GENESYS+™ – How to generate arbitrary waveforms

Posted by Dulcie on November 23, 2018

Arbitrary waveform generators produce electrical waveforms to test electrical and electronic equipment. This is to ensure that the product operates properly, or to pinpoint a particular fault. Unlike function generators, you can programme specific points in the waveform to create custom waveforms. These waveforms are either repetative or single-shot (only once). Triggering waveforms is via an external event, e.g. a signal from another piece of equipment, or manually.

The GENESYS+™ series of programmable power supplies allows the storage of up to four arbitrary waveforms in internal memory cells to control the output voltage or current. Profiles can contain up to 100 steps and be triggered to operate using the communication interfaces or via the front panel.

To create arbitrary waveforms use the Waveform Creator application, which comes on the CD-ROM provided.

There are two programmable modes; LIST and WAVE.

LIST allows a step function to be entered using up to 100 points. The example in Figure 1 is setting the output from 0V to 5V after a 20ms delay from an external trigger. After 50ms, the output is increased to 10V for 60ms before reducing back to 0V.

Figure 1: LIST waveform example

WAVE also allows gradual output voltage or current changes. In Figure 2, the output is again set from 0V to 5V after a 20ms delay from an external trigger. This time, it increases gradually to 10V over a 30ms time period. It remains at 10V for 20ms before reducung gradually to zero in 30ms. In this case, the output repeats this routine twice (COUN 2).

Figure 2: WAVE waveform example

The Waveform Creator allows complex waveforms to be developed and all the values, trigger and repeat actions to be easily set, viewed and stored. See Figure 3.

Figure 3: Waveform creator

The active memory cell number (1-4) is indicated on the GENESYS+™ front panel display.
The Graphical User Interface (GUI), which can also be downloaded from the website, contains a Waveform Profile Generator. This is for creating more complex waveforms, including sine, triangle and saw tooth. See Figure 4.

Figure 4: Waveform Profile Generator

The arbitrary waveforms can be used for a variety of applications including vehicle battery starting profiles to test automotive components and assemblies. See Figure 5.

Figure 5: Examples of arbitrary waveforms

For additional assistance, please contact your local TDK-Lambda sales office.