Portable Analyzer Checks Cables And Antennas

Nov. 12, 2007
This compact spectrum analyzer provides all the functionality of a bench-top instrument, but in a battery-powered package measuring a mere 318 x 207 x 69 mm.

Wireless infrastructure relies on many wires, or cables and antennas, to be more precise. In order to maintain a wireless network, tests must be performed periodically on the cables and antennas. The new Agilent N9330A cable and antenna tester is the ideal tool for the task, a battery-powered one-port network analyzer with a frequency range of 25 MHz to 4 GHz that covers many wireless systems. The tester weighs 6.93 lbs. (2.9 kg) with its rechargeable lithium-ion battery providing about a four-hour run time.

The Agilent N9330A cable and antenna tester (see figure) is designed to make reflection (S11 scattering parameter) measurements quickly and easily. It can be used to make measurements as a function of frequency or a function of transmission distance, performing tests of standing-wave ratio (SWR), return loss , and cable loss as a function of frequency. It can also be used to perform measurements of return loss as a function of cable transmission distance and SWR as a function of distance. The Agilent N9330A is fast, with measurement speed of typically 3 ms/data point, and provides fine-grain detail, with measurement resolution of 100 kHz. The tester delivers test power levels of 0 to +20 dBm over its frequency range to the cable and/or antenna under test, and can make SWR measurements over a range of 1.00:1 to 65.0:1 and return-loss measurements over a range of 0 to 60 dB with 0.01-dB resolution.

The tester also offers 6 independent measurement markers to simplify range and difference measurements, and can store 15 different instrument setups and 200 measurement traces. The portable cable and antenna tester shows captured data on a bright, 7.2- in. (18.3-cm) transflective color liquidcrystal- display (LCD) back-lit screen that is quite usable even when used in fully sunlit work sites. The screen features 640 X 480 pixel resolution for revealing even the finest trace details.

As with the Agilent N9340A portable spectrum analyzer (see Microwaves & RF, October 2007, p. 128), the Agilent N9330A runs for about 4 hours per charge on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. With an optional 12-V automotive power adapter, the tester can run on a car battery, which can also be used to recharge the lithium battery. The portable tester connects to cables and antennas through a Type N female RF test port that is designed to handle input signal levels to +25 dBm and 50 VDC without damage.

The tester includes a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port for simple connection to an external computer and another USB port for a memory stick. The tester offers a choice of 11 on-screen languages, including English, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese. It features a rubberized enclosure to handle the most hostile environments, and a sealed keypad and screen that are moisture resistant and dust proof. The N9330A measures 12.5 X 8.1 X 2.7 in. (317 X 207 X 69 mm). P&A: $6195; 4 wks. Agilent Technologies, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051; (877) 424-4536, FAX: (408) 345-8474, Internet: www.agilent.com.

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