November 2017

Brüel & Kjær Vibro presents a free app with a 2-channel signal generator and vector calculator


B&K Vibro’s iOS app, called BKVtools, has just been released and is available for free download from the App Store.

The signal generator portion of the application is intended to allow use of a customer’s iPhone1, iPad1 or iPod1 touch for simple monitoring system verification and testing rather than requiring larger, bulkier, and more expensive bench top equipment. It includes the following functionality:

· Independent output channels: 2

· Signal functions: Sine, square, triangular, and sawtooth waveforms

· Amplitude range: 0 to 2.8 V peak-peak

· Frequency range: 1 to 20k Hz

· Phase shift between channels: 0 to 360°

To inject the desired signals into the monitoring system of interest, the company’s SP-2020/SSI Signal Simulator Interface is used. The SSI takes the AC signals from the Apple1 iDevice running the BKVtools app and sends them to the connected monitoring system channels.  The device works with any monitoring system that accepts millivolt vibration transducer signals, whether from B&K Vibro or others.  An off-the-shelf Bluetooth dongle available from multiple third-party suppliers can also be attached to the SSI for a wireless connection to the Apple1 iDevice. Most benchtop or portable signal generators do not provide sufficient DC offset or adjustment to simulate a typical proximity probe gap (often -10V) or the change in gap for axial position measurements (often 16 volts of DC offset range).The SSI overcomes these limitations by using the monitor system’s own DC power to provide an adjustable DC offset that is added to the generated AC signals, from -2 to -22V. Almost any signal generator can be used with SSI, but because the BKVtools app is a free download, it often represents an acceptable balance of affordability, accuracy, and portability when simply verifying a monitoring system and doing loop checks rather than calibrating it.  

In addition to the signal generator function, the BKVtools app also includes a handy vector calculator that can be used for a number of purposes, ranging from students doing vector math to professionals doing balancing calculations and statics engineering.


1 Apple, iPod, iPad, iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries