A function generator is one of the most common test equipment units in an electronics lab. This testing solution enables engineers to replicate a wide variety of waveforms including triangular, sine, square, and sawtooth. Today’s function generators are powerful and they are designed to deliver the performance required by modern technology. Compared to their predecessors, they offer impressive speed and precision and have become a staple in modern metrology laboratories.
Function generators continue find applications in various industries. They are extensively used by engineers and technicians in research and design, development, manufacturing, and testing of electronic systems. They are also a popular testing solution for maintenance teams.
Variety of Models and Uses
Owing to this diversity of applications, function generators come in a variety of models. Some are suitable for general purpose applications while others are ideal for specific uses. By working with a function generator, a user can reproduce virtually all types of signals. Depending on an application, a user may apply this testing solution for generating analog, digital, custom, standard, or distorted waveforms. Engineers and technicians can easily vary different parameters of a waveform in order to reproduce an exact replication of a wave.
Some factors that influence choice of function generators include frequency, number of channels available, bandwidth, sample rate, and vertical resolution. Manufacturers have extensively exploited technological offerings to improve functionality over the years. Function generators have been advancing in both digital and analog fronts. More growth has been recorded in the digital front owing to the rapid growth in digital communications.
Specialized models offer impressive performance for specific applications. They are optimized to generate precise waveforms of particular characteristics. Some of the applications that require specialized function generators include satellite communications, microwave applications, and the defense industry. A multi-purpose function generator is suitable for most basic laboratory tests. Although analog function generators are cost effective and easy to use, the current trend in technology is favoring the digital designs.
Usually digital function generators employ the direct digital synthesis technique. To achieve the waveform replication process, these DDS-based test solutions utilize a phase accumulator, a DAC, and a look-up table. Compared to their analog models, the digital function generators are capable of delivering higher accuracy and stability. The impressive performance is attributed to its crystal controlled clock. Another factor is the impressive spectral purity they offer. Overall, digital function generators are an ideal option for test applications that in which low phase noise is desired.
It is necessary for a user to consider all the mentioned factors when choosing a function generator for a particular application. A thorough understanding of an application and its scope enables the user to narrow down to the types that match the requirements. Apart from brand new models, a user can also opt to go for a used function generator. Used models are a cost effective solution when needed.
Test Equipment Connection offers high quality models from a variety of . Our in stock offerings include new, refurbished, and high quality used function generators. Contact us today for a quote.