Model SSG6400HS is a compact costeffective synthesized test signal generator capable of 85dB dynamic range from 250 kHz to 6400 MHz

Stable Synthesizer Spans 250 kHz to 6400 MHz

June 28, 2013
This compact, battery-powered signal generator can handle applications in the laboratory and in the field from 250 kHz to 6400 MHz.

Signal generators are the starting point for any test system. They must provide known, controllable RF/microwave signals to evaluate the performance of components, circuits, and systems. And with the growing number of high-frequency electronic applications outdoors—such as cellular telephones—portability has become a useful trait in an RF/signal generator, as well.

The RoHS-compliant model SSG-6400HS synthesized signal generator from Mini-Circuits provides many of the desirable features and characteristics needed in a modern signal generator. It boasts a frequency range of 250 kHz to 6400 MHz, output-power range of -75 to +10 dBm, and programmability, all in a rugged metal shielded housing measuring just 11.00 x 8.50 x 2.15 in. with a Type-N, 50-Ω female coaxial output connector. Better still, it sports a price that won’t ruin most budgets.

For its small size and low cost, the model SSG-6400HS synthesized signal generator (see figure) offers impressive performance, with an 85-dB dynamic range that can be set in steps as small as 0.01 dB from -75 to +10 dBm across its full frequency range. Output signals can be set for continuous-wave (CW) output signals or as modulated output signals with amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), or phase modulation (PM), with an option for pulse modulation.

In addition, the SSG-6400HS synthesized signal generator can be set to sweep power and/or frequency up, down, or bidirectionally, either one alone or both parameters together. It can be controlled remotely via a personal computer (PC) via its built-in Universal Serial Bus (USB) port or a TCP/IP Ethernet connection.

The SSG-6400HS can be tuned with typical frequency resolution of better than 0.01 Hz across the full frequency range, with frequency accuracy of ±1.5 ppm when using its own internal frequency reference. It switches frequencies with better than 300 μs tuning speed and supports clean connections with RF/microwave cables via typical VSWR of 1.40:1 through 4500 MHz and 1.20:1 through 6400 MHz. The portable signal generator provides typical output power of +12 dBm from 8 MHz through 6400 MHz, with slightly lower power at the lowest frequencies.

In spite of its “portable” status, the SSG-6400HS boasts excellent spectral purity, with low harmonic and nonharmonic spurious levels. Second harmonics are typically -40 dBc through 4000 MHz and typically -25 dBc at higher frequencies. Nonharmonic spurious levels are typically -70 dBc through 3000 MHz and typically -60 dBc through 6400 MHz.

The single-sideband (SSB) phase noise is typically -133 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 1000-MHz carrier and -144 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from a 1000-MHz carrier. It is typically -123 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 3000-MHz carrier and -134 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from a 3000-MHz carrier. The phase noise is typically -117 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from a 6000-MHz carrier and -128 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from a 6000-MHz carrier.

The model SSG-6400HS synthesized signal generator is truly a plug-and-play test source. It includes a USB 2.0 port for connection to a computer or controller and operates with user-friendly graphical-user-interface (GUI) software which allows a user to select from a number of operating modes, including amplitude, frequency, and pulse modulation, frequency sweep, and power sweep.

The SSG-6400HS can also be used with a wide range of other popular software programs, including LabVIEW® 8 or newer from National Instruments; MATLAB® from The MathWorks; Agilent VEE® from Agilent Technologies; and Visual Basic® and Visual Studio® from Microsoft.

The compact, light-weight model SSG-6400HSwideband synthesized signal generator is supplied with a 12-V AC/DC 12-V adapter, an AC power cord, a USB cable, and a compact disc (CD) containing the GUI control program, plus programming APIs for 32- and 64 b programming environments. The CD software is compatible with software running on Windows or Linux operating-system (OS) computers, as well as with LabVIEW, Delphi®, C++, Visual Basic, and .NET software. P&A: $4995.00 (qty. 1) each SSG-6400HS; stock.

Mini-Circuits, Inc., P.O. Box 350166, Brooklyn, NY 11235-0003; (718) 934-4500, FAX: (718) 332-4661.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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