Wireless lab tool aids educational test set-up

3rd November 2014
Source: Tektronix
Posted By : Mick Elliott
Wireless lab tool aids educational test set-up

Aimed squarely at the education market, Tektronix has developed what it claims is the industry’s first wireless lab instrument management solution for quickly setting up and efficiently managing basic electronics engineering laboratories at colleges and universities. The new TekSmartLabTSL3000A solution supports up to 120 instruments (30 test benches) on a single platform.

Implementing productive and fully integrated instrument networks in classrooms can be a daunting task. For instance, using LAN cables to set up a network is costly, time consuming and limits flexibility. Moreover, many instruments lack LAN ports. By converting instruments’ USB ports into a wireless interface using a Wi-Fi-USB converter, this neew solution eliminates cabling hassles while giving professors the software tools they need to efficiently manage large, busy classrooms.

“Centralised control of instruments dramatically improves the classroom and lab experience for students, instructors and lab managers, said Michael Ewald, General Manager, Bench Products, at Tektronix. “TekSmartLab eliminates many repetitive manual tasks, saving valuable class time. Features such as intuitive laboratory layout emulation, automatic instrument configuration, and push-button report generation mean that professors and students can focus on learning and not shuffling paper or configuring their tools.”

Running on a lab server, TekSmartLab sets up quickly without any LAN cables or special instrument configuration. From a central dashboard, professors can load instrument configurations associated with different course requirements and then distribute them to up to 120 instruments with a single mouse click. Professors can easily check the instrument status and measurement contents to help with a specific test bench remotely and to save a student’s measurement results into a report.

It also improves overall lab management. In conventional teaching labs, asset managers must manually check and record information such as instrument model numbers, serial numbers, and location. Detailed information such as the length of usage can only be estimated by experience or by keeping usage logs. In contrast, TekSmartLab automatically records and displays asset information and tracks usage time.

A typical classroom test bench consists of an oscilloscope, function generation, digital multi-meter and power supply. Most Tektronix and Keithley instruments intended for education applications are supported by TekSmartLab including Tektronix TBS1000B-EDU series, DPO/MSO2000B series and MDO3000 series oscilloscopes; AFG2021 and AFG3000C series arbitrary function generators; and Keithley DMM2110 multi-meters and 2231A-30-3 power supplies.

 


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