Project: 10 Hz to 16 MHz Personal Network Analyzer

 

Featured on the cover of QST, February 1999

 

Design Services Performed:

Description:

This demonstration project built on a 16 MHz DDS source and a A and B detectors to make a full stimulus - response network analyzer that can be built by nearly anyone at a fraction of the cost of a commercial unit. This was a very popular project that showed just how much could be done by a determined homebrewer! The DDS synthesizer, built in source has 1 Hz resolution over the full 10 Hz to 16 MHz MHz output range. Excellent phase noise and spurious response performance is also achieved. Also included in the design is a novel output leveling circuit which provides four output levels over the entire frequency range. The analyzer is really a virtual instrument with all it's functions being controlled by a PIC Microcontroller via a PC control program that was written in Visual Basic. Communications to the PC is via a low cost 4.8 k Baud RS232 link.

  • Built with only 15 IC's!
  • True stimulus response scalar network analyzer.
  • 60 dB plus dynamic range, better than 0.25 dB resolution.
  • 10 Hz to 16 MHz output range with 1 Hz resolution.
  • Four output levels at up to 5 volts p-p maximum..
  • PC Control via virtual front panel application program.
  • RS232 communication (or USB) link to the PC.
  • On board PIC Microcontroller.
  • Spurious responses below -50 dBc.
  • Harmonics below -20 dBc.
  • Phase noise = -120 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset.
  • Wide band signal path, no switching from 10 Hz to 16 MHz (9 octaves).
  • Shielded, modular design. 

This is a screen shot of the analyzer measuring a 455 kHz ceramic filter. The excellent dynamic range and low noise of the traces can be seen. The application programmed was written in Visual Basic and can run on any version of windows from 3.1 on up.

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