SYSCOMP SIG-101 Signature Analyzer
The Syscomp SIG-101 Signature Analyzer is a PC-based 2-ch 200kHz oscilloscope, sampling at 2MSa/s, that includes an arbitrary waveform generator, and an 8-bit digital I/O port. Building on the success of its predecessor the CGR-201, the SIG-101 scope also adds calibrated signature techniques to its waveform display capabilities for quickly troubleshooting circuit boards.
Unlike most PC-based oscilloscopes that feature 8-bit A/D sampling, the SIG-101 has an 11-bit A/D, giving 8x more detail. The built-in 12-bit 200kHz arbitrary waveform signal generator is useful for creating swept, stationary, or noise test signals, or for providing PWM outputs. The oscilloscope and waveform generator can be combined to provide Vector Network Analysis capability, yielding Bode plots that graph the frequency response of a circuit – very useful when designing audio filters or amplifiers!
The Syscomp SIG-101’s calibrated Signature Analysis capabilities offer a wide amplitude and frequency range. Signature analysis is a powerful testing technique for finding faults on PCBs: an AC voltage is injected into a connection on a circuit board and the analyzer then plots the voltage and resultant current on an X-Y display. This display is a ‘signature’ of the circuit operation, which can be compared against a known ‘good’ pattern or board. If the patterns do not match, the test board is defective. For example, when testing a node, a capacitor will show an ellipse, a resistor shows a straight line at an angle, a diode shows the characteristic exponential curve, etc. Signature analysis is popular in production test situations because it requires no knowledge of the circuit operation, and so it can be used by less-skilled technical personnel. The Syscomp SIG-101 represents a significant advantage over existing signature analysis instruments: it costs a fraction of existing signature analysis instruments, and the frequency range of the test signal is continuous, extended over a wide range, allowing a wider range of useful measurements. The test voltage and current measurements are calibrated, so the results can be translated into accurate component values. The ‘node signature’ and other waveforms can be saved, retrieved, and compared to make this a valuable debug tool.
All of the instrument’s functions can be controlled via a USB2.0-connection from a computer running Windows, Linux, or Mac OSs, using the open-source GUI software provided.
The SIG-101 Signature Analyzer is ideal in educational settings and can be used with Syscomp’s free engineering education experiment suggestions. It can also be used for production test, demonstrations, or for general purpose measurements for field technicians and engineers.
It is powered by the external 110VAC wall adapter switching supply included in the kit.
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