Oscilloscope offers a choice of operating systems

June 06, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
The Tektronix Series 5 MSO is powered by Linux or Windows
Do you care what operating system your oscilloscope runs? Tektronix thinks you do, and gives you the choice in its latest mid-range system.

It has developed a new mid-range oscilloscope with configurable analogue and digital inputs, a new 12bit data acquisition sub-systems and a large 15.6in capacititative touchscreen driven by a choice of Linux or Windows.

Every oscilloscope on the market today is either a dedicated scope or based on a Windows PC platform that allows users to run other programs on the scope. Each approach has pluses and minuses and many labs have both styles, which leads to problems when users need to switch among test platforms.

The 5 Series scope is the first that runs as either a dedicated scope (using Linux) or using Windows. The user can switch between the two simply by adding or removing a solid-state drive that has the Windows license/OS installed on it. When the SSD is installed, the instrument boots Windows. When it’s removed, the instrument boots as a dedicated scope. Regardless of the configuration, the scope’s user interface drives exactly the same way.

Both operating systems drive a 15.6-inch capacitive touch, high definition (1920 x 1080 px) display, the industry's first for a scope, with a new user interface that lets users access controls directly through objects on the display rather than having to navigate through menus to get to more menus. The result is faster and more intuitive operation along with considerably more space for viewing waveforms and correlating signals. For added flexibility, users can also drive the oscilloscope using a mouse and conventional front-panel controls.

Unlike previous scopes, the 5 Series MSO offers models with four, six, or eight analogue FlexChannels. By default, the input is a TekVPI+ connector that accepts all TekVPI analogue probes, preserving the existing investment in probes, but when the new TLP058 Logic Probe is connected the input is converted to 8 digital channels. The user can add as many logic probes as they need, enabling anywhere from 8 to 64 digital channels. Digital signals are sampled, triggered, and stored

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