Tag Archive for Experiments

Teardown, Repair & Experiments with a Voltech PM3000A 3-Phase Universal Power Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar investigates the failure of a Voltech PM3000A 3-Phase Universal Power Analyzer. This instrument is capable of advanced measurements on power profile and performance of a DUT. The unit shows “Voltage & Current OVERLOAD” condition on all channels even without a DUT connected.

The teardown of the unit reveals the isolation techniques used between the analog sampling heads and the main digital/DSP board. The instrument uses a combination of transformers and optocouplers to provide power to the sampling heads and receive digitized data from the voltage/current ADCs.

Close examination of the unit shows a faulty capacitor on the AC power supply feeding the sampling heads. The capacitor is replaced which corrects the overload condition. The unit is then used to measure the power profile of a simple glue-gun. The PF and THD measurements show that the glue-gun is equipped with a triac for power control; an expected result for a simple glue-gun.

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.

Tutorial on Theory, Characterization & Measurement Techniques of Phase Noise

In this episode Shahriar demonstrates the fundamentals of Phase Noise. The theory behind phase noise is presented both from a time-domain and frequency domain points of view. Various mathematical equations which represent phase noise behavior is also presented.

Phase noise measurement challenges and techniques are covered. Capabilities and limitations of different instruments for phase noise characterization is explained. The experiments show AM/PM modulations both in time and frequency domain and their relationships to phase noise measurements. Using a spectrum analyzer the phase noise of several synthesizers are shown. However, it is clear that the phase noise of an ultra-clean 1-GHz reference signal cannot be measured using traditional methods.

The concept of cross-correlation is introduced as a means of measuring phase noise below the phase noise of the measurement instrument. The block diagram of the an Agilent Phase Noise Analyzer is presented followed by a short teardown. The measured phase nose of the ultra-clean 1-GHz source is shown using correlation techniques which matches the datasheet.

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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