscope to allow further analysis and post-processing of the data as if it had just been acquired. Multiple LabNotebooks may be created and maintained to organize work by project, task, user, and more. Upon saving, screen images may be annotated using the "Scribble" capability, a text description could be made to the file set, and a report generated using the built-in PDF writer. Multiple entries in a single LabNotebook can be previewed to make selection simple. LabNotebooks are stored in a compact format that is portable from one oscilloscope to another.
  • Automation: Teledyne LeCroy oscilloscopes use the Microsoft Automation API for native control and interface to other applications. The Automation command set provides unlimited control of the oscilloscope from a remote location or from within the local environment of the oscilloscope, both from within the oscilloscope application (such as a Teledyne LeCroy MAUI setup file) and from outside (such as another Automation-compatible program). Every setting or button push available on the oscilloscope can be controlled with Automation commands, as described in the X-Stream Browser installed on the oscilloscope desktop. Automation commands can be invoked from any text-based language, including but not limited to Python, C#, a Visual Basic script, Matlab, or Labview, from programs running on or off the oscilloscope platform. Remote connectivity to the oscilloscope is achieved through standards including Ethernet, USBTMC, GPIB, or the high-speed interface. Locally on the oscilloscope, Automation commands can create custom user interface objects using Teledyne LeCroy CustomDSO or plug-ins, or embedded within a Custom Math function or Custom Measure parameter, making it possible to customize the user experience, create new capabilities within the oscilloscope user interface, or use a Custom Math/Measure routine to further invoke a third-party software calculation or action. Automation commands can also invoke legacy (GPIB) IEEE 488.2 Remote Control commands.
Here's hoping you've enjoyed the detailed survey of the Periodic Table of Oscilloscope Tools. It stands as a testament to the vast utility of today's digital oscilloscope. Note that many of the tools on the Periodic Table originated at Teledyne LeCroy and/or are unique to our instruments.

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