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8 Hints for Making Better Measurements Using RF Signal Generators

Application Notes

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Signal sources provide precise, highly stable test signals for a variety of component and system test applications. Signal generators add precision modulation capabilities and are used to simulate system signals for receiver performance testing.

This guide helps you improve the accuracy of your measurements that involve using RF signal sources. You may increase the accuracy of your data by using one or more of the hints in your test setup.

HINT 1. Reduce source’s effective harmonic distortion Use a low pass filter at the output of your source to decrease its harmonic distortion.

HINT 2. Increase power level accuracy Use a power meter to increase the accuracy of the signal level at your device under test (DUT).

HINT 3. Improve frequency accuracy Select the appropriate frequency reference to improve absolute or relative frequency accuracy.

HINT 4. Improve source match Use a fixed attenuator to reduce the mismatch error.

HINT 5. Combine source outputs for TOI measurements Use a proper setup to isolate sources and improve match.

HINT 6. Extend the amplitude range Use an amplifier or an attenuator to increase or decrease, respectively, the amplitude range of your signal source.

HINT 7. Optimize for LTE component test Use appropriate filtering to optimize for EVM and ACLR.

HINT 8. Select the optimum phase noise profile Choose the appropriate phase noise profile to optimize in-channel or out-of-channel measurements.

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