Teardown, Repair and Analysis of an Agilent E3642A DC Power Supply

E3640A

In this episode Shahriar attempts a repair of an Agilent E3642A DC Power Supply which is completely non-responsive. After presenting a teardown of the power supply, the GPIB interface is used to verify the functionality of the power supply. The problem is traced to the main display unit which communicated with the main power supply via a serial interface.

After disassembly of the display, it is revealed that the entire unit has suffered a catastrophic failure due to the VFD display drive IC. All components must be individually removed and replaced. Unfortunately the main processor is a Mask ROM IC version (80C51) and cannot be sourced. Can you help Shahriar find a replacement part?

Teardown and Repair of an Agilent E4433B ESG-D Synthesized Signal Generator

E4433B

In this episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent E4433B ESG-D Synthesized Signal Generator. This 4GHz unit shows the “UNLEVEL” error for all frequencies and at all output power levels. After a close look at the system block diagram the fault is traced to the main Output RF board.

The Output RF board is equipped with various amplifiers, electronic attenuators, I/Q mixers, heterodyne paths and final PA. By using soldered SMA cables to various points in the signal path, the fault is traced to an internal amplifier chain which is likely made of a MESFET or JFET transistor. Since this part is obsolete, an RFMD GaAs hybrid amplifier is used in its place. The biasing network and matching networks need to be modified to accommodate this change. The repaired unit is then verified for functionality and performance by measuring a QAM constellation output signal.

Review, Comparison and Teardown of Siglent SDG5162 and Rigol DG4162 Arbitrary Waveform Generators

SDG5162

In this episode Shahriar compares the performance and features of the Siglent SDG5162 and Rigol DG4162 Arbitrary Waveform Generators. Siglent has recently opened a new North America office which would certainly help them bring their instruments to the US more quickly and provide better local customer and sale support.

The Siglent SDG5000 teardown is presented. Aside from various GUI features of these two units, the THD, phase noise and maximum output power of each unit is measured. The ability of the Siglent generator to produce 12ns pulse width independent of the output frequency is also presented with some practical applications. Finally the Easy Wave application us is used to generate some custom waveforms.

Teardown and Repair of an Agilent 33250A Function and Arbitrary Waveform Generator

33250A

In this episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent 33250A function and arbitrary waveform generator which does not power on. The unit is equipped with a soft power switch which might be responsible for the fault. After a brief look at the unit’s constructions, the fault is traced to a few possible locations.

The schematic of the soft power circuitry is presented and the internal switching power supply is closely examined. After the fault is located, the repair is presented. The block diagram and operation of a current mode DC-DC switching IC is also presented.

Teardown, Upgrade and Experiments with a Verity Visible Wavelength Monochromator

Verity

In this episode, Shahriar upgrades a Verity visible wavelength monochromator model EP200Mmd to be able to perform automatic scans. The instrument is retrofitted with a stepper motor and a microcontroller which performs wavelength scanning between 225nm to 875nm. The signal from the internal photomultiplier is sampled by the microcontroller and wirelessly sent to the computer. Matlab is used to plot the wavelength response.

The principle operation of a monochromator is thoroughly reviewed starting with the grating mirror behavior. The operation of the photomultiplier is also described. Various mechanical and electronic of the upgraded system is also shown. The presented slides can be found here.