RoadTest: Keysight 33622A Waveform Generator
Evaluation Type: Independent Products
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Rigol DG4062
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Version of firmware shipped with device would not allow me to save waveforms to internal or external memory devices, this was resolved by updating the firmware to the latest version. Configuration for the WEB interface java security settings was not documented at all (Full Blown, not Java Script) and it took a call to Agilent to resolve the issue. Agilent was very quick and helpful to resolve this, hopefully they will include the extra information into the manual.
The Agilent 33622A Arbitrary Waveform Generator arrived within 1 business day from finding out I had been chosen to review the product, even if I had ordered this normally I would not have expected it that quick so an immediate big thank you to Agilent and Element 14 for efficiency.
First what I wont be doing
I am not going to bore you with repeating a bunch of diagrams and specifications you can find in the manual, I am not going to try to prove the waveform generator performs to said specifications
You can read all that yourself by following the links here:
Main Data Sheet:- http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5991-3272EN.pdf
Operating and Service guide :- http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/33500-90901.pdf
Product Fact Sheet :- http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5991-3795EN.pdf
What I am going to do it show how easy it is (I hope ) to use in practical, day to day experiments and diagnostic tasks and in most cases it should be quite educational and very practical. Some of the examples presented can also be re-produced with a basic understanding of electronics and time to build up test boards but then where is the fun in that (Well there is fun in it but I have this Awesome AWG and I want to see what I can do with it.), in such cases I will try to link in the alternate approach too.
So here is the list of experiments / review topics I will be performing with the 33622A, I will be adding the videos as I complete them, I hope to complete them all within the window of the review but either way I will post them in the Blog section of test and measurement anyway so you wont miss out.
1. The Unboxing
Front Panel Walk through
Initial Power up and Waveforms available
Sweeping, Modulation and more
3. Custom Waveforms and saving them to removable storage
4. Blog Entry 1:- 33622A arbitrary waveform generator helps Batman with a new "Bat Signal".
7. Blog Entry 4:- 33622A Radio E14 hits the Air waves on FM and AM bands near you
8. Blog Entry 5:- 33622A used to measure Capacitors and Inductors - Curve method
9. Blog Entry 6:- 33622A - Used to Measure Capacitors - The Sine method
10. Use of the Agilent BenchView software
11. Use of the Waveform Builder Pro software
Of course the first thing to do is the obligatory un-boxing video and quick tour around the device so without further delay here it is
So my initial thoughts on this device is it that it is well built, the controls feel good to the touch and all provide positive response when used. As you will discover as I present the review videos the 33622A is extremely easy to use. I had no difficulties getting the generator to output all standard waveforms, creating your own combinations was very straight forward and so far I have been able to keep on track with my priority list of chosen tasks.
Front Panel Walk through
I was pleasantly surprised to find the layout very comparable with other devices from Agilent that have the same form factor, this would ease the learning curve and hopefully we will find them intuitive to use,
As you can see, all have large color lcd displays, numerous soft function buttons on the bottom of the screen and to different degrees a wealth of dedicated function buttons on the right side of the screen, where there are numeric pads they share the same layout and physical characteristics, the remaining controls being dedicated to the specific functionality of the device. As the dimensions appear to be roughly the same, they should also stack nicely on the bench if needed. The handles all fold neatly under the instrument when not needed.
the diagonal size of the 33622A screen is 4.25" or 11CM, plenty enough for the job at hand,
the remaining description is contained in the following video clip
Initial Power up and Waveforms available
First Power up and walk through of all the different Waveforms, there are a huge variety of waveforms to choose from and they are all adjustable once you have selected one, it is also very easy to create your own using the onscreen menu system by simply chaining different waveforms together and these can even be sequenced using triggers
sorry this is a longer video than normal, like I said, there are a lot of features to select and I have only covered the standard waveforms so far. I hope you enjoy
Sweeping, Modulations and more
As you will see in this last intro video it is very easy to figure out this instrument, and initiate many standard waveforms and variants based on modulating or sweeping the built in waveforms being output, you can even sweep a custom waveform where the effect is to actually change the sample rate (the speed you work through the custom wave form data points). more of this later when I present the Arbitrary Waveform video
Creating custom wave-forms and saving them to removable storage
Using the following formulas in Excel outputs the following data from a single CSV file, I will show how to have the 33622A create the actual waveforms
1*TAN(6.28319*Time)/15 (The divide by 15 is simply to keep the values in the right range but as you can see, it still resulted in values way above +-32768
in Excell these graph as the following (TAN is removed to keep scaling sensible)
It should be noted that the minimal number of samples for a waveform on the 33622A is 32, so that is what I used as the max sample size in this experiment. Again I have not read the manual for this and will explain some pitfalls I encountered in the process, none of which took more than a few seconds to figure out so again, cto Agilent for making a very simple to use device
First video is related to preparing the data for the 33622A AWG
This one is using the data created n the first video and also using the front panel to create a waveform (Not really good for complex waveforms but you can do it if you have the time and patience
The following few topics are posted into the Blog section of Test and Measurement as they are also useful for educational purposes but links are provided for easy access
Proving Batman is a nerd.
(Trust me you will like it) AKA how to create a complex custom waveform and upload to the 33622A...
here is a teaser, this involves a bit of C# too but dont worry, you can do this with almost any language as long as it can evaluate formula and write to a file
For this experiment, please follow this link :-
So far the Agilent 33622A has proven to be a very easy to use and very intuitive piece of lab equipment. I have already explored all the various capabilities of the built in waveforms during the initial walk through, I have just completed demonstrating how flexible the Arbitrary Waveform capability is and it is Awesome believe me, If you can generate the wave data, even complex forms then it can output it, I have still to try a few other tests on the limits of this but they will have to wait until I have a suitable means of showing the results. (A later blog for sure)
PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING>>>
Lets play with Ohms Law, Characteristic Impedance and other fun things you can do with a 33622A?
Tone and sweep generator for AM and FM Radio
Finding the values of inductors and capacitors
Use of the Agilent Bench Vue software
Use of the Waveform Builder Pro software
Oh I wish, I am currently stuck with nothing more than a 100Mhz Atten scope, good enough to show waveforms and make some basic measurements but no where good enough for that. That is one of the reasons I am not attempting to prove its specifications (Which plenty of us are already doing) and instead focus on real use of the device in some practical scenarios.
Do you have equipment that would allow you to make a jitter measurement on the 33622A?