Tag Archive for RF

Starlink Dish Phased Array Design, Architecture & RF In-depth Analysis

In this episode Shahriar takes a detailed look at the Starlink Satellite Dish. The dish was kindly sent by Ken who has done his own initial teardown here.

The dish is analyzed layer by layer from the radome down to individual integrated circuits. The RF design, system architecture and many aspects of the overall product are described in details. An X-Ray of the RF stack is also shown which further explores the design of the array.

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

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 an Agilent 4.5GHz E5071C ENA Vector Network Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar repairs an Agilent E5071C ENA Vector Network Analyzer generously loaned by AllTest. Please visit their website for all your measurement, calibration and service needs:


The network analyzer is missing the main HDD which initially prevents it from being tested. An image from a donor E5701C instrument is used to boot the unit and gain access to the instrument firmware. The unit shows an inaccurate S11 with an open Port 1 while S22 shows a perfect reflection. This indicates a potential problem with the Port 1 T/R module. Teardown of the module reveals catastrophic damage to the resistive front-end coupler which has been mostly likely caused by a large RF input power incident. After cleaning the PCB area, a replacement coupler is constructed. The repaired unit is checked for full self-test and used to measure a YIG tuneable filter.

You can may check the Andostar microscope lineup here. (Direct Link / Not-tracked)

More information about Wheatstone Bridge can be found here.

  • Social Media

  • Administrator

  • Archives

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.