A Tektronix MDO3104 Oscilloscope is networked via Ethernet and WiFi to a Mac laptop computer using a LAN connection.
Greetings and welcome to our 65th Test and Measurement video. Today’s topic is a simple and highly effective way to connect a Tektronix Series 3000 oscilloscope to a Local Area Network. There are other options, but this is easy and there is lots of functionality because you can see not only the display on your laptop or desktop computer, but you can also control it remotely as we shall see. And since the connection is browser based, it works equally well on a Mac or PC.
To get started, the oscilloscope must be connected to the Local Area Network. The instrument is equipped with an Ethernet port on the back panel and there is a network interface card just inside the enclosure. The modem, generally supplied by the Internet provider, is similarly equipped, so it is a matter of running an Ethernet cable between the two. This cable usually consists of type UTP (unshielded twisted pair) in a loose-fitting jacket, which is available as a pre-terminated flexible patch cord or it may be cut to length and field terminated. The maximum length is 100 meters (328 feet) for CAT 6 cable, although longer spans are possible with one or more AC- or battery-powered intermediate Ethernet hubs, switches or routers.
Once the connection is completed, the oscilloscope is online as long as it and the modem are powered up. It may be necessary to configure the computer. Assuming that from the modem to the computer there is either a wireless or cable connection, the procedure is simply to press the Utility button in the oscilloscope below the horizontal soft keys. Menu items appear along the bottom edge of the display. Press the soft key associated with Utility Page.
This brings up a vertical menu to the left of the display. Using Multipurpose Knob a, select I/O. this brings up another menu across the bottom. Press Ethernet & LXI.
The menu to the right of the display now contains the Local Area Network controls. The LAN status at the top will be either green, normal, or if you pull the Ethernet cable from its port on the back panel, red signifying a fault. The Test Connection button can also be pressed to check the status.
Next, in this menu press LAN Settings to view the network parameters configured in the oscilloscope. LAN Reset will restore the network defaults to the oscilloscope. Pressing More at the bottom permits the user to change names and password, but this is not ordinarily necessary.
The pane that is displayed shows Subnet Mask and similar information, but you can usually make note of the oscilloscope IP address and type it into the computer address bar after the browser has been started. Then, hit Enter or Return.
In the manner of an ordinary Internet website, the LXI Welcome Page comes up. It is a good idea to bookmark this page in the computer. It is possible to access the oscilloscope in two or more computers, i.e. as many as are within Wifi range of the modem. This would be effective for teaching a class on oscilloscope technology, assuming each student had access to a computer.
If you leave the Ethernet cable in place, the network connection will always be there, whenever you want it. All you have to do is click on the bookmark.
And if you go to the homepage, your instrument information is right there, including the firmware version. On the same page, readily available, is all the network information, so if you want to configure one or more additional computers, it will not be necessary to go into the utility configuration page.
The network is fully interactive, so to see it in action, click on Instrument Control. The oscilloscope display is shown on the computer. Using controls in the oscilloscope, the computer display responds with very slight latency. When connected, the oscilloscope responds to controls on its front panel and/or controls on the computer screen. If the instrument has been defaulted, we may have to turn the waveform and grid intensity back up to 100 percent. Now, to see how it works, we’ll press AFG and tune in some different waveforms. It may be necessary to press Autoset.
The amazing thing is that now the oscilloscope can actually be controlled by the computer. You just apply the mouse and click on the controls at the bottom of the computer display. For example, let’s take a look at some spectra frequency displays. Click on Math, then FFT.
There is the square wave, with extensive harmonic content. And here is Sine wave, with almost all of the spectral energy confined to the fundamental spike at the left. If you want to see some awesome harmonics, look at noise.
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