TNP #7 – Ynvisible Electrochromic Ultra-low Power Segmented Display Technology

In this episode Shahriar takes a look at an ultra-low power display technology. The Ynvisible Segment Display is an electrochromic display. It is categorized as a reflective display, meaning that it reflects ambient light instead of using a backlight. All layers are screen printed on a plastic substrate.

The display stack consists of organic layers including a plastic substrate, an electrochromic material, an electrolyte, and an electrode for each segment. Additional layers such as graphical overlays and circuits may be added if required.

You can find more information about this display technology at:​​​

TNP #6 – Teardown & Analysis of a Keysight (Agilent) 9GHz Electronic Calibration Module (ECal)

In this episode Shahriar analyzes the principle operation of an Electronics Calibration Module also known as ECal. This unit operates up to 9GHz and is one of the earlier models produces by Agilent. The block diagram of the unit is presented as well as a detailed teardown of the RF core assembly. The various built-in standards can be clearly seen as well as the solid-state switch networks which connects them to the network analyzer ports.​​​

TNP #5 – Teardown & Analysis of Damaged Anritsu K250 40GHz & SHF 123B 65GHz Bias-T Blocks

In this episode Shahriar takes a look at some mailbag RF components. The set of Anritsu Bias-T blocks all have damaged DC paths. The teardown of the Bias-T shows its internal construction and assembly procedure. The SHF Bias-T offers a much more sophisticated and broadband response. A single Bias-T has survived with only a broken DC connector which is repaired and measured.​​​

TSP #198 – Teardown, Repair & Analysis of an Anritsu MG3700A 6GHz Vector Signal Generator (Part 1)

In this episode Shahriar attempts to repair an Anritsu MG3700A Vector Signal Generator. The instrument does not fully power on and suffers from several problems. The digital IF board as well as the main computer are presented. The power-on fault is traced to a faulty fuse on the 5V power supply which feeds the main CPU board. A new fuse enables the instrument to fully boot.

The unit also exhibits a failure for all signals above 3GHz. The instrument is equipped with a super hetrodyne mixer board which covers 3GHz – 6GHz output range. This RF board is examined and explored in details alongside the block diagram of the unit. The fault is traced to a unidentifiable component (potentially PIN diode switches). Bypassing these components allows the instrument to generate sufficient power. However, the repair must stop here for now until these parts can be identified.​​​

TSP #197 – Teardown, Repair & Analysis of a Rohde & Schwarz FSL 9kHz – 6GHz Spectrum Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar investigates a failed R&S FSL Spectrum Analyzer. The instrument shows an unusual spectrum trace and fails a wide range of self-test functions. The LO Unlock failure is likely the most important item to address which can cause a cascade failure of other functions.

The teardown of the instrument shows a single-board RF design. The system architecture is analyzed along with an X-Ray of the main board showing various RF/LO routes and interconnects. The core synthesizer is examined and measured along the signal path to verify the operation of each part. The failure is traced to an open 1-Ohm resistor which feeds the power supply of the divider IC feeding the PFD of the PLL. A ceramic capacitor failure is also observed which may explain the damage to the 1-Ohm resistor. After these components are replaced the instrument passes all self-tests. The functionality of the instrument is verified by measuring tones from 9KHz – 6GHz using a Keysight MXG.​​​