Scopes Survey Signals With High Definition

Oct. 19, 2012
These high-performance oscilloscopes bring 12-b resolution and sampling rates as fast as 2.5 Gsamples/s for test signals to 1 GHz. 

Resolving signal anomalies is the challenge for most oscilloscopes, and the HDO4000 and HDO6000 scopes from Teledyne LeCroy bring 12-b analog-to-digital-converter (ADC) resolution to the task—along with easy-to-navigate 12.1-in. touchscreen displays, and a wide range of debugging tools. The two oscilloscope lines include models covering 200 MHz to 1 GHz and 350 MHz to 1.0 GHz, respectively, with single-shot sampling rates of 2.5 GSamples/s (125 GSamples/s for repetitive waveforms), generous memory, and powerful microprocessors to capture the most elusive transient events.

These are impressive instruments (see figure), each sporting a large 12.1-in. thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal-display (LCD) touchscreen display that serves as both a viewing and control center. It provides 1280 x 800 pixel resolution for these two series of scopes, which are armed with high-resolution ADCs and capable of 12-b vertical resolution and as much as 15-b vertical resolution using an enhanced-resolution (ERES) function. The screen also makes it easy to access all controls, channels, triggers, math functions, and measurement parameters. Both scope lines benefit from the firm’s HD4096 high-definition technology which leverages 12-b ADCs, input amplifiers with high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and a low-noise architecture to resolve glitches and short-term events lost by many other oscilloscopes.

The HDO4000 and HDO6000 oscilloscopes from Teledyne LeCroy feature single-shot sampling rates of 2.5 GSamples/s, 12-b vertical resolution, and analysis bandwidths from 200 MHz to 1.0 GHz.

The HDO4000 series includes six members: three models with two or four channels and three with four channels. The HDO6000 line has three members, all with four channels (see table). The HDO4000 instruments use a 1.6-GHz Intel Celeron microprocessor with 2 GB or random-access memory (RAM) for control and processing. They feature 12.5 Mpoints/channel and 50 Mpoints maximum trace capture memory, also offering spectrum-analyzer capability as an option. The HD6000 scopes incorporate an Intel i5 microprocessor with 4 GB of RAM and include the spectrum-analyzer functionality as a standard feature. They include 50 Mpoints/channel and 250 Mpoints maximum trace capture memory.

Both scope lines pack a great deal of measurement power into their compact housings. They provide extensive triggering capabilities, including edge, glitch, width, logic, runt, and slew rate triggering, or by television standard (such as NTSC, PAL, SECAM, HDTV-720p). They also offer a host of automatic measurement functions for a given waveform, such as for amplitude, area, base, delay, rise time, fall time, standard deviation, overshoot, frequency, maximum, mean, minimum, and skew. As many as eight of these (plus additional measurement functions) can be calculated at once for any waveform, whether live on the screen or retrieved from memory. The scopes also include a generous collection of mathematical functions, including sum, difference, product, ratio, absolute value, averaging, floor, integral, invert, reciprocal, square, square root, and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). 

Additional measurement aids include WaveScan, which is an advanced search-and-find function that automatically analyzes waveforms for runts, glitches, and other signal abnormalities. History mode, which is always active, constantly captures waveforms in a buffer memory for quick recall with the push of a button. Sequence mode, which is ideal for capturing fast pulses in quick succession, can be used to tie together segments in memory and create a single waveform display.

The LabNotebook documentation and report generation tool saves and documents all waveforms and screen settings. The spectrum analyzer software (an option on the HDO4000 scopes) provides a familiar spectrum analysis interface for easy viewing and measuring in the frequency domain. It allows operators to set markers for frequency and magnitude measurements across the spectrum spectrogram display and show how a spectrum display changes with time. The optional power analysis software and optional serial trigger and decode options provide automatic power analysis and advanced triggering, respectively. Triggering can be conducted on a wide range of protocols, including UART/RS-232, MIL-STD-1553, and ARINC429.  

The HDO4000 and HDO6000 oscilloscopes bring a great deal of measurement power through 1.0 GHz in packages measuring just 11.48 x 15.72 x 5.17 in. (291.7 x 399.4 x 131.31 mm) and weighing just 12.9 lbs. They include versatile connectivity, with a total of six Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports per instrument, an Ethernet interface, and optional GPIB port. Prices start at $9000 for the 200-MHz model HDO4022.

Teledyne LeCroy, 700 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977-6499; (800) 553-2769, FAX: (845) 578-5985,

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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