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TNP #47 - SHF 100CP 20GHz Broadband GaAs FET Amplifier Teardown & Experiments

views March 2, 2024 4:31 PM

-= Description coming soon! =-

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TSP #239 - SJL Instruments 6GHz GigaWave Sampling Oscilloscope Review, Teardown & Experiments

views February 28, 2024 5:55 PM

In this episode Shahriar review the new sampling oscilloscope from SJL Instruments. Our GigaWave™ digital sampling oscilloscopes offer 12-bit vertical resolution, 1-ps time resolution, and 6 GHz analog bandwidth, all in a tiny 4” form factor:

https://www.sjl-instruments.com/

You can also find an on-going discussion about the instrument here:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/pocket-sized-6-ghz-1-tss-et-scope

This review is organized as follows:

00:00 - Introductions
00:34 - Sampling scope & real-time scope theory and comparison
04:13 - CDF versus PDF method of waveform reconstruction
06:12 - Teardown & circuit analysis
09:35 - Input return loss characteristics and channel isolation
10:36 - GUI overview, capturing a fast pulse, comparison with Keysight DCA-X, built-in measurements, dot and vector mode
19:09 - Eye diagram measurements, ISI measurements, multi-channel view
24:15 - Multi-tone capture, FFT functions
25:09 - Concluding remarks

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TSP #238 - Rohde & Schwarz FE170SR D-Band (110 - 170GHz) Sub-THz Frontend Overview & Experiments

views January 26, 2024 9:23 PM

In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at the Rohde & Schwarz FE170SR which is the world's first fully abstracted D-Band front-end module. Intended for early sub-terahertz 6G research, the fully integrated module is capable of seamlessly interfacing with both spectrum analyzers and oscilloscopes - only a 10MHz reference is needed!

https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/products/test-and-measurement/frontends-and-converter/rs-fe170sr-frontend_334208.html

The video goes over the history and evolution of external mixers and front-ends to better capture the uniqueness of the FE170SR. The internal block diagram and theory of operation of the instrument is also presented. Experiments show detailed measurement techniques using the FE170SR and the RTP oscilloscope. The integration of the FE170SR with R&S VSE is also presented through demodulation of broadband QAM signals at a carrier of 145GHz.

Furthermore, the newly released R&S Thermal Power Sensor at D-Band is also shown in the video:

https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/products/test-and-measurement/rf-and-microwave-power-sensors/rs-nrpxxt-tn-twg-thermal-power-sensors_63493-197529.html

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TNP #46 - Torbal AD60 Precision Balance (0.001g) Repair, Teardown & Experiments

views January 10, 2024 11:16 PM

In this episode Shahriar takes a look at a Torbal precision scale capable of resolving 0.001g! Unfortunately the unit shows an error of "Unload" when powered on. The teardown of the unit as well as the principle operation is described. The teardown also reveals the problem with the scale mechanism which is a broken link. The repair correct the problem and the scale shows excellent accuracy with calibrated weights. The live evaporation of Acetone is also shown using the precision balance.

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TNP #45 - Tektronix TekVPI TPA-BNC (TekProbe Converter) Adapter Repair & Teardown

views January 3, 2024 10:29 PM

In this episode Shahriar upgrades the internal firmware of a TPA-BNC TekVPI adapter. The teardown of the adapter is presented and the internal architecture described. The firmware is copied from a newer unit to the faulty one and the adapter can now detect a wide range of probes.

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TSP #237 - Rohde & Schwarz LCX200 Precision 10MHz LCR Meter Review, Tutorial, Teardown & Experiments

views December 21, 2023 3:15 PM

In this episode Shahriar presents a detailed review of the Rohde & Schwarz LCX200 LCR meter. The new LCR platform from Rohde & Schwarz can operate up to 10MHz with a basic accuracy of ±0.05% for impedance measurements:

https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/products/test-and-measurement/lcr-meters-and-impedance-analyzers/rs-lcx-lcr-meter_63493-1172288.html

With capabilities such as binning, logging and sweeps, there is a lot to talk about! This review is organized as follows:

00:00 – Introductions
00:46 – Instrument overview, front & back panels
02:57 – Test fixtures and fixture teardown
04:28 – Detailed teardown, architecture, sub-component overview
11:23 – Remote interface, GUI overview, measurement parameters, fixture compensation
15:14 – Capacitor standard measurement, parameters setup, incident voltage, LowZ mode, auto-ranging
19:43 – Capacitor impairment measurements, Cs/Rs/Cp/Rp comparison, DC resistance & leakage measurements
21:44 – In-circuit measurements considerations, active device impacts
22:49 – Variable capacitor measurements, logging & plotting performance
25:37 – LC resonance measurements, frequency sweep capabilities, SRF detection, data export & post processing
29:22 – PN junction varactor measurements, DC bias sweep, active device characterization
31:35 – Variable inductor measurements, current stimulus capabilities, quality factor measurements
32:59 – Transformer fixture & transformer characterization, number of turns, mutual inductance and transformer verifications
35:02 – Surface mount device measurements, setup for binning and statistical measurements, triggering
37:05 – External DC bias voltage setup, internal voltage readout, 40V capability
38:57 – Concluding remarks & future improvements

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TNP #44 - AT&T 938A LED Optical Loss Set Repair, Teardown & Experiments

views December 14, 2023 8:29 PM

In this episode Shahriar takes a look an AT&T optical loss set which is equipped LED sources 875nm & 1300nm. The unit has been storage for over a decade with heavily leaked batteries.
After the cleanup, the unit powers on and is able to measure optical power as well as generate light from the LED source. The accuracy of the photodetector is verified against a calibrated optical meter. The wavelength of the 875nm LED source is also measured using a spectrometer.

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TSP #236 - A 77GHz Automotive Radar Module Measurement, Reverse Engineering & RFIC/Antenna Analysis

views November 30, 2023 10:00 PM

In this episode Shahriar takes a detailed look at two different automotive 77GHz radar modules. Each module design is presented along with the overall architecture and functional blocks.

The working module measurements are presented with discussions on how to capture an FMCW waveform at mm-wave frequencies. The teardown of the faulty module reveals the overall synthetic aperture design, antenna placement and design considerations and the digital backend processing. A close look at the Infineon 77GHz RFICs are also presented.

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TSP #235 - Stanford Research SR650 Dual Programmable Filter HP/LP Repair, Teardown & Experiments

views November 25, 2023 11:49 AM

In this episode Shahriar repairs an SRS SR650 dual programmable filter. The unit powers on with nearly all the front-panel LEDs illuminated but does not respond to any buttons. Schematic and internal measurements show a lack of activity on any of the main processor pins which is traced to a faulty inverter IC responsible for clock generation. The main SRAM IC is also missing and needs to be replaced.
Additional analysis of the circuits and modifications are also presented. However, the unit develops a new problem due to very high thermal dissipation of the 5V regular and full bridge rectifier. A new rectifier is installed and the faulty 5V regular is also replaced. The QuantAsylum QA403 Audio Analyzer is used to characterized the filter and ensure both the high-pass and low-pass filter sections are functional.

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TNP #43 - Rohde & Schwarz URE2 DC - 25MHz 300V RMS Voltmeter Teardown, Repair & Experiments

views November 23, 2023 6:46 PM

In this episode Shahriar takes a look at a fault Rohde & Schwarz URE2 which is a highly sought after RMS voltmeter. The ability of the RE2 to provide accurate RMS measurement up to 25MHz as well as provide DC measurement makes it an excellent instrument for characterizing DC/DC converter output noise characteristics.
The faulty instrument can measure AC, however no DC measurement can be made. The unit also occasionally generates an error code 0080 which points to a fault in the main analog board. Teardown of the instrument reveals a pair of front-end relays responsible for mode switching which are the likely cause of the DC measurement problem. The relays are replaced and the instrument returns to full operation. The performance and functionality of the unit is verified through several experiments.

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TNP #42 - Combustion Gas & Emissions Analyzer E1500 (O2, CO, CO2) Repair, Teardown & Experiments

views November 18, 2023 2:24 PM

In this episode Shahriar explores the technology behind combustion gas analyzers. These instruments are capable of measuring the concentration of various gasses such as O2, CO, CO2, NO2, SO2, etc. The particular unit shown in this video (E-Instruments E1500) is capable of holding two sensors.

The end-of-life Oxygen sensor is replaced to bring the unit back to life. The teardown of the instrument as well as the faulty Oxygen sensor are presented along with Raman chemical analysis of the sensor electrolyte. The biproduct of a burning candle as well as a HotHands hand warmer are analyzed using the instrument.

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TNP #41 - Stanford Research SR620 Universal Time Interval Counter Teardown, Repair & Experiments

views November 17, 2023 1:09 PM

In this episode Shahriar repairs an SRS SR620 frequency interval counter where the magic smoke has escaped! The instrument does not power on and the teardown reveals a burnt resistor. The circuit examination shows a voltage regular for the 5V output which has a short circuit the the chassis. A simple repair and resistor replacement brings the unit back to life.

The performance of the internal OCXO is measured against a Rubidium oscillator and the unit is frequency calibrated. The XY output mode of the unit as well as its ability to measure propagation delays are also shown.

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