Digitally storing single sweep scope output waveform

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Levitylab, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Levitylab

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 16, 2013
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    I'm a bit rusty on interfacing a computer with an analog signal and am hoping someone can steer me in the right direction. I'm running a science experiment that involves monitoring an accelerometer's analog output signal with a Tektronix 465B oscilloscope. I would like to digitally store single sweep outputs from my scope, so I can study the waveform at my leisure without having to squint at the screen as it briefly illuminates.

    Is there some software package available that can store single sweep outputs from your scope on your computer? Would I have to first convert the analog signal to a digital signal, before inputting it into a USB port, or is there some software that would do that conversion automatically?

    I'm not sure it's OK to simply type in a URL with this post. But here's the URL of the webpage where my experiment is described: www.starflight1.freeyellow.com
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    The Tektronix 465B is an analog oscilloscope.
    It has no posiblities to store the trace.
    If you want to store a trace, a digital scope is needed.

    Bertus
     
  3. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    There exists USB scopes that take analog in and send the waveform data to an application running on a computer. There is a wide range of them.

    Here is a Google Search:
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=usb+scope

    Or... If you know when the event will occur, use a digital camera with a long exposure time on a tripod.
     
  4. spinnaker

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  5. bertus

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    Hello,

    @spinnaker , that is still analog as it is an polaroid camera.
    A digital camera could do the trick, but only make a raster picture.
    This still can not be used for doing analysis.

    Bertus
     
  6. spinnaker

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    I was teasing you Bertus.
     
  7. kubeek

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    Analog scopes have a single shot trigger that lets you snap the wave with a camera. Otherwise you are looking at buying a digital scope as others have already said.
     
  8. Roderick Young

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    Feb 22, 2015
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    Seems like for your experiment, the main thing you need is to know whether the scope triggered at all, and in single shot mode, that should be possible. If and when you get reliable triggering, you can proceed to capture traces. The idea of using a camera hood is not a bad one, but it would be much better to borrow or rent a digital scope if you can.
     
  9. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    A USB oscilloscope is probably the cheapest way to record the data with a computer.
    For observing the low frequencies of an accelerometer output, you can probably find one for less than a $100.
     
  10. MaxHeadRoom

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  11. Levitylab

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 16, 2013
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    Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm going to look into buying a USB scope as suggested by several posters, and will check the links provided.
     
  12. spinnaker

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    Before you jump to a USB, just take a look at the Rigol DS1102E. I got mine from Saelig, I thought a very reasonable price.
     
  13. Levitylab

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    Mar 16, 2013
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    Spinnaker, thanks for the reference on the DS1102E Digital Oscilloscope. But I've been browsing the net on ways to convert your PC into an oscilloscope. Going this route would enable me to take my Tektronix 465B scope completely out of the loop. I could put it down in the basement and have more space on my work table. I'm kinda giddy with excitement over this simple solution. Here's a link that I found for accomplishing this, though there are other links on the internet for doing this: http://www.instructables.com/id/DPScope-Build-Your-Own-USBPC-Based-Oscilloscope/

    My setup uses a one-off pulse to trigger the 465B to do a sweep during an experiment run. This pulse presumably could be used to trigger the PCscope software to also do a single sweep. The advantage of the PCscope is that it could store these single sweeps for leisurely analysis at a later time. I could store the waveform sweeps from many experimental runs, and even post them on my personal webpage that describes the experiment. My only concern is sampling rate. I have to see what my requirements are.
     
  14. spinnaker

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    You did mean the USB scope that looks to the PC and is operated by the PC correct? If so then:

    So would the DS1002E. The advantages are a faster scope (usually those PC USB scopes are slower) . No PC is needed giving you even more space. You would have the option to capture images to a thumb drive or connect it to a PC and have software control it over the USB connection.

    Just a sample of images you can capture on the USB. This also could have been done from the PC. I can see if I can post of image of what it looks like when you capture from the PC. If I remember correctly, you can make the image bigger, the size of the screen. Let me know if you want to see it.

    [​IMG]

    P.S. Any options that you have turned on in the display will be captured in the image. It is sort of a screen shot.
     
  15. Levitylab

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  16. Levitylab

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    Spinnaker:

    I just refreshed the thread when I posted above, so hadn't seen you latest post. Yes, the DS1002e model (I think you meant the DS1102e) would be much faster than a PC converted to a scope. But when I looked at the 400 dollar price tag I had second thoughts. I'm hoping I can get by via the cheaper route of a PC converted to an oscilloscope.
     
  17. spinnaker

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    You can go with the cheaper model too. It has the same options. And if I recall correctly, it can be hacked. Check the Dave Jones videos on the Rigol. I recall and an article on hacking one of them to make it faster. It is just an OS hack. Which they may have fixed by now. :)

    One thing to remember too is it is better to pay more now than twice later. ;)
     
  18. Levitylab

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    Mar 16, 2013
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    Wow, I just found this el-cheapo PC-scope interface box for only 20 dollars. http://www.amazon.com/VELLEMAN-PCS1...&ascsubtag=910715777-24-1808185700.1450195639

    I only need 1 channel. It says 12 MHz, which I assume is the sampling rate. There must be a ton of these devices available on the internet. Perhaps local electronics stores carry them, and I could just drive out and start using one today. It would probably make sense to get a somewhat higher end model, under 100 dollars for greater versatility.
     
  19. spinnaker

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    Just be aware of this

    "THIS UNIT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH LAPTOPS. A NATIVE PARALLEL PORT IS REQUIRED"


    And it is my understanding the the parallel port does not work on Windows 7 and above. I am running into that issue with a CNC router I am purcahsing.
     
  20. Levitylab

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    Mar 16, 2013
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    Spinnaker:

    I just saw your latest post after I posted. I totally agree, that it's best to spend more initially, than much more later. I'll check out the Dave Jones videos on Youtube in a moment.
     
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