Archive for Equipment Review

Tektronix 6-Series 4-Channel 25GS/s 8GHz MSO Review, Teardown & Experiments (Part 1)

In this episode Shahriar reviews the top-of-the-line Tektronix 6-Series Oscilloscope. This 4-channel instrument offers 8-GHz of bandwidth at 25GS/s on all channel independently. Tektronix has made great strides in offering low-noise front-end custom ASICs combined with hardware digital down-conversion built into the core of the 6-Series. This enables advanced triggering across in both time and frequency domains as well as multi-domain correlated measurements.
This review is organized as follows:

00:06 – Introductions
01:42 – Instrument design, front and back panels
03:34 – Full acquisition board teardown, analysis and architecture
18:11 – PLL Experiment: Spectrum View, advanced triggering, PLL characterization and debugging
38:33 – Backplane Communication: Jitter analysis, eye diagrams, jitter composition, cross-talk
49:24 – Concluding remarks

TSP #171 – Signal Hound SM200C/B 100kHz – 20GHz Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the long awaited Signal Hound SM200C/B Real-Time 100kHz – 20GHz Real-Time Spectrum Analyzer:

The SM200C is a high-performance spectrum analyzer and monitoring receiver with a 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ port, enabling the SM200C to communicate with a PC over long distances using a fiber optic cable. Designed for remotely-located accurate RF data analysis at the lowest cost possible, the SM200C features:

  • 160 MHz instantaneous bandwidth I/Q streaming over 10GbE
  • SFP+ port for fast, long-distance communication with a PC using an optic cable
  • Device control and data transfer occurs via SFP+ connection, not USB
  • Tunes from 100 kHz to 20 GHz
  • Sweeps at 1 THz/sec at 30 kHz RBW
  • 110 dB of dynamic range
  • Ultra-low phase noise
  • GPIO port antenna switching

The SM200B offers a USB 3.0 PC interface with 40MHz of instantaneous I/Q streaming. Furthermore, the SM200B includes a full 2-second of internal memory at 160MHz of capture bandwidth which an be accessed through the API.

The review is organized as follows:

00:00 – Introduction
00:49 – Overview, build quality and detailed specifications
05:51 – Full teardown, analysis and system architecture
18:00 – 10GbE PC interface using M.2 Key to PCIe converter
19:22 – Experiment #1: FMCW signal analysis, GUI overview & 160MHz capture capabilities
31:33 – Experiment #2: Interfering hunting, FM-versus-time, frequency hopping & advanced triggering
41:32 – Experiment #3: Digital demodulation, phase-noise & equalization
46:02 – Other GUI capabilities, mask & EM compliance, API
47:20 – Concluding remarks

SAF Ka-Band Spectrum Compact 24 – 40GHz Portable Analyzer Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews another SAF Spectrum Contact. This model covers the Ka-Band (24GHz-40GHz), intended for 5G mm-Wave field measurements. The K-Band unit offers additional functionality such as 10MHz minimum span as well as RBW/VBW control down to 100kHz.

The teardown of the instrument reveals a similar architecture to the previously reviewed V-Band unit. Various system components are analyzed and explained. Some of the instrument’s GUI capabilities are also presented.

For experiments, a 900-element 38GHz planer array antenna is used at a distance of 2.5 meters. A slow-FM modulated RF signal centered at 38GHz is generated and measured which allows for the antenna gain characterization as well as exploration of the instrument’s capabilities.

Siglent SVA1032X 3.2GHz Spectrum & Vector Network Analyzer Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the newly released Siglent SVA1032X. The SVA series instrument spectrum & vector network analyzers are powerful and flexible tools for broadcast and RF device / system testing. With a wide frequency range covering 9 kHz to 3.2 GHz, the analyzer delivers reliable automatic measurements and plenty of features including a tracking generator and multiple modes of operation. This review is organized as follows:

00:09 – Introduction and instrument overview
02:25 – Complete teardown and detailed analysis of the instrument hardware
23:36 – Basic instrument GUI operation and overload detection limitations
28:38 – Tracking generator signal purity and performance
30:06 – Instrument internal phase noise performance
33:01 – VNA operation and amplifier impedance tuning experiment
39:28 – Amplifier characterization using built-in functions
44:20 – Digital demodulation experiments
49:30 – Distance to fault experiments using built-in functions
49:16 – Concluding remarks

Tektronix AFG31000 2GS/s Arbitrary Function Generator Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar reviews the new Tektronix AFG31000 Arbitrary Function Generator. The AFG31000 series with InstaView™ technology is the first high-performance AFG with built-in waveform generation applications, patented real-time wave monitoring, and a modern user interface. The instrument is capable of 2GS/s waveform generation up to 250MHz and 14-bits of vertical resolution. This review is organized as follows:

00:08 – Introductions
01:01 – Front panel, rear panel and instrument design
03:44 – Detailed teardown, analysis, architecture and components
17:30 – GUI overview and basic functions
20:25 – Broadband FM modulation experiments
23:55 – InstaView experiments with a non-linear impedance
35:38 – Equation editor, waveform builder and advance sequencing
51:21 – Concluding remarks

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