NorthTree Associates Announces New OWON XDM Series Benchtop Digital Multimeters

NorthTree Associates introduces the OWON XDM Series of Benchtop Multimeters. These powerful OWON multimeters come in two versions: XDM3041 which has a 4.5 digital resolution and the XDM3051 which has a 5.5 digital resolution. Both are designed for when a simple handheld multimeter doesn’t have enough capabilities for a user to view a reading in enough detail. (CLICK HERE to see specifications)

The OWON XDM series benchtop multimeters have a 4 inches LCD screen display, 480*320 pixels high resolution, 4.5 or 5.5 digit display accuracy (200000 counts in max). To add to the strength of these units, each XDM multimeter has up to 150 readings per second measurement speed. Also included are True RMS AC voltage/current measurement, smart voice-reading accessibility where the value can be read out, and support for Wi-Fi control through the use of a smart phone.

Operational modes include a data-logger mode which provides a user the ability to record, view, and analyze trends in readings. Users can set up the record interval (5ms in minimum) and max number of readings (1M points for internal storage, 10M points for USB Flash Disk). Data measured by the OWON XDM benchtop multimeter will be recorded and gathered into a trend chart, which makes it easy for users to view data statistics. Readings available are: bar meter, trend chart, and a histogram display for a convenient view. The OWON XDM benchtop multimeters have a dual display capability, 1GB internal memory, and support for external Flash Disk storage. Interfaces include USB Device, USB host, and LAN. A SCPI programming manual is provided, which enables remote control and is compatible with popular multimeter commands list.

In addition to representing the OWON XDM Series Benchtop Multimeters, NorthTree Associates also represents other product lines from OWON. These product lines include the customizable XDS Series n-in-1 Multi-Function Oscilloscopes, MSO Series Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes, HDS Series Handheld Oscilloscopes, Multimeters, AG-S Arbitrary Waveform Generators, and DC Power Supplies.

Established in 1990, OWON is based in China, specializing in the manufacture of oscilloscopes, waveform generators, multimeters, and programmable DC power supplies. These capable instruments are distributed to customers in the aerospace, automotive, communication, defense, electrical, and education industries in more than 80 countries across the globe.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that provides unique electronic test & measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers.

10 Features of The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope Will Help You Build The Oscilloscope You Need

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The XDS Series of Oscilloscopes is the latest product release from OWON. With 12‐bit resolution, the XDS series offers the best solution for those who need to measure small signals or be able to read details from a large signal. Highly suitable for Medical, Automotive, Power Supply, and more.

Here are 10 Reasons Why The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope Will Be Your Next Oscilloscope:

  1. Large Touch Screen

OWON XDS Oscilloscopes have a generous 8 inch, 800×600 pixels resolution capacitance multi-point touch screen. The operation patterns are the same as the mobile version. Most other oscilloscopes on the market are using a resistance screen, which isn’t as user-friendly in this era of touch screen gadgets and tools.

  1. Signal Generator Module

The XDS Series Oscilloscopes has the option of 25MHz arbitrary waveform signal generator – in a single or dual channel option. When using the dual channel option, each channel is totally isolated. With the 8-bit models (XDS3102/XDS3202) a user has the additional option of choosing 50MHz signal generator.

  1. Multimeter Module

With a 4000 count multimeter module option, the OWON XDS Oscilloscope is not like other oscilloscopes which have simple voltage measurement function multimeters. The XDS Oscilloscope employs a real multimeter module. It has the capabilities to measure the voltage, current, resistance, and capacitance of a signal(s).

  1. 12-bits vertical resolution

OWON XDS Oscilloscopes use 12-bit hardware ADC. When an 8-bit ADC oscilloscope extends its waveform to a more detailed shape, the shape will become distorted. This is caused by quantizing noise. When using a 12-bit unit, distortion does not occur. The XDS Oscilloscope with 12-bits ADC has 16 times the vertical resolution than an 8-bit oscilloscope. Thus, a smaller signal can be viewed more clearly.

  1. Communications Interface

XDS Series Oscilloscopes have USB, LAN, VGA, AV and Wi-Fi interfaces for communication.

OWON has introduced its Wi-Fi Module with the release of the XDS Series Oscilloscopes. The Wi-Fi Module has 2 modes: Wi-Fi AP and Wi-Fi STA. Wi-Fi AP is to make the oscilloscope act as a hot spot. A user can use a mobile device or computer to connect to the oscilloscope. This will allow a user to access and use the software inside a mobile device/computer to control and monitor the oscilloscope. When the oscilloscope is set to Wi-Fi STA, it allows the oscilloscope to connect with a router, making it accessible on the same local area network as a user’s computer. In this situation, one computer can control and have access to multiple oscilloscopes at the same time.

  1. Battery

The XDS has the option to purchase a battery to make it portable in use. It contains 13200mA power, which lasts about 4 hours. Easy to install and remove. The float measurement is possible continuously supported while the unit is being powered by the battery. It also prevents the channels from ground disturbance(s).

  1. Low Base Noise

The Base Noise of the OWON XDS is extremely low. When it is at 1mV/div position, the base noise is only 50μV or so. The lower the base noise, the better and more accurately a small signal is represented.

  1. Deep Record Length

With an extremely deep 40M record length, the XDS Oscilloscope can capture more data one time than most other oscilloscopes on the market.

  1. High Waveform Refresh Rate

With a fast 75,000 wfms/s high waveform refresh rate, the OWON XDS Oscilloscope easily captures abnormal signals or rare events.

  1. Data Logger

The XDS Oscilloscope comes with 1ppm frequency stability to make it more accurate in data logging. Other oscilloscopes on the market only come with a 50ppm or 100ppm capability reading.

OWON XDS Series Oscilloscopes come with the OWON 3rd generation technology platform ‐ Xvisual, which advances the performance of the XDS series oscilloscopes over other oscilloscopes available. The new Xvisual platform consists of 3 parts: Low Base Noise, 40M Record Length, 75,000 wfms/s Refresh Rate. One of the main benefits of Xvisual is ease at which the measurement of small signals can be read, and the ability to fully restore the true status of signals.

The XDS Series Oscilloscope software, provides advanced trigger and protocol decoding functions to help engineers analyze bus protocols and quick positioning. The embedded Wi‐Fi module ensures computers and cell phones can share the display screen to view and control the oscilloscope. Users can also check and save waveform data via App. By saving data via the App, data can be shared between other users.

The optional capacitance touch screen has been designed to look and act similar to a Smartphone – thus being intuitive and easy to start using right out of the box.

Additionally, the OWON XDS is a complete mobile test station. It has incorporated the ultra‐thin design of the OWON SDS series oscilloscope, and has a battery option for portable use in the field. Besides the oscilloscope function, the OWON XDS also has function modules such as: a 25 MHz/50MHz single/dual channel(s) arbitrary waveform generator, a digital multimeter and a high precision data logger.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor for OWON oscilloscopes, waveform generators, and programmable power supplies. NorthTree Associates provides unique Electronic Test & Measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. www.northtreeassociates.com

NorthTree Associates Announces New OWON AG-S Series Waveform Generators

OWON AG-S Series Waveform Generator

NorthTree Associates introduces the economical OWON AG-S Series of Waveform Generators. These versatile waveform generators from OWON derive both function and arbitrary waveforms using Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) technology.

In using Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) technology, the new OWON AG-S Series Waveform Generators provide stable, precise, low-distortion signals from DC up to 150MHz, (depending upon model);  all with 14-bit vertical resolution. Included are standard functions (sine, square, pulse, and ramp), a noise output and a number of built-in arbitrary waveforms.  The Z out is adjustable from 50 Omega to ‘Hi-Z’, and in Hi-Z mode can output in excess of 20Vp-p; therefore a 7.07Vrms waveform can be achieved with plenty of adjustment headroom.

OWON designed the AG-S Series Waveform Generators with a user-friendly panel layout featuring a 3.9” TFT color LCD (480 x 320), the menu-driven controls are flexible and intuitive – all functions and parameters are within easy access, allowing users to quickly and easily produce the test signals they need. A useful integrated Help function shows descriptions of single functions and step-by-step instructions for operational tasks.

The AC low-frequency limit is 1μHz on all models; on all models except the AG4151 the lowest output level is 1mVp-p.  The frequency control on these units is good; for example, the AG1012 shows a ‘typical’ SSB phase noise of -100dBc/Hz at 10kHz offset (running at 10MHz). Also, depending upon the model, there are various I/O features available on the rear panel, but all include RS232 and USB (Host and Device); PC control via SCPI commands is supported for remote setting of the instrument’s parameters and output, and the PC’s display can synchronously reproduce the waveform generator’s screen image.

In addition to representing the OWON AG-S Series Waveform Generators, NorthTree Associates also represents other product lines from OWON. These product lines include the customizable XDS Series Multi-Function Oscilloscopes, MSO Series Mixed Signal Oscilloscopes, HDS Series Handheld Oscilloscopes, Multimeters, and DC Power Supplies.

Established in 1990, OWON is based in China, specializing in the manufacture of oscilloscopes, waveform generators, multimeters, and programmable DC power supplies. These capable instruments are distributed to customers in the aerospace, automotive, communication, defense, electrical, and education industries in more than 80 countries across the globe.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that provides unique electronic test & measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. www.northtreeassociates.com

OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope Tech Review

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“Base Noise: The Oscilloscope Parameter Often Ignored.”

When it comes to the main parameters of oscilloscopes, bandwidth, sample rate, and recording length all come to mind. However, there is a parameter that is often ignored: Base Noise.

What is the Base Noise? Why it is so important? The following will explain what it is and why it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Base Noise refers to the “Baseline Noise”, which indicates the vertical noise in the transformation of a simulated front end and a digital end.

As an example, OWON looked at The Base Noise of an oscilloscope. In particular, we looked at the noise a waveform generated while the OWON oscilloscope was turning into its most sensitive vertical position. The range scale of Base Noise was determined by counting the SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio). The higher the value, the lower the interference. Thus, the lower Base Noise the signal contained.

How Base Noise influences measurement results:

With the rapid development and advancement of electronics technology, some processing chips are limited in their ability to generate mVs in power. The power ripple might be required at ±5% or even lower. If the Base Noise is very high, the real measured signal would be drowned in the Base Noise of the device, and engineers would then get a false reading. Therefore, Base Noise is very important when measuring small signals.

Since the Base Noise is so important. Why don’t oscilloscope manufacturers mention this?

The main reason: cost control. Most of middle to low end oscilloscopes in the market are designed for larger bandwidth or higher sample rate. Their processor chips are mostly used for overclock running, which causes the other components to overload while running. This then contributes to a large Base Noise effect. Oscilloscope manufacturers are not willing to expose their shortcoming, so a user is unable to learn of a particular oscilloscope brand’s Base Noise until put to use for their application.

OWON conducted a comparison of the Base Noise level of popular oscilloscope on market:

OWON - T

T Company’s oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.

(440uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

OWON - R

R brand popular oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.

(920uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

OWON - C

A Chinese brand 3000 series oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position.

(467uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

OWON - O

Lilliput OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope on 1mV/div and 500us position. (380uV Peak-Peak Voltage)

Based on the oscilloscope comparison, most of middle end oscilloscopes had more than 500uV noise. The brand that consistently had the lowest Base Noise was the OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope. Their VPP value held on an average of 350uV. The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope controlled Base Noise better than T Company’s most popular mid-range oscilloscope.

The OWON XDS Series Oscilloscope is the latest product release from OWON. With 12‐bit resolution, the XDS series offers the best solution for those who need to measure small signals or be able to read details from a large signal. Highly suitable for Medical, Automotive, Power Supply, and more.

OWON XDS series oscilloscopes come with the OWON 3rd generation technology platform ‐ Xvisual, which advances the performance of the XDS series oscilloscopes over other oscilloscopes available. The new Xvisual platform consists of 3 parts: Low Base Noise, 40M Record Length, 75,000 wfms/s Refresh Rate. One of the main benefits of Xvisual is ease at which the measurement of small signals can be read, and the ability to fully restore the true status of signals.

If you need an economical oscilloscope to measure small signals, the OWON XDS Series Oscilloscopes are your best choice.

Established in 2004, NorthTree Associates (Cologne, MN) is a North American distributor that provides unique electronic test & measurement tools for design engineers, test engineers and production engineers. www.northtreeassociates.com

Choosing the Right Diagnostic Automotive Oscilloscope for Your Auto Repair Shop

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Searching for Answers: Choosing Your Oscilloscope

Every shop will have different needs and uses for an oscilloscope, so it’s important to identify your facility’s specific needs from the equipment. Here are six steps to cover so your choice is the most correct one.

Step 1: What kind of vehicles are worked on? Take a look at the shop’s mix. What kind and type of vehicles are repaired the most? What makes, models and years are seen most often? “The more specific and ‘specialized’ the work that can be provided, the better off the shop will be. Choose the 10 most worked-on vehicles, and figure out the needs for those.

Step 2: Consider what isn’t worked on. Obviously, an oscilloscope should be able to help in bringing in additional business, jobs, revenue and, as is the overall goal – profitability. Will it be a tool that can help in bringing in vehicles in the area that the shop is missing out on? Are there any other shops working on a specific vehicles? If not, can the right oscilloscope help the shop take advantage of this opportunity?

Step 3: Research oscilloscopes. Here’s where shops often get off track or go the easy route. But if the proper approach is used and the correct observance of the shop’s work mix (Steps 1 and 2), then it narrows it down quite a bit. Here are six things to consider:

Coverage. What software does the tool come with? What updates? What vehicles does the software cover? Makes and model years? Because of changes in vehicle design and capabilities, how often is the software updated? It needs to be understood what each software package is capable of diagnosing.

Training/Ease of Use. Most oscilloscopes are “plug & play” aftermarket tools. Higher-end oscilloscopes often come with a steeper learning curve for first-time users. Try to get a feel for how long it will take shop technicians to master the equipment, and what training or support is offered.

Compatibility. Some oscilloscopes are Windows-based PC or laptop-based, and that often means one oscilloscope with powerful software can provide a wide range of coverage.

Technical Support. Got hotline? Some oscilloscope manufacturers provide hotlines of sorts to call for additional information or for support for difficult diagnoses. Understand how each oscilloscope is supported.

Upgrades/Updates. Oscilloscopes are constantly being upgraded and updated. Research the companies you’re considering and see what they offer in terms of upgrades. Not only for the purpose of the software but also for the oscilloscope.

Cost. An obvious point. Do you want a high-end do it all oscilloscope, then get ready to pay significantly. There’s going to be a large discrepancy in price between oscilloscope makers. This is why understanding the work mix of the shop is important to grasp the value of the tool.

Step 4: Analyze the return. There are a lot of ways to try to analyze how valuable a diagnostic oscilloscope is for a shop. One way to analyze the return is to low-ball the return and only compare the cost of the tool (including subscriptions and upgrades) to the amount of profit made on diagnostic charges. This will gave an absolute minimum that can serve to directly pay off the tool.

Step 5: Demo the tools. Be wary of any company that isn’t confident enough in its oscilloscope to let you have it for trial period. What is their return policy? If the oscilloscope doesn’t fit your needs, can you return it NQA? Using the oscilloscope on your own is important in making the right decision.

Step 6: Implement the tools. Although this step must come after you selected and purchased a tool, it will also help to confirm your decision. Don’t just simply buy diagnostic equipment and hand it off to the technician. Create processes and systems for your shop to use it correctly, Seyfer says, and make sure to market your capabilities.

Keep It Simple

Choosing an oscilloscope for the shop can be a difficult task. The most important thing to remember, is to find the best fit for your shop. Get as much information as possible. Speak with other shops, talk with vendors, ask about it in association gatherings, and on message boards—anywhere you can. There’s plenty of information out there about each tool.

In the end, try to make the process as simple as you can.

Should you have any questions, you can contact us directly by filling out the form below.

10 Reasons Why You Need A PC Oscilloscope

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PC Oscilloscopes (PCOs) are rapidly replacing traditional digital storage oscilloscopes (DSOs) as the essential item for your test equipment arsenal. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. Compact and portable units
  2. Uses your PC monitor to provide a large and detailed color display
  3. Signal storage is limited only by your PC’s storage capability
  4. Captured waveforms and instrument settings can easily be shared with others
  5. New functionality through free software updates
  6. Can be used with desktop or laptop PCs
  7. High-speed USB 3.0 connection (parallel port oscilloscopes are also available)
  8. Hardware and software in one package
  9. Use your PC Oscilloscope for data acquisition
  10. A complete test and measurement lab in one unit

1.  Compact and portable units

By integrating several instruments into one small unit, PC Oscilloscopes (PCOs) are lighter and more portable than traditional test equipment. When used with a laptop computer, you can carry a complete electronics lab in the same bag as your PC.

2.  Uses your PC monitor to provide a large and detailed color display

The display of a traditional oscilloscope is limited by the physical size of the oscilloscope, and may only be a single color. With a PC Oscilloscope your computer controls the display, so not only do you get a full color display, but the display can be the size of your monitor, projector or plasma display.

3.  Signal storage is limited only by your PC’s storage capability

PC Oscilloscopes store the signals that you are measuring directly on your PC. With the power of today’s modern PCs this gives you vast storage capabilities. Along with allowing you to record lengthy signals this also lets you save signals for reviewing at a later date.

4.  Captured waveforms and instrument settings can easily be shared with others

Need to show your customer or colleague the signal you have captured? Just save the waveform and email them a copy. They don’t have a copy of the oscilloscope software? No problem – just export it as text, an image or in a binary format for use with third-party software. (If they want to set up their equipment to run the same test, simply send them the oscilloscope settings too.)

5.  New functionality through free software updates

If you’re lucky you can return a traditional DSO to the supplier for a firmware upgrade and maybe get improved functionality. With a PC-based oscilloscope new features and improved functionality can be added at any time with a simple software update. Free software updates means that a PC Oscilloscope is one of the few things that can actually become more powerful and useful with age.

6.  Can be used with desktop or laptop PCs

PC Oscilloscopes are external devices that are connected to your PC using the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus (USB). Virtually every laptop or desktop PC sold comes with multiple USB ports so there’s no problem using your PC Oscilloscope with either a desktop or a laptop PC.

7.  High-speed USB 3.0 connection

USB 3.0 can transfer data at speeds of up to 1 GS/s. Using powerful PC Oscilloscope software it give you incredible performance with fast screen updates and the ability to stream data.

8.  Hardware and software in one package

Choose PC Oscilloscopes that come complete with the hardware and software in one package.

9.  Use your PC Oscilloscope for data acquisition

Using the sw, you can transform your PC Oscilloscope into a data logger that can log data over extended periods of time.

10.  A complete test and measurement lab in one unit

When you buy a PC-based oscilloscope make sure you don’t just get an oscilloscope: make sure you also get a spectrum analyzer, meter and data logger rolled into your PC-Oscilloscope choice. Some models even include a built–in signal generator or arbitrary waveform generator. So with a PC Oscilloscope you really do get a complete test and measurement lab in one cost–effective unit.

NorthTree Associates is a distributor and supplier of Electronic Test & Measurement Equipment. Companies represented include ITIC USB 2.0 Protocol Analyzers, LabNation SmartScopes, Micsig Oscilloscopes, Oscium iOS Test Tools, OWON Oscilloscopes.

5 Features To Consider When Choosing A Digital Oscilloscope

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For anyone designing, manufacturing, or repairing electronic equipment, a digital storage oscilloscope is a must-have tool. It lets you see high-speed repetitive or single-shot signals across multiple channels to capture elusive glitches or transient events. An oscilloscope is equally as useful a tool for qualifying elements of a new design as it is for isolating problem components in an existing system under repair.
When it comes to evaluating oscilloscopes, many engineers focus on one specification: bandwidth. The assumption is generally that the faster oscilloscope is the better oscilloscope. And while bandwidth is an important thing to consider, it falls well short of telling the whole story or in ensuring that the oscilloscope you’re considering will truly meet your needs. With that in mind, here are five other things you’ll want to consider when choosing your next oscilloscope.

1. Rise time — Accurate rise-time measurements are key to making accurate measurements in the time domain. Many logic families have faster rise times (edge speeds) than their clock rates suggest. A processor with a 20 MHz clock may well have signals with rise times similar to those of an 800 MHz processor. Rise times are important for studying square waves and pulses. Square waves are standard for testing amplifier distortion and timing signals for TVs and computers. Pulses may represent glitches or information bits — too slow a rise time for the circuit being tested could shift the pulse in time and give a wrong value.

2. Fast sample rate — The sample rate of an oscilloscope is similar to the frame rate of a movie camera. It determines how much waveform detail the scope can capture. To capture glitches you need speed. A signal must be sampled at least twice as fast as its highest frequency component to accurately reconstruct it and avoid aliasing (showing artifacts that are not actually there). This is however an absolute minimum. What’s more, it applies only to sine waves and assumes a continuous signal. Glitches are by definition not continuous, and sampling at only twice the rate of the highest frequency component is usually not enough. A high sample rate increases resolution, ensuring that you’ll see intermittent events. As a rule of thumb, look for a sample rate of at least 5x your circuit’s highest frequency component.

3. Versatile triggering — All oscilloscopes provide edge triggering, and most offer pulse width triggering. But more advanced triggering capabilities can save you time and shorten the time to answer when working with more challenging signals. The wider the range of trigger options available, the more versatile the scope. Some of the triggers available include A & B sequence triggering; video triggering on line/frame/HD signals, etc.; logic triggers such as slew rate, glitch, pulse width, time-out, runt, setup-and-hold; and communications triggers for serial and parallel buses.

4. Powerful waveform navigation and analysis — Searching for specific waveform errors can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Tools that automate the process can be a big time saver. For instance, oscilloscopes with record lengths in the millions of points can show thousands of screens worth of signal activity, essential for examining complex waveforms. Capabilities such as search and mark speed up the process by letting you search through the entire acquisition and automatically mark every occurrence of an event you specified. Other capabilities include zoom and pan, play and pause, and advanced search.

5. Matching probes — Precision measurements start at the probe tip. The probe’s bandwidth must match that of the oscilloscope, and must not overload the Device Under Test (DUT). Probes actually become a part of the circuit, introducing resistive, capacitive and inductive loading that alters the measurement. It’s important to have a range of probes available. To start with, select passive probes that have high bandwidth and low loading. Active ground-referenced probes offer one to four GHz bandwidth while active differential probes support 20 GHz or more. Adding a current probe enables the scope to calculate instantaneous power, true power, apparent power and phase. High voltage probes measure to 40kV peak. Specialty probes include logic, optical and environmental types.

Cost of ownership
Any scope you choose will need to fit within the constraints of a capital acquisition budget. While cost of ownership isn’t a feature per-se, it’s an important consideration.  This means you should compare support options to see to whether they add value to your purchase or can help extend the scope’s useful life. On-site education and training, as well as design, system integration, project management, and other professional services can help maximize productivity and ensure reliable measurements. Support packages such as these, along with options like extended warranty can save money in the long term.

Contact us with your questions or if you would like to visit our online store to shop for digital oscilloscopes – visit http://www.northtreeassociates.com / sales@northtreeassociates.com