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Signal capture cards and portable systems

Often referred to as PC oscilloscope, transient recorder or a digitiser (digitizer), all of these are used to record analogue signals at high speed and with a very high level of instrumentation accuracy. The products on this page provide this functionality and available as portable Ethernet modules or plug-in cards.


digitizerNETBOX with Ethernet connectivity m4i digitizer card PCIe-x8 lane m2p digitizer cards PCIe-x4 lane
Spectrum digitizerNETBOX

Available in two enclosure sizes. The DN2 (up to 16 channels) and the DN6 (up to 48).

The digitizerNETBOX uses the fast M2p and M4i instrumentation card technology described on this page inside a robust enclosure, with all the power and cooling considerations taken care of. This system is ready to use. Simply attach to the Gbit Ethernet port of a computer and use the "discovery" facility in the supplied software to install the digitizerNETBOX automatically. Combine with a notebook PC and DC option for portability, or within an extended Ethernet network which may include more digitizerNETBOX units. Each unit includes its own Web server which gives the facility to remotely view and configure the setup. It also has its own IP address so that captured data can be streamed back over the network to a client PC. The digitizerNETBOX is very portable and can be taken with the operator, (e.g within a vehicle) using a notebook PC and DC option. For complete independence from a host computer, an embedded server option, with installed CPU, RAM and SSD is also available as an option.

The digitizerNETBOX docking station package includes SBench6 Professional for easy set up, log, view and signal processing of data. whilst Windows/Linux drivers provide programming in MATLAB™, LabVIEW™, or one of the popular programming languages such as Visual Basic or C.

For the ultimate in versatility consider the NEW hybridNETBOX, This combines signal capture and generation in one multi-channel system.
Spectrum M4i digitiser cards.

Using a high bandwidth multi-lane PCI Express Gen 2.0 interface (physically PXI Express in the case of M4x series), data streaming to the host computer is greatly enhanced with giga byte transfer capability. Fitted with 8 bit, or higher resolution 14 / 16 bit ultra high speed A/D converters, sampling speeds of up to 5 giga samples per second are possible! This makes the M4i / M4x card series of particular value to users acquiring ultra fast signals - if necessary over long periods. Three easily accessible multi-purpose digital I/O per card are also provided, more can be added as an option. Perfect for control and synchronisation with external equipment.

Up to eight M4i PCIe cards can be perfectly synchronised to provide up to 32 A/D channels for signal capture. By comparison the number of M4x PXI Express cards is only limited by the number of available PXIe or PXI hybrid slots in the chassis, with all synchronisation performed via the back-plane.

The M4i / M4x series both share the same comprehensive well proven software driver set as the M2p cards and the NETBOX units, which includes support for all common programming languages and packages such as LabVIEW and MATLAB.
Spectrum M2p digitiser cards.

The M2p card series has our greatest selection of channel and resolution combinations
to provide exceptional performance for applications such as radar, telecommunications, ultrasonics and spectroscopy...to name but a few. In fact just about any application that requires ultra high-speed signal capture in the MHz range. A/D converter speeds range from 5 to 125 mega samples per second. Each channels of the M2p signal capture card is equipped with its own A/D converter, ensuring perfect synchronisation hence zero phase difference between input channels. High channel count, wide gain ranges and software selectable single-ended or differential inputs provides exceptional operating versatility. Three multi-purpose digital I/O are also available. Sixteen more can be added as an option.

These cards are physically compact (half-length) and have a fast x4-lane PCIe interface making them compatible to a very wide range of computer motherboards and chassis sizes.

M2p cards ship with driver software, which allows the cards to be programmed in the Windows or Linux environment. This can be performed using one of the text base languages such a C/C++, Visual Basic, Python, etc. Alternatively LabVIEW or MATLAB. Or simply use SBench6 which requires no programming experience to capture, record, display and process the data. It's all menu driven and wit the Professional version data can be exported in a number of formats.
 

Spectrum's signal capture hardware feature summary

indexbar (1K) Up to 8 fully synchronous channels on one card. Up to 48 channels on the digitizerNETBOX
indexbar (1K) Synchronisation of multiple cards possible, both for sampling and trigger
indexbar (1K) Versatile trigger features with fast auto re-arm
indexbar (1K) Large standard memory, 4 Gbytes on M4i & M4x, 1 Gbyte on M2p and up to 48 Gbytes on the digitizerNETBOX.
indexbar (1K) Multiple Recording / Gated Sampling † with pre-trigger, post-trigger, fast rearm & time stamp
indexbar (1K) ABA mode available. Go from slow continuous to rapid acquisition on trigger events.
indexbar (1K) Optimised clock section, internal or external clock reference
indexbar (1K) M2p, M4i & M4x cards have a multi-lane PCI-Express interface for GByte streaming with the PC*
indexbar (1K) Versatile and wide ranging software support, all cards and NETBOX systems use a universal driver set for Windows® and Linux®
 
 
*Gen2 x8-lane PCI-express currently provides the best streaming performance within the Spectrum digitiser range
Find out more about PCI-Express. Click here for more information
IMPORTANT
A dedicated fan for cooling the card bay of your PC, hence inserted cards, is essential.This is taken care of in the digitizerNETBOX

hybridNETBOX multi-channel model - link to information page

Spectrum's hybridNETBOX combines signal capture and generation in a single robust enclosure. It even provides digital I/O for control and synchronisation to external equipment. Perfect for test and measurement systems that need to perform automated closed-loop or stimulus-response type testing. It is also a cost effective way to have a universal fast signal generation and logging system, ready to take on many varied tasks. The Gbit Ethernet port connection allows easy direct connection to a computer, or anywhere on a network.

In common with all NETBOX systems the hybridNETBOX includes SBench6 Professional for easy set up of signal logging, replay, viewing of data and signal processing. Windows/Linux drivers provide also facilitate programming in MATLAB™, LabVIEW™, or the programming languages such as Visual Basic or C.
Click here for more details on the hybridNETBOX!




A/D SIGNAL CAPTURE SELECTION TABLES - Ethernet/LXI enclosure format

The NETBOX is suitable for connection to many types of computers including notebook PCs. The unit can be placed close to the computer or remotely on a LAN. Sampling speeds shown below are the maximum, however slower converters are fitted to certain models to best match the application and help ensure the most cost effective solution.

digitizerNETBOX DN2 & DN6
MODEL SERIES
Please click on the images for more information
RESOLUTIONMAXIMUM SAMPLE RATE
(GS/s = Giga samples per second)
(MS/s = Mega samples per second)
NUMBER OF CHANNELS
digitizerNETBOX navigation image 8 to 16 bit5GS/s1 to 48
hybridNETBOX DN2 (signal capture & generation)
hybridNETBOX navigation image 8 to 16 bit500MS/s A/D, 1.25GS/s D/A1 to 8 (A/D), 1 to 8 (D/A)


A/D SIGNAL CAPTURE SELECTION TABLES - multi-lane PCI Express card format

This versatile card range fits into a wide range of computers, most commonly a desktop but also some types of industrial computers too. Sampling speeds shown below are the maximum, however slower converters are fitted to certain models to best match the application and help ensure the most cost effective solution.

M4i (PCIe - x8 lane)
MODEL SERIES
Please click on the images for more information
RESOLUTIONMAXIMUM SAMPLE RATE
(GS/s = Giga samples per second)
(MS/s = Mega samples per second)
NUMBER OF CHANNELS
M4i.22xx card navigation imageM4i.22xx 8 bit5GS/s1 to 4
M4i.445x card navigation imageM4i.44xx 14 to 16 bit500MS/s1 to 4
M4x (PXIe - x4 lane)
M4x.22x PXIe card navigation imageM4x.22xx 8 bit5GS/s1 to 4
M4x,44x PXIe card navigation imageM4x.44xx 14 to 16 bit500MS/s1 to 4

M2p (PCIe - x4 lane)
M2p59 navigation image ,click hereM2p.59xx 16 bit125 MS/s1 to 8