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REPORT: Input lag Part 5

The controls, which are well laid out, support intuitive use of the model and have a very high-quality feel when they are in use. No button has undesired scope, each control dial responds perfectly to all input. On the12.1" XGA LCD monitor, all graphs can be read with ease, even in bright rooms with poor lighting. The high rate of image refreshes when normal memory depths are used makes signals appear vivid and gives the user the chance to perceive even rare events without "infinite persistence".

Although users who already have an oscilloscope can use the controls on the front without looking from the outset, the screen can also be used as a touch screen or the model can be controlled using the manual keyboard and optical mouse included.

Naturally, a certain amount of computing power is needed for recording and evaluating 50 billion measuring points (50 GS/s) and this must be cooled sufficiently. For this reason, there are a total of six 120 mm fans on the left hand side of the model which carry out their tasks based on temperature regulation, but still silently.

A total of six 120 mm fans provide cooling.

On the back are various connectors which are of no further interest for our evaluation, and a section which is reminiscent of that on the ATX-I panel of a mainboard. This is actually nothing other than a mainboard, since there is some PC hardware inside the oscilloscope. A Pentium 4 with 3.4GHz is supported with 2GB RAM, in order to ensure that all measurements can take place smoothly amongst other things on an adapted version of Windows XP Professional.

The back of the oscilloscope

Those who have been thinking of buying such a measuring device privately may step back from the idea and instead decide to buy their own apartment once they see the listed price of 100.000,00 Euro for the current version of the model.

The buttons

An oscilloscope can hardly be used if you cannot play back the signals with as little loss as possible. Since loss-free signal transfer is already difficult enough at these frequencies, the buttons still give rise to the problem that they should not distort the signals that are to be measured additionally, e.g., by reducing the level of the signal strongly as an ohmic load or appear as a capacity for the circuit.

The P7508 gauge head for bandwidths of up to 8 GHz.

Textronix was also more than helpful when it came to the bandwidth requirement of "at least 4 GHz" and provided a total of three differential gauge heads from the brand new P7500 series. Two P7506, with a typical bandwidth of up to 6 GHz, and a P7508, with a typical bandwidth of up to 8 GHz, were thus available for the test.

Left: a nylon case with a leather element protects the gauge head during transport and storage: The gauge heads and boxes for the accessories fit snugly into the interior of the case.

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