A vector network analyzer from Tektronix – in USB-instrument format

A vector network analyzer from Tektronix – in USB-instrument format

New Products |
By Graham Prophet

With a starting price of €8920, the PC-controlled unit is aimed at what Tek terms “unmet needs” in RF design and test, and in education. In part, the company is referring to the rise in design activity in connected devices, where RF characteristics need to be verified. “IoT [designers] follow a different RF test flow,” says a Tek spokesman, and in that are there are, “fewer users with budgets for high-end instrumentation.” Tektronix followed a similar path with its USB-controlled, RSA306 and 306B spectrum analyzers, and reports that the biggest single market for that product has been education.


The TTR500 is a 2-port instrument, and is available in 3 GHz or 6 GHz variants (the €8920 price is for 3 GHz). This, the company says, is a price point 40% lower than the minimal starting point specification for a conventional instrument. The price includes Tek’s VectorVu-PC analysis software and a kit of interconnect accessories – including a built-in bias tee for testing active devices.


VNAs, Tek continues, can help IoT designers match Bluetooth, WLAN, RFID and other radios to antennas and may avoid the need for short-term instrument rental. In education, the high cost of VNAs means students may get little or no hands-on time with an important instrument. The TTR500 Series features an easy-to-use user interface for common tasks. It achieves the same level of performance as a benchtop VNA, but at 40% lower cost and one-seventh the size and weight of units with comparable performance.


The TTR500 Series is a full 2-port, 2-path S-parameter VNA for such applications as measuring passive/active components, antennas and matching networks, RF modules, test cables, adapters and more. Specifications including 100 kHz to 6 GHz frequency range, 122 dB dynamic range, less than 0.008 dB trace noise, and -50 to +7 dBm output power.


Its built-in bias tee is accessible on both ports and allows for active devices, such as amplifiers, to be DC biased. Users do not need to contend with an external bias tee or specify an optional internal bias tee. The TTR500’s built-in bias tee allows for 0 to ± 24 V, and 0 to 200 mA on both ports for active devices.

The TTR500 works with any Windows PC or laptop and the VectorVu-PC software delivers a traditional look and feel for controlling and calibrating the instrument. It offers full point and click usability with the ease of PC-based networking for saving and sharing files. For automated test systems in design or manufacturing, VectorVu-PC offers programmatic support for SCPI commands, including command compatibility with common legacy VNAs for easy integration into existing test systems. The software offers an offline mode for data analysis with an output file format compatible with common EDA simulation tools.


Accessories include a carrying case, rack mount kits, rugged phase-stable cables, attenuators, adapters and calibration kits.




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