FIGURE 6. Spectral analysis
window of the virtual oscilloscope.
time to calibrate the system — a
procedure that’s explained in the
For the price, the software
alone is an impressive value. I own
several suites of virtual instruments,
and this WaveForms suite is by far
the easiest to use. Go to the
website and download the
software. You’ll find installation
painless. You can use the software
in demo mode without the board.
Documentation is available in a
help file as well as pop-up, context-sensitive balloons. The online
documentation will get you started
on circuit design, and any good
reference book should help get you
to the next level.
The strength of the EE Board — an all-in-one, self-contained learning center for electronics — is also its
greatest limitation. I’d be willing to pay, say, $20 more, for
a few output posts for the power supply, and a pair of
BNC connectors for standard scope and data probes.
Given the utility of the Waveforms virtual instruments, I’d
like to have them available for my workbench to use with
circuits not constructed on the board. It would be a
simple matter to create a series of binding post shields for
the input/output blocks.
Another limitation is the lack of traditional probes in
general. I’d like the ability to move a test probe around a
circuit to take spot measurements. Moving a jumper wire
to get a new reading can be painfully slow. That said, for
someone new to electronics and measurement, a stable,
verifiable connection to a meter or signal generator might
be a good thing.
PICBASIC PRO™ Compiler
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PICBASIC and PICBASIC PRO are trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. PIC is a registered trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries.
November 2011 43