Tips, Tools and Applications for the Electronic Industry in Europe

Total Phase announces The LAB eShop as Premier Distributor

Posted on 2017/06/21 by George

For international customers, Total Phase relay on robust Distributor Network to provide sales support and fast order fulfillment. This level of support for international customers has recently improved with the introduction of the Premier Distributor Program.

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How to ease hardware integration with embedded software

Posted on 2017/06/13 by George

Embedded systems.  Often the hardware is designed by one group and then handed to the software team to design the other half of the project. This can lead to assumptions about hardware functionality that may result in a difficult debugging process.

In the article Minimizing risk: embedded software and today's medical devices, Stephen Olson describes a specific instance where this problem of disconnect between hardware and software has occurred and describes how it could have been prevented.  In this case, the connectivity of a USB port failed causing data loss. All functions of the embedded chip were activated, causing it to send intermittent signals through the bus that in turn caused the host computer to shut down the USB port.

In essence, embedded hardware was overdriven by software. The data was being collected from a patient who was being analyzed with a complex medical system. The system had to be reset requiring the patient to reschedule the appointment for another day. It’s not hard to see why this is a problem for the end user – it costs time and money, our most valuable resources.

But why did this happen? The software had been written with the assumption the USB controller would never fail. The process of collecting data was directly related to transmitting data. The system needed the ability to actively store data while tracking the test, even in the event of power loss or system shut down.  But due to the assumption the USB controller would never fail, this use case was considered during software design.

How would you fix such a problem should it occur? Rigorous testing through a variety of use cases would likely have identified this issue.  What happens when an issue is identified with device operation but the underlying cause in unknown?  This is when debug tools, such as protocol analyzers, can become useful.  In this case, a USB protocol analyzer, such as the Beagle USB 480 Power Protocol Analyzer would have provided great value.

We have worked with a medical device company facing a similar issue, only their problem was found during extensive lab testing. They were seeing total shut down of the USB bus during certain test sequences but were unable to determine the cause, thus preventing them from resolving their issue.  In the field, there is little room for medical device failure or unexpected shutdown so fixing this problem was of the utmost importance.

After learning about the issue, we introduced the Beagle USB 480 Power Protocol Analyzer  - Ultimate Edition.  This tool is designed specifically to track both USB data transfers as well as VBUS power events.  This allowed them to correlate the bus shut down, power loss, with the data communication occurring at that time – allowing them to identify what test condition was causing the failure.  Additionally, the Ultimate edition has Advanced State-Based Triggering that allowed them to set up conditions and run repeatedly through tests until the failure occur.  At that time, the trace would capture the most recent set of data for analysis. Through the use of the Beagle USB 480 Power analyzer, the issue was identified and resolved within weeks, allowing production to move forward.

Wondering if a protocol analyzer or other development tool could help solve your problem?

 

Measure VBUS in correlation to USB protocol

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Siglent SSA3032X Spectrum Analyzer Review and Experiments

Posted on 2017/06/06 by George

Review on Siglent's SSA3000X series spectrum analyzer and all the options. There is some RF information for beginners and usage experiments are also performed.

Firmware version 1.2.8.2.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

0:00 Intro
0:33 Unboxing and discussion of inputs
1:24 Screen
1:59 Build quality, fan noise, user interface
5:35 AM and FM demodulation
6:18 Average noise measurements
9:11 Phase noise
9:46 Spurious readings and possible shielding issue
12:25 Amplitude accuracy
12:40 Tracking generator evaluation and experiments
15:35 Advanced measurement kit option
16:13 EasySpectrum software and EMI measurement option
17:47 Introduction to measuring antenna performance
19:30 Reflection measurement software and hardware experiment
21:35 Reflection bridge hardware directivity discussion
22:36 Limitations of directivity experiment
24:18 Final judgement and conclusion

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Perfect time for a New Moon

Posted on 2017/05/30 by George

Did you know, on May 25, the Moon will be located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun? In this position it will not be visible in the night sky making it easier to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters.

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Siglent SDS 1202X-E Unboxing and Review Teaser - Part 2

Posted on 2017/05/09 by George

The second part of Siglent SDS1202X-E unboxing and review. Enjoy watching!

SIGLENT’s new SDS1000X-E Series Super Phosphor Oscilloscope is available in 200 MHz only. It has a maximum sample rate of 1 GSa/s and a standard record length of 14 Mpts. For ease-of-use, the most commonly used functions can be accessed with its user friendly front panel design.

Siglent SDS1202X-E details

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Siglent SDS 1202X-E Unboxing and Review Teaser - Part 1

Posted on 2017/05/05 by George

The first detailed review of the new Siglent SDS 1202X-E is finally available. Watch it here!

SIGLENT’s new SDS1000X-E Series Super Phosphor Oscilloscope is available in 200 MHz only. It has a maximum sample rate of 1 GSa/s and a standard record length of 14 Mpts. For ease-of-use, the most commonly used functions can be accessed with its user friendly front panel design.

Have a look at the specs here

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Total Phase Announces Support for Windows 10 (32-bit & 64-bit)

Posted on 2017/04/26 by George

Total Phase has completed testing the compatibility of our Windows USB Drivers with the following products:

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Type-C or not to Type-C

Posted on 2017/04/25 by George

This week's episode of Fish Fry starts off with a bang -- the Big Bang! We investigate a new study from a multi-national team of researchers that investigates the cosmic microwave background of the universe. This research team claims that hidden in this cosmic white noise is "substanial proof" that we live in a holographic universe.

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Complete Cable Tests with the Totalphase Advanced Cable Tester

Posted on 2017/04/20 by George

The Advanced Cable Tester enables essential thorough continuity testing, DC resistance measurement for safe operation/reliability, and E-Marker verification, without expensive scopes, custom fixtures, and highly trained personnel, saving a lot of money.

Watch this short video and learn how to test your active cables within seconds.

 

Related products

 

Product Name Summary

Promira Serial Platform

The Promira Serial Platform is the most advanced serial device ever for USB, I2C, and SPI protocols.

Advanced Cable Tester - Level 1 Application

The Total Phase Advanced Cable Tester - Level 1 is the quickest and most convenient way to test USB Type-C cables. It provides thorough continuity testing, DC resistance measurement for safe operation/reliability, and E-Marker verification.

Advanced Cable Tester  - Level 2 Application

The Level 2 application goes beyond this to enable high-fidelity data throughput measurement at up to 12GBit/s.

 

Learn more about the Advanced Cable Tester

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Siglent SDS1202X-E Oscilloscope Teardown by EEVblog

Posted on 2017/04/19 by George

New teardown of the new Siglent SDS1202X-E 200MHz 359€ oscilloscope by EEVblog.

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