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The signal generator will have a control and display panel for you to set the output to your desired specifications. The signal generator also has ports and cords to hook the unit to a power source (occasionally a battery) and to the device under test. Signal generators come a a variety of sizes from handheld models to table-top sized units.
How signal generators work
The operator uses the control panel to set the specifications for the signal to be created. The signal is then sent to the device under test. Another piece of electronic test equipment is usually used to analyze the results. A digital to analog converter (DAC) in the signal generator changes a digital signal to analog before it is sent to the device under test if you would like to use an analog signal in your testing.
Signal generators that create different types of signals are available; the following are some examples:
Function generator – creates repetitive waveforms, this is the most used
Arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) – creates random waveforms within your specified parameters
RF and microwave generators
Pitch, audio, or video signal generators
About signal generators
Signal generators create a signal that is used to test electronic equipment. They are used in design, repair, and problem-solving projects. Signal generators that create any type of signal are available. Digital and analog models are available, though most create a digital signal and convert it to analog rather than create an analog signal originally.