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Signal Generator: Which one to buy ? What to look for in a signal generator ?
Signal Generator: Which one to buy ? What to look for in a signal generator ?
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Old 11th January 2012, 11:40 PM   #41
lexx21 is offline lexx21  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Carolina
I built one using an XR2206 chip about 20 years ago and it still works fine for me. The chip is cheap, the circuit is easy to build, and it works. Most of all, and very important for me, my finished product is small.
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Old 12th January 2012, 07:28 AM   #42
geraldfryjr is offline geraldfryjr  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Jackson,michigan
I used an XR2206 as my very first signal generator it worked great.
I used a frequency counter with it and got it to sweep its full range capability with just two ranges.
20Hz to 20Khz in one range and 20Khz to 200Khz in the other.

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Old 12th January 2012, 10:38 AM   #43
Doz is offline Doz  United Kingdom
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I've got a "farnell" (Thurby Thandar I think) that I fetched out of a skip 20 years ago. Even has a sweep generator on it.
"To err is human.. to make a real balls-up requires a computer"
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Old 12th January 2012, 01:54 PM   #44
scott17 is offline scott17
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I have an HP 3311A that I'm happy with. Paid about $70 on bay.

It doesn't have the most accurate frequency selector dial but I have scope and frequency counter.

It maintains a constant voltage across the audio band and that is essential for speaker driver measurements.
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Old 12th January 2012, 09:02 PM   #45
kruesi is offline kruesi  United States
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Location: Chicago - Gritty, Grey and Windy
There's a big difference between the performance of a function generator and that of an audio signal generator. A function generator is usually more wideband (0.01 Hz - 10 MHz or so) and can generate square, rectangular, triangle and sine waveshapes. Usually the sine is not particularly low-distortion since these generators are not used as signal sources to test audio amplifier distortion. Usually the square has a decently-fast risetime.

An audio signal generator is perhaps more suited for use as a general-purpose audio signal source, having low (well, lowER) distortion sinewaves and also perhaps a reasonable squarewave output.

In addition to the older 200-series, HP also made a 204-series and certain others (209, etc). Some of these have both sine and square outputs, some also have built-in calibrated attenuators. Most are spec'd at 0.1% THD, mine is somewhat better than this at about 0.065% but none are truly low-distortion sources. By "low-distortion" I mean 0.01% or less.

These are much smaller than the popular 200-series, much more stable, and are also very reasonably priced.

Depends what you need it for. I'm happy with my HP-209 for most things.

Last edited by kruesi; 12th January 2012 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 12th January 2012, 10:01 PM   #46
HP8903B is offline HP8903B
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Thank you guys for the input.
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