Electrical measurement equipment is an expensive category for many educational institutions. While a single lab workspace is simple and relatively inexpensive to set up with a full set of tools, problems arise when a course calls for a large number of identical workbenches. For many schools, the cost alone will present a major issue, but for even more, the space required for such a setup is simply too large, providing major logistical obstacles.
Digilent attempted to solve most of these issues with their Analog Discovery Studio – a portable prototyping platform based on their popular Analog Discovery 2 USB oscilloscope. In fact, the measurement capabilities of both devices are identical. Where the Analog Discovery Studio shines, though, is in the academia-oriented additions to the Analog Discovery 2 make the Studio a superior device in terms of convenience.
We’d like to take some time here and thank Digilent for sending in a review unit of the Analog Discovery Studio free of charge. On the other hand, this is not a sponsored review and all of the opinions here are our own.
At $599 ($649 for a kit that also includes oscilloscope probes and BNC hook-up cables for the waveform generator), the Studio is competitively priced, providing a wide variety of instruments for much less than their traditional benchtop or rackmount counterparts. The main instruments is offers are a dual-channel oscilloscope, a dual-channel waveform generator, as well as a 16-channel logic analyser. There’s also a pair of variable power supplies along with three fixed ones, as well as instruments that share some of the the inputs/circuitry of others, like the network and impedance analysers which combine the oscilloscope and waveform generator instruments or the voltmeter which uses the oscilloscope inputs.The system is simple to connect and get started with, utilising a USB cable for computer communication, and a supplied barrel-jack power adapter for powering the instruments. The two cables are all the system needs, reducing workspace clutter by a considerable amount compared to a more traditional setup.