Archive for Experiments

Teardown, Repair & Analysis of an Agilent N5230A 13.5GHz PNA-L Network Analyzer (Parts 1 & 2)

In this two-part episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent N5230A 13.5GHz PNA-L which suffers from un-leveled output in full frequency sweep range. The instrument is not able to produce any outputs above -25dBm above 10.5GHz and shows below specification output power levels below 10.5GHz.

Teardown of the unit reveals various microwave modules with the SSLAM final module responsible for amplitude leveling and frequency multiplication for frequencies above 10.5GHz. Teardown of this module shows a collection of MMIC dies wirebonded together using micro-strip ceramic pieces and interconnects. MMIC include switches, amplifiers, filters, multipliers, power detectors and attenuators. After examining the input/output signals of the module it becomes clear that the input switch IC is damaged. Unfortunately, an attempt to replace the die with a packaged QFN GaAs device fails. However, a lucky eBay find of a used SSLAM module saves the day and the instrument is restored to full functionality. Some measurements of an packaged evaluation board of a GaAs IC is demonstrated using the newly repaired PNA-L.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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.

Quest for mm-Wave Capability: Teardown, Analysis & Experiments on Generation & Detection

In this episode Shahriar demonstrates the effort for collecting affordable components and instruments in the past year to be able to generate mm-wave frequencies in the lab. The main goal is to generate synthesized CW signals beyond 26.5GHz and to be able to analyze them on the Keysight MXA Spectrum Analyzer.

Several instruments and components are which include the HP 83752B Synthesized Sweeper, HP 83556A mm-Wave Source Modules between 26.5-40GHz and 40-60GHz using doubler and trippler architectures, HP 8349B 2.0-20GHz amplifier, HP 11970 series harmonic mixers and OML DPL313B diplexer. Combining all these instruments along with various waveguide to coax converters mm-wave generation and detection is successfully demonstrated.

Finally, a full teardown of the mm-wave source module is presented which includes the preamplifier as well the waveguide module with very interesting design architecture.

Teardown, Repair and Analysis of an Agilent 8449B 1.0 – 26.5GHz Microwave Preamplifier

In this episode Shahriar analyzes the failure of two Agilent 8449B Preamplifiers. These units should provide up to 30dBm of gain from 1.0GHz to 26.5GHz intended for use as a preamplifier. Both amplifiers test positive for power supply voltages and operation. After removing the interface cables from the amplifier module to the front panel, it becomes clear that mechanical shock has caused damage to the front panel connectors. Replacement cables and connectors are used to correct the problem.

Tutorial, Experiment & Teardown of a 24GHz Doppler Radar Module

In this episode Shahriar demonstrates a full analysis of a CDM324 24GHz Doppler radar module from IC Station. Opening the module reveals a series of microwave PCB components and several active devices. A complete analysis of the module is presented. The unit is then measured and the impact of antenna impedance and power supply voltage on the output frequency is measured. The phase noise of the output signal is also measured. Using a series of servo motors, the radiation pattern of the antenna array in both azimuth and elevation is also presented.

Using the radar module the speed of a computer fan is remotely measure using an oscilloscope and FFT function.

All proceedings from Patreon for this video will be donated.

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