The PicoVNA 106 & PicoVNA 108 are all-new, UK-designed, professional USB-controlled, laboratory grade vector network instruments of unprecedented performance, portability and value for money. Despite their simple outline, small footprint and low cost, the instruments boast a four-receiver architecture to minimize the uncorrectable errors, delays and unreliability of internal transfer switches.
The PicoVNA 108 delivers an exceptional dynamic range of 124 dB at 10 Hz (118 dB for the PicoVNA 106) and less than 0.006 dB RMS trace noise at its maximum operating bandwidth of 140 kHz. The instruments can also gather all four S-parameters at each frequency point in just 182 µs (PicoVNA 106) or 189 µs (PicoVNA 108) or or S11 + S21 in less than 100 µs. In other words, a 201 point 2-port .s2p Touchstone file in less than 38 ms or up to two .s1p files in less than 20 ms. Their low price makes them cost-effective as deep dynamic range scalar network analyzers or single-port vector reflectometers as well as full-function dual-port, dual-path vector network analyzers. They are affordable in the classroom, in small businesses and even in amateur workshops, yet capable of meeting the needs of all users up to the laboratory or production test technician or the metrology expert.
‘Quad RX’ four-receiver architecture
In a VNA a swept sine-wave signal source is used to sequentially stimulate the ports of the interconnect or device under test. The amplitude and phase of the resultant transmitted and reflected signals appearing at both VNA ports are then received and measured. To wholly characterize a 2-port device under test (DUT), six pairs of measurements need to be made: the amplitude and phase of the signal that was emitted from both ports, and the amplitude and phase of the signal that was received at both ports for each source. In practice this can be achieved with a reasonable degree of accuracy with a single source, a transfer switch and two receivers; the latter inputs being switched through a further pair of transfer switches. Alternatively three receivers can be used with an additional input transfer switch or, as in the PicoVNA, four receivers can be used. Using four receivers eliminates the receiver input transfer switch errors (chiefly leakage and crosstalk) that cannot be corrected. These residual errors are always present in two- and three-receiver architectures and lead to lower accuracy than that of the Quad RX design.
Support for 8 and 12-term calibration and the unknown thru
Almost all vector network analyzers are calibrated for twelve error sources (six for each signal direction). This is the so-called 12-term calibration, which experienced VNA users are used to performing fairly regularly. In a four-receiver design some error sources are so reduced that 8-term calibration becomes possible, along with an important and efficient calibration technique known as the unknown thru. This gives the ability to use any thru interconnect (including the DUT) during the calibration process, vastly simplifying the procedure and reducing the number of costly calibration standards that need to be maintained.
Bias-Ts are often not provided, or available as costly extras, on other VNAs. Use the PicoVNA 106’s built-in bias-Ts to provide a DC bias or test stimulus to active devices without the complexity and cost of external DC-blocks. The bias is supplied from external power supplies or test sources routed to the SMB connectors adjacent to each VNA port.
PicoVNA 106/108 - Features
300 kHz to 8.5 GHz operation
High speed of up to 5500 dual-port S-parameters per second
Quad RX four-receiver architecture for optimal accuracy
Up to 124 dB dynamic range at 10 Hz bandwidth
0.005 dB RMS trace noise at maximum bandwidth of 140 kHz
Half-rack, small-footprint, lightweight package
PC-controlled over USB from a Microsoft Windows interface
P1dB, AM to PM, and standalone signal generator utilities
Ask for PicoTech PicoVNA 106 & 108 detailed specification.
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