Archive for Experiments

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.

Rohde & Schwarz ZNL 5kHz – 6GHz VNA, SA, Power Meter Combo Review, Teardown & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar takes a detailed look at the Rohde & Schwarz ZNL 5kHz – 6GHz Combo VNA, Spectrum Analyzer & Power Meter instrument.

The instrument offers excellent performance as well as two-port vector network analyzer for bidirectional measurements and Wide dynamic range of 130dB.

This review is organized as follows:

00:00 – Introduction, instrument overview (front/back), basic specifications
05:26 – Teardown, RF analysis, instrument architecture and design 13:58 – Experiments overview, network analyzer functions, calibration, sweep mode, etc.
28:43 – Spectrum analyzer mode, MultiView multi-mode overview, built-in measurements, TOI, etc.
38:08 – Power meter capability, integrated power, TOI versus Pdc, etc.
47:04 – Real-time capabilities, AM/FM demodulation, digital analysis, 3D spectrogram, vector analysis, RF triggering
55:54 – Noise Figure measurement capabilities
58:34 – Concluding remarks

Keysight MXR 8-Channel Real-Time Oscilloscope Review, Teardown & Experiments (Part 1)

In this episode Shahriar reviews the long-awaited Keysight MXR-Series 8-Channel 6-GHz 16-GS/s Real-Time Oscilloscope. The Infiniium MXR-Series is the first oscilloscope to offer 6-GHz bandwidth and 16-GSa/s sample rate on every single one of its eight channels. It also offers excellent performance (ENOB up to 9.0, noise as low as 43 µVrms, dedicated ASICs) which exceeds that of the previous S-Series scopes.

This review is organized as follows:

00:00 – Introductions
01:02 – Instrument overview, front-panel and rear interfaces
4:09 – Full acquisition board teardown and analysis including analog front-end
19:29 – First power-on and impressions
20:48 – Comparison and experiments with the Digital Sampling FFT, DDC and RTSA modes
34:04 – Time-base accuracy, frequency counter and DVM experiments
38:30 – Real-Time Eye, Jitter analysis and Equalization capabilities 50:00 – Concluding remarks

Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Noise-XT 2MHz – 7GHz Ultra-Low Phase-Noise Synthesizer

In this episode Shahriar repairs a Noise-XT 2MHz – 7GHz Ultra-Low Phase-Noise Clock Synthesizer. The instrument’s history indicates that it has suffered a fall from a work table. After a lot of difficulty, the instrument control software was found so that the unit can be tested.

Initial tests reveal that a very small output is present, however nearly 40dB below the desired value. The unit teardown shows an architecture based on dual Analog Devices DDS 14-bits DACs in conjunction with a Z-COMM VCO and a series of dividers & frequency multipliers. A detailed analysis of the unit is presented.

RF and analog measurements indicate that the RF connector is not making adequate contact with the final trace of the RF output. This explains the low output power. This problem is resolved by replacing the SMA connector entirely. The device output power, frequency accuracy, stability as well as cross-correlation phase-noise measurements are presented.

 

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

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