Scalar transmission capability added to USB VNAs

13th October 2015
Posted By : Mick Elliott
Scalar transmission capability added to USB VNAs

A scalar transmission option for its MS46121A PC-controlled ShockLine 1-port USB VNAs that transforms multiple MS46121A models into a simple scalar system has been introduced by Anritsu. The option enables scalar measurements to be made between MS46121A VNAs in either a one-to-one (1 to 1) or one-to-many (1 to n) configuration, creating a flexible method of conducting magnitude-only transmission measurements for a wide variety of applications, including manufacturing test and student education.

Providing both the (1 to 1) and (1 to n) setups in the MS46121A VNAs creates a robust method of performing parallel and multi-port testing of devices under test (DUTs) over four channels. In a (1 to 1) setup, up to two scalar transmission measurements can be made in parallel using four channels. This configuration suits cable testing, as it creates fast throughput for cable loss measurements.

The (1 to n) scalar measurement configuration allows one MS46121A to serve as a source that is connected to up to three other MS46121A VNAs that act as receivers. A key benefit is that multiple MS46121A VNAs can emulate limited multi-port functionality with the convenience of adjusting the ports to accommodate different DUT geometries and setups. The configuration is well suited for validating multi-port filters and multiband cell phone antennas, as transmission measurements through various ports can be made quickly and inexpensively.

The MS46121A series of 1-port USB VNAs offers models with frequency ranges of 40MHz to 4GHz and 150kHz to 6GHz. They provide performance and accuracy for 1-port measurements in a low-cost and space-saving solution that is small enough to directly connect to the DUT. Up to 16 independent  VNAs can be operated in parallel from the same computer running ShockLine software. This enables true parallel multi-site testing of 1-port devices, improving throughput over traditional single VNA and switch matrix test solutions.

The analyser series is part of the ShockLine family of low-cost VNAs for test applications up to 43.5GHz. There are five series of instruments with 15 different frequency ranges in 1-, 2-, and 4-port models available in multiple form factors and with LAN or USB interfaces to fit any testing environment. They are ideal to economically test passive devices in cost-sensitive manufacturing, engineering, and education applications.

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