Military radar applications call for highly specialized test equipment. For these applications, custom RF test racks are assembled for the specialty testing performed on this equipment. The first part of our two-part blog series on modular test approaches explores Secondary Surveillance Radar, Monopulse and Interrogation Sidelobe Suppression, Ground Interrogation Equipment and Aircraft Transponder [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
3 MIMO Architectures Aiming to Solve 5G’s Challenges 5G technologies are predicted to provide groundbreaking accessibility for wireless network users globally. But with this lofty goal, comes many practical challenges. For instance, network providers are seeing an increased need for small cells to be installed in close proximity in urban environments to provide coverage to small and densely [...]
Where can you find an RF designer or manufacturer of wireless ATE devices that can deliver high performance at a reasonable cost for your custom applications? The answer is once again, Vaunix. We routinely handle requests for a special capability or feature that our Lab Brick signal generators, digtal attenuators, phase shifters, and switches do not have as standard features. As an example, pulse modulation [...]
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 [...]
What is a RF Signal Generator? An RF Signal Generator is an 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 [...]
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 [...]
In our Q & A blog series, we’ve addressed some of the most important and technical questions about our Lab Bricks:   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 [...]
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?   A. Vaunix Lab Brick phase shifters are conservatively rated. For example, phase accuracy measurement [...]
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?   A. All Lab Brick phase shifters can be run from Linux. We provide Linux drivers with the unit and the files can also [...]
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 [...]
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?   A. [...]
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. Note: Many customers control their Lab Brick products using Python. If you’re one of them, please make sure to use the attenuator SDK with ANSI-C style function names from the Vaunix FTP [...]
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.   We sometimes get requests for a special capability or feature that our Lab Brick signal generators do not have as standard features, which is understandable, as their optional capabilities [...]
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.   Customers and potential customers have asked us about increasing attenuator dwell time. We listened. The latest version of the attenuator user interface allows dwell time to be set at [...]
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. If I plug four LDA-602N attenuators into four USB ports on a PC, can I address them with the attenuator software individually and change their attenuation separately as well as simultaneously?   A. [...]
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 the LDA-302P-2 run from Windows and if so is it possible to guarantee its switching speed or does the Windows GUI just set up the profile and the microcontroller operate on the [...]
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 best way to use Lab Brick Series Attenuators to cover both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands?   A. As the 802.11ac standard is increasingly becoming the successor [...]
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 need to be able to simulate signal fades and dropouts for products with an embedded 3G transceiver. I have been looking at the LDA-302P-2 product as we need to be able to test up [...]
High-speed switches like our Lab Brick models are integral parts of many test systems, so I'll explain how easy it is to configure them in this blog. Lab Brick software lets you operate your switch (or switches) in four modes. Manual control mode lets you operate the switch from the computer's display. You just select “Internal” in the Switch Control window and in the Switch Setting [...]
Few instrument set-ups are complete without attenuators, as without them your ability to evaluate the performance of your device under different conditions would be severely limited. Our Lab Brick attenuators combine both the performance and the configurability you need to provide a wide range of measurement flexibility, and setting them up is performed the exact same way as all of our products &ndash [...]
My first blog in this series described the value and capabilities of Lab Brick software and the second described the function of our Lab Brick signal generators, so now let’s look into our Lab Brick phase shifters.   As you can see from the figure to the right, all settings you’ll need to make are available from a single screen. On the right you’ll see a setting for “Frequency [...]
As instruments rather than components like attenuators and phase shifters, signal generators are obviously more complex, and our goal has been to make the Lab Brick LSG and LMS Series instruments easy to use but very capable.   As you can see from the figure below, frequency, frequency and power step size, as well as pulse and sweep modes are all configured in the same screen. The frequency-setting [...]
In ATE systems, an instrument controller handles all the tasks associated with making everything work together. However, when you’re controlling just a few devices to accomplish a measurement task (for example), that’s usually more than you really need. But you do still need a way to control, configure, and run routines using the components, and that’s where the simple yet effective [...]
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