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Signal generator

History of Signal Generators – General Radio 403 was the first commercial signal generator in June 1928. – General Radio marketed the first commercial frequency […]

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History of Signal Generators

– General Radio 403 was the first commercial signal generator in June 1928.
– General Radio marketed the first commercial frequency standard in April 1929.
– The General Radio 403 supported a frequency range of 500Hz to 1.5MHz.
– The first commercial frequency standard had a frequency of 50KHz.

Types and Applications of Signal Generators

– Signal generators generate electrical signals with set properties.
– They are used for designing, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electronic devices.
– Signal generators have various types like function generators and RF signal generators.
– Modern signal generators have microprocessor control and can be controlled from a PC.
– Signal generators can be standalone instruments or part of automatic test systems.

Function Generators and Arbitrary Waveform Generators

– Function generators produce simple repetitive waveforms like sine, sawtooth, square, and triangular waveforms.
– Function generators may include modulation functions like AM, FM, and PM.
– Modern function generators may use digital signal processing and have arbitrary waveform generation capabilities.
– Arbitrary waveform generators generate arbitrary waveforms within specified limits and are used in high-end applications.

RF and Microwave Signal Generators

– RF and microwave signal generators are crucial in applications like cellular communications and radar.
– RF signal generators typically range from a few kHz to 6GHz, while microwave signal generators cover a wider frequency range.
– They can be analog or vector signal generators and are used in testing components and receivers.

Specialized Signal Generators and Computer Programs

– Analog signal generators produce continuous wave radio frequency signals with various types of analog modulation.
– Special purpose signal generators include pitch generators for audio, digital pitch generators, and synthesizers for music.
– Computer programs can generate arbitrary waveforms on general-purpose computers and output waveforms via an output interface.
– Video signal generators output predetermined video and television waveforms, stimulate faults in television and video systems, and provide synchronization signals.

Signal generator (Wikipedia)

A signal generator is one of a class of electronic devices that generates electrical signals with set properties of amplitude, frequency, and wave shape. These generated signals are used as a stimulus for electronic measurements, typically used in designing, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing electronic or electroacoustic devices, though it often has artistic uses as well.

There are many different types of signal generators with different purposes and applications and at varying levels of expense. These types include function generators, RF and microwave signal generators, pitch generators, arbitrary waveform generators, digital pattern generators, and frequency generators. In general, no device is suitable for all possible applications.

A signal generator may be as simple as an oscillator with calibrated frequency and amplitude. More general-purpose signal generators allow control of all the characteristics of a signal. Modern general-purpose signal generators will have a microprocessor control and may also permit control from a personal computer. Signal generators may be free-standing self-contained instruments, or may be incorporated into more complex automatic test systems.

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