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Bootstrapping an SMA cal kit

Question asked by MADENGR on Jun 21, 2013
Latest reply on Jun 21, 2013 by MADENGR
I'd like to create an SMA cal kit for my home E8358A for use up to 9 GHz.  I have a nice 3.5mm SOLT and TRL kit at work, thus I could directly measure the SMA standards with 3.5mm reference planes, then fit the coefficients.  However is this futile due to the reference plane discontinuity?  There are no commercial SMA offset opens and shorts, and taking on jack savers to achieved the offset seems unwise due to additional discontinuities.  Since 3.5mm was created for laboratory grade SMA measurements, maybe a direct measurement won't be so bad.  SMA-SMA interface may actually be worse than 3.5mm-SMA interface.

Would "bootstrapping" a kit using an un-corrected VNA measurement be possible?  At one time I created zero offset shorts by pouring mercury into connectors (yes, sounds crazy), to get a phase reference, then planned on connecting the SMA short to measure the delay.  However it was a real mess as I found out mercury really clings to gold, so I stopped.

I realize SMA kits are frowned upon, however at one time HP actually made them as I have a beat up one (I rescued from the trash) to prove it.

I should mention I have a Maury female SMA sliding load I found on eBay.  I never knew they made such a thing, but that should take care of the > 2GHz termination.

Maybe this will be more of an exercise on how good of a cal kit can be created.  I have several 3.5mm airlines for verification.

Edited by: MADENGR on Jun 21, 2013 4:13 PM

Edited by: MADENGR on Jun 21, 2013 4:48 PM

Edited by: MADENGR on Jun 21, 2013 4:50 PM  

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