For fun and often useful science projects you can tackle from your own home shop, few video bloggers top Ben Krasnow, host of the popular Applied Science channel on YouTube. His channel has nearly 300,000 subscribers and a number of the more popular episodes have topped the 1 million views mark.
Like many influential video bloggers, Krasnow keeps a selection of test and measurement gear from Tektronix on hand to assist in verifying and debugging his projects. In the latest segment below on building an AM transmitter, his well-equipped Tektronix bench is on display with an MDO4000 series mixed domain oscilloscope, AFG3000 series function generator and a Keithley 2400 series SMU that can serve as both a DMM and a power supply.
In this episode, he uses the MDO4000 to evaluate the audio signal going into a simple AM transmitter matched up with the output from the device’s oscillator. It provides a clear view of the carrier being modulated by the audio signal. He then uses the Wave Inspector controls on the scope to zoom in and show how the carrier changes height relative to the audio signal.
Later in the episode, he turns to the Keithley SMU to supply 13 DC volts to an SD card module, simulating a car battery. The device lets you store music on an SD card or USB stick and transmit over an AM signal (or through direct connection), ideal for playing MP3 audio through an antique AM radio. In this case, Krasnow installed the device in a 1938 Ford pickup truck with its original AM radio still intact and functional.
In this same episode, Krasnow outlines some more projects he has on tap. One where his Tek bench will come in handy is a full tear down of a cable modem and a look into QAM modulation. As Krasnow notes, “I have a whole bunch of test equipment from Tek that allows me to show QAM really interestingly.”
If you’re feeling inspired and looking to build up a bench similar to Krasnow’s, be sure to head over the Made to Measure sales event going on now through March 31, 2017.