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A PROFIBUS PA Oscilloscope

16 January 2009

Dennis van Booma of PROCENTEC says his ProfiTrace product now integrates PROFIBUS PA so that it is now able to do electrical measurements on both DP and PA networks. “This is the only oscilloscope tool in the world that is able to be deployed in the entire PROFIBUS plant,” he says.

Procentec's ProfiTrace Oscilloscope
Procentec's ProfiTrace Oscilloscope

ProfiTrace is a PROFIBUS analyser which runs on ProfiCore USB hardware. The hardware and software package can be used to analyse the signal quality, and for bus monitoring, topology scan, reporting and master activities.

“With one small box in your hand you can work all over the place and be in full control of your installation. In the past an external oscilloscope was required when measuring PROFIBUS PA installations,” says Mr. von Booma. “But with the new PA Probe Ultra this is not necessary anymore.”

He has no doubt the ProfiTrace troubleshooting and maintenance tool to invest in.

“Most PROFIBUS Competence Centres and Training Centres have standardised on this tool for their activities. Support can be found everywhere and there are hundreds of Certified PROFIBUS Engineers around who have extensive ProfiTrace knowledge,” he says.

The oscilloscope is used for the inspection of the signal quality. It displays all signals that are measured. The time base and voltage levels are adjustable.

By double-clicking on the devices in the Live List, the oscilloscope triggers on the respective device and only displays its signals. This is a perfect mode to inspect the signal quality for individual devices. By measuring the width of the reflections, the tool indicates the distance to the “problem.”

A powerful feature of the oscilloscope is the Bit Interpretation Engine. It displays the bits that ProfiTrace detects on the bus. The end user can compare this with the signals that are measured with the oscilloscope and make a judgment about the signal quality (glitches).

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