We Leave It to Your Imagination

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Sep 22, 2014 4:03:41 PM

In a previous blog we suggested that “it doesn’t take much imagination to envision a ‘homebrew’ test system (built using Vaunix) components”, and we weren’t kidding. The fact is that all of our products were created to give engineers, whether they’re in design, prototype, or production, a great deal of flexibility. Here’s what we mean.

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Topics: Signal Generation

Precision Signal Generation: Not Just On the Bench Anymore

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Aug 21, 2014 12:13:33 PM

Today’s high-end benchtop vector signal generators are a marvel of RF and digital engineering. They’re generally considered the standard by which all others should be judged. While this may be true in terms of their versatility and sheer range of capabilities, it’s possible today to build a low-cost instrument smaller than a paperback book and weighing less than a pound whose core specifications are surprisingly close to those of larger portable instruments and even some benchtop units.

The Vaunix LSG and LMS Lab Brick Series signal generator are terrific examples. With models ranging in frequency up to 20 GHz, RF output to +20 dBm, SSB phase noise at 10 kHz from the carrier as low as -105 dBc/Hz, and spurious rejection of -80 dBc, their performance is more typical of the real bricks of the instrument world. They’re supported by digital attenuators with attenuation range from 31.5 dB to 120 dB in 0.5-dB steps with accuracy of +/-0.3 dB+5%, 360-deg. phase shifters that are programmable in 1 deg. steps with resolution of 1 deg., and SPDT and 4PDT solid-state switches handle 10 W, have insertion loss of 4 dB or less, input IP3 of +60 dBm, and switching speed of 90 ns or less.

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Topics: Signal Generation

When You Just Need a Source…

Posted by Scott Blanchard on Aug 12, 2014 2:22:00 PM

Lab Brick signal generator

Today’s signal generators, from portable to bench types, are endowed with an impressive array of features designed to make them useful in every conceivable application. They’re powerful tools -- but they’re also expensive and for many measurement tasks their “feature-rich” capabilities are simply unnecessary and even get in the way. In short, sometimes all you need (or even want) is a compact swept signal source with CW and pulse modulation that doesn’t sacrifice RF performance for size. There are plenty of scenarios in which this is true, from field testing high up a mountain and miles from anywhere to well-endowed engineering environments where test benches always seem to be in use by someone performing a long-term reliability test. 

Building on both analog and digital technology, Vaunix has created the Lab Brick signal generator series, phase shifters, digital attenuators, and switches that when combined with a laptop computer can form an automated test system that can generate test signals, attenuate them, and shift them in phase. The whole system including the laptop is small enough to fit in a backpack or a computer bag so you can take it up the mountain, back to your office, or even take it home.

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Topics: Signal Generation