I’ve gotten a lot of questions on the blog about the new version of the MHS5200A function generators available on eBay. Viewer Tolga was kind enough to send one in to me to review and tear down. Although some improvements have been made over the older models, there are some concerning issues with these new models too!
Teardown: A look at the Datum/Symmetricom 8040 Rubidium frequency standard
The 8040 used an LPRO 101 (low profile Rubidium oscillator) oscillator. Interestingly, there is a note written on the top of the LPRO case: “vibration test may have magnetized cover”. As you may know, Rubidium standards’s accuracy is very sensitive to external magnetic field. But it shouldn’t be an issue for me as the drift caused by magnetism is usually in the sub milli-Hertz range and even the most sensitive frequency counter in my lab won’t be able to pick up this minute drift.
Keysight MXA revision-b signal analyzer / Spectrum analyzer review, analysis & experiments from The Signal Path:
In this episode Shahriar reviews the long awaited Keysight MXA Signal Analyzer (N9020B). The new X-Series Spectrum Analyzers from Keysight offer an entirely re-designed GUI interface which supports multiple tabs as well as multi-touch interaction.
Teardown and analysis of microwave (26.5GHz) electro-mechanical step attenuators from The Signal Path:
In this short episode Shahriar takes a close look at a pair of Hewlett Packard microwave electro-mechanical step attenuators operating up to 26.5GHz. Mechanical attenuators offer excellent repeatability, low insertion loss and nearly limitless linearity. The teardown reveals that the construction of both modules is very similar on the microwave path. In fact, the lower-frequency model still uses the same attenuator components. The newer model employs electronic control circuity while the older generation attenuator uses purely mechanically controlled DC path. Both models use a solenoid style actuators for step attenuation control.
I got a Peaktech 6225A power supply to power some things, as it seemed like a good deal, going beyond what one might find normally in these types of supplies: more display resolution and supposedly, lower noise. For this price, this supply is a good deal compared to other similar ones on the market. Let’s see how it performs.
Teardown of a 4-20ma panel meter from SteelCity Electronics:
Below is a panel meter that has been used in some sort of industrial process. It was manufactured in 1980 and I’m not quite sure who the manufacturer was – the company’s logo is not easy to read but it might say, “Aumano”. What caught my attention with it was that it includes high and low needles as well as indicators and relay outputs for the high and low limits.