Tektronix TSL3000B
TekSmartLab™ Software

Increase Lab Efficiency, Connectivity, Workflow and Automation

Network-based lab instrument management solution for managing basic electronics in engineering labs at colleges and universities.

Tektronix TSL3000B TekSmartLab™ Software

TekSmartLab is the industry’s first network-based instrument management solution for teaching labs, enabling a more efficient lab experience. With the TekSmartLab, instructors, students, and lab managers all benefit from improved connectivity, workflow, and automation.

Key features
  • Easy to setup with industrial reliability
  • Intuitive instructor – course – exercise organization
  • Centralized monitoring and remote assistance
  • Online editing and submission of test reports
  • Automatic instrument asset information recording
Key benefits
  • Lab managers can efficiently manage lab instruments:
    • Setup configurations of large fleets of instruments with one click
    • Capture instrument asset information automatically
  • Instructors can manage teaching work flow more efficiently:
    • Instrument configuration can be saved and distributed to all the instruments when required
    • Monitor and control the lab instruments remotely to assist the students
    • Define report templates and have them load automatically when students are using smart devices
  • Students can interact with their lessons seamlessly:
    • Retrieve and save test results wirelessly via smart devices
    • Edit and submit test reports electronically
    • Download materials that are on the lab server (lab procedures, videos, and more)
Applications
  • Basic teaching laboratory

TekSmartLab network diagram

The image below shows the TekSmartLab system setup. Communication with the TSL3000B is over the local WI-FI network through a suitable wireless router.

In traditional teaching labs, connecting instruments to a network can be challenging, building an internal network through cables is tedious, and many lab instruments do not have a LAN port.

Tektronix TekSmartLab is different: On each bench, the TBX3000A connects and controls instruments through USB cables, and communicates with the TSL3000B software on the lab server via the wireless network. The TBX3000A has a LAN port (standard), and can support a WI-FI connection when equipped with a compatible USB-WIFI dongle.

On the lab server, the TSL3000B communicates with the TBX3000A on each bench. The TSL3000B gives instructors centralized control of large fleets of instruments and gives students the ability to retrieve test results, and edit test reports online.

Easy to setup with industrial reliability

TekSmartLab can be easily setup via WI-FI without laying LAN cables. Without any configuration, instruments are recognized automatically by the system when they are connected to the system.

For the labs which have already equipped with Tektronix and Keithley instruments, instructors can smoothly update their labs to TekSmartLab as most of the Tektronix and Keithley teaching lab instruments are supported, even some instruments that have been phased out in the last five years (seeSpecifications).

Instead of controlling all the instruments by lab server directly, the TBX3000A on each bench controls the instruments connected to it. Using the TekSmartLab is an efficient and stable way to work. The TBX3000A, which is based on the Tektronix oscilloscope platform, works seamlessly with Tektronix and Keithley instruments, assuring the industrial reliability of the entire system.

Course and exercise based applications

TekSmartLab uses an instructor – course – exercise oriented hierarchy, an organization familiar to instructors at most universities: Instructors have different courses, and within each course there are different exercises. New exercises are easily created using the instructor name and course name, and easily selected with the same information.

Applications, like saved configuration, exercise material sharing, and report templates, for instance, are linked to specific exercises.

Centralized configuration

Instructors can setup the configurations of the instruments and distribute them to over 100 instruments with a single click. Instrument configuration changes can be made and delivered anytime; for example, the Autoset function can be disabled to encourage students to learn how to manually adjust an oscilloscope to display the correct waveform.

Instrument configuration can also be saved into a specific exercise and recalled when the exercise is selected.

When the TBS1000B-EDU series oscilloscopes are connected to the system, the courseware contents, as well as instrument firmware, can be updated remotely, a manual update for each instrument via USB thumb drives before.

Centralized monitoring and remote assistance

With TekSmartLab, the physical bench layout and lab layout is easily emulated: The number and type of the instruments on the bench can be setup, and the location of each bench within the lab can be customized.

Instructors can easily monitor the status of all instruments during the experiment: Green signifies that the instrument is working, gray signifies no connection, and red signifies an error. An instructor can check on or help a specific bench by clicking the corresponding bench icon.

Clicking a bench icon displays the readouts and key configuration settings for the instruments on that bench.

Retrieving and saving test reports online

In a traditional teaching lab, when students need to save test results they typically take snapshots of oscilloscopes and download those to a USB thumb drive or, more often, use a mobile device to take the picture. The result is that the quality of test results is not consistent and test results are difficult to archive for future access.

TekSmartLab provides a more intelligent approach for editing and submitting test reports online: The TSL3000B server software creates a web page available in the local network for each bench. Each web page can be conveniently accessed by bench-specific IP address.

With TSL3000B, instructors can change the IP address to QR (quick response) codes, and place it permanently as a printed sticker on each bench.

Students can login in to the web page using their mobile device to scan the QR code or by inputting the IP address in the web browser of their laptops. Once logged in, students can easily edit and submit test reports online.

When students create a new test report, the report template, created by instructor and saved on the server, is loaded automatically.

When students edit their test reports, test results, like snapshots of the oscilloscope retrieved wirelessly, can be inserted at any time.

The test report can be downloaded locally or archived on the lab server for future access.

Sharing exercise material online

Enter a short description of your concept here (optional).

TekSmartLab integrates FTP into the distribution of materials, allowing instructors to easily share any type of exercise materials, whether they are PowerPoint, Word, or even video, to students efficiently.

Once instructors load exercise materials onto the lab server, students can download them though the lab server web page onto their smart devices.

Automatic instrument asset information recording

In conventional teaching labs, the asset manager manually checks and records information such as instrument model numbers, serial numbers, and locations. Detailed information like the length of usage can only be estimated by experience or by keeping usage logs.

The TekSmartLab solution automatically records and displays asset information, including time in use. Just one click archives the asset and usage information. TekSmartLab dramatically increases asset management accuracy compared to previous methods and makes managing lab assets much more efficient.

Sample TekSmartLab configuration

The following shows a sample setup of a TekSmartLab system with 15 benches and 60 instruments connected through WI-FI.

Item Quantity Supplier Comments
TSL3000B 1 Tektronix One per lab, installed on lab server.
TBX3000A 15 Tektronix One per bench.
Instruments 60 Tektronix Supported Tektronix or Keithley instruments, one oscilloscope, one arbitrary function generator, one digital multimeter, and one power supply per bench. Option 2231A-001 required for the power supply 2231A-30-3.
USB WIFI dongle 15 Provided by customer Compatible USB-WIFI dongle, like TP-LINK WN823N. Installed on TBX3000A.
WIFI router 1 1 Provided by customer TP-LINK TL-ER604W or other WIFI Router that can meet WI-FI networking requirements.
Lab server 1 Provided by customer Refer to system requirements.

1To use WI-FI on systems with more than 15 benches, it is recommended to setup the WI-FI network by wired router and access points instead of a WIFI router.

 

Tektronix TSL3000B TekSmartLab™ Software

Tektronix TSL3000B Datasheet