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HP 8510C external trigger timing questions

Question asked by l3enny on Aug 5, 2010
I am using an 8510C configured for mm-wave operation to conduct externally triggered measurements at a single frequency. Thus far the signal has been strong enough that I'm running without any calibration and will do my own magnitude/phase normalization during post-processing. The system I am measuring has several transients associated with it (from sub-ns to ms) so I have an interest in what kind of timing resolution I can expect from the 8510C.

1. What is the delay and associated jitter between the falling slope of the TTL pulse and the actual data acquisition?

2. How long does the 8510C take to measure the magnitude/phase of a single point, ie, what's the integration period?

3. I don't seem to be able to set a trigger delay for the single point mode, I receive a caution error about being it enabled for sweep mode only, am I missing something?

4. Presently, I'm sending a trigger pulse every 1ms; what happens when I turn averaging on? The spec sheet suggests that the 8510C will take data for the requested number of points successively and ignore other trigger pulses (it says to add 200us between trigger pulses for each additional point). On the other hand, the Pulsed-RF configuration manual states that the system waits until the next trigger pulse to measure the next point in the average, is this specific to its firmware? To be clear, I don't have the Pulsed-RF config but have been reading its manual to try and find more details on the timing.

5. Is there anything setting-wise that I can do to improve the timing resolution and decrease the integration period?

I'm a bit new to VNAs in general, so I apologize if some of these questions are strange.