Archive for Equipment Review

ERASynth Micro $199 12.5MHz – 6.4GHz Portable Synthesizer Teardown, Review & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the affordable ERASynth Micro 12.5MHz – 6.4GHz portable synthesizer with a built-in LCD screen. The USB powered instrument is fully open-source, Arduino compatible and can be operated in stand-alone mode. The system block diagram and operation of the instrument is presented.

The measurements show some of the strengths and limitations of the instrument in AM/FM modulation modes and general CW use cases.

Tektronix 5-Series 8-Channel 6.25GS/s 2GHz MSO Teardown & Spectrum View Experiments

In this episode Shahriar continues his review of the Tektronix 5-Series 8-Channel MSO Oscilloscope following the original overview of the instrument. A full teardown of the instrument as well as a set of experiments showcasing the new Spectrum View capability are shown. This review is organized as follows:

00:09 – Introduction and outline
01:31 – Teardown and analysis of the acquisition board
13:38 – Experiment setup and description
16:59 – Measurement results and Spectrum View capabilities
33:12 – Concluding remarks

Sindoh 3DWOX 1 Review, Experiments & 3D Microwave Component Printing Techniques

In this episode Shahriar reviews his new 3D Printer Sindoh 3DWOX 1. This printer offers several attractive features. The fully enclosed design is quiet and equipped with a HEPA filter. The unit is also equipped with a webcam and internal lighting. The printer has several automatic capabilities such as auto filament load from a cartridge, bed-leveling and print parameter optimization. The printer is also completely compatible with off-the-shelf filaments.

This comprehensive review is organized as follows:

01:57 – Model comparison and Sindoh website
02:26 – Printer design and overview
04:16 – Internal construction and features
07:03 – Cartridge design and filament auto-load
09:31 – Printing bed auto-leveling procedure
11:53 – 3DWOX desktop software overview and features
16:32 – First print example and procedure
17:53 – Mobile app and remote camera monitoring capability
18:51 – Print example: Objects with extreme aspect ratios
22:03 – Print example: Objects with moving parts and joints
25:27 – Print example: Objects with many holes and thin features
28:24 – Print example: Large objects with >24 hour print time
30:12 – Analyzing internal print features using an X-ray machine
32:46 – Printing microwave and mm-wave components and filters
38:27 – Concluding remarks

You can purchase a 3DWOX 1 printer from here or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

SAF mm-Wave Spectrum Compact 56 – 67GHz Portable Analyzer Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the very unique SAF Spectrum Compact V-Band portable spectrum analyzer. These battery powered devices do not require external down-converters, and a particularly useful tool for any field engineer performing microwave equipment installation, link troubleshooting, site planning and maintenance. The analyzers utilize a resistive touch screen, allowing the engineer to wear gloves when using the device. The Spectrum Compact can be used for high precision detection of existing interference on installed paths or available radio channels. Data logging of all spectrum scans is available with the Spectrum Compact device, and enhanced data processing and analysis are provided by SAF Tehnika designed PC software for your laptop.

The instrument teardown reveals a multi-board design and each module’s functionality and design is presented. The unit is then used in several experiments to track and analyze various V-Band RF signals. The review is organized as follows:

01:00 – Overview and model comparison
03:16 – Instrument design, overview power-on benefits
05:23 – Instrument GUI overview
09:56 – Full teardown and analysis of all modules
19:22 – Experiments with various unknown V-Band RF signals
29:43 – PC software overview and capabilities
31:30 – Concluding remarks

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.

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