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Technology Showcase: Test Equipment

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

The AV toolbox grows to include a variety of useful gadgets.

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B+K Precision model 2652 handheld spectrum analyzer

B+K Precision model 2652 handheld spectrum analyzer

Billed as a bench digital multimeter in a handheld case, the Dranetz-BMI Dran Tech Ultra can perform true RMS voltage and current measurements up to 100kHz at crest factors up to 10 on distorted waveforms using a sampling interval from 0.01 seconds to 60 seconds. While taking measurements, the unit can store the minimum and maximum readings in memory at the selected sampling rates. The instrument also has overload protection in all modes, an averaging filter for noisy measurements, a choice of AC or battery power, and a 120kB data memory with backup battery. It comes with a hard case, operating instructions on CD, and a DKD calibration certificate. The 2.56"×1.18" LCD display shows seven-segment, .47in. characters with a one-second refresh rate. Two 1.5V AA batteries with a service life of about 16 hours supply power, and the display includes a battery-capacity reading.

For waveform measurements, the S-1390 analog delayed-sweep, dual-trace oscilloscope from Elenco Electronics provides 1 meter/div sensitivity, sweep to 2 nanoseconds/div, single sweep, and a Z-axis input. The S-1390 specs include a rise time of 3.5 nanoseconds with an overshoot of less than 5 percent, a 1-2-5 sequence, a 10-step attenuator, and vernier control. The rectangular CRT display with internal graticule shows an area of 8×10 divisions with each at one centimeter. The delayed sweep speed of the 1390 is 20 nanoseconds/div in 1-2-5 sequence in 23 steps with an accuracy of ±3 percent. The unit has a power consumption of about 55W, and it weighs 18.7lbs. Two probes are included along with a schematic diagram, parts list, and AC power cord.

The FiberMeter Optical Power Meter from Extech Instruments features a very large backlit LCD display for a handheld unit. Used for fiber certification on single-mode and multimode fiber networks, the product comes in three models — each of which shows a dynamic range or 75dB with ±0.15dB accuracy. The high-power model (FO610) has a range of 25dBm to -50dBm for direct measurement of laser output power in CATV and telco applications. Up to 1,000 measurements, along with physical fiber characteristics, can be stored in internal memory. The user interface presents a smooth surface with membrane keypad. For more detailed keyboard entry, the RS-232 link can be used with a computer running Windows-compatible Optical Wavelength Laboratories OWL Reporter software for downloads and certification report printing. The Loss Wizard calculates the maximum allowable optical loss according to EIA/TIA standards, and it shows pass/fail certification.

Extron Electronics' VTG-400D programmable video and audio test generator can output video simultaneously as RGB, component video, S-Video, and composite video in addition to its SDI/HD-SDI output. It offers 96 video output rates, 34 video test patterns, and seven audio test signals — delivering accuracy at microphone level. Up to 180 additional output rates can be programmed using the RS-232 port and Extron control software. A very handy feature is the Scope-Trigger output, which allows analysis of a selected area within the video image using an oscilloscope. Specific test patterns can be programmed to alternate and repeat in sequence on selectable time intervals. Other features include automemory recall and screen-saver mode.

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