This page presents life-size screen shots of a few different Wavesmith operations. For the best display, maximize your browser window. Due to the high quality of these images, please be patient while this page loads. For a listing of commands and features, refer to the data sheet. The best way to check out Wavesmith is to download the free demo version and try it for yourself.
Graphical wave definition
Wavesmith uses fast and accurate graphical methods for placing standard waveforms. In this image, the baseline and starting point of the sin(x)/x pulse have already been specified. The user is moving the cursor to define the amplitude and width of the pulse. As the cursor moves, the outline of the pulse changes to track the proposed location and the exact coordinates are displayed in the box at the lower right. If absolute numerical precision is required, exact coordinates can be typed into that box.
Zooming and the map view
Most realistic waveforms have far more points than can be visible on the screen all at once. Wavesmith handles this by allowing you to zoom in on a small portion of the waveform, while displaying the entire wave in a "map view". In this image, the smaller window displays the entire waveform. Note the small glitch near the falling edge zero-crossing of the sine wave. The larger window shows that glitch magnified to a size which is convenient for design work. To create this example, theGenerate|Sine wave command was first used to create a pure sine wave. Then, after zooming in on the desired part of the waveform, Edit|Draw command was used to manually draw in the glitch. A highlighted rectangular outline on the map view shows the location of the zoomed region within the entire waveform.
Sequencers allow instruments to generate much longer repetitive waveforms than would normally be the case given a relatively small amount of waveform memory. With a sequencer only one cycle of each repetitive waveform need be physically stored in the instrument. This screen shows a sequence using three types of waveforms as listed in the sequence table. The composite waveform is displayed below the sequence table.
Analog & digital representations
Normally, waveforms are displayed in analog form, but you can display and edit them as binary digital data if desired. This is helpful when doing low-level development and debugging on mixed-signal systems. A full set of logical operators supports digital waveform development.
Wavesmith includes a very versatile waveform search engine which allows you to search for waveform points matching various amplitude criteria including thresholds, windows, and tolerances. You can also automatically replace matched points with a specified value.
In many cases Wavesmith can directly control an instrument. A typical instrument driver such as this one provides PC-based control over most instrument functions. A minimal instrument driver will provide one-click waveform download and/or upload capability. Most drivers also allow you to control instrument parameters and save them along with the waveform. Continuously-variable parameters such as amplitude and sample rate are controlled by sliders as shown here. These sliders allow you to use a mouse to smoothly "tweak" the output, restoring some of the ease of use provided by the knobs on analog function generators. Unlike a knob, however, these sliders can be zoomed in to enhance fine adjustments. Instrument drivers are generally developed in cooperation with instrument manufacturers. While convenient, a built-in driver is not a requirement for using Wavesmith with a particular instrument. If you have any software available which can download a text file into the instrument, Wavesmith can probably create the appropriate file.
Copyright 2008 David Sherman Engineering Co.