Software-Defined VNA Sweeps 125 MHz to 6 GHz
An affordable but highly accurate software-defined vector network analyzer (VNA) provides high-resolution S-parameter measurements from 125 MHz to 6 GHz. The compact model 6a analyzer is designed for network operation, with the possibility of controlling and displaying results from multiple VNAs on a single personal computer (PC)—each VNA being identified by its own IP address. Ideal for production environments requiring multiple test stations, this VNA maintains a high dynamic range even at fast sweep rates, making it well suited for testing a range of passive components, such as antennas, attenuators, cables, and filters. Typical dynamic range at a sweep rate of 45 kHz is 72 dB at the lowest frequencies and 56 dB at 6 GHz. The typical dynamic range at a sweep rate of 2 kHz improves to 84 dB at 125 MHz and 69 dB at 6 GHz. The VNA’s open, flexible application programming interface (API) software provides the freedom to create custom sweep patterns to fit any production test requirements.
AKELA, Inc., 5551 Ekwill Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93111; (805) 683-6414, www.akelavna.com
Reference Design Warms to Solid-State Heating
The MicroBlaze 250 is a miniature solid-state power-amplifier reference design capable of 250 W output power from 2.4 to 2.5 GHz. Based on silicon LDMOS transistor technology, it measures just 80 x 40 x 5 mm and can be used in microwave ovens and industrial heating systems in place of vacuum tube electronics. The modular design employs a thermally conductive copper base plate and the firm’s unique BLC2425M9XS250 ACP-3 air cavity package with its model BLP27M810 power transistors. The reference design provides 250 W output power at 1-dB compression with 36-dB gain when fed with a +21-dBm input signal. It runs from a +32-V dc supply and consumes 20 A current. The amplifier can withstand VSWR mismatches as severe as 10.0:1 for 60 s without damage and is designed for operating temperatures from +5 to +100°C.
Ampleon Netherlands B.V., Halfgeleiderweg 8, 6534 AV Nijmegen, The Netherlands; (31) 6 208 14 771, www.ampleon.com
Reflectometer Ranges 1 MHz to 6 GHz
Copper Mountain Technologies.
Model R60 is a compact personal-computer-based reflectometer with frequency range of 1 MHz to 6 GHz. The portable instrument measures 6.2 x 2.6 x 1.2 in. and weighs just 12.3 oz. It can connect directly to a device under test (DUT) to measure reflection without additional test cables. The reflectometer is controlled and monitored by means of Windows-based PC software running on a laptop, notebook, or tablet. The model R60 is equipped with a wealth of measurement functions, including test fixture embedding and de-embedding, time-domain analysis with gating, and frequency-offset mode. The instrument can be programmed by means of a SCPI-like command set.
Copper Mountain Technologies, 631 East New York St., Indianapolis, IN 46202; (317) 983-6822, www.coppermountaintech.com.
Free Software Provides EM Simulation for Students
The newest release of CST STUDIO SUITE—Student Edition is a free version of the highly regarded electromagnetic (EM) simulation software which now includes a low-frequency solver for analyzing eddy currents. The versatile software is like a textbook in code form. It contains time-domain, frequency-domain, static, and thermal solvers along with a set of online examples on how to simulate classic EM problems at undergraduate and post-graduate learning levels. The new low-frequency frequency-domain (LF-FD) solver can be applied to the analysis of eddy currents in such components as sensors, actuators, and transformers. The student software is available for free download from the CST website.
CST of America, Inc., 492 Old Connecticut Path, Ste. 500, Framingham, MA 01701; (508) 665-4400, www.cst.com
Nonreflective Switches Control DC to 18 GHz
A pair of nonreflective multithrow GaAs switches has been developed for applications from DC to 18 GHz. Model CMD234C4 is a single-pole, three-throw (SP3T) switch with low insertion loss of 2 dB and high isolation of 40 dB at 10 GHz. The SP3T switch includes an on-board binary decoder circuit, requiring only two complimentary control voltage logic lines of 0 and -5 V. Model CMD235C4 is a single-pole, five-throw (SP5T) switch with low-power integrated 3:8 TTL decoder for enhanced digital control. It achieves insertion loss of 2.5 dB and isolation of 40 dB at 10 GHz. Both switches are supplied in lead-free, RoHs-compliant 4 x 4 mm surface-mount-technology (SMT) quad-flatpack-no-lead (QFN) packages, and exhibit switching speed of only 66 ns.
Custom MMIC, 300 Apollo Dr., Chelmsford, MA 01824; (978) 467-4290, www.custommmic.com
Low-Power I/Q Modulator Spans 0.7 to 6.0 GHz
Battery-powered electronic products require devices that can run on low power, and the LTC5589 in-phase/quadrature (I/Q) modulator is such a device. It operates from 700 MHz to 6 GHz on a single +2.7 to +3.6 V dc supply while consuming only 29.5 mA current. It features sideband suppression of -50 dBc and typical carrier leakage of -43 dBm without calibration. The modulator offers excellent transmitter performance, with output third-order-intercept point of +19 dBm and low output noise floor of -158.8 dBm. It achieves a baseband bandwidth as wide as 92 MHz with RF bandwidth of 184 MHz at 1.8 GHz. The device supports narrowband and wideband transmitter applications, including portable field radios, unlicensed band radios, train communications, software-defined radios (SDRs), portable RF test equipment, low-power microwave backhaul and repeaters, telemetry radios and satellite modems. It is supplied in a 4 x 4 mm plastic QFN package with operating temperature range of -40 to +105°C. P&A: $4.45 (1000 qty.); stock.
Linear Technology Corp., 1630 McCarthy Blvd., Milpitas, CA 95035-7417; (408) 432-1900, www.linear.com
Telemetry Filters Fit Surface-Mount Packs
Compact filters in surface-mount form factors have been developed for telemetry applications with typical frequencies ranging from 250 MHz to 6 GHz. All filters in the family are the same size, at 1.50 x 0.30 x 0.20 in., for ease of dropping into printed circuit boards (PCBs) for customizing performance. Typical in-band insertion loss is less than 1 dB while typical out-of-band rejection is 60 dBc. The minimum passband return loss is 14 dB. The operating temperature range for all of the telemetry filters is -25 to +85°C.
Bree Engineering Corp. 1275 Stone Dr., San Marcos, CA 92078, (760) 510-4950, www.breeeng.com