Isolated scope for the budget-minded
Cleverscope in the UK showed its new 1-kV isolated channel oscilloscope dubbed the CS448. To keep costs down, Cleverscope instruments all use a PC for their display and user-interface via USB connection. The claim to fame of the CS448 for power applications is that each channel is isolated from the other, and ground, to a 1-kV working voltage. That lets it view the high-side gate drive in a power switch as it is switching. With Cleverscope4 application software (middle image), users can measure four channels (with one CS448) or eight channels (with two CS448s trigger and clock-linked) of isolated signals. A demo box (bottom image) generated signals for the CS448 to display at PCIM.
The CS448 retails for about $9,000. Cleverscope booth personnel pointed out that fiber-optic probes that would be necessary for providing the same level of isolation with conventional scopes run about $15,000 each, in addition to the cost of the scope itself.
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