ESC 2010: Hands on with Tektronix

I went to Embedded Systems Conference again this year.  Unlike last year, I didn’t get to see any interesting teardowns, but I saw some things that made up for it.

There were booth ladies at XJtag.  Again.

2.4 GHz remotes demonstrated by Microchip, using RF4CP:

The tether is just for theft prevention—there is no IR emitter on this remote.  Don’t ask me what happens when your Bluetooth, 2.4G cordless, WiFi and microwave are all in the same room as they are in my apartment.

The high point of ESC was the day after the exhibits when Tektronix held a seminar featuring hands-on training on their mixed-signal digital oscilloscope.  My personal test instruments belong in a museum and I have never used a digital scope, though I’m familiar with the technology.

Apologies for the poor cell phone photo.  The BNC jacks have familiar analog 10X probes, while the digital probe set plugs into the middle of the front panel.  This scope had 4 analog channels and 16 digital channels.  We plugged the scope into a special demo board that makes “bad” signals with various defects that users are trained to figure out both in the analog and the digital realms.  My partner and I got through the two sessions without breaking anything and we both learned something about digital and serial bus troubleshooting.  If my partner reads this, I’m sorry I went too fast for him;  I have never used this scope but I wasn’t hesitant a bit to push buttons and turn dials.

I can dream about affording this scope for another day.

I did come home with some goodies:

Microchip contributed most of the items in the photograph;  you can see their CD’s and chip sample card.  Micrium was handing out a thick book on real-time OS (RTOS) technologies.  Interestingly, Microchip has some sort of marketing agreement with Energizer, the bunny battery people.  There are AA, AAA and AAAA batteries and an LED pen light.  Plus a Dell yoyo that’s supposed to light up but doesn’t.  I usually share this stuff at the SATV offices, but I always keep flashlights for myself!.

And a commemorative lapel pin from Energizer, featuring their titular pink bunny, “KEEP GOING”.

I always say I will get more involved with embedded work;  I have a collection of dev kits I have seldom used, because they either didn’t do what I was interested in or they cost too much to get working.  I’d love to find a dev kit with Ethernet that I could justify for a micro web server or preferably a NTP clock with a GPS module.  They’re getting cheaper.

I had a good time as usual and I appreciated the break from my usual work.  Especially the scopes.


One Comment on “ESC 2010: Hands on with Tektronix”

  1. […] This conference and trade show is held every fall in Boston.  I’ve been going for years, including last year, and the year before that.  I love going.  I’ve always had a side interest in […]

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