Archive for Equipment Review

Texas Instrument TI-PMLK Power Management/Conversion Kit Tutorial, Review & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar presents a meticulously prepared set of educational lab kits on Power Conversion by Texas Instruments. These kits include  Buck, Boost, LDO and Buck-Boost power conversion courses complete with a beautiful set of lab instructions and PCBs. Each kit describes up to 7 different exercises which demonstrates various aspects of power conversion characterization and design challenge.

In particular the Buck Lab kit is examined. The PCB is populated with two different Buck DC-DC converters which are carefully described in the lab kit. The first experiment of the lab kit is performed which involves measuring system efficiency under various load conditions and switching frequency. The inductor current, MOSFET switching voltage and output waveform are examined on the oscilloscope.

Three Interesting Mailbag Reviews & Giveaway! (November 2018)

In this episode Shahriar reviews three mailbag items. There is also a new giveaway! Follow the instruction at the beginning of the video to enter. The reviews are organized at follows:

00:09 – Introduction & Giveaway Details
02:21 – Leo Bodnar Electronic – Fast Pulse Generator

These fast pulse generators are rated to below 25ps! The modules are examined and various microwave and design considerations are explored. The block diagram and functionality of the final output driver is also described in details. The units are used to measure the rise and fall time of various oscilloscopes ranging from 300MHz to 13GHz of analog bandwidth. You can purchase your own fast pulse generator here.

21:11 – SV1AFN GPS Disciplined Oscillator

This GPS disciplined oscillator not only provides frequency synchronization to the GPS clock, it also provides programmable outputs on two independent channels using a Silicon Labs synthesizer IC. The complete module acts as standalone unit which only requires power and GPS antenna connection. The full schematic and block diagram of the synthesizer chipset is presented along with measured output waveform, frequency an phase noise at 1GHz. You can purchase your own GPS DO here.

33:28 – Sain Smart USB-C TS80 Portable Soldering Iron

This soldering iron which supports QC 3.0 is the followup of the very popular TS100 soldering iron. The unit can operate with up to 18W of power from 9V. However, it does not support PD on USB-C. By using the AVHzY USB tester the power bank can be configured to provide any desired output voltage and deliver up to 28W into the TS80 soldering iron. Using this method, the TS80 soldering iron can easily solder large components on a wide ground plane. The TS80 soldering iron can be purchased here or internationally from here. The Ankar PD+ 28600mAh power bank can be purchased from here and the AVHzY USB tester can be purchased here.

Here is the list of donations we have made to One Simple Wish:

A laptop for Macy who is about to start college
New shoes for Emily who loves to walk around campus
New Clothes for Myla who loves to play outside
A new pair of school shoes for Lemon who loves all sports
A new digital watch to remind Kevin to take his medicine
A new coat for Thad to stay warm and look cool
New clothes for Sharain who is looking for new employment after graduation
New work clothes for Christine who is excited to start her new job
A new Desk Lamp for Cristal so she can focus on homework
Sensory tools for Wyatt who needs a bit of extra help
Safe transportation for Shakeny who loves musica
New clothes for Isaiah who is very clever
Some new clothes for Katelyn who is making a change in her life
A new pair of sneakers for Sohelia the avid dog walker

Keysight Keysight UXR 110GHz BW, 256GS/s, 10-bit, 4-Channel Real-Time Oscilloscope Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar takes a look at one of the most advanced electrical test and measurement instruments ever created. The Keysight UXR-Series Real-Time Oscilloscope brings 110GHz of analog bandwidth and 256GS/s real-time sampling at 4-channels simultaneously. To make it even more impressive, the entire data-conversion architecture is in 10-bits. This implies that the instruments captures, processes, stores and displays over 10Tb/s of information.

Various architectures of state-of-the art oscilloscopes from Keysight, LeCroy and Tektronix are examined and compared against the new real-time architecture of the UXR-Series oscilloscope. The teardown of the front-end 110GHz module along with the data acquisition board is presented and analyzed in detail. The instrument showcases a wide range of Keysight technologies implemented in various technologies such as InP, SiGe BiCMOS, 65nm CMOS and 28nm CMOS nodes. In combination with Hyper-Cube memory module, data can be captured at 256GS/S from all 4-channels at the same time. Several variants of the UXR-Series oscilloscope will be available from 13GHz to 110GHz bandwidths.

A new calibration probe is also introduced based on the Keysight InP process capable of producing signal edges with sub-3.5ps of rise/fall times with NIST traceable calibration data. This enables users to perform NIST alignment and bandwidth calibration on site without needing to send the instrument back to Keysight.

Several measurements with the scope demonstrates its extraordinarily low noise floor, jitter as well as the capability of the new probe module for instrument calibration. The 110GHz 4-channel variant of the UXR-Series oscilloscope has an MSRP of $1.3 Million US dollars.

Signal Hound PNCS-1 1GHz Phase Noise Clock Standard Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at the new Signal Hound PNCS-1 clock standard module. The purpose of this instrument is to provide an exceptionally clean phase noise reference at 1GHz in order to characterize other instruments such as spectrum analyzers and oscilloscopes.

The unit uses an OCXO at its heart running at 100MHz. The signal is them multiplied by a factor two and then a factor of five while being filtered and amplified in order to generate 1GHz. The complete signal path of the instrument is analyzed. The unit is then used on an Agilent MXA generator to characterize its phase noise. A frequency divider is also used in conjunction with the PNCS-1 in order to create lower frequency signals.

Siglent SDG6000X Series Arbitrary Waveform Generator Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at the newly released Siglent SDG6000X Series Pulse / Arbitrary Waveform Generator. SDG6000X is a series of dual-channel Pulse/ Arbitrary Waveform Generators that feature up to 500MHz output frequency, a maximum sample rate of 2.4GSa/s and 16-bit vertical resolution when used as a function generator. The particular reviewed model is the SDG6052X which is the top-end model.

The full teardown of the unit reveals the internal architecture of the instrument, DAC / FPGA interconnect as well as the output amplifier structure. Although the limitations of the FPGA prevents the instrument to operate at full 2.5GSa/s in arb-mode, the instrument is capable of providing complex modulation up to the full 500MHz signal bandwidth.

This comprehensive review is organized as follows:

00:01:11 – Siglent SDG model overview and comparison
00:03:10 – Front and back panel overview
00:06:24 – Full teardown and analysis of the instrument archietecture
00:18:19 – GUI overview, menu structures and built-in functions
00:22:31 – Waveform phase and amplitude accuracy, characterizing a 180-degree hybrid
00:30:42 – Large-signal generation, ultra-sound experiment and range measurements
00:36:38 – Pulse generation performance, spectral content and low-pass filter measurements
00:44:07 – THD measurements, harmonic generation, Two-tone TOI measurements using waveform combine function
00:50:30 – PRBS pattern generator, ISI measurements and eye-diagram impairments using waveform combine functions
01:01:57 – I/Q modulation and waveform creation using EasyIQ as well as superheterodyne up-converter measurements
01:10:44 – Concluding remarks

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