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View Poll Results: Function generator preference: conventional or arbitrary?
Conventional 0 0%
Arbitrary 2 66.67%
No preference 1 33.33%
Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-19-2017, 06:05 AM   #1
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Default Conventional vs arbitrary function generators

These days, I recommend arbitrary function (waveform) generators over conventional function generators given arbitrary function generators are easier to use (especially with a waveform display), more flexible, consistent in output and offer better value for money considering that the design (and calibration) of an arbitrary function generator can be less expensive than a conventional function generator (depending on how many waveform types a conventional unit includes) nowdays.

Many arbitrary function generators include a number of built-in waveforms, some of which are complex e.g. damped sinewave, which can be difficult (and for certain waveforms, impossible) to generate on a conventional function generator.

I noted that the following calibrations have been dispensed with in arbitrary function generators (most of them have been replaced with software defined functions):
Typical Calibrations Dispensed With: Distortion, Output Harmonics, Square Wave Needle Suppression, Square Wave Rise/Fall Time, Square Wave Duty Cycle Adjustment, Internal Waveform Modulation (AM/FM etc.), Modulation Low Frequency Suppression, Burst Start/Stop Phase
Typical Calibrations Still Required: Output Amplifier Offset, Output Amplifier Frequency Compensation, Master Clock, External Waveform Modulation Level
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Conventional vs arbitrary function generators

Of course an arbitrary generator can do anything a fixed function generator, problem being, sometimes it's real tough to generate an "arbitrary" function at a high frequency without distortion at low cost...

So it depends on the situation.
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