Archive for Equipment Repair

Carl-Zeiss Axioskop Microscope LED Upgrade & Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy Preview

In this episode Shahriar works on a Carl-Zeiss Axioskop with Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy. The instrument has bene meticulously restored to a working condition. The scope is retrofitted with an LED illumination source. Although not idea, it does offer good brightness and uniform illumination. An ideal source would have to be a point source.

The microscope is used to examine an integrated circuit revealing the intricate BEOL of the chip. Furthermore, DIC imaging shows the non-uniformity of the internal integrated circuit metal surfaces.

Teardown & Experiments with a Keysight M9505A AXIe Chassis & M8190A Dual 12GS/s 12-bit ARB

In this episode Shahriar repairs a Keysight AXIe Chassis (M9505A) with a broken power button. The power button (with built-in LED) are replaced with a functionality-similar setup. The teardown and architecture of the System Controller and Embedded Controller Module are also presented.

The star of the video is an M8190A Dual-Channel 12GS/s 12-bit (or 8GS/s 14-bit) Arbitrary Waveform Generator module. The instrument provides in excess of 90dBc SFDR, 2G-Samples of memory per-channel, digital up-converter, built-in secondary amplifier path and up to 5GHz of analog output bandwidth. The module is coupled with a Keysight S-Series Oscilloscope for experiments showing multi-tone performance as well as image-rejection and extraordinary EVM performance with modulated signals.

Teardown, Repair & Experiments with an Agilent 86118A 70GHz Dual Remote Sampling Head

In this episode Shahriar diagnoses a malfunctioning Agilent 86118A 70GHz Dual Remote Sampling Head. With 70GHz of analog bandwidth per channel, this module definitely deserves a repair.

Unfortunately most failed remote-head modules aren’t repairable if the damage is in the sensitive proprietary III/V front-end IC. However, in this situation the module intermittently fails calibration which is more promising. The teardown reveals the architecture of the module from the point of view of the analog and strobe paths. Measurements on the strobe path also show a potential failure on the power-amplifier/splitter network which feeds the two remote-heads. A pair of transistors are replaced on the strobe path which correct the problem. The unit passes calibration and is then used for various eye-diagram measurements to verify full functionality.

Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Rohde & Schwarz AFQ100A I/Q (ARB) Modulation Generator

In this episode Shahriar investigates a failed Rohde & Schwarz AFQ100A I/Q (ARB) Modulation Generator. This instrument provide differential I/Q outputs with exceptional SFDR which makes it ideal for various wireless system testing. The instrument shows a stand-by LED but does not power on.

The problem is tracked to the main power supply’s soft power-on circuit. After the repair of the power supply, it becomes clear that the main HDD is also defective. An identical donor drive is used to repair the broken HDD main controller board. A full teardown of the instrument is also presented. After the repair, the instrument is used to generate various arbitrary waveforms for performance verification.

Teardown & Repair of a Fluke 744 Documenting Process Calibrator (Parts 1 & 2)

In this episode Shahriar attempts to repair a Fluke Documenting Process Calibrator. The device does not power on with neither a battery nor an external power supply. Although the schematic of this particular instrument is not available, an older model schematic shares many of the design aspects. After close examination of the circuit and various testing of power supply sub-circuit, real-time clock and main processor, it becomes clear that the problem is with a corrupt firmware. The repair is put on hold until a firmware upload method is determined.

After some help from the community, a new firmware has been found and can be uploaded into the instrument. By forcing the processor into a bootloader mode, the firmware update can happen even if the original firmware is corrupted. After the firmware fix, the instrument is tested for various functionality include DC/AC/I/Resistance calibration and measurement modes.

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