Archive for Teardown

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

Teardown, Repair & Experiments with an EG&G Instruments 7265 DSP-Based Lock-In Amplifier

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at an EG&G DSP-Based Lock-In Amplifier. This instrument provides excellent sensitivity for both voltage and current inputs and is based on a fully digital architecture. The instrument’s LCD screen is dim and unreadable. Furthermore, a few lines are missing from the LCD pointing to a failed zebra strip.

The instrument’s block diagram is examined and explained. The teardown reveals the structure of the LCD screen, front-end blocks and internal PLL. The CCFL back-light inverter is located and replaced with a low-voltage DC-DC converter for use with an LED strip. The instrument’s functionality is verified through a few experiments including measuring the 3dB bandwidth of an RC filter as well as measuring the photo-current induced in an LED using a synchronized infrared light source.

Teardown, Analysis & Repair of an Agilent E3646A Dual Channel Programmable Power Supply

In this episode Shahriar investigates a malfunctioning E3646A Dual Channel Programmable Power Supply. The power supply provides the correct output voltage on one channel. However, the second channel produces no output and continuously reads 0V and 0A.

Applying an external voltage to the malfunctioning channel produces the correct readout from the instrument display suggesting that most of the channel circuitry is functional. After a close examination of the power supply schematics, the problem is traced to a failed solder joint. The DAC output amplifier is disconnected from the output transistor and after repairing the colder joint, the power supply is fully functional.

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

Teardown & Repair of an Agilent N9020A MXA 10Hz – 8.4GHz Spectrum Analyzer (Parts 1 & 2)

In this episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent N9020A MAX Spectrum Analyzer. The instrument is well equipped with real-time capability and direct I/Q input ports on the front panel. The instrument does not show the correct signal levels and fails internal calibration.

After a brief teardown, the block diagram of the instrument is carefully examined for potential failure points. It is determined that front-end switch and mechanical attenuator is likely faulty. Teardown of the unit reveals significant damage to the attenuator due to some high-power at the input. Unfortunately, this also implies that the front-end RF selector and pre-amplifier modules are also damaged. In the second repair video, the front-end module is disassembled and damage to the dies can be observed.

Luckily, a relatively inexpensive front-end (SSLAM) unit is sourced from eBay and the repair is completed. The performance of the unit is verified after the repair and the front-end I/Q input functionality is demonstrated.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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