What's going on with SyncBox?

SyncBox was (and still kind of is) a planed product, that aimed to allow multiple ScanaQuad devices to connect together creating more than 4 channels (8, 12, 16, etc.).

ScanaQuad hardware was designed with a trigger in/out signal that is routed to a 5th pin of the USB connector. Using a special 5 wire USB cable, it's possible to connect that trigger signal to multiple devices and synchronize them, having one master that generates the trigger signal, and slave devices that listen to that trigger event.

Sounds good, right? Well things are not that simple. We designed everything, we even produced a first batch of enclosures and PCBs. We've written all the code that bring this to life in ScanaStudio, but discovered one problem: clock synchronization.

You see, even if all devices are perfectly in sync at (and around) the trigger instant, each device has its internal quartz, its own PLL that generates the sampling clock. That also means that each device has its own clock deviation. While this deviation is typically below 5%, the problem is that it's totally random, and the farther you get from the trigger instant, the less signal edges are correctly aligned between different devices.

For those of you who may doubt we went that far with SyncBox, here's a picture where you can see the device and the custom made USB cables:

There may be solutions for that problem, and we're working on it, but for now, we've decided the following:

  1. Develop a simpler product that allows the trigger IN/OUT functionality of ScanaQuad to be used with any instrument (like a bench-top oscilloscope or AWG). This will be called "Trig Box"
  2. Continue our research on that clock synchronization issue.

Say hello to TrigBox

We knew many of you (owners of ScanaQuad devices) mainly want to make your logic analyzer talk to other instruments, so we decided to bring that product first: TrigBox.

Victor Canoz, (who is behind IkaScope's hardware), designed a really powerful, state of the art trigger input/out stage. We're currently testing the prototype and characterizing the product in every detail. 

As you can see in the 3D picture below, there will be a separate SMA connector for both trigger directions (IN/OUT):

We're still not sure if we should include SMA to BNC adapters with the device, but we'd love to hear your thoughts about that.


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