VNC software, as described by its supplier RealVNC: “VNC is remote control software which allows you to view and fully interact with one computer desktop (the "VNC server") using a simple program (the "VNC viewer") on another computer desktop anywhere on the Internet. The two computers don't even have to be the same type, so for example you can use VNC to view a Windows Vista desktop at the office on a Linux or Mac computer at home.“

The recently released ‘VNC viewer for iOS’ enables Apple iPads, iPods, and iPhones to control a scope running Real VNC Server. Figure 1 shows the display of a LeCroy WaveRunner 640Zi scope as it appears on an iPad.

Figure 1:

The screen of a WaveRunner 640Zi as it appears on and iPad running RealVNC for iOS

Security issues require that both the oscilloscope and the iPad/iPod/ iPhone must be on the same side of any network firewall or the firewall has to be configured to allow this communication.

In order to log onto the scope from RealVnc for iOS you need the scope’s ip address and the VNC password. The ip address can be determined by using the remote tab on the Utilities setup (Utilities pull down>Utilities Setup> Remote) as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2:

The remote tab of the Utilities setup displays the oscilloscope’s ip address

On the iPad/iPod/iPhone side start the RealVNC for iOS. The initial screen will show a blank address book with no connection specified as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3:

Initial setup of the RealVNC app

Press the + button in the upper right corner of the app screen. A pop up box will prompt for the oscilloscope ip address and the RealVNC password which was assigned by the user when setting up the VNC server on the scope. You can also assign a name under which the connection will be stored in the address book.

Figure 4:

Creating a VNC connection for the address book

After entering this information select the connection entry from the address book and press the Connect button. VNC will make the connection within about 10-20 seconds and you will see the scope screen on the iPad/Pod/iPhone. By moving the iPad/iPod/iPhone cursor over any touch screen control interface on the scope image you can control the scope as shown in Figure 5 where the display setup is being changed.

Figure 5:

Using the iPad/Pod/iPhone touch screen to control the oscilloscope

Remote operation of the oscilloscope via RealVNC will be slower than direct operation of the scope controls but it is a useful tool for remote control of the scope.