Wireless Systems Design

PXI-Based RF Switches Target Video And Comm Testing

Eleven new PXI-based RF switches are available from National Instruments. The modules include dual 4-by-1, terminated 4-by-1, and 8-by-1 multiplexers and dual terminated SPDT and quad SPDT general-purpose configurations for 2.7-GHz, 50-Ω applications and 2.5-GHz, 75-Ω applications. The eleventh model is a 4-by-1, 2.5-GHz, 75-Ω module. The six 75-Ω modules (PXI-255x series) are the company’s first switches for high-frequency video applications, such as set-top-box testing. The five 50-Ω modules (PXI-254x series) add to the company’s current RF switch offering of 10 modules for routing signals between dc and 26.5 GHz. They are well-suited for expanding the channel count of RF generators such as the NI PXI-5671 2.7-GHz vector signal generator, or RF analyzers such as the NI PXI-5661 2.7-GHz vector signal analyzer.

All 11 modules offer insertion loss of less than 2.1 dB at the specified bandwidth and voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) of less than 1.75 at bandwidth. The modules also provide relay count tracking, which allows engineers to keep track of relay closures onboard the hardware to estimate the relays’ remaining lifetimes. Engineers can program the new switches using the NI-SWITCH driver software for basic relay operations in common development environments, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, LabWindows/CVI for ANSI C development, and Microsoft Visual Basic/C++. For additional assistance, NI Switch Executive software offers an easy-to-use, intelligent switch-management and visual routing environment. Once configured and programmed, the switch networks can be deployed using NI TestStand, a ready-to-run test-management environment and framework.

Prices of the 11 RF switch modules start at $1099. For more information, go to www.ni.com/rf/switches.

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