Connecting BitScope

How to connect test circuits and systems to BitScope.

BitScopes as small as BS10 or as large as BS445 use an IDC-26 standard BitScope Smart Port for I/O.

For BitScope Micro we've also created an IDC-10 based Diagnostic Port for I/O.

Both connection standards are very similar and each supports a wide range of device and circuit connection choices.

However, they are not identical.

In addition to physical differences they are functionally different. The Diagnostic Port is effectively a subset of Smart Port which is aimed at Test & Measurement whereas the Smart Port is more general purpose.

In all cases it's possible to connect the supplied mixed signal test clips to the analog and logic inputs. The differences appear in how to connect waveform and clock generator outputs, how to connect standard oscilloscope probes and whether BitScope can be used to power and control a circuit or device under test.

BitScope Smart Port (IDC-26)

Ever since the original design, BitScope has had a socket for connecting analog and digital signals.

Originally a DB-25 connector and now IDC-26, this Smart Port interface also provides power, ground and control for a connected circuit and most models provide waveform and clock generators via the interface as well.

Pictured here is BS10 with a pair of oscilloscope probe adapters, 8 logic channels and ground test clips and twisted pairs for power supply, voltage reference and the arbitrary waveform generator.

Alternatively it's easy to connect a 26-way ribbon cable using off-the-shelf IDC connectors and of course it works with standard accessories such as LP103X.

The Smart Port supports up to 4 analog channels, 8 logic channels, up to 3 power or voltage sources, a waveform and (switchable) clock generator.

It is a smart interface in the sense that it provides dedicated serial I/O signals to control, program and monitor connected devices (on BitScope models that support this).

The key card shown here identifies the default signal inputs and outputs. The analog inputs are electrically compatible with standard oscilloscope probes so simple twisted pair adapters can be used to connect them but normally connections are made using test clips & wires.

BitScope Micro Diagnostic Port (IDC-10)

The BitScope Micro Diagnostic Port is the IDC-10 based 10-pin alternative to the Smart Port.

Whereas the Smart Port is designed for complete system I/O, the Diagnostic Port is intended for compact multi-function mixed signal test and measurement.

It provides most of the functionality of the Smart Port but omits power and dedicated control lines. It provides shared access to BitScope's data acquistion and waveform generation capabilies instead of dedicated I/O for each signal.

In addition to manual test & measurement it's suited to automated testing, passive signal monitoring and many similar data acquision purposes.

It offers reassignable signal routing and a sensible pin layout to enable access to all of BitScope's analog and digital inputs, waveform and clock generators for a wide range of applications but it's not designed to power external circuits or control or program intelligent connected devices.

BitScope HammerHead | Mixed Signal Oscilloscope Interface

Every BitScope is a Mixed Signal Oscilloscope whether it uses the Smart Port or Diagnostic Port to connect.

From the very first model the Smart Port has always been accompanied by one or more BNC sockets to connect standard oscilloscope probes.

However, new models including BS10 and BitScope Micro do not have BNC sockets but they are both electrically compatible with standard oscilloscope probes.

We have defined a standard mixed signal oscilloscope interface for use with Smart Port and Diagnostic Port models to make it easy to use standard oscilloscope probes.

We call this BitScope HammerHead.

Instead of connecting oscilloscope probes direcly using a simple twisted pair adapter (as shown above) it offers a much more flexible alternative (shown here). The HammerHead plugs into the Smart Port or Diagnostic Port to provide a common standard for connections when used as a Mixed Signal Oscilloscope. There are version of HammerHead designed for BitScope Micro (MP01A) and BS10 (SP01A). In this case, HammerHead is connected with BitScope Micro, a pair of standard probes and 10 mixed signal test clips.

With either model, the connections are similar; a pair of BNC sockets for the connection of oscilloscope probes and a 16-pin header mounted in between for connection to the logic, clock and waveform outputs.

The HammerHead adapter provides all the benefits of larger model BitScopes but the convenience of a small mixed signal test instrument when not using scope probes.

It's also possible to use HammerHead as a mounting device where all the connections are made and the BitScope simply plugged in as and when needed.

In educational settings for example a single test system can be configured and the student's BitScope connected without needing to reconnect the probes and wires to the test circuit for each use.

BitScope Port Adapters

BitScope HammerHead is just the first of a range of new port adapters designed for BitScope Micro, BS10 and other models due for release in 2015. All of them extend the range of features offered by these tiny BitScopes. Stay tuned!

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