• Your Spectrum Measurements May Be More Average Than You Know

    Originally posted Jul 21, 2014 I’m not talking about the quality, just the variance The basic amplitude accuracy of today’s signal analyzers is amazingly good, sometimes significantly better than ...
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  • EM Drive: Real Technology? Magic? Hokum?

      As technologists, we need ways to tell the difference Over the past few months I’ve been hearing more about a propulsion technology called an EM Drive or EMDrive or, more descriptively, a “resonant ...
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  • The Four Ws of Spurious Emissions

      Refining your design and creating happy customers   Note from Ben Zarlingo: I invite you to read this guest post by Nick Ben, a Keysight engineer. He discusses the what, why, when and where of spurious em...
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  • Yesterday’s Resolution Bandwidth is not the Best One Today

      Good news about RBW, noise floor, measurement speed, and finding hidden signals Some things never change, and others evolve while you’re busy with something else. In recent years, RF measurements provide ...
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  • Front-End Choices for RF/Microwave Measurements

    A few months ago, Keysight’s Brad Frieden and I both wrote about downconversion and sampling, related to wireless and other RF/microwave signals. Brad's article in Microwaves & RF appeared about two weeks be...
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  • Spurious Emissions and Spectrum Emission Mask: Improving Difficult Measurements

      Wrestling information from a hostile universe I can’t make a serious case that the universe is actively hostile, but when you’re making spurious and related measurements, it can seem that way. In te...
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  • Reducing Noise Power and Pushing it Around

      Jet engines, furry hoods, and a nod to four years of the Better Measurements blog This blog gives me occasional freedom to explore technology and phenomena that have only a peripheral relationship to RF design ...
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  • Loose Nut Danger

    Originally posted Jan 27, 2013   Lurking on your workbench Some hazards come from unexpected directions and find ways to bypass safety measures.  One example is mechanical connector damage to high frequency...
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  • Adding Information, Part 2: Taming Noise with your Secret Knowledge

      Taking advantage of knowledge your signal analyzer doesn’t have To respect the value of your time and the limits of your patience, I try to keep these posts relatively short and tightly focused. Inevitabl...
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  • Stealing MIMO

      An unacknowledged “borrowing” Few things in technology are completely original, “from the ground up” innovations. Of course, that’s no knock on those who creatively move technology...
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  • Your Signal Analyzer, Unleashed

      Signal analyzers are flexible, upgradable measurement platforms. This infographic has suggestions and reminders of how to maximize the value of yours. Click to enlarge. Learn how to maximize the power and per...
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  • Exchanging Information You’ve Got for Time You Need, part 1

    Make better measurements by using all the information you can get Some of the things we do as part of good measurement practice are part of a larger context, and understanding this context can help you save time and m...
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  • Signal Analysis Choices for Millimeter Frequencies

      A single analyzer can cover 3 Hz to 110 GHz. Is that the best choice for you? I haven’t made many measurements at millimeter frequencies, and I suspect that’s true of most who read this blog. All th...
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  • Keeping Up: Dealing with Tricky Signals and Complex Standards

      Honing your engineering skills and staying alert for serendipity The signals we deal with continue to become more complex and challenging. So do the standards that govern them and the measurements those standar...
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  • Importance of the Basics or “Why Don’t Microwave Connectors Last?”

      Are lifetime and performance ratings wrong, or is it measurement practice? A guest post to the RF Test Blog from Keysight’s Michael Lux A while back, Ben discussed the potential for one type of connector ...
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  • Millimeter Measurements: They’ll Test You

      Don’t sacrifice the benefits of improved equipment by missing the basics Just a decade ago I would have found it hard to believe, but millimeter-frequency applications above 50 GHz are going genuinely mai...
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  • Real-Time Spectrum: Spotting Signals and Next Steps

    Originally posted Oct 4, 2016 Sometimes the answer is not in the first place you look Real-time spectrum analyzer (RTSA) capability has gradually moved from a specialized measurement made by specialized instruments to...
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  • Are We Out of Running Room in RF Technology or Applications?

    Originally posted Sept 21, 2016   No—but the way forward has implications for RF and microwave testing In Electronic Design, Lou Frenzel recently asked a couple of provocative questions, and in this post I...
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  • Exploring “Near-Far” Problems—and Opportunities

    Originally posted Aug 24, 2016   Sometimes a common understanding is not common   It’s always an interesting experience when I find that one of my assumptions is wrong, or at least not very right. Y...
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  • Baseband and IF Sampling

    Originally posted Aug 9, 2016   Different ways to get your signal bits   There’s a long history of synergy and a kind of mutual bootstrapping in the technology of test equipment and the devices it...
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