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HP / Agilent tracking generators and drift specs

Question asked by deninnh on Jun 22, 2013
Latest reply on Jul 1, 2013 by MikeM
As I finished adjusting my 8596E precision reference to precisely 10MHz (via time delta between ref-out and a rubidium reference),  my bubble was burst when the tracking generator output (in zero span) at 10MHz was 10.02 something MHz.

I could have sworn that my old E4401A (1.5GHz analyzer) was "spot on" and naively assumed that the tracking generator was synthesized and locked to the reference.  I've been informed by users on another forum that the TG may be driven by the LO and I've also noticed dependency on RBW.

Feeling bad, I looked through drift specs on many HP / Agilent analyzers (85xx, ESA, PSA) and for the most part, it is 1.5kHz in 5 minutes.  Now I don't feel so bad but the TG is not going to be a precise source for me (being on the cheap side).

It would be a big help if someone could describe the relationship between the frequency accuracy when in zero span, and the other SA parameters which impact this.  I realize that the tracking adjusment function probably is adequate for most intended uses.