What is “waterfall smearing”?

When analysing a waterfall or performing order analysis it is important to consider the frequency resolution or the frequency spacing.

There is often a desire to increase the resolution to finer and finer detail. But that is a process of diminishing returns, and actually fraught with danger. And that danger is waterfall smearing. Contine reading

What Sample Rate Do I Use To Measure Whole Body Vibration?

What sample rate should I use if I am measuring whole body vibration?

Strict ISO8041 compliance imposes a minimum sample rate of 900 samples per second. This ensures the amplitude and phase characteristics of the applied weightings meet the required criteria. To take account of the anti alias hardware filter we would recommend 1200 samples/second. If non-strict compliance is used the minimum sample rate is 300 samples/second.

ISO2631-1 recommends a minimum data duration of 227 seconds. However, for greater reliability, 600 seconds is now considered essential. That is, a 600 second or longer signal will be more representative and will provide better quality results.

Relative signal levels of a sinusoid with and without background noise

In the process of looking at some order data, a question about the accuracy of the measurement of the signal level of discrete frequency signals which were close to the general noise level.  To answer this question, a small DATS worksheet was created which generated 2 signals.  The first signal was a 35 Hz sinusoid which, by itself the spectrum level was measured to be approximately -9 dB (ref 1 V) as seen in Figure 1.

Spectrum level of 35Hz sinusoid

Fig 1: Spectrum level of 35Hz sinusoid

Contine reading