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How much would N - APC adapters reduce accuracy?

Question asked by drkirkby on Oct 8, 2012
I'd like to be able to measure devices with N connectors to at least 9 GHz, preferably 11 GHz. The problem is the 18 GHz N calibration kit (Agilent 85054B) is beyond my budget.  Even used, the 85054B are fetching over $5000. I simply can't afford to spend that much.  

In contrast, getting a used 85050B 18 GHz APC-7 calibration kit is within my budget. I suspect I can pick up a used 85050B for 20% of the price of a used 85054B.  (N is obviously a lot more popular than APC-7).

So I'm wondering how practical it is to use an 18 GHz APC-7 cal kit, along with some high-quality APC->N adapters, which I already have. (I believe these are probably phase matched). 

How much would these adapters degrade accuracy on both amplitude and phase acuracacy

*For VNAs, I have:* 

* N9923A (6 GHz) VNA
* 8720D (20 GHz) VNA

*For calibration and verification kits I have:*

* 85032B 6 GHz N calibration kit, which has 4 adapters to N. (two to male N, and two to female N)
* 85033E 9 GHz 3.5 mm cal kit, which has 4 Adapters to APC-7  
* 85055A 18 GHz N verification kit -  not a lot of use without the 85054B I can't afford. 
* 11866A 2 GHz APC-7 cal kit. 

For loads,2 GHz apart from in the cal kits, I have

* 2 x 909A 18 GHz APC-7 load. 

That 2 GHz APC-7 (11866A) which I have not used, might be able to tel me something about converting APC-7 to N, without spending any more money, but it is limited to 2 GHz. 

Any thoughts how I can get to N, without spending a fortune on the 85054B?


Edited by: drkirkby on Oct 8, 2012 6:10 AM