The project for the last 3 months has been to design and program the electronics for a Rapid Covid-19 Tester, with results in under 30 seconds. Working as a subcontractor at a startup for a client with limited funding has meant very little budget for test equipment, not enough for a modern scope precision meter and power supply, so one has to scrounge, and depend heavily on 30 years of experience.

My basic-basic bench is composed of a Tektronix TDS210 I bought used off of EBay a decade ago and a variable power supply I borrowed from a friend, along with a handheld multimeter I bought from Home Depot. The oscilloscope is a very basic device, does not have any communications, has very basic triggering capability, and very limited memory depth.

As illustration of the limitations of my bench, to document my measurement I have to take pictures with my iPhone and e-mail them to myself. With the limited triggering and memory depth, it has been very difficult to measure some of the important signals I would like to see and validate. The electro-chemical analysis performed by the controller used in the project injects a 20 millivolt sinusoidal signal onto a DC voltage of 1.1V. With a modern scope, I could simply record the whole sequence, use cursors to measure macroscopic timing events, and zoom into the portions of the waveforms where I want to see the 20 millivolt signals. With my '210, I have to perform successive zooms to track down to the injected signal, but I lose overall scale of the signal, and run into the noise floor of my scope. There are many other validation tests I am unable to accomplish, tests that would easily be performed with the Keysight Smart Bench.

Now that we have delivered units for clinical trials to the client, we are thinking about the future. We are very excited about the foundation laid and the potential to diagnose other diseases using different sensors. The Keysight Smart Bench would enhance and speed up ability to deliver product to our world.



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