Basics of Using the Agilent 33220A Function Generator with the

Basics of Using the Agilent 33220A Function Generator with the
Basics of Using the Agilent 33220A Function Generator with the
Tektronix 3012 Digital Oscilloscope
This document {briefly} describes how to use the Agilent 33220A Function Generator with the Tektronix
3012 Oscilloscope. Detailed information is contained in the User’s Manuals for each of these two devices.
Plug in both the Agilent 33220A FG and the Tek 3012 ‘Scope to the 120Vac wall power, then turn them
both on by pressing the AC power On/Off switches on each device. It takes a few seconds for both the FG
and the ‘Scope to boot up {they each have specialized processors inside them}. The power-on default
settings of the FG are a f = 1 KHz sine wave with a 100 mVpp ( = 0.100 Vpp) peak-to-peak amplitude . Note
that the FG output is initially off – press the Output button to turn on the FG output. Select/press the Ch1
(yellow) button on the ‘Scope, then a.) in the Vertical column of the ‘Scope, rotate the large round knob so
that the Ch1 input sensitivity is e.g. 20-50 mV/vertical division on the ‘Scope’s display screen (observe Ch1
sensitivity setting at the bottom left-hand side of display screen), then b.) in the Horizontal column of the
‘Scope, rotate the large round knob so that the ‘Scope’s time base is 1 msec/horizontal division (observe the
time base sensitivity setting at the bottom ~ center of the display screen). Then c.) using a 3-4 ft BNC cable,
connect the output of the FG to the Ch1 input of the ‘Scope. Then d.) depending on the previous users of the
scope, you may have to setup/adjust the Trigger settings of the ‘Scope to be able to display a stable sine
wave as output from the FG – n.b. one needs to trigger the ‘Scope on the Ch1 signal, since this is the only
signal input to the ‘Scope. Explicitly measure/verify that the period of the sine wave is τ = 1 msec (i.e. has a
frequency f = 1/τ = 1/0.001 Hz = 1 KHz, and that the peak-to-peak amplitude of the sine wave is indeed 100
mVpp. If you have any difficulties in doing any of this, don’t hesitate to ask a POM Lab TA for help!
Next, investigate the nature of the FG Square and Ramp wave signals, as shown in the figures below:
1 Explicitly see/investigate what happens when the Duty Cycle (Symmetry) parameter (4th blue-gray
button immediately below the FG display) is varied for the Square (Ramp) wave, respectively. If the Pulse
waveform is selected, one can examine the effect of varying the Width of the Pulse, again selecting the
appropriate blue-gray button associated with the Pulse waveform.
It is also possible e.g. to use the FG Sync signal to externally trigger the ‘Scope. But first, we want to
investigate the nature of the FG Sync signal – so let’s plug it into Ch2 of the scope – a.) press the blue Ch2
button to activate Ch2, then b.) in the Vertical column of the ‘Scope, rotate the large round knob so that the
Ch2 input sensitivity is 2.0 Volts/vertical division on the ‘Scope’s display screen (also observe Ch2
sensitivity setting at the bottom left-hand side of display screen). Then c.) use another 3-4 ft BNC cable, and
connect the FG’s Sync signal to the Ch2 input of the ‘Scope. You should now see:
Note the phase relation between the FG’s sine wave vs. the FG’s Sync signal – transitions of the FG’s Sync
square-wave signal occur at the zero crossings of the sine wave.
2 So the FG’s Sync signal is essentially a digital (TTL-type) square-wave signal, with ~ few volts
amplitude. Next, remove/unplug the 2nd BNC cable from the ‘Scope’s Ch2 input and plug it into the Ext.
Trig. Input (bottom right-hand side corner of the ‘Scope). Then push the Menu button in the Trigger
column and select External Trigger and e.g. positive _| (or negative |_) slope from the Menu buttons
located at the bottom & on the right-hand side of the ‘Scope’s display. Likely you will also have to adjust the
‘Scope’s trigger Level – by rotating the Trigger column’s Level button (at the top of this column) to
raise/lower the voltage value at which the scope will/can trigger on the FG Sync waveform. Again, if you
have difficulties in doing this, don’t hesitate to ask a POM Lab TA for help!
An Additional Investigation: Different-Looking Waveforms Sound Different – Why???
Put the Agilent 33220A FG back to its Sine wave setting, change its frequency from f = 1 KHz to e.g. 300
Hz, and also reduce the FG’s amplitude from 100 mVpp to 10 mVpp. (n.b. this is very important!). Likely you
will need to correspondingly change the ‘Scope’s Ch1 input sensitivity from 20-50 mV/vertical division to
2-5 mV/vertical division, and perhaps also need adjust the ‘Scope’s horizontal time base... Then, temporarily
remove the BNC cable to the Ch1 input on the Tek 3012 ‘Scope, insert a BNC “Tee” connector on Ch1 input
and then reconnect the BNC cable to one side of the BNC “Tee”. Ask a POM Lab TA for one of the BNC→
1/4'” Phono cables and bring one of the small guitar amplifiers in the POM Lab over to your table. Connect
the 10 mVpp amplitude FG Sine wave output to the input of the guitar amp, turn down all of the guitar amp’s
controls, then turn the guitar amp on, and slowly bring up the guitar amp’s controls until you can
{comfortably!} hear the sine wave signal. See/refer to the pix on the following page.
Having accomplished this, now switch the FG from Sine to Square, Ramp and/or Pulse waveforms,
while listening to what they sound like from the guitar amp. Try varying the Square wave’s Duty Cycle,
the Ramp wave’s Symmetry, the Pulse waveform’s Width. Can you hear the difference(s) – Why???
3 4 
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