Selecting a Pulse Generator on Amazon.com
A pulse generator is an electronic testing device that generates an electrical signal called a rectangular pulse. A pulse is the change in the signal's amplitude from a baseline measurement to a higher or lower value, followed by a return to the baseline. Each pulse has parameters, such as repetition rate (the frequency of the pulse), pulse width (the duration of the pulse), pulse delay (the time between pulses), and amplitude. A basic pulse generator provides control of these parameters, and some generators can control additional parameters of the pulse, such as rise and fall time. A programmable pulse generator can be set to generate predetermined sequences of pulses with variable parameters, including delays, widths, and combinations. A high-voltage pulse generator produces signals with high amplitude and is used for pulsed applications requiring high voltage.
Factors that influence the choice of pulse generator include the required frequency range, the amplitude range, and the need for multiple channels. Pulse generators operate within specified frequency and amplitude ranges and these ranges can be precisely adjusted. A frequency range is commonly given as a repetition rate, such as 0.1 Hz to 50 MHz. An amplitude range may be given as voltage peak-to-peak (VPP) values. Some pulse generators are available with a single channel, which generates a single pulse and controls its parameters, while others may have multiple channels for use with several input and output signals.
In addition to precisely controlling the frequency and amplitude, pulse generators can specify the width and delay of a pulse signal. Measurements for these parameters are given as a range of nanoseconds and seconds, such as 10ns to 10s. A pulse generator may have various operation modes, such as continuous, triggered, or gated, that provide signals that either control or respond to devices under test. Some pulse generators allow the operator to control the device via a computer.
Pulse generators are commonly used in manufacturing to test electronic devices or as stimuli to drive devices such as switches or signal generators. Some are used in avionics for radar testing.