Scott Blanchard

Recent Posts

Steering the Focus: Programmable Phase Shifters

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Oct 5, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Phase shifters are used in countless applications, with one of the most popular being phased array antennas. These antennas do not require a gimbal to keep the beam stabilized. Without this technology the antenna and/or satellite would have to physically adjust itself in three dimensions to simply stay on target―which can prove to be a difficult task, especially where some applications require accuracy within a fraction of a degree. Instead, beams are formed by shifting the phase of the signal emitted from each radiating element in the structure. This provides interference to steer the beams in the desired direction. 

Read More

Topics: Phase Shifters

What to Understand Before Choosing Your Signal Generator: Part 2

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Sep 27, 2016 9:49:17 AM

Sifting through the available signal generators on the market to find a reliable, cost-effective option for a test facility can be cumbersome. While it is good to have a basic understanding of the specifications listed on the datasheet, it still does not help with digging through the wide array of options in the marketplace. To make things a bit easier, let’s dive into the differences between our two Signal Generator Series, the LSG Series and the LMS Series, and how to use them effectively. 

Read More

Topics: Signal Generators

What to Understand Before Choosing Your Signal Generator: Part 1

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Sep 15, 2016 5:15:49 PM

What is a Signal Generator?

An RF signal generator is electronic piece of test equipment that generates RF signals over a wide variety of frequencies with high spectral purity, stable frequency, and stable amplitude. RF signal generators are not to be confused with vector signal generators, which generate RF signals but also have complex digital modulation capabilities with formats such as QPSK, QAM, FSK, BPSK and OFDM. RF signal generators offer modulations that include amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), phase modulation (фM) and pulse modulation.

Read More

Topics: Signal Generators

From P2P Radio to PC-Driven Test Equipment: The Evolution of Vaunix

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Jun 23, 2016 4:56:51 PM

How Scott and Alan Met

The founders of Vaunix, Scott Blanchard and Alan Olsen met over 20 years ago while working for Advanced Techcom, Inc. (ATI)—a Massachusetts based design and manufacturer of digital microwave and millimeter-wave radio systems for short and long haul voice, data, and video applications. During their time working at ATI, a number of fortuitous events allowed them to work together more closely.

Read More

Topics: Vaunix, Lab Brick, test and measurement

Programmable RF Components in Automated Test Equipment (ATE)

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Mar 24, 2016 3:00:00 PM

In the past, large production environments and sophisticated labs were the dominant influence on the research and development that led to yesterday’s full-featured benchtop equipment market. Today, however, nimble test and verification teams are increasingly looking for more portable and cost efficient solutions devoid of cluttered GPIB cabling and specialized software. Not only has the debugging of previous generation automated test equipment (ATE) proven difficult without expert technicians, test engineers today are enjoying the flexibility of using programmable components that leverage APIs connected to commonly used software platforms. 

Read More

Topics: Signal Generators, Lab Brick, digital attenuators, test and measurement, ATE

Q & A with Vaunix: Using Lab Brick Phase Shifters Over Wide and Varying Temperature Ranges

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Dec 1, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In our Q & A blog series, we’ve addressed some of the most important and technical questions about our Lab Bricks. We hope these answers give you a better understanding of how our products work.

Q. We would like to connect 48 Lab Brick LPS-402 phase shifters to a computer via an Ethernet-to-USB hub while operating over a wide range of temperatures. What are the operating temperatures and environmental constraints for the LPS-402, what is their operating lifetime, and how fast can they be switched?

Read More

Topics: Phase Shifters, Lab Brick, Q & A

Q & A with Vaunix: Phase and Accuracy of Lab Brick Phase Shifters

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Nov 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In our Q & A blog series, we’ve addressed some of the most important and technical questions about our Lab Bricks. We hope these answers give you a better understanding of how our products work.

Q. What is the phase accuracy and repeatability of Lab Brick phase shifters?

Read More

Topics: Phase Shifters, Lab Brick, Q & A

Q & A with Vaunix: Controlling Lab Brick Phase Shifters Using Linux

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Nov 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In our Q & A blog series, we’ve addressed some of the most important and technical questions about our Lab Bricks. We hope these answers give you a better understanding of how our products work.

Q. Can Lab Brick phase shifters be controlled using Linux?

Read More

Topics: Phase Shifters, Lab Brick, Q & A

Q & A with Vaunix: Antenna Testing using Lab Brick Phase Shifters

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Oct 20, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In our Q & A blog series, we’ve addressed some of the most important and technical questions about our Lab Bricks. We hope these answers give you a better understanding of how our products work.

Q. We would like to use Lab Brick phase shifters to measure the radiation pattern of a four-element antenna array in a beam forming configuration. The set-up would include one signal generator, one 1-to-4 splitter, four phase shifters, and a four-port antenna. Vaunix specifies phase shift accuracy as +-2.5 deg., so in our scenario using four phase shifters does each one apply a phase shift with an error of +-2.5 deg. or will all have the same error (that is, all having +1.3 deg.)? Also, is phase stable over time or does it oscillate around the programmed value by +-2.5 deg., and will all four oscillate equally? Finally, does the phase shifter introduce a delay? If so, is it the same for all devices? 

Read More

Topics: Phase Shifters, Lab Brick, Q & A

Q & A with Vaunix: Using Lab Brick Signal Generators with External Clock References

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Sep 22, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In our Q & A blog series, we’ve addressed some of the most important and technical questions about our Lab Bricks. We hope these answers give you a better understanding of how our products work.

Q. Can I lock three Lab Brick LMS-203 signal generators to an external reference or daisy chain them to one internal reference. Can I also modify the RF output power?

Read More

Topics: Signal Generators, Lab Brick, Q & A