Portable ScopeCorder combines measurement and recording capabilities

Posted By : Mick Elliott
Portable ScopeCorder combines measurement and recording capabilities

Combining a general purpose oscilloscope and high-performance data acquisition recorder, the DL350 from Yokogawa can capture, display, record and analyse a wide variety of electrical and physical parameters in industry sectors including automotive, electronics, energy, transport and mechatronics.

The combo enables high levels of precision and accuracy in field measurements, isolated inputs for measurements at high voltage levels, and long-memory capabilities that allow long-term recording for many hours or even days.

Versatility is available via the instrument’s plug-in modularity, which allows it to be configured to suit a variety of user applications.

High-precision voltage measurements or the handling a blend of signals coming from such things as current probes, temperature sensors, strain gauges, accelerometers and serial buses is enabled without extra boxes or cables.

This flexible input capability is achieved by incorporating two slots which are populated with any of 18 different types of user-swappable input modules.

It means that four isolated 16-bit voltage inputs can be measured at speeds of one megasample per second (MS/s) alongside 16 temperatures or two separate CAN or LIN buses each containing 60 signals.

Changing a single module enables measurement at 100MS/s with 12 bits and 1kV of isolation. Meanwhile there are 16 logic inputs always available, with even more available by swapping a further module.

Among other modules are AC measurements using an RMS module in real time and a mathematics channel for signal processing and analysis after the recording is finished.

The DL350 offers compatibility with many existing ScopeCorder input modules and thereby provides a potential cost saving to existing users.

For those more familiar with chart recorders than with long-memory oscilloscopes, the DL350 offers a choice of operating modes. Recorder mode is suitable for long-term, continuous recording for a specific duration and where the sampling interval is specified.

A set-up wizard can be used in this mode to guide the operator quickly through the entire set-up process.

Scope mode allows the DL350 to be used just like an oscilloscope with all the associated benefits, including comprehensive triggering and flexible memory use.

Using the history memory enables up to 1000 separate triggered acquisitions to be captured to the internal memory so that the causes and effects of abnormalities can be carefully analysed.

Up to 5 Gpoints of data per module can be recorded directly to an SD card. This means that the DL350 can be used for continuous recording up to 50 days.

For high-speed signals, up to 100Mpoints per module of internal memory is available to capture fast transients.

A high-resolution, high-speed sampling module provides individually isolated 12-bit, 100 MS/s inputs, which can precisely measure and record transient waveforms (superimposed on inverter outputs, for example) and the edges of control signals which cannot be measured by traditional handheld recorders or oscilloscopes.

An 8.4-inch resistive touch screen has been adopted to deliver superior noise-free performance.

In environments with the highest levels of electrical noise such as motors and inverters, measurement precision is maintained whilst enabling the unit to be operated using gloved hands or a stylus.

Even when the backlight is switched off, and the touch screen is inactive, the user still has access to the START/STOP, manual trigger and data saving keys. A built-in instruction manual aids users unfamiliar with state-of-the-art measuring instruments.

The user has a choice of a simple level trigger or enhanced triggers on such things as pulse width, waveform period and across multiple channels.

For example, the wave window trigger is ideal for AC power-line monitoring, and enables voltage sags, surges, spikes, phase shifts or drop-outs to be easily captured (available for 40 to 1000 Hz waveforms).

The instrument can be left unattended with the captured waveform automatically saved to a file, or a notification email sent if and when it triggers.

First and foremost this is a field tool. However, it still provides the functionality users expect in a bench instrument.

The sampling clock, trigger and start/stop controls are all available as external signals, so that a rotary angle encoder or degree wheel, for example, can be used as the sample clock to analyse engine rotation and performance.

The power in single and 3-phase systems can be evaluated. In addition, for fundamental waveforms of 50 or 60Hz, up to 40 harmonic orders can be analysed.

Alternatively, it is possible to use the suite of FFT functions to perform full frequency analysis.

The DL350 is based on an A4-sized compact chassis and weighs less than 2.6Kg excluding battery and under 4Kg when populated with a battery and 2 x 4 channel modules.

The built-in rechargeable battery provides three hours of continuous operation which, when combined with either mains or 10-30 V DC power, provides the DL350 with a highly reliable power supply and worry-free recording for tests that are difficult or expensive to repeat.

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