Like luxury cars, good RF test instruments are expensive. Many engineers lust after some test instruments as if they were the latest 7 series BMW. PrecisionWave Corp. may be able to help without busting your budget. Its latest RF vector signal generator costs an unbelievably low $9990 (see the figure).
The p1411A continuous-wave signal generator operates in the 800- to 1000-MHz and 1700- to 220-MHz ranges with a 1-Hz resolution. It can test GSM, EDGE, IS-95, NADC, PHS, WCDMA, and other wireless equipment. It also may be modulated from an external source.
The output power is adjustable from 100 to 20 dBm with a resolution of 0.1 dB. The p1411A also has a built in IQ generator with two channels, 16-bit resolution, 1 Msample/s/ channel, and 8x to 64x oversampling. Phase noise performance is excellent.
Its built-in spectrum analyzer lets users observe the signals as they are generated, eliminating the necessity for an external unit. The screen is a 7-in. TFT with touch-panel. Benchtop and rack-mounted automated test equipment versions are available with eight-week ARO delivery.