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Network-Based Lab Instrument Management Solution for Education

Tek Smartlab07 April 2015 - Tektronix announced a network-based lab instrument management solution for quickly setting up and efficiently managing basic electronics engineering laboratories at colleges and universities. The new TekSmartLab solution supports managing up to 400 instruments (100 test benches) on a single platform.

At many learning institutions, implementing productive and fully integrated instrument networks in classrooms can be a daunting task. For instance, using LAN cables to set up a network is costly, time consuming and limits flexibility. Moreover, many instruments lack LAN ports. Using instruments' existing USB ports and the new Tektronix network adaptor, the instruments on each bench can be connected to the network wireless or via Ethernet. TekSmartLab conveniently enables network connectivity on previously unconnected instruments, while giving professors the software tools they need to efficiently manage large, busy classrooms.

"Centralized control of instruments dramatically improves the classroom and lab experience for students, instructors and lab managers," said Michael Ewald, general manager, Bench Products, at Tektronix. "TekSmartLab eliminates many repetitive manual tasks, saving valuable class time. Features such as batch instrument configuration, remote auto-set disable, centralized status monitoring and wireless retrieval of test results via smartphones mean that professors and students can focus on learning and not shuffling paper or configuring their tools."

The TekSmartLab software runs on a standard PC and sets up quickly without requiring any special skills in network administration or special instrument configuration. From a central dashboard, professors can load instrument configurations associated with different course requirements and distribute these to up to 400 instruments with a single mouse click. Educators can also easily check individual instruments' status and measurement contents, for instance, in order to help students on a specific test bench remotely. Instead of using a USB thumb drive to connect to an oscilloscope, students can now retrieve test results wireless after scanning a work station specific QR code with their smartphones.

TekSmartLab also improves laboratory administration. In conventional teaching labs, lab managers must manually check and record information such as instrument model numbers, serial numbers and workstation location. Detailed information such as an instrument's utilization time can only be estimated by experience or by keeping paper-based usage logs. In contrast, TekSmartLab automatically records and displays this type of asset information, providing administrators with better information for classroom scheduling or making decisions on energy consumption and lab equipment investments.

A typical classroom test bench consists of an oscilloscope, a function generator, a digital multi-meter and a power supply. Most Tektronix and Keithley instruments for education applications are supported by TekSmartLab, including the Tektronix TBS1000B-EDU series, DPO/MSO2000B series and MDO3000 series oscilloscopes; AFG1022, AFG2021 and AFG3000C series arbitrary function generators; and Keithley DMM2110 multi-meters and 2231A-30-3 power supplies. In addition, many Tektronix instruments released over the last 5 years, including the TDS1000 series, MSO/DPO2000 series, AFG3000 series, are also supported, and many existing labs can be easily upgraded to TekSmartLab without having to purchase a full set of new instruments.

Pricing & Availability

The TekSmartLab TSL3000B software and the TBX3000A network adaptor are now available worldwide for ordering.

www.tektronix.com/



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