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

John Miles john at miles.io
Sat Jun 18 20:03:37 EDT 2016

> I note your software works with the HP 70000 too. As I say, I already have
> one of them, but was thinking the E4406A would be a worthwhile addition.
> But perhaps not in that case. Although maybe it will outperform my 70000
> system for phase noise measurements. I expect you will know the answer to
> that.

The E4406A will let you measure all the way down to 1 Hz from the carrier, and is quieter past 100 kHz.  And it's faster, being FFT-based.  Overall, though, their LO noise floors aren't that different.  They both need a lot of help to perform serious PN measurements.

> BTW, the link to the  "Wenzel Associates, BluePhase 1000 Phase Noise Test
> System Operations Manual
> <http://www.wenzel.com/pdffiles1/BP1000Manual/BP_1000_v101_2_.pdf> (30
> pages, 1.3 MB)" PDF is broken.

Thanks -- coincidentally, someone else just reported that one a few days ago.  I've fixed it but haven't updated it on the server yet.  It's safe to say there are plenty of other broken links on my site, as some of those pages are over 10 years old now.  

> OK, I will give this idea a miss. I was actually looking to compare 116 MHz
> oscillators. but I guess the same principles apply.

Sadly, there are few good answers there other than "build a quadrature PLL."

-- john, KE5FX
Miles Design LLC

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