Tool Location

Electronics

Tool Type

Testing

Additional Information

Overview

The waveform generator is capable of producing various voltage waveforms used to power circuits. Waveform parameters such as amplitude, frequency, DC offset, and phase can be adjusted. It is capable of outputting two distinct signals at the same time.

Capabilities

Frequency

The Waveform Generator can produce a frequency of up to 20 MHz

Peak-Peak

The Waveform Generator has a maximum peak to peak voltage of 20 V

Wave Types

Sine, square, ramp, pulse, triangle, Gaussian noise, PRBS (Pseudorandom Binary Sequence), and DC

PPE*

Safety Features*

Example Work

RC Car

Controlling an RC car with a waveform generator

How To Use This Tool

Setup

Simply power on the waveform generator by pressing the power button. It will take a moment to boot up.

Operation

  1. Connect a BNC cable from the desired channel output to the circuit.
  2. If both channels are to be used in tandem, they should be synchronized. Press the “trigger” hard button, then press the “Sync” soft button to turn on synchronization.
  3. To change the parameters of a specific channel, press the appropriate channel selection button. The display will change to display the parameters of that channel’s output waveform.
  4. Press the “Waveforms” hard button to pull up the list of possible output waves. To change which type of wave is outputted, select the appropriate soft button.
  5. To change waveform parameters:
  6. Press the “Parameters” hard button.
  7. Press the appropriate soft button for the parameter you wish to change
  8. The parameter value can be set using two methods:
  9. Type the desired value using the number pad, then select the appropriate unit magnitude (e.g. Hz, kHz, MHz, etc.) using the soft buttons.
  10. Use the two arrows under the adjustment knob to select a digit, then turn the knob to adjust its value.
  11. Pressing the “Units” hard button allows for the switching between frequency or period, amplitude/offset or high/low, and amplitude as peak-to-peak or RMS
  12. Note: if taking oscilloscope measurements, select the output load soft button and set it to “High Z”. Never take the output amplitude at face value, always measure it using an oscilloscope or Digital Multimeter.
  13. Once the waveform and parameters are chosen, press the “output” soft button to turn on the channel.
  14. Function settings can be saved and recalled using the “System” hard button menu. Settings can be saved to the FG or to a portable flash drive.
  15. The additional hard buttons offer additional control:
  16. “Modulate” can modulate the signal as either FM or AM.
  17. “Sweep” allows for the controlled, periodic alteration of the signal frequency.
c. “Burst” pulses the voltage as dictated by the set parameters.
Clean-Up
  • To shut off the generator, hold down the power button until the display goes dark.
  • Return BNC cables to the rack.
  • Clear desk of scrap wire and components.
Basic Troubleshooting
  • The amplitude is half/twice what is set.

o Change output load between High-Z, 50 Ohms, or a specific load.

  • The function generator is not powering on.

o Check that the power cable is plugged in, and make sure that the electrical station is also plugged in.

When restarted, the function generator will always reset the outputs to 1 kHz, 100 mVpp sine waves.

References:

Keysight Technologies. (2018, July 18). 33500B Series Waveform Generator Data Sheet. Retrieved from Keysight: https://literature.cdn.keysight.com/litweb/pdf/5991-0692EN.pdf?id=2202606

Author Information

Article was written by Alex DeBate

Last Updated: September 7 2018.

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