Test & Measurement

S/W allows PC's to display power measurements

13th December 2005
ES Admin
A software package that allows RF and microwave engineers to use the Bird Electronics 5010T RF Thruline Power Sensor in conjunction with a PC has been made available by Aspen Electronics.
Normally, an additional digital power meter is required to read and display the measured parameters.

Aspen has recognised that many engineers, both in the field and in labs, use PCs, especially laptop machines, for a variety of test and measurement applications. For this reason, the company has developed the Virtual Digital Power Meter (VDPM) software together with a hardware data interface, which connects to the PC via an RS232 cable or USB adaptor.

With the Aspen 5010T Remote Solution, engineers are provided with the facility to read, store and display power measurements. The adjustable windowed display allows any one of four measurements, forward power, reflected power, VSWR and return loss, to be presented in a large display size for easy viewing at a distance.

Each of these four parameters can be programmed with set limits, so that if out-of-limits measurements are recorded, the numerical display highlights the data in red. Below each power indicator is an analogue bar indicating value relative to full scale for adjustment purposes. Typically, the system will log four readings per second across all parameters, and these are saved as a .txt file.

A range of easily interchangeable plug in elements cover frequency ranges from 2 to 2.7GHz, with forward power ranges including 125mW to 5W,1.25 to 50W, 12.5 to 500W and 25W to 1kW and reflected power ranges from 125mW to 5W, 1.25 to 50W and 2.5 to 100W. Insertion VSWR is quoted at 1.05:1 from 450kHz to 1GHz. Accuracy is at +/-5% of reading, which rivals that of thermal wattmeters.

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