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Sweep Arbitrary Waveforms with 33500 series

Question asked by jpb on May 16, 2013
Latest reply on May 17, 2013 by jpb
The current data sheets for the 33500A and B series clearly states that frequency (or sample rate) sweeps cannot be applied to arbitrary waveforms.

But the 33500A series (recently discontinued) service/user manual states that arbitrary waveforms can be frequency swept.

The data sheet also lists a settling time of <200 nsecs for arbitrary waveforms. Settling time for a step say make sense but I don't understand what this means in terms of an arbitrary and constantly changing waveform.

If arbitrary waveforms can't be swept or frequency modulated, then doesn't some of the advantages of TrueForm technology become lost in the sense that the sample rate could just be a fixed 250MS/sec and the user could load different arbitrary waveforms for different frequencies.

I'm trying to compare the 33500 series with cheaper simple DDS systems and also more expensive variable clock systems. Not being able to sweep or modulate the frequency seems to be a bit of a drawback.

Can someone from Agilent confirm that this is the case and also explain what is meant by settling time in the context of an arbitrary time varying waveform.