[sdiy] GW INSTEK SFG-1013 Function Generator

Richie Burnett rburnett at richieburnett.co.uk
Sat Feb 3 20:38:39 CET 2018


Hi Justin, 

We've got quite a bit of gw instek kit in our undergrad teaching labs at work and it's cheap and cheerful. I haven't used that particular function generator before but we have loads of their analogue sig gen model with the built in frequency counter and they work fine and have decent build quality.

Although I haven't used the sfg-1013 I am a fan of DDS function generators. I've got an agilent 33250a on my workbench and the ability to lock it to an external frequency reference and quickly dial up any frequency and waveform you want with digital precision is very useful.

The only down side with some cheap DDS sig gens is noise spurs from the way in which the signal is generated internally. So if you want a super pure sinewave for audio distortion testing then a cheap DDS unit might not be the best option.

The 3MHz frequency limit is quite low if you were going to use it for modern digital stuff too, but otherwise the spec looks pretty decent. Might be worth comparing price and spec with HP/Agilent/Keysight's entry level DDS model to see what a bit more cash would get you though...

Also be warned, if you chose to pick up an Agilent DDS model second hand, a lot of these develop problems with the incremental encoder. So bargain on having to replace a dodgy backwards-counting encoder at some point if you take a punt on one of these s/h. They're great products otherwise though.

-Richie,

Sent from my Xperia SP on O2

---- Justin Owen wrote ----

>Has anyone got any experience with or advice on this?
>
>Looking for a better square and sine wave source for design and development than my Eurorack modules are giving me.
>
>Don't have to have a dedicated piece of hardware for the job - but I don't have a computer on/near the work bench so software versions aren't an option. Don't have much of a budget and my success with buying test gear 2nd hand has always been a bit hit and miss.
>
>One of my 2nd hand 'hits' was the GW Instek bench meter that I own which is great.
>
>Thanks!
>
>/ Justin
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