In this episode Shahriar investigates the cause of failure of a Keithley 220 Programmable Current Source. Despite being manufactured in the mid-1980′s, the Keithley 220 is still a very popular programmable current source. Alongside the repair efforts, the schematic of various analog, digital and power supply boards are also presented. By interpreting the failure mechanism, the fault is traced and corrected. The Keithley 220 is then calibrated and the calibration procedure of the sub-100nA range is explained. Finally, the performance of the calibrated unit is verified using a Rigol DM3068 Multimeter.
In this episode Shahriar goes through the teardown and repair process of a Fluke 196B Handheld ScopeMeter. This unit, which has been purchased as a “dead” unit from eBay, is examined for faults. During the teardown, various PCB components, architecture and design is presented. The performance and functionality of the unit is verified with a few brief experiments. Finally, the schematic and block diagram of the Fluke 196B is explored for the finer details of its design and operation.
In this episode Shahriar extensively reviews the Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 Spectrum Analyzer. A wide variety of experiments are performed using the Rigol spectrum analyzer to serve both as a tutorial to use the instrument and to demonstrate its capabilities. Some measurement results are also performed using other calibrated instruments to verify the accuracy of the spectrum analyzer. The Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 can be purchased directly from Rigol Inc.
The following experiments are performed:
1) Signal amplitude, frequency and phase-noise measurements.
2) Low amplitude signal measurements (< -130dBm).
3) Low frequency measurement capabilities (< 9kHz).
4) PRBS length calculations and characterization.
5) Wireless 2.5GHz FM signal transmission and demodulation.
6) Attenuator and band-pass filter response measurements.
7) Amplifier bandwidth and output compression measurements.
8) Calibration and measurements of VSWR using the tracking generator.
9) Characterization of the tracking generator signal quality.
In this episode Shahriar attempts to repair an HP 8648C Synthesized Signal Generator from a dumpster dive. The cause of failure is investigated and traced. Alongside the repair efforts, the internal construction and components of the synthesizer are also presented. Various component teardowns are shown and described including the structure of the VCO used in the generator assembly. The functionality of the repaired unit is verified using an Agilent Power Meter and Rigol Spectrum Analyzer. Finally, the overall unit block diagram is presented and the principle of operation is described in detail.
In this episode Shahriar presents a tutorial on the design and characterization of a single-stage low-noise bipolar amplifier suitable for audio applications. Given a set of specifications, a common-emitter topology is investigated. The circuit employs a beta-insensitive biasing scheme which is simultaneously optimized for maximum output swing. The small-signal gain of the circuit is calculated and the bandwidth is set for audio frequencies. A non-inverting operational amplifier is used as a second stage to achieve the desired overall gain. The circuit is assembled on a breadboard where the gain and bandwidth are measured and compared with design specifications. As the final experiment, the circuit is used to amplify signals from a microphone. All documents can be downloaded from here.