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8711A 12-port switching test set (8711A K12)

Question asked by drkirkby on Mar 10, 2014
Latest reply on Mar 24, 2014 by drkirkby
I purchased one of the above test sets from eBay, which I gather was designed to go with the 8711A VNA. I believe it is basically what Joel describes as a "Simple switch tree test set" on figure 2.25 (page 94) of his book. The test set appears to be controlled by some sort of parallel interface. I don't have it yet, but I'm told there are a pair of SP6T 20 GHz relays inside. *(UPDATE: I bought three of these, and all had 4 GHz relays, so I guess HP used 20 GHz relays when stocks were low on 4 GHz ones only)*

I bought it with the intention of connecting it up to my 8720D, so I also bought an Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller, so I can control the relays via GPIB with the hope of making a poor mans 12 port VNA !! 

Does anyone have a manual on the test set, and/or 8711A VNA? I can't seem to find anything on the Agilent web site, and asking on the HP/Agilent Yahoo group has not get any results either. I'd like to try to understand best I can how that was controlled, and in particular what supply voltages it needs. 

Did the 8711A have firmware able to do a proper calibration with this test set? Was the test set controlled by an 8711A directly, or was something else used? 

Any thoughts about the practicalities of using this on an 8720D? 


Edited by: drkirkby on Mar 22, 2014 8:45 PM