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TNP #10 - Teardown & Experiments with a Mystery Vintage (1950) Hewlett-Packard Instrument

16.7K views October 17, 2021 10:39 PM

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In this episode Shahriar takes a look at an unusual vintage HP instrument from the 1950s. The unit has a vacuum-tube-like core with a pair of banana plug interface.
After restoration, the instrument principle of operation, teardown and schematics are presented. Several experiments demonstrate the use-case as well as the correct operation of the unit.​​​

TNP #9 - Teardown & Analysis of an Electronic COVID-19 Home Test Kit (ellume)

21.1K views October 9, 2021 10:01 PM

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In this episode Shahriar takes a look at a pair of COVID-19 electronic home kits. These Bluetooth enables devices are manufactured by ellume. Both of these tests had produced false-positive results. The optical readout mechanism of the devices are examined as well as the general design of the unit.

This video is not about which COVID-19 home test kit you should purchase. This is an exploration and analysis of this particular device for educational purposes only. For all medical advice regarding COVID-19, please contact your doctor.

TSP #200 - Carvera (Makera) 4-Axis CNC Machine with Automatic Leveling, Tool Changer & Laser Review

20.5K views October 4, 2021 12:34 AM

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In this episode Shahriar reviews an ambitious new CNC machine currently offered on Kickstarter. The machine is equipped with automatic tool changer, automatic probing & leveling, built-in dust collection, optional fourth axis and integrated laser engrave module. The review of the pre-production model focuses on the units capabilities along with high-precision PCB experiments. You can access the Kickstarted campaign here:

This review is organized as follows:

00:00 - Introductions and expectations
01:22 - Machine overview, constriction, tablet holder, work area
03:23 - Automatic tool changer design & operation
04:30 - Automatic probing and leveling system
06:11 - Movement mechanism, precision & accuracy, built-in laser, z-axis
09:37 - Optional fourth axis module
10:23 - Included accessories, bit changer tool, collet tool
10:56 - Built-in dust collector
11:33 - CNC interface software, G-code, features & work flow
15:03 - High precision measurement of the x-axis accuracy & repeatability
17:34 - 3.5GHz filter design from Gerber to G-Code, CNC operation
21:18 - Filter PCB and high precision examples after CNC, microscope view
23:23 - Filter measurements & comparison with simulation
24:27 - Homemade oil-bath for FR4 CNC dust protection
24:56 - Manufacture example of PCB with solder-mask
25:38 - Laser engraving example of photo-realistic sample
26:32 - Automatic level & laser engraving of soft materials
27:55 - Conclusions & future plans​​​

TSP #199 - Digilent Analog Discovery Pro 3000 Series (ADP3450) Review, Teardown & Experiments

19.4K views September 26, 2021 4:19 PM

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In this episode Shahriar reviews the Analog Discovery Pro 3000 Series, particular the ADP3450 model. The instrument offers a combination of mixed signal oscilloscope and dual-channel arbitrary waveform generator. The WaveForms free software can be used to perform a wide range of measurements. You can find more information about this product at:

The review is organized at follows:

00:00 - Introductions
00:35 - Instrument overview, functions, specifications and design
04:53 - Detailed teardown and architecture overview
11:17 - WaveForms software, oscilloscope capabilities, catching glitches, trigger functions
19:18 - Mixed-Signal measurements, logic analyzer, cross-domain triggering
22:19 - Serial decode, digital trigger, correlated measurements
24:03 - Waveform generation, synchronized signals, modulations, sweeps, FFT, 3D spectrogram
28:46 - Network analyzer functionality, measuring linearity and frequency response of DUT
33:42 - Impedance analyzer functionality, measuring complex impedance across frequency
36:29 - Additional capabilities, tracer, scripting, etc.
37:39 - Concluding remarks

TNP #8 - Teardown & Detailed Analysis of the U2001A 6GHz Agilent USB Power Sensor

15.7K views September 5, 2021 3:23 PM

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In this episode Shahriar takes a close look at the design and architecture of an Agilent USB Power Sensor. The principle operation of different power detectors is presented alongside various block diagrams and schematics. The teardown of the power sensor reveals the system components from the integrated sensor MMIC to the ADI BlackFin DSP core. The detector is further examined under the microscope and the dual-diode detector design is presented.​​​

TNP #7 - Ynvisible Electrochromic Ultra-low Power Segmented Display Technology

14.1K views August 21, 2021 5:22 PM

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In this episode Shahriar takes a look at an ultra-low power display technology. The Ynvisible Segment Display is an electrochromic display. It is categorized as a reflective display, meaning that it reflects ambient light instead of using a backlight. All layers are screen printed on a plastic substrate.

The display stack consists of organic layers including a plastic substrate, an electrochromic material, an electrolyte, and an electrode for each segment. Additional layers such as graphical overlays and circuits may be added if required.

You can find more information about this display technology at:​​​

TNP #6 - Teardown & Analysis of a Keysight (Agilent) 9GHz Electronic Calibration Module (ECal)

10.5K views August 14, 2021 10:45 PM

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In this episode Shahriar analyzes the principle operation of an Electronics Calibration Module also known as ECal. This unit operates up to 9GHz and is one of the earlier models produces by Agilent. The block diagram of the unit is presented as well as a detailed teardown of the RF core assembly. The various built-in standards can be clearly seen as well as the solid-state switch networks which connects them to the network analyzer ports.​​​

TNP #5 - Teardown & Analysis of Damaged Anritsu K250 40GHz & SHF 123B 65GHz Bias-T Blocks

10.6K views August 14, 2021 4:38 PM

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In this episode Shahriar takes a look at some mailbag RF components. The set of Anritsu Bias-T blocks all have damaged DC paths. The teardown of the Bias-T shows its internal construction and assembly procedure. The SHF Bias-T offers a much more sophisticated and broadband response. A single Bias-T has survived with only a broken DC connector which is repaired and measured.​​​

TSP #198 - Teardown, Repair & Analysis of an Anritsu MG3700A 6GHz Vector Signal Generator (Part 1)

13.9K views August 8, 2021 6:14 PM

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In this episode Shahriar attempts to repair an Anritsu MG3700A Vector Signal Generator. The instrument does not fully power on and suffers from several problems. The digital IF board as well as the main computer are presented. The power-on fault is traced to a faulty fuse on the 5V power supply which feeds the main CPU board. A new fuse enables the instrument to fully boot.

The unit also exhibits a failure for all signals above 3GHz. The instrument is equipped with a super hetrodyne mixer board which covers 3GHz - 6GHz output range. This RF board is examined and explored in details alongside the block diagram of the unit. The fault is traced to a unidentifiable component (potentially PIN diode switches). Bypassing these components allows the instrument to generate sufficient power. However, the repair must stop here for now until these parts can be identified.​​​

TSP #197 - Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Rohde & Schwarz FSL 9kHz - 6GHz Spectrum Analyzer

33.8K views July 25, 2021 1:55 PM

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In this episode Shahriar investigates a failed R&S FSL Spectrum Analyzer. The instrument shows an unusual spectrum trace and fails a wide range of self-test functions. The LO Unlock failure is likely the most important item to address which can cause a cascade failure of other functions.

The teardown of the instrument shows a single-board RF design. The system architecture is analyzed along with an X-Ray of the main board showing various RF/LO routes and interconnects. The core synthesizer is examined and measured along the signal path to verify the operation of each part. The failure is traced to an open 1-Ohm resistor which feeds the power supply of the divider IC feeding the PFD of the PLL. A ceramic capacitor failure is also observed which may explain the damage to the 1-Ohm resistor. After these components are replaced the instrument passes all self-tests. The functionality of the instrument is verified by measuring tones from 9KHz - 6GHz using a Keysight MXG.​​​

TSP #196 - Tutorial & Experiments on Tunable Semiconductor Lasers & Wavelength Locking Methods

12.9K views July 11, 2021 8:55 PM

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In this video Shahriar dives into the world of tuneable semiconductor lasers. First, a Santec TSL-200 source is presented and repaired. The performance of the instrument is verified using a multi-wavelength meter. A DFB gold box laser module is then presented along with a demonstration showing the sensitivity of the laser diode to temperature variations. The entire wavelength locking mechanism of the DFB laser is presented in details along with the principle operation of an Etalon wavelength interferometer. The teardown of the module shows all its inner workings.
The LightSquare product and its teardown is also shown which includes a diffraction wavelength measurement system. Finally the operation of the TSL-200 tuneable semiconductor laser is presented which uses a tuneable external cavity Fabry-Perot laser. Finally the teardown of the multi-wavelength meter is shown along with the operation of the Michelson Interferometer inside.​​​

TSP #195 - Teardown, Repair & Experiments with an Agilent 8163A Lightwave Multimeter & Laser Modules

12.9K views June 26, 2021 8:22 PM

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In this episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent 8163A Lightwave Multimeter. The instrument shows a flickering screen and does not boot. The teardown of the unit is presented along with a general instrument architecture. The power supply is verified for functionality and the instrument simply comes back to life on its own! It most likely has had a poor internal connection which is resolved after reassembly.
Two modules are also presented, a dual-input InGaAs power sensor module as well as a dual Fabry-Perrot laser module. The teardown and analysis of both are presented along with wavelength and spectrum measurements.​​​