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Avoiding excessive switch wear on PNA-X

Question asked by andyTPE on Dec 6, 2011
Latest reply on Dec 6, 2011 by daras

I am planning to use a PNA-X for a high volume production test application.  Measurements include gain vs frequency (i.e. swept S-param measurement), a gain compression measurement and an IP3 measurement.  The PNA-X has the IMD application installed and has the second source and switches/combiner.  So essentially I have 3 channels 1- spar, 2-compression,3-IMD

I can ensure that I have common attenuator settings for the 3 channels (source and receivers) to avoid attenuator switching between channels.

In the IMD measurement, the box is smart enough to configure the test set for the 'Port 1 2-Tone' case.  Now, if I were to leave Ch1 and Ch2 in their default test set configurations, I would be throwing the mechanical switches in every DUT cycle which is a bad thing.  Thus I can have Ch1 and Ch2 also configured for 'Port 1 2-Tone' and have Source 2 OFF.

So here are the questions:
1) Should I explicitly state that Source 2 is OFF for Ch1 and Ch2 or, when the PNA-X has the sources in AUTO mode it figures out that it does not need them for spar and gain compression and thus turns it off?
2) Are the switches on the RF outputs (source output OFF/ON) electronic?  In other words, will continued switching of a source state have a derogatory effect on the hardware over time?

Thank you