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About signal generators

Question asked by wangyiliu99 on May 29, 2013
Latest reply on Jun 16, 2013 by wangyiliu99
Hello, all

I have asked similar questions before, however failed to get satisfying answer (maybe I was not delivering the question so clearly).

As for power amplifier, there is the 1dB-compression point specification, which defines where the PA saturates. It is recommended to use the PA in its linear region.

My question is, does signal generator has similiar parameters? I noticed that for our current available model, when the output level is close to its upper limit, unleveled message occurs. 

In other words, for the generation of same signal at frequency f=400MHz, output power P=15dBm. Which of the following would be preferred?

(a) SG 400MHz, output=15dBm
(b) SG 400MHz, output=-25dBm, plus a 40dB power amplifier

I guess it would be strongly dependent on the PA specifications. What specs. would be most important when viewing the PA's spec. sheet? If no spec. sheet is available, are there any simple method to check the signal quality using the spectrum analyzer?

Sorry that my question is rather general and please forgive me for raising this naive question. 

Your help would be highly appreciated!