PC-based 3MHz to 3GHz Vector Network Analysers

15th January 2007
Posted By : ES Admin
PC-based 3MHz to 3GHz Vector Network Analysers
A fully-functioned, low cost Vector Network Analyser duo, designed and manufactured in the UK by LA Techniques Ltd, is now available from specialist instrument distributor and service company, Aspen Electronics.
The LA19-13-02 and LA19-13-01 are PC-driven Vector Network Analysers (VNA’s) operating over the 3MHz to 3GHz range, with 100Hz resolution and a dynamic range of 80dB (typically 90dB). The LA19-13-02 has built in transmission and reflection test-set with full S-parameter, 12-term error correction, and includes bias-Ts for testing biased active devices.

These VNA’s are ideal for a wide range of network measurement applications from design and development through to installation and field service. Proven as especially useful for filter alignment and antenna testing, PC control ensures the instrument is not only flexible and fully-featured, but also easy to use and cost effective. The PC is a common and familiar tool in most engineers’ workspaces today, whether at a bench or in portable form for field use. This makes the LA19-13-02 and LA19-13-01 versatile and efficient tools.

With prices starting at £5995, these VNA’s deliver the RF performance approaching that of a much higher priced bench top instrument. PC interfacing also provides an extensive feature set, comparable to top of the range VNA’s, yet the LA Techniques models are lightweight and easily transportable.

The user interface connecting to a standard and familiar Windows based environment is easy to use, providing additional functionality including: memory functions, time domain facility and reference plane extension, as well as a de-embedding capability, P1dB (compression) and AM-PM conversion. The latter two features are particularly useful for evaluating amplifier performance.

The software also includes comprehensive graphics display choices along with markers and limit lines. One storage feature, which will appeal greatly to design engineers, is the ability to save and recall data in Touchstone .s2p format (Agilent Corp.) for modelling purposes.

The calibration set up for this instrument is impressively accurate. A unique feature is that OSL (Open/Short/Load) calibration does not require a precision load and importing of data files into memory traces for comparison with live measurements. Instead, the software uses the measured reflection coefficient data of the load standard during the calibration cycle. Each calibration kit is supplied with this data, which is unique to the load standard (male or female).

Additional electrical specifications include: directivity typically >45dB; test port match typically better than –40dB; and attenuator linearity (up to 2GHz) typically 0.002 dB/dB. The analysers are available now on 6 to 8 week delivery.

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