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.

Teardown, Repair and Analysis of an Agilent 4338B (10uΩ – 100kΩ) Milliohmmeter

In this episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent 4338B milliohmmeter. This instrument is capable of measuring extremely small resistances down to 10uΩ while maintaining a DUT voltage of less than 20mV. The instrument powers on with the message ADC Failure. Investigation reveals that the instrument uses an obsolete ADC which must be removed from the board in order to reverse engineer its operation. While the ADC turns out to be functional, a PAL device which controls the ADC timing is faulty. A new device is salvaged from a donor board to complete the repair. The instrument is then used to measure several small known resistances.

Signal Hound PNCS-1 1GHz Phase Noise Clock Standard Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at the new Signal Hound PNCS-1 clock standard module. The purpose of this instrument is to provide an exceptionally clean phase noise reference at 1GHz in order to characterize other instruments such as spectrum analyzers and oscilloscopes.

The unit uses an OCXO at its heart running at 100MHz. The signal is them multiplied by a factor two and then a factor of five while being filtered and amplified in order to generate 1GHz. The complete signal path of the instrument is analyzed. The unit is then used on an Agilent MXA generator to characterize its phase noise. A frequency divider is also used in conjunction with the PNCS-1 in order to create lower frequency signals.

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