Dual Time Base Digitizer up to 1 GS/s

Having a segment orientated acquisition for digitizers is a standard a lot of manufacturers offer. In this case the on-board memory is segmented and one segment of data is stored on every trigger event. This mode is well suited for repetitive signals with gaps like Radar or Sonar or production tests where mechanical actions are taking place in between the acquisition of data. The Multiple Recording mode of Spectrum offers an extremely short dead time between two trigger segments of 4 samples (M2i series) or 32 samples (M3i series) making sure that no trigger events are lost. Competitor products often need dead times for re-arming in the region of several 100 ms.

In some cases the data between the segments also need to be monitored to see long time changes and small side effects. As streaming all data with full speed to PC generates a horrible lot of data, needs very fast interconnection and storage solutions and makes handling quite time consuming, there is a demand to store this data of “lesser” interest with a reduced sampling rate. The Spectrum ABA mode offers such a dual time base. The segments of high interest around the trigger events are sampled with a high time resolution like 10 ns and the data in between the segments is sampled with a reduced time resolution like 100 ms. The ratio between fast and slow sampling can be set up by software.
Picture: Spectrum

Having segments of “fast” data and a long stream of “slow” data one needs a method to do a time correlation between both. The Spectrum ABA option package therefore also contains a time stamping with a resolution of one sample. Combining all three sources together one gets a detailed view on the data with exact overlay of both data sources. The professional measurement software SBench 6 which is developed by Spectrum itself matching the products perfectly, supports all these and allows to move inside the ABA date, show trigger events and time stamps and overlays all sources into one screen as shown in the screenshot above.

The dual time base option package ABA mode is offered for a very wide range of data acquisition and digitizer products ranging from 100 kS/s 16 bit 16 channel up to 1 GS/s 8 bit high speed digitizers. All channels on the cards are running fully synchronously offering a dedicated analog amplifier as well as a dedicated ADC for each channel. All cards can be synchronized internally to form simultaneous multi channel systems with a maximum of 256 synchronous channels in one system. All cards or a programmed number of cards can use the dual time base mode to have some channels slowly monitored.

The Spectrum cards are delivered with Windows drivers supporting Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, each 32 bit and 64 bit version as well as Linux 32/64 bit drivers, a set of programming examples and a basic version of the new SBench 6 software. SBench 6 is a powerful newly designed state-of-the-art digitizer software, that supports all software programmable features of the hardware. Using the dual time base mode SBench 6 Professional is needed. Both software versions are available for Windows and Linux with KDE and Gnome.

The Spectrum SPCM drivers are used for programming the board, with the flexibility of the drivers allowing the programmer to build and design an application to meet his requirements exactly. The driver supports all M2i and M3i cards. A set of standard programming examples is provided to illustrate the boards main signal capture functions. Extensive support includes Visual C++, Borland C++, Gnu C++, Visual Basic, VB.NET, C#, J# and Delphi code.

A two year manufacturer warranty is standard for all Spectrum hardware products. Drivers, software and firmware updates are available free of charge as well the support given directly by the development engineers themselves.

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