Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/25904-a-lab-oscilloscope-in-a-handheld-package

A Lab Oscilloscope in a Handheld Package

February 9, 2016

Figure 1

Field applications are gaining in complexity, and even machinery on the production floor is employing increasingly elaborate electronics. Such environments call for a portable instrument able to adapt and capable of testing relevant functionality. Designed specifically to address such complexities, the R&S Scope Rider is a handheld oscilloscope with the functionality, touch and feel of a state-of-the-art lab oscilloscope.

Combining five instruments in a compact format, the instrument is based on a high performance oscilloscope featuring a precise digital trigger system, 33 automatic measurement functions, XY diagram mode (see Figure 1) and mask test mode (see Figure 2). It also functions as a logic analyzer with eight additional digital channels, as a protocol analyzer with trigger and decoding capability, as a data logger and as a digital multimeter. The following outlines the implementation of these functions:

Logic analyzer:The digital logic probe (MSO) of the new oscilloscope features eight additional digital inputs for analyzing control signals, time correlated to the analog channel signals. With 250 MHz bandwidth, 1.25 GSPS sampling rate and configurable thresholds, it adapts to almost any digital interface.

Protocol analyzer: Protocols such as I2C or SPI are frequently used for transferring control messages between integrated circuits. The R&S Scope Rider has a trigger and decoding capability for in-depth troubleshooting. Triggering on protocol events or data enables selective acquisition of relevant events, data and signals.

Data logger:Sporadic sensor signal faults or rare glitches in a power supply can cause complex system failures without any obvious indication of the root cause. The long-term data logger makes it possible to monitor up to four key measurements at a speed of 1, 2 or 5 measurements per second to uncover such rare failures. The large memory of 2 million samples per channel allows more than 23 days of log duration. The statistics display provides information about minimum and maximum values with exact times.

Figure 1

Figure 1 Relative phases between two signals can be easily measured with the dedicated XY mode that also shows the individual time signals.

Digital multimeter:The two channel variant features a dedicated, isolated digital multimeter with 10,000 count resolution. Measurement functions include AC, DC, AC + DC voltage, resistance, continuity and capacitance as well as current or temperature with suitable shunts. The four channel variant features a digital voltmeter on each input channel. Statistics information shows minimum, average and maximum values with corresponding time stamps.

EASE OF USE

The handheld oscilloscope is equipped with a large format, high resolution capacitive color touch screen, allowing it to be operated as intuitively as a tablet PC. Oscilloscope settings can easily be adjusted on the screen while dedicated keys provide quick access to important oscilloscope functions. A central multifunction wheel allows adjustment of settings, such as the trigger level or the vertical position of each channel. Fully controllable via the keypad, the oscilloscope can also be used with gloves when required for safety or weather conditions.

Easy-to-understand diagrams explain important settings such as the trigger mode, the automatic measurement functions or the channel settings. The Scope Rider has an acquisition rate of 50,000 waveforms per second (see Figure 3), a 10-bit A/D converter and a maximum bandwidth of 500 MHz for analog input channels.

In addition to a microSD card, the instrument features USB and Ethernet ports for uncomplicated storage and transfer of measurement data. Measurement documentation is simplified with documentation project directories on the microSD card or USB flash drive. Screenshots, measurement results and settings files are saved with a single button press in the selected project directory. Data can easily be accessed and downloaded using the web browser interface.

Figure 2

Figure 2 The mask test mode shows pass and fail statistics, making it easy to set up masks based on test signals.

The R&S Scope Rider also has an integrated WLAN interface. This can be configured as a hotspot to allow the instrument to be remotely controlled via a smartphone, tablet PC or laptop. A simple web browser on the mobile device is all that is required, with no need for additional software or apps. All settings can be adjusted on the PC and image compression ensures that the screen image is rapidly updated.

In history mode, the instrument automatically stores up to 5000 waveforms in a separate history buffer. At any point in time, acquisition can be stopped and any waveform in the buffer analyzed using full oscilloscope functionality.

With more than four hours of battery runtime, the 2.4 kg oscilloscope offers users a high degree of flexibility during installation, maintenance and in emergency situations, going beyond traditional electrical engineering to serve a broad range of industries. Technicians and specialists can use it to gain a clear understanding of the condition of electrical installations, systems and components — everything from measurement data acquisition in industrial and manufacturing settings to repairing shipboard electrical drives and carrying out vehicle test drive analyses.

Well prepared for harsh environments, the handheld oscilloscope’s IP51 certified housing offers protection from environmental hazards such as dust and dripping water and has passed all mechanical load tests in line with military standards. The fully isolated instrument offers maximum safety and meets measurement category requirements defined in IEC 61010-1 for CAT IV up to 600 V and for CAT III up to 1000 V.

Figure 3

Figure 3 The high speed acquisition system of the R&S Scope Rider captures up to 50,000 waveforms each second and uncovers rare and unexpected signal anomalies.

The R&S Scope Rider is available as a four channel or two channel instrument, the latter with a digital multimeter, with bandwidths of 60, 100, 200, 350 and 500 MHz. There are also trigger and decoding options available for I2C, SPI, UART, RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485.

Rohde & Schwarz
Munich, Germany
+49 89 4129 12345
www.rohde-schwarz.com