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Arbitrary function generator

Signal Wizard 2.5 has a dual-channel arbitrary function generator (AFG). Each channel operates independently from the other. Two modes are available, free form and triggered. The AFG is highly stable and operates using 24-bit resolution digital to analogue conversion. All output signals can be adjusted for gain in real time, as in the other modes, from 0 to 96dB in steps of 0.6 dB.

In freeform mode, data may be entered manually using the data entry edit boxes, by loading in a text file or by drawing the points using the graphical facility. Each channel can hold up to 3071 points, after which the function repeats. Sample rates can be varied from 48 kHz down to 4 kHz. The draw sub-mode is a particularly interesting feature – data are entered graphically, which represent the x and y coordinates sent to channels 1 and 2. By connecting the channels to an oscilloscope and operating in XY mode, 2D patterns can be drawn in real time.

The triggered mode option allows the user to design tone bursts, chirps or random noise of arbitrary frequency, amplitude, phase, duration and sample rate. An import option is also available, allowing playback of independently developed arbitrary functions. These may then be downloaded to the hardware unit which will generate them in real time, either in response to "Test" button, or when the unit receives a positive going 3.3V logic pulse on the bottom left pin of the 16-way header on the main circuit board. In this mode, both channels generate the same response. The waveform may comprise up to 7100 points; unlike the freeform mode, waveforms are generated each time the trigger event (button click or logic pulse) is received. Triggered waveform generation can be selected as a boot-up option in the normal way by clicking the "Current settings" button from the Hardware Control Panel.

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