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The Data sheet for the AFG1022 stated that "ArbExpress makes user defined waveforms editing extremely easy” which led us to believe that it would be possible to create a waveform in ARB Express and then upload it to the AFG1022.
However whilst the AFG1022 is correctly identified as connected in the main window of ARB Express, when we try to select an instrument to write to in the waveform setup we do not find the AFG1022 model listed amongst the many other model options available. Attempting to select a different instrument such as say the AFG3022 simply results in an error message stating that the selected instrument is not the same as the connected device. So does anyone know if the AFG 1022 can actually be programmed by ARB Express?? Are we missing some patch to the software that will add the AFG1022 to the list of available instruments??
We have also noticed that if we create a waveform in ARB Express and save it, that 2 files are generated..... which one of these should be selected to be sent to the AFG?
The data sheet for the 1022 does say ""Compatible with ArbExpress, the user-defined arbitrary waveforms generated by the free software can be loaded on the AFG1022 easily with a USB memory stick."
So I have tried to do that. I can see my USB memory device on the 1022 screen and see the waveform file that is on it. Selecting the 'callout' oprtion - the only one available, I get a message with an exclamation mark saying the file has been successfully read - but I cant then find any way to actually get that waveform displayed on the screen. I suspect that the reason for this is because there is no option to save the waveform in ARB as an AFG1022 compatible waveform. It seems to select the AFG 3012 by default. The User manual is of absolutely no use whatsoever as there is no mention at all of loading waveforms from a USB stick - only saving waveforms to it. Two emails to tech support have gone unanswered......
I have now figured out that after pressing the 'callout' button the way to display the waveform is to keep pressing 'back' through the menus.. Nil points for the manual completely failing to describe loading waveforms from USB. The manual is called a 'quick start user guide' which kind of suggests that there is also a 'full' manual but I can't find such a thing on the website.
I've also noticed that regardless of the pp or frequency values set in ARB any waveform imported into the 1022 seems to default to 4.25Vpp at a frequency of 5kHz. Similarly a waveform created on the 1022 and exported to ARB always displays in ARB at 2Vpp regardless of the value set on the 1022.
ArbExpress is only intended to introduce the concept of arbitrary waveforms. typically, customers use MATLAB or Python for advanced waveform synthesis. Since these are already fantastic tools, I personally don't see any way we could improve them even if we charged for ArbExpress.
- I have been able to use ArbExpress(v3.1) to create waveforms, save them to USB stick, insert stick to scope and load them. Noting that since ArbExpress still doesn't support this instrument you have to pretend you have an AFG3000 and ignore the consequentially incorrect sample rate shown, but this method works.
- I can connect the AWG1022 by USB to the (Windows 7) PC, and it appears as a USB Test and Measurement Device (IVI). However, ArbExpress still says "Arb: Status: Not Connected", and if I try to connect using Communication->AFG/AWG File Transfer and control, I get a blue screen of death.
- Having created a number of waveform files I now wish to use regularly, I would like to save these to internal memory (since it seems that if I use external USB waveforms these are not reloaded at start-up, even with PowerOn set to Last).
Please could Tektronix consider offering better support for this product; I would suggest any/all of the following would dramatically improve the usefulness and usability of the instrument:
- Update ArbExpress to support AFG1022 for waveform generation
- Update ArbExpress to support AFG1022 for direct waveform file transfer
- Provide Matlab example code to generate and load a waveform to a USB-connected AFG1022
- Publish the file format specification for .tfw waveform files, so we can create our own in any tool of choice
If updates to address the ArbExpress issues are not likely (if it is no longer being supported) then please could I strongly request either
(a) Example Matlab code to generate a simple arbitrary waveform file, or
(b) The .tfw waveform file format to be made public
(I realise both of these are effectively the same thing, since to someone familiar with Matlab creation of the waveform data itself is trivial).
At the very least, a response of some form would be appreciated.
For entry level scopes go Rigol (if you can live with some of the quirks) or Agilent/Keysight or Hameg/R&S, and for mid-range or high-end scopes go for LeCroy (which is pretty much the leader in digital scopes).
For AWGs, if you want a decent entry level one go for Rigol or Siglent, and if you want something more advanced go for Agilent/Keysight (if you want highend then I'd also consider Tek).
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