By David Herres
The Tektronix MDO3104 oscilloscope can be connected to a computer in several ways.
If all you want to do is transmit the scope display to a computer, including any on-screen menus and information, insert a flash drive into the scope’s USB port, marked with its distinctive logo, on the front panel. With the desired waveform and other content (such as a digital voltmeter reading) displayed, press Save below the screen. If the flash drive is absent, a message box will announce the media is missing and ask you to insert it. Press Menu Off to remove this message box. Any other menus or information bars will remain until the Menu Off button is pressed repeatedly to remove each in turn.
With a working flash drive in place, again press Save. A message will appear briefly announcing this operation has completed. Turn off the scope and remove the flash drive. You can then insert the drive in your computer and manipulate the file as necessary.
If you need to control, as opposed to merely view, the scope from a remote computer, you need another method. One is to connect the oscilloscope to the Internet. Obtain a Cat 5e stranded jumper with RJ 45 modular connectors at both ends. It should be made up or bought in the straight-through, not crossover, configuration. Plug one end into the scope and the other into your Internet modem, be it satellite dish or cable.
Immediately upon connecting, a message will appear on the scope informing you of the DHCP status. This is all important because it contains the instrument’s IP address. Write down that number for future reference.
Open a browser window in the remote computer. Type the IP number in the address bar and hit the Enter or Return key. The current oscilloscope display will appear in the computer window and will change in real time as the scope is used. Bookmark the site for future reference.
Across the bottom of the screen is a bar containing everything you need to control the oscilloscope from the remote location. For example, you can click on AFG to bring up the arbitrary function generator in the oscilloscope and it will appear instantly on the computer display as well as on the oscilloscope screen. (This assumes that the BNC cable is properly connected from the AFC port on the scope rear panel to a channel on the front panel.) Click on Measure and put the DVM in AC RMS Mode to display the voltage, or in the frequency mode for that information. Note where Multipurpose a and b knobs are controlled in the control bar at the bottom of the display on the computer end.
In this fashion, someone can view and control the oscilloscope remotely. Other methods of connecting the MSO3104 oscilloscope to a computer involve Tektronix proprietary software. VISA and e*Scope may be used, and information is available at www.tektronix.com.