The “Hidden” Gems of WaveForms 2015 – Part 5


In part 4 of this series I discussed four of the hidden gems of WaveForms 2015: Data export, drop downs with text editing, and small icons that double as buttons. In this post I’ll continue uncovering some more hidden gems of WaveForms 2015.

The Help Tab:

The help tab automatically opens next to the welcome tab.

When you open WaveForms 2015 one of the tabs that automatically opens is the help tab. The help tab contains documentation on each of the tools and definitions of all the buttons and options. 

An example of some text in the help tab. You can search for what you need or use the navigation menu on the left.

This is a great place to look if you get stuck because it is built directly into the tool. And of course if you  need more help than the help tab can provide you are more than welcome to look in resource center. There you’ll find tutorials, community projects and a getting started guide. 

The Device Manager:

When you first open up WaveForms you’ll see the device manager.

The device manager.

Once the device is selected and connected it disappears and tends to get forgotten. The device manager does more than just allow you to select the device. You can also name your device, calibrate your device, troubleshoot connections, and allocate resources to the tools.

Click on rename and the device can be named.

Clicking Calibrate will open the device calibration wizard.

You can also troubleshoot the device by going to the forum or if necessary using device fix.

If you don’t care to get to know the device manager, that’s fine, all instrumentation devices are factory calibrated, and have default settings. 

You can access the device manager through the leftmost button in the bottom left of the screen, or in the settings menu.

The device manager can be accessed by the Settings window, and by clicking on the button with the device name.

System Monitor:

Next to the button that opens the device manager is the system monitor which will tell you the status of the device. If you click on it you’ll be able to see the Analog Discovery 2 USB current, USB voltage and temperature, the Digital Discovery USB current, USB voltage, user current and user voltage, and the state of the power switch for the Electronics Explorer Board.

The system monitor for the Analog Discovery 2.

The Forum:

This is not really hidden, but it is still a gem! If you run into any problem you can’t solve, or you have suggestions, post on the Digilent forum. You input is always welcome.

That concludes the Hidden Gems series. If you have found any hidden gems yourself that I missed, comment below! And of course make sure to check out WaveForms 2015 and keep following the blog.

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About Author

When I started school I wasn’t interested in any of things I’m passionate about now. In fact originally I started out wanting to study art. But then I decided I didn’t want to have people telling me what to create, so I changed to music. Then I decided I didn’t want to ruin a hobby by making it my career. At the same time my Physics class was teaching a unit on the physics of music, and I thought that was way interesting, so I changed to physics. Then by the time physics was over I decided that the coolest part of physics was electricity and magnetism, and I may as well get a degree that transfers directly into a career. So while all this was happening, I was attending Shoreline Community College, and during that time I found my passion, or rather presented itself repeatedly, until I realized, maybe I should take a hint from the universe. While at community college, I was asked to help at the high school by tutoring chemistry students. Then I was asked to help at the elementary school by being a math Olympiad coach. I continued both because I found I really enjoyed it. I also had an opportunity, and was hired to be a tutor in the Math Learning Center at the Community College, a job I really loved. At the same time I was working as a Nanny, which I had been doing for several years, the main reason because I could and would answer the hard questions the kids asked honestly (i.e. why is the sky blue). I then was recommended by the patrons of the MLC to the transfer tutoring center (private tutoring,) and developed a wait list of students. Through all these opportunities at some point I realized that I loved watching people go from totally lost, to masters of a subject. I was also forced to admit that having all these opportunities continually renewed, I must have been somewhat good at it. So I decided I wanted to teach, which fits with my mission oriented personality. I saw a serious lack of passionate ECE professors in the institutions I attended. At WSU I continued this trend by being ask to TA for computer science and electrical engineering, being a TA for a total of 4 semesters. This continued by getting an amazing opportunity in my first semester at Washington State University to work at Digilent, an educational company. So even if I didn’t want to teach, turns out I can’t avoid it. Luckily it is my main passion.

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