In this episode Shahriar takes investigates the architecture and benefits of a precision sub-sampling wide-bandwidth oscilloscope. The teardown of the Agilent DCA instrument reveals a PC core combined with the acquisition board. The instrument without any plug-in modules does not perform any exciting tasks.
A 20GHz sampling module from eBay is available. However, the unit does not have an front connectors. New connectors are sourced from an old timing module and the sampling head is back to working condition. In order to test the unit, an Optellent OBP-04×10 4-channel pattern generator and error counter is used. The teardown of the unit reveals a simple design built around several transceiver ICs. The comparison between the sub-sampling scope and a real-time scope is also presented alongside measured results from the DCA.
In this episode Shahriar reviews the Keithley DAQ6510 6.5-Digit Data Acquisition & Multimeter. The instrument offers a new level of simplicity. The DAQ6510 has a touchscreen user interface that enables faster setup time, real time monitoring of test status, and detailed data analysis on the instrument. This review is organized as follows:
00:08 – Introductions
01:57 – Instrument specification and datasheet
03:06 – Unit overview & design
05:41 – DAQ6510 teardown and analysis
11:39 – Keithley 7700 acquisition module teardown
16:38 – Power on and GUI overview
18:29 – Component binning experiment with advanced triggering
28:31 – Analyzing DC-DC converter behavior at 1MS/s
32:06 – Thermal monitoring and modeling using DAQ6510
42:35 – KickStart PC software capabilities
45:43 – DAQ6510 buit-in App ecosystem
48:00 – Concluding remarks
In this episode Shahriar reviews the affordable ERASynth Micro 12.5MHz – 6.4GHz portable synthesizer with a built-in LCD screen. The USB powered instrument is fully open-source, Arduino compatible and can be operated in stand-alone mode. The system block diagram and operation of the instrument is presented.
The measurements show some of the strengths and limitations of the instrument in AM/FM modulation modes and general CW use cases.
In this episode Shahriar does a deep dive into the operation and architecture of Agilent/HP mm-Wave Extension Modules and Controller. The Agilent 85015A and W85104A work in conjunction and as the front-end for a W-Band (75-110GHz) S-Parameter T/R set. Although the mainframe system (HP 8510 Network Analyzer) is not available, a close look at the block diagrams reveals that the controller can be driven via external synthesizers to provide LO and RF signals. The detailed explanation of the entire system is presented from the ground up.
The full teardown of the mm-wave controller and T/R module are also presented and by reverse engineering the GPIB commands, the T/R module is brought to life. Several experiments show the full functionality of the system including a high-resolution CW radar demonstration.
In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at a faulty Agilent E4433B 4.0GHz signal generator and vector modulator. This instrument is equipped with many of the most useful options such as dual arbitrary waveform generator and high-power output.
The instrument does not generate any error messages, however the output signal is ~20dB below specifications. After presenting the system block diagram and observing the output power characteristics, it becomes clear that the issue is with the mechanical attenuator. The teardown of the attenuator reveals faulty o-rings on the 5dB attenuation pad which has to be repaired with some flexible epoxy.
After the repair the instrument’s functionality is verified by measuring the output power with a power meter, frequency accuracy with a Rubidium frequency counter and the modulation accuracy with a vector signal analyzer.
The Signal Path (TSP) is an electrical engineering video blog for industry professionals, students and hobbyists. TSP is a non-for-profit website dedicated to provide free education spanning a wide range of electrical engineering topics. Equipment reviews, tutorials and repair videos are posted regularly.