Mini-Circuits
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6-GHz VNA Forges Versatility from USB and Software

March 29, 2022
By pushing complex data processing and calculation into software, Mini-Circuits' eVNA-63+ delivers an affordable and powerful vector-network measurement package to RF engineers' benches.

The Overview

Mini-Circuits' eVNA-63+ is a high-performance, software-controlled, yet affordable vector network analyzer (VNA) with a powerful user interface and full API with SCPI support. Banner specs include a dynamic range of >132 dB typical, trace noise of <0.005 dBRMS typical, and output power of 50 to 10 dBm.

Who Needs It and Why?

Just about all RF/microwave engineers can benefit from having a versatile and portable VNA on the test bench. By moving the complex data processing and calculation required of vector network measurements out of the instrument and into an advanced software package, the eVNA-63+ comprises a fully featured instrument. The VNA's eVNA software will feel familiar to any engineer with VNA experience, and the software's full API allows automation of VNA calibrations, measurements, trace displays, and data exports from a custom control program.

Under the Hood

Here are some of the many capabilities that the eVNA-63+ analyzer brings to the test bench:

  • It provides full support for the S11, S12, S21, and S22 measurements of two-port devices. Phase and magnitude data extracted from such devices can be visualized in rectangular, Smith chart, or polar pilots formats, or exported as a Touchstone .s2p data file.
  • Users can add time-domain reflectometry (TDR) capabilities to their arsenal by determining the distance or time-to-impedance changes in a transmission line. These changes may include shorts, opens, connectors, or other ways in which impedance could be altered.
  • Measurement results can be corrected to exclude test-fixture effects by mathematically moving the reference planes up to the DUT input and output.
  • Powerful marker functions enable automation of common measurements, including filter bandwidth, ripple calculations, and display of pass/fail test results.
  • A pair of internal bias-tee inputs allow for provision of up to +24 V dc/200 mA maximum on either measurement port (or both), useful for powering amplifiers in-line for .s2p/P1dB characterization.
  • Users can configure an automated power-sweep sequence at a fixed frequency, which is suitable for measuring linearity or compressing amplifiers or other two-port devices.

The eVNA-63+ has a host of available accessories, including calibration kits, cables, adapters, terminations, and torque wrenches. U.S. list price for the instrument is $7,995.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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