[time-nuts] Phase noise measurements on the cheap with an Agilent E4406A VSA Transmitter Tester?

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Sat Jun 18 15:05:30 EDT 2016


The Symmetricom Time Pod is pretty much the lowest cost commercial / newl “low phase noise” measurement instrument. You can find all sorts
of older stuff on auction sites in who knows what shape. The HP 3048 is the granddaddy of them all. 


> On Jun 18, 2016, at 12:11 PM, Dr. David Kirkby (Kirkby Microwave Ltd) <drkirkby at kirkbymicrowave.co.uk> wrote:
> I was looking at some high end commercial low noise oscillators and see
> they use instrument like the Agilent E5052B signal source analyzer for
> phase noise measurements. When I looked for them on eBay, it soon because
> apparently they were very expensive.
> Then I see this oscillator that locks to GPS
> http://www.leobodnar.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=107&products_id=234
> and looked at what was used to make the phase noise measurements. It was an
> Agilent E4406A. The noise floor is nowhere near as low as the more
> expensive instruments, but the E4406A is available for under $500, which is
> more than two orders of magnitudes cheaper than an E5052B.
> I'm wondering if there are other more suitable commercial instruments
> around that don't cost a fortune, yet would allow lower levels of phase
> noise to be measured. I tend to preference HP/Agilent kit, as it is better
> supported, both by the manufacturer and places like the HP/Agilent Yahoo
> group.
> Dave
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