How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

An oscilloscope is a commonly used measuring instrument with powerful data acquisition and analysis capabilities. It can also export the collected waveforms and put them on a computer for analysis. This function is very similar to the waveform recorder, so can we use the oscilloscope as a waveform recorder?

Abstract: The oscilloscope is a commonly used measuring instrument with powerful data acquisition and analysis capabilities. It can also export the collected waveforms and put them on the computer for analysis. This function is very similar to the waveform recorder, so can we use the oscilloscope as a waveform recorder?

The traditional waveform recorder can collect signals for a long time and save the data to the hard disk of the device. The length of the acquisition time depends on the sampling rate and the capacity of the hard disk. The disadvantage is that it does not have the real-time analysis function, which is the strength of the oscilloscope. An oscilloscope can analyze waveforms while acquiring over a long period of time. The oscilloscope is not equipped with a large-capacity hard disk. To use the oscilloscope as a recorder, it is necessary to maximize the storage depth.

1. Recording time

To record waveforms for a long time, storage capacity is an important indicator. ZDS4000 series oscilloscopes are equipped with a maximum storage depth of 512M. We know that:

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

In the case of sampling rate Sa = 20K/s,

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

That is, the waveform can be recorded for a maximum of 7.1 hours in a single time, which can cope with most of the field test scenarios.

2. Sampling settings

To fully utilize the long-term recording performance of the oscilloscope’s large memory depth, first enable the maximum memory depth. In the setting menu, set the storage depth to 512M, and set the storage area to be fixed, and keep the single channel open. In the single channel mode, the storage depth can reach the maximum. Then adjust the time base to 1ks/div, as shown in Figure 1 below, the oscilloscope will automatically enter the ROLL mode, and the ROLL mode can also be turned on manually.

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

Figure 1 Sampling setup

As shown in the green box, the sampling time of the oscilloscope reaches 25.6ks, which is 7.1 hours, and the sampling rate can be maintained at 20k/s. The rolling mode ensures that the data will not be interrupted during these 7.1 hours, and the latest data will always be retained.

3. Data export

After data acquisition, we can export and save the data in binary or CSV format, and then start the next round of sampling, which can achieve longer waveform recording. The oscilloscope supports three different export methods.

1. U disk export

Using U disk to export is the most commonly used waveform extraction method. The advantage of this method is that there are no restrictions on usage scenarios, and only one U disk is needed to complete the export operation. Methods as below:

1) Insert the U disk

2) Open the Save/Recall menu of the oscilloscope

3) Select the storage type as binary file or CSV

4) Select the storage path as U disk/udisk

5) Click to save the file to export the waveform

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

Figure 2 U disk export method

2. Supporting software Wave Analyze

The PC software Wave Analyze provided with the ZDS oscilloscope has powerful functions, including waveform export. Wave Analyze is connected to the oscilloscope through the network, and the waveform collected by the oscilloscope can be uploaded to the PC for further analysis, or exported as a file. This method needs to rely on PC software, and the advantage is that waveform analysis can also be performed on the PC side, and the operability is stronger. Methods as below:

1) Install the oscilloscope PC software

2) Use a network cable to connect the PC and the oscilloscope

3) Open the PC software and set the oscilloscope IP to connect

4) Click the capture button to capture a frame of waveform

5) Export waveform file

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

Figure 3. The waveform file exported by the host computer software

3. Web access

The last method is to use the web page. The ZDS oscilloscope supports web access. After connecting to the oscilloscope through the network, open the browser and enter the IP address of the oscilloscope to access the oscilloscope. In the web page, you can remotely operate the oscilloscope through virtual keys, and you can directly access the stored files in the oscilloscope. This method can export the waveform files saved to the local oscilloscope, and is also suitable for exporting files such as screenshots and reports. Methods as below:

1) Save the waveform to the local oscilloscope (Save/Recall menu)

2) Use a network cable to connect the PC and the oscilloscope

3) Open the browser and enter the oscilloscope IP (chrome browser is recommended)

4) Click the File Browse tab

5) Right-click the target waveform file and save as

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

Figure 4 Web page to access oscilloscope storage files

Summarize

The ZDS4054 Plus oscilloscope has a large storage depth of 512M, and can record a maximum of 7.1 hours of waveforms in a single time. It can flexibly use the effect of a waveform recorder during real-time analysis. It should be noted that the waveform acquisition will be interrupted during the export and save process. Due to the storage mechanism, the oscilloscope cannot continuously and seamlessly acquire two waveforms for 7.1 hours. It is a small regret, but its deep storage and waveform export functions are in To a certain extent, this defect is made up for. While realizing long-term waveform recording, the effect of remote long-term monitoring can also be achieved with rolling measurement and remote control functions. Please pay attention to the follow-up articles for more applications.

How to use an oscilloscope as a waveform recorder

Figure 5 ZDS4054 Plus

The Links:   LM190E08-TLA1 LM32019P2 PM100RSE120

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