Author Topic: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software  (Read 5175 times)

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Offline Arcticas

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who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« on: May 22, 2014, 09:07:27 PM »
Hi Everybody,

I am using a LeCroy scope that is build upon the XStream measurement software.
I am interested in knowing other people that use those scopes as well.

Did anybody have a closer look to the software and especially how to use the options that are disabled?

Pierre
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 10:06:22 PM »
I am using a LeCroy scope that is build upon the XStream measurement software.
I am interested in knowing other people that use those scopes as well.

I have a WaveSurfer (which is XStream as well), and hopefully will get some WaveMaster 8000 or WavePro 7000 in the near future as I think these scopes are great. I'd take them over a Agilent Keysight (or a Tek or R&S) scope any day.

BTW: XStream is not just a piece of software, it is actually the name of the architecture (hw+sw) that is used in LeCroy's Windows-based scopes.

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Did anybody have a closer look to the software and especially how to use the options that are disabled?

The system for options in LeCroy's XStream scopes is the same as on the older VxWorks-based scopes (i.e. Waverunner LT. WavePro 900 and their SDA/DDA counterparts) and the 9300/LC Series which runs LeCro's own OS, the scope's S/N and ID is used to calculate an individual key for a certain option.

In theory I guess you could just try all possible combinations from 1111-1111-1111-1111 to FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF but this would certainly take forever, and you probably also enable options that don't work with your scope or potentially might damage it (the keys are written into the aquisition board NVRAM, not just in a file on the hard drive). Not sure I'd risk that.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 02:36:41 AM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Offline Arcticas

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 10:32:13 PM »
I have a WaveSurfer (which is XStream as well), and hopefully will get some WaveMaster 8000 or WavePro 7000 in the near future as I think these scopes are great. I'd take them over a Agilent Keysight (or a Tek or R&S) scope any day.
Myself I have a Waverunner and an SDA from LeCroy. An Infiniium and InfiniiVision of Agilent.
The Agilent scopes have very low noise and high repition rate but small memory and lack many features of the LeCroy.
I do agree that the LeCroy scopes are great. Their disadvantages in my opinion are: lound fan noise, high current consumption (my SDA takes over 700W), heavy weight.
In the end I take the Agilents for every day debugging and the LeCroy for more complicate signal analysis and documentation.

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In theory I guess you could just try all possible combinations from 1111-1111-1111-1111 to FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF but this would certainly take forever,
That was what I started with just to see what is going on. But brute forcing all possible combinations takes too long.

So I did some research in the code. I found where the key gets collected and can see the check result. I can also modify the check result to make it look correct. But what I want is knowing how the check routine works and to calculate valid keys. I know already that the check routine is running in another thread and communication uses remote procedure calls. But I did not figure out yet which code is executed for the key check.

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and you probably also enable options that don't work with your scope or potentially might damage it (the keys are written into the aquisition board NVRAM, not just in a file on the hard drive). Not sure I'd risk that.

I agree. I see in the code that there are options for all kind of scope models. So it is necessary to figure out which options fit to the individual scope.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 10:37:56 PM by Arcticas »
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 11:14:57 PM »
Myself I have a Waverunner and an SDA from LeCroy. An Infiniium and InfiniiVision of Agilent.
The Agilent scopes have very low noise and high repition rate but small memory and lack many features of the LeCroy.
I do agree that the LeCroy scopes are great. Their disadvantages in my opinion are: lound fan noise, high current consumption (my SDA takes over 700W), heavy weight.

The SDAs which are based on the WaveMaster are indeed quite loud, but I can't complain about the WaveSurfer or the WaveRunner 6000's and Xi/Xi-A I've seen. Certainly not worse than the Agilent's I'm working with.

700W is a lot, but depending on what SDA you have and what options it's not really that much, especially considering that they came with powerhungry and inefficient Netburst (Pentium4 and their Celeron counterparts) processors if it's one of the older SDAs. The Tek and Agilent equivalents are not much better.

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In the end I take the Agilents for every day debugging and the LeCroy for more complicate signal analysis and documentation.

I'd take a LeCroy scope (aside from the crappy WaveAce series) over a comparable Agilent any day, not only because of the better signal analysis capabilities but also because I actually prefer the LeCroy user interface over Agilent's.

I don't mind the wfm rate as I yet have to come across a situation where a glitch that could be captured on a high wfm/s Agilent could not equially be captured on a LeCroy, even on the older VsWorks-based models.

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and you probably also enable options that don't work with your scope or potentially might damage it (the keys are written into the aquisition board NVRAM, not just in a file on the hard drive). Not sure I'd risk that.

I agree. I see in the code that there are options for all kind of scope models. So it is necessary to figure out which options fit to the individual scope.

On the upside, many features that were only meant for larger models may work on smaller models as well, as often they aren't offered purely to segregate product lines.

You should be able to find out which option is supported on which model by looking at the scope spec sheets and old catalogues, but be careful as sometimes with firmware/software updates the name of options change.

Thinking about it' I'd really like to see serial decoding and histograms on my WaveSurfer.
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Offline free_electron

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 11:42:28 PM »
I got a few 71xx and 72xx a few SDA and DDA (special version of sda with addons for harddisk dda = disk drive analyser) as wel as wavesurfers (rebadged iwatsu) and some 7zi's.

We only use em to capture long events due to their deep memory. Everyone in the lab curses and swears at those machines. They have tremendous dead times, are loud, noisy(signal wise), forever caught in 'calibrating' (because their a/d converters suck. Change a few degrees and they go nuts) and he software is buggy and crashes. Spin the timebase knob too fast and the scope bluescreens.(the win2k based machines)

The 7zi is made from crappy plastic that splits over time. Whenever i move it i have to backtrack to pick up all the knobs that have fallen off. Whatever moron came up with the idea of having a removable frontpanel that could be connected using a usb cable should be fired and banned from ever designing anything, electronic or other. There is so much play and the panel fits so bad it breaks contact with the mating connector. So you push abutton or jiggle a knob and the scope goes pling-ploing, ploing-pling (usb disconnect, usb reconnect).

Processing is done on the built in pc . This makes the scope slow as molasses. Plus the pc fan kicks in full power. It's like sitting next to a damn vacuum cleaner.

Another gripe : Lecroy still has not figured out, after all these years, how to properly handle a rotary encoder. It goes from slow as snail scrolling to lightspeed in 2 clicks. Ever heard of a proportional speed algorithm ? Navigation (scrolling) is a pain. You want to move the trace a bit so you go slow.. Get frustrated that it crawls along at 1/10 division per click so you start turning a bit faster and all of a sudden you passed 10 screens.... There is no speed inbetween..

And some of the machines are bloody liars. I had their digital option module with 32 inputs. We dont use it anymore because we dont trust it. I have a 15 page report i wrote a few years ago with all the bugs in that horror. Turn of a channel, turn back on : data lost or corrupted. Zoom an area and the scope shows a completely different area. It took em 2 months to come back to me stating they could not reproduce the problem, so i spent 4 hours on the phone walking them through it step by strep. All that was needed was hook up the scope to its own calibrator output. Oopsie, yes, you are right.. It shouldn't do that... Oopsie, shouldn't do that either... Oopsie that's not right either...

Another two months later they had the audacity to send me a beta release with the comment : please install and verify of this one fixes the problems. Let us know if there is something that still doesnt work... It's a 50.000$ scope and i have to debug it for them ? Bugger off ! I took a black marker , changed the o to an a and the y to a p in their company name and shipped it back.

In short : i only use them when i need something very specific like long capture. For anything else i hate these machines. They are unusable both from a behavorial perpective, functional perspective and user interface perspective. I want /need a scope wher, when you click a button or rotate a dial the response is instantaneous. A scope that can keep time lock between stored and live data. A scope that behaves like a 54645D , that machine is 30 years old, runs on a 16MHz motorola 68k and response is like an analog machine. Click it and bang it's there. The 7zi is a quad core q6600 and it scrolls slower than my grandma in her walker.

Oh, and the probes are crap too. Flimzy pogo pin tips that break waaay too easy , overpriced rebadged hioki current probes and super noisy differential probes that can only do a few volts common mode
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Offline Arcticas

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 12:28:53 AM »
I got a few 71xx and 72xx a few SDA and DDA (special version of sda with addons for harddisk dda = disk drive analyser) as wel as wavesurfers (rebadged iwatsu) and some 7zi's.

We only use em to capture long events due to their deep memory. Everyone in the lab curses and swears at those machines. They have tremendous dead times, are loud, noisy(signal wise), forever caught in 'calibrating' (because their a/d converters suck. Change a few degrees and they go nuts) and he software is buggy and crashes. Spin the timebase knob too fast and the scope bluescreens.(the win2k based machines)

free_electron you name quite a few things that I have experianced as well with my LeCroy scopes. Still I am not that negative about them. I think those scopes are great for some tasks and annoying for others.

My waverunner has 12MPoints of memory. This is really useful for debugging of serial signals if you have to scroll back in time. On the other hand it makes the scope very slow if you use all the memory. I only figured out recently how to use the segmented memory which can help a lot. And this is a feature you get for free from LeCroy but costs additionally from Agilent.

I also see a lot of signal noise on the LeCroy. This is really great with Agilent. They have their own ADC chips which are superb. But when one of the ADC in my old 54825A was broken the replacement chip was over 2000 bucks. Finally I found one at Ebay.

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Processing is done on the built in pc . This makes the scope slow as molasses. Plus the pc fan kicks in full power. It's like sitting next to a damn vacuum cleaner.
On my waverunner I have changed the fan for a more quieter one. This helps a lot to stay concentrated while working for hours. I never understood why LeCroy did not manage to build a decend fan control.

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Another gripe : Lecroy still has not figured out, after all these years, how to properly handle a rotary encoder. It goes from slow as snail scrolling to lightspeed in 2 clicks. Ever heard of a proportional speed algorithm ? Navigation (scrolling) is a pain. You want to move the trace a bit so you go slow.. Get frustrated that it crawls along at 1/10 division per click so you start turning a bit faster and all of a sudden you passed 10 screens.... There is no speed inbetween..
Regarding the knobs you are right. Compared to Agilent the don't react smoothly. But you can compensate a lot using the touchscreen.

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And some of the machines are bloody liars. I had their digital option module with 32 inputs. We dont use it anymore because we dont trust it.
I assume you refer to the external digital option like MS32 and so on. A LeCroy representative told me that the MS32 is known to be crappy but at the time it was introduced they simple had nothing better. The newer MS250 is said to be much better. But I have not tried myself.

Then again if you try to do some documentation with an Agilent scope your are quickly lost. On my LeCroy I press a button and get the screen and all configuration saved to a nice file. This is just one of many advantages of using windows as base.

 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 01:26:33 AM »
I got a few 71xx and 72xx a few SDA and DDA (special version of sda with addons for harddisk dda = disk drive analyser) as wel as wavesurfers (rebadged iwatsu) and some 7zi's.

The WavePro 7000 as well as their SDA/DDA counterparts are also Iwatsu designs. WaveRunner 6zi, WavePro/WaveMaster/SDA/DDA 7zi/8zi and the HDO scopes are not (which unfortunately does show in their build quality)

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We only use em to capture long events due to their deep memory. Everyone in the lab curses and swears at those machines. They have tremendous dead times, are loud, noisy(signal wise), forever caught in 'calibrating' (because their a/d converters suck.

So just disable the recalibration function (it's a tick box in the settings to turn that off). Unless you work in an environment with huge temperature variations it's not really necessary anyways.

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Change a few degrees and they go nuts) and he software is buggy and crashes. Spin the timebase knob too fast and the scope bluescreens.(the win2k based machines)

Well, the WavePro 7000 Series was their first generation of Windows scopes, and the software and especially the W2k drivers did suffer from various bugs. However, these have been resolved in subsequent updates. I also don't know why you haven't upgraded the scopes to Windows XP, as they can be easily upgraded (it's also supported by LeCroy) and then are able to use newer software than the old W2k version.

And if you think these scopes were crap you obviously haven't used the first generation of HP Infiniium Windows scopes. We sent them right back because they were slow as hell and crashed on a very regular basis.

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The 7zi is made from crappy plastic that splits over time. Whenever i move it i have to backtrack to pick up all the knobs that have fallen off. Whatever moron came up with the idea of having a removable frontpanel that could be connected using a usb cable should be fired and banned from ever designing anything, electronic or other. There is so much play and the panel fits so bad it breaks contact with the mating connector. So you push abutton or jiggle a knob and the scope goes pling-ploing, ploing-pling (usb disconnect, usb reconnect).

Yes, the build quality seems to have decreased quite a bit when they stopped working with Iwatsu. The Waverunner 6zi apparently also suffers from the same problem with the frontpanel and a falling off 'Superknob'.

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Another gripe : Lecroy still has not figured out, after all these years, how to properly handle a rotary encoder. It goes from slow as snail scrolling to lightspeed in 2 clicks. Ever heard of a proportional speed algorithm ? Navigation (scrolling) is a pain. You want to move the trace a bit so you go slow.. Get frustrated that it crawls along at 1/10 division per click so you start turning a bit faster and all of a sudden you passed 10 screens.... There is no speed inbetween..

Can't complain about the encoders although they are more sensitive than the ones on other scopes (and there is a setting for that in the software as well). I guess it comes down to what one is used to, if as you say you only use these scopes occasionally then it could well be irritating.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 01:35:00 AM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Offline Arcticas

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 09:47:18 PM »
The WavePro 7000 as well as their SDA/DDA counterparts are also Iwatsu designs. WaveRunner 6zi, WavePro/WaveMaster/SDA/DDA 7zi/8zi and the HDO scopes are not (which unfortunately does show in their build quality)

How did you figure out who designed the scopes?
 

Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2014, 10:12:03 PM »
The WavePro 7000 as well as their SDA/DDA counterparts are also Iwatsu designs. WaveRunner 6zi, WavePro/WaveMaster/SDA/DDA 7zi/8zi and the HDO scopes are not (which unfortunately does show in their build quality)

How did you figure out who designed the scopes?

Easy. Just look inside, you should find the Iwatsu label on various components.

It also has been confirmed by various sources.

In general, starting with the first gen WaveRunner/WavePro/WaveMaster Series, all non-black LeCroy scopes have been made in cooperation with Iwatsu, and all black scopes have been made by LeCroy only.

There are two exceptions however:
1. The black WaveSurfer is still Iwatsu inside
2. The WaveAce Series is made by Siglent

Not sure about the 9300 Series, the LC Series and older scopes, though.
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Offline Mark_O

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2014, 02:58:17 AM »
Not sure about the 9300 Series, the LC Series and older scopes, though.

Specifically, the 9300, 9400, and LC series were all designed and manufactured by LeCroy themselves.   I have no knowledge of the older series, beyond those particular 68000-based models.
 

Offline Lukas

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2014, 04:40:56 AM »
And if you think these scopes were crap you obviously haven't used the first generation of HP Infiniium Windows scopes. We sent them right back because they were slow as hell and crashed on a very regular basis.
You mean the 54845A and its relatives? They'll take a rather long time to boot Windows 98 but they still work excellent these days. The user experience is pretty good, it responds immediately when spinning a knob. That's mostly because the Windows PC inside it doesn't touch the data as it flows from the ADC to the screen. It's all done in hardware.
Side note: If you've got one of these, open mspaint and begin drawing in the color 10,9,9. This color is the key for the display hardware to draw the waveform. Extra fun: set parts of the windows ui to this color

 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 05:17:55 AM »
A scope that can keep time lock between stored and live data. A scope that behaves like a 54645D , that machine is 30 years old, runs on a 16MHz motorola 68k and response is like an analog machine.
This scope is not 30 years old, it was introduced maybe in 1998. http://www.home.agilent.com/en/pd-1000001438%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-54645D/100-mhz-200-msa-s-mixed-signal-oscilloscope
And the oldest member of these scopes - 54600A was introduces probably in 1991. http://www.home.agilent.com/en/pd-54600A%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-54600A/2-channel-100mhz-oscilloscope?cc=US&lc=eng
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 07:41:00 AM by Hydrawerk »
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 06:55:26 AM »
You mean the 54845A and its relatives? They'll take a rather long time to boot Windows 98 but they still work excellent these days.

Yes, now, after many years of fixes and updates. But certainly not when they came out as we got a bunch of them (mostly 54820, some 54845 and 54846 as well) then, and plain and simple they were pretty much crap, with scopes freezing when zooming in or crashing when pressing the keypad or turning the rotary encoders too fast.

Later updates made it a lot better and eventually the software became stable, but that certainly wasn't always the case. The 54800 Series was definitely (as it's called in Germany) a 'Banana product' (matures after delivered to the customer).

And better let's not talk about the idiocy of coming out with a product with AT style keyboard interface in 1998.

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The user experience is pretty good, it responds immediately when spinning a knob. That's mostly because the Windows PC inside it doesn't touch the data as it flows from the ADC to the screen. It's all done in hardware.

Same with the LeCroys, which push the data directly to the display controller through PCI/PCIe.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 07:01:36 AM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2014, 07:10:45 AM »
A scope that behaves like a 54645D , that machine is 30 years old, runs on a 16MHz motorola 68k and response is like an analog machine.
This scope is not 30 years old, it was introduced maybe in 1998.

The 54645D was introduced 1997 if I remember correctly, but you're right, it isn't nearly 30 years old. It's certainly a good scope but it has only 100MHz bandwidth and 200MS/s sample rate, and its math and processing capabilities are so low that it's not even funny even in comparison to the (much older) LeCroy 9400 Series.
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2014, 06:40:24 PM »
Do I understand it good or not?

LeCroy scopes made by LeCroy = rather crap insturments.

LeCroy scopes made by Iwatsu, Japan = quite good.

LeCroy made by Siglent, China = total shit for its price.

EDIT: But pure Siglent is far more cheap and thus acceptable.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 05:20:49 AM by Hydrawerk »
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Offline Wuerstchenhund

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2014, 10:02:59 PM »
Do I understand it good or not?

LeCroy scopes made by LeCroy = rather crap insturments.

LeCroy scopes made by Iwatsu, Japan = quite good.

LeCroy made by Siglent, China = total shit for its price.

Almost:

- LeCroy scopes made by LeCroy = generally good to very good build quality (although average to poor in some areas like the USB control panels or falling off Superknobs), advanced software
- LeCroy scopes made by Iwatsu = very good/excellent build quality, advanced software
- LeCroy made by Siglent = low quality hardware, shitty Siglent software, sold at a ridiculous price (although the black LeCroy cases are nicer than the Siglent originals)


The old scopes (7200, 9400, LC) that were made by LeCroy were actually very good hardware-wise (the 9300 suffered a bit from its plastic case which tends to crack when older, and from the old LeCroy illness of falling off knobs but was still one of the better scopes out there), and from what I've seen and also what I heard about the current series of scopes (6/7/8zi, LabMaster) is that they seem to be rather good, and LeCroy is working to solve the remaining issues (i.e. the contact problems with the USB frontpanel). Of course it's a bit early to tell if the current series is as reliable as older LeCroy scopes but I haven't seen anything which would suggest that this isn't the case.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 10:06:46 PM by Wuerstchenhund »
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Online joeqsmith

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2015, 11:55:22 AM »
I picked up an 8500A a few months ago.  Prior to this, I had been using a 7200 and a 7200A.   Have used the 7300A as well which also ran X-Stream.    I made up a few videos using the 8500A to make some phase noise measurements.   This one shows using a Labview Jitter Analysis Toolkit to make the measurements:


I was asked if I would make a video to show how LeCroy's JTA2 software compared with the Labview toolkit.   Teledyne provided me with the code to enable this feature so I took them up on the offer:   


The 8500A came with a 100Mb Ethernet port integrated in the MB.   I wanted to attempt to speed up the data transfers to the PC.   This video compares data transfer times after installing a 1Gb Ethernet card:     


How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Mykeil

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Re: who uses LeCroy scopes with XStream Software
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2017, 10:22:27 PM »
Great videos joeqsmith.
You got unlimited record memory for 50MSamples/s for all channels. Nice.  ;D

I am wondering how fast it could be if the Labview would installed inside the scope and no physical medium is used to transfer the data.
Maybe from some sample rate the scope might be used as with unlimited memory?  ;D Like you did.

If the data is transferred by pci express 1.0 x 4, the data rate  could be about 1GB/s, which could give about 1 GSample/s.  ;D
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 10:25:34 PM by Mykeil »
 


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