Portable waveform monitors for installation and maintenance

October 16, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Tektronix has expanded its family of waveform monitors with the addition of the portable WFM2300 Series designed for install and maintenance applications. The WFM2300 provides an array of measurement and monitoring features that allow engineers to quickly isolate, diagnose, and resolve system issues.

The WFM2300 provides Eye pattern and Jitter measurement capability as well as Cable simulator / margin tests, Optical interfaces with SFP (Small Form factor Pluggable) module, Dolby E monitoring, Loudness meter in addition to the all features available in the existing WFM2200.

The instrument is portable (8.5 in. x 8.2 in. x 1.4 in. and 4 lbs. with battery), engineered for low power consumption with a large bright LED back-lit LCD screen and replaceable battery, as well as being suitable for engineers troubleshooting problems in the field or within facilities. The Eye/Jitter measurement feature helps identify issues in the physical layer. The cable simulation and margin test capabilities assists in determining the coax cable margin of a system to ensure it does not reach the "digital cliff" where the transmission error rate significantly increases. Engineers can also use a variety of status displays to ensure compliance to the standards and verify audio, video and data specifications. The video/audio test signals output from embedded test signal generator with Genlock capability can be used for identifying the signal path through a coax and optical interface.

The WFM2300 provides optional features that can be tailored for specific applications in each facility. In addition to the SD/HD/DL/3G-SDI, AES/EBU, LTC and composite sync signal support as standard ( 3G-SDI is option 3G), the optical SDI interface option (opt. SFP) can be selected to provide the broadcast facility with capabilities to monitor SMPTE 297 SDI fibre transmission system installations. This eliminates the need for an external optical/electrical converter unit offering the user greater flexibility and reducing the number of units an engineer needs to carry. In a facility carrying Dolby E signals the instrument offers an option (opt. DBE) to monitor peak audio level and metadata of the incoming Dolby E signal to verify activity of the channels without the need for an external Dolby decoder. Audio loudness monitoring is a critical task to monitor within