Modular GPIB Switches Connect Test Applications

May 30, 2008
These microwave switch assemblies route signals under GPIB control to simplify the installation and operation of testing high-frequency components from DC to 18 GHz.

Switching signals among test sources and devices under test (DUT) in a measurement setup can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Fortunately, the GPIB series 8000 modular switch assemblies help simplify complex test assemblies with reliable electromechanical microwave switches mounted in their own rugged enclosures. The switch assemblies are designed for applications from DC to 18 GHz.

The ASCOR GPIB series 8000 switch assemblies are based on rugged electromechanical switches and microwave relays rated for use from DC to 18 GHz with low insertion loss and high isolation. The switch assemblies provide consistent performance across the wide bandwidth. The insertion loss is typically 0.2 dB to 8 GHz, 0.3 dB to 16 GHz, and 0.5 dB from DC to 18 GHz. Isolation is at least 80 dB from DC to 3 GHz, 70 dB through 8 GHz, 60 dB through 18 GHz. The VSWR is 1.10:1 from DC to 3 GHz, 1.20:1 through 16 GHz, and 1.50:1 through 18 GHz (see figure).

The modular design of the GPIB series 8000 switch assemblies features "pluggable" switch units for ease of installation and reinstallation in automatic-test-equipment (ATE) installations, especially for setups requiring large-volume testing. The modular design of these switch assemblies also translates into reduced mean time to repair (MTTR) in case a switch should fail. The switches provide 20 ms switching speed and operate on 160 mA and +12 VDC actuation power. The individual switches and relays, which operate in normally open mode, are rated for 1 million switching operations.

The GPIB series 8000 switch assemblies are available with 50-Ohm internally terminated or nonterminated switches. The terminated switches are rated for 2.5 W switching power, while nonterminated switches are rated for as much as 15 W switching power. The switch assemblies are available with a variety of different switch types, including single-pole, double-throw (SPDT), single-pole, four-throw (SP4T), and single- pole, six-throw (SP6T) switches.

The switch assemblies employ a digital interface card that can monitor as many as 128 digital inputs for signal changes and to generate a send-request (SRQ) file to notify the bus controller when changes occur. The GPIB series 8000 switch assemblies are provided with all standard commands for programmable instrumentation (SCPI) information for ease of operation and configurability.

The microwave switch assemblies are rated for operating temperatures of 0 to +50 degrees C. They are screened to MILSTD- 810E, Method 516.4 Procedure IV requirements for shock and to MILSTD- 810E, Method 514.4 Category 1 requirements for vibration.

The GPIB series 8000 switch assemblies are supplied in standard lightweight enclosure with stainless-steel female SMA connectors. The enclosure measures 12.0 x 8.5 x 3.5 in. and weighs about 7 lbs. The switch assemblies are shipped complete with a one-year warranty. ASCOR, Inc., 4384 Enterprise Pl., Fremont, CA 94538; (510) 490-2300, FAX: (510) 490-8493.

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