Test & Measurement

RF signal and sweep generator has built-in RF power detector

30th July 2015
Mick Elliott

The SynthNV is a programmable 34.4MHz to 4.4GHz software-tunable RF signal and sweep generator with a built-in RF power detector. It is controlled and powered from any device running Windows, Linux or Android OS via a USB port and is available at Saelig. The included onboard RF power detector can be used as a generic RF power meter or combined with the SynthNV's sweep function to create a basic RF network analyser.

When the RF signal generator frequency is set, RF power can be measured in less than 400uS. The SynthNV design also includes non-volatile memory so it can be programmed to wake up with any frequency, power, sweep, and modulation setting. Controlled by open-source Labview GUI software, the SynthNV can be powered from a USB port or from an external 6 - 9V source.

The SynthNV can run all its features with or without a connected PC, and its impressive specifications include: 2.5ppm generator frequency accuracy, 150us generator lock time, 1kHz or smaller generator step size, phase noise of 93dBc/Hz@ 1kHz offset and 117dBc/Hz @ 100kHz offset with a 1GHz carrier (typical). Modulation capabilities include AM with sinusoid, ramp, sawtooth or programmable arbitrary waveforms, as well as Pulse Modulation with 1us minimum pulse width and resolution.

Output power is +19dBm which can be adjusted in 0.5dB amplitude steps. The broadband RF power detector measurement time is only 200us, and it measures from -60dBm to +10dBm with 0.1dB resolution.

The low power RF module is an ideal solution for a wide variety of RF signal generation needs. Applications include: Wireless communications systems, RF and microwave radios, Software Defined Radio (SDR), radar, Automated Test Equipment (ATE), EMC -radiated immunity pre-compliance testing, Scalar Network Analysis (SNA), Electronic Warfare (EW)and Law Enforcement, local oscillator replacement, quantum device research, plasma physics, education, etc.

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