Learn everything about a Keysight used signal generator
A Keysight signal generator refers to a device that produces different patterns of voltage at various frequencies and amplitudes.
10:09 02 February 2021
So one of the most common uses for a Keysight signal generator is testing circuits to an input signal. Many signal generators can allow you to produce square, sine, or even triangular AC signals. You can see the signals made when you connect the signal generator utilizing a BNC Banana adaptor to the oscilloscope.
You can also use the amplitude control to change the voltage difference between the troughs and peaks of the output signal. Besides, there is also the frequency control designed to change the rate of the signal movement. In this article, you will learn everything about a Keysight used signal generator.
Understanding the basics of a Keysight signal generator
The good news is that you can find a variety of Keysight used technical equipment, such as signal generators to use for your project. A signal generator can be general-purpose test equipment that performs several measurements for many applications needing electromagnetic wave signals to act as stimuli.
Its history dates back to the start of the electronic test-and-measurement sector. Nowadays, you can find RF signal generators that are usually used in the electronics industry, such as aerospace electronics and wireless communications. In most cases, applications for Keysight signal generators include LO substitution, RF/IF signal generation, avionics signal simulation, and radar GPS.
In current wireless communication systems, a Keysight signal generator that supports a variety of digital-modulation formats can be utilized for testing digital receivers and transmitters. But regardless of the application or industry, it’s important to have a good understanding of the main specifications and functions of a Keysight signal generator so that you can benefit from it.
A Keysight signal generator can create the most basic signal called the sine wave or continuous wave signal. This signal doesn’t have modulation and is created by basic signal sources. Therefore, a sine wave with less than 6 GHz is usually called RF signals. On the other hand, sine waves with 6 GHz to 30 GHz and above are known as microwave signals as well as millimeter signals.
Most signal generators also provide different types of modulation, such as digital and analog modulation. Some of the classic analog-modulation types are frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, pulse-modulation, and phase-modulation signals.
With analog modulation, it means that you can vary frequency, amplitude, and phase. So when you change the amplitude of the sine wave, you can get pulse modulation and amplitude modulation. Likewise, changing the phase or frequency can give you frequency modulation and phase modulation.
When it comes to digital modulation also called composite or vector modulation happens once two or modulation types are utilized to make a digitally modulated signal. For instance, you can combine amplitude modulation and phase modulation to make a variety of phase and magnitude values.
By varying the signal’s phase with the amplitude modulation that is in the ALC circuit, you can make a digitally modulated signal. Besides, you can also produce various satellite, communications, and radar signals by utilizing a combination of frequency modulation or phase modulation and pulse modulation.
Types of Keysight generator signals
Keep in mind that a Keysight signal generator is an electronic device that generates electronic signals and waveforms. So these electronic signals can either be repeating or non-repeating based on the field and requirements of applications.
You can find various types of Keysight signal generators that have different levels of functionality and capability. You see, all the signal generators can have different dimensions, designs, and parameters. Therefore, the types of signal generators serve specific purposes and you can use them in a wide range of applications.
You can use signal generators in repairing electronic devices, designing, and troubleshooting. Each versatile signal generator can even produce many signals to handle the debug issues. So you can change the signal generator’s output by adjusting the frequency and amplitude of the output signal during the simulation process. That said, here are some of the signal generators you can find around:
A functional generator
A functional generator has an electronic device known as an electronic oscillator. This is a circuit that can create repetitive waveforms like square waves, sine waves, sawtooth waves, and triangular waveforms. These are produced by digital signal processing that is followed by lower frequencies of analogous signals, that are usually needed.
If the oscillator performs more than the audio frequency range, then the signal generator can have some form of modulation function. These include frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, or phase modulation. And, there can also be a second oscillator to provide an audio frequency modulation.
You can find several function generators that are used in black boxes alongside USB interfaces, utilized in instrumentation bus while some come in the software form. One of its common uses is repairing electrical and electronic equipment, education fields, and stimulus testing.
Arbitrary waveform generators
Arbitrary waveform generators are sophisticated devices that can produce arbitrary streams of waveforms. These can have some limits of accuracy, frequency range, and output level. It’s worth noting that these waveforms may not have fixed shapes, and different waveforms can be entered in.
This is also a Keysight signal generator that has two independent output channels, both of them can stimulate two systems at the same time. Unlike functional signal generators that usually generate small sets of specific waveforms, arbitrary waveform generators can allow you to specify a waveform source in several ways.
This is why arbitrary waveform generators can be more expensive than function signal generators and usually have less bandwidth. In other words, arbitrary waveform generators can be utilized in high-end designs and test applications. It’s used in communication, test systems, and the semiconductor component industry.
The radio frequency signal generators
The radio frequency signal generators utilize several methods to generate the signal, such as direct digital synthesis and phase-locked loop. However, many of the radio frequency signal generators usually utilize frequency locked loop methods to offer the accuracy and stability needed by the system.
Also, these signal generators can generate continuous waveforms of output frequency that are within the frequency range. The features you can find in radio frequency signal generators and microwave signal generators are pretty similar, though they have different capabilities and frequency ranges.
Microwave signal generators can have a wider frequency range than radio frequency signal generators. These forms of signal generators are utilized for audio and video broadcasting, testing systems, radar and electronic warfare, satellite communication, and many more.
Radiofrequency signal generators usually come with ranges from a couple of kHz to 6 GHz. When it comes to microwave signal generators, they have a wider frequency range that is between less than 1 MHz and 20 GHz. You can also get some models that reach up to 70 GHz and have a direct coaxial output.
Others can also reach a few hundreds of GHz once you use them with an external waveguard source module. Further, a microwave signal generator and the radio frequency signal generator can also be categorized as vector or analog signal generators.
Analog signal generators
Analog signal generators that are based on sine-wave oscillators were quite common before the introduction of digital electronics, though you can still use them. There is a big difference in the design and purpose of audio and radio frequency generators.
As you may now be aware, radio frequency signal generators can generate a continuous wave of the radio frequency signals of adjustable, frequency, and amplitude. You can find several models that provide different types of analog modulation, which can be either as optional or standard capabilities to the base unit.
This can include amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, pulse modulation, and phase modulation. But one of the common features is perhaps an attenuator that can change the output power of the signal. So depending on the model and manufacturer, you can find output powers that are between -135 and +30 dBm.
It’s always a good idea to get an ideal range of output power because different applications may need different levels of signal power. For instance, if signals need to go through a long cable to an antenna, then you need to find a high output signal to overcome some losses in the cable but still have enough power at the antenna.
However, when you’re testing the sensitivity of the receiver, you may require a low signal to determine the behavior of the receiver under low signal-to-noise situations.
You can find Keysight radio frequency signal generators, such as rackmount instruments, embeddable modules, benchtop instruments, and in formats of card-level. Field-testing, airborne applications, and mobile can all benefit from battery-operated platforms which are also light.
But in production and automated testing, perhaps web-browsing access which gives you multi-source control as well as faster switching speeds can improve throughput and test times. It’s also worth remembering that you need radio frequency signal generators for setting up and servicing radio receivers and for professional radio frequency applications.
When it comes to an audio frequency signal generator, you need to know that it can produce signals within the audio-frequency range and even above. Applications that you can use an audio frequency signal generator applications, then it includes checking frequency responses of audio equipment as well as many other uses in the electronic lab.
You can measure equipment distortion with a low-distortion audio frequency generator as the source of the signal. But you need to use the right equipment so that you can measure output distortion harmonic utilizing a wave analyzer or even total harmonic distortion.
Keysight digital signal generators
With the coming of digital communication systems, it is now hard to test adequately the systems that have analog signal generators. As a result, the manufacturers are now developing digital signal generators, which are also called vector signal generators. So these signal generators can generate digitally-modulated radio signals.
The signals can utilize a variety of digital modulation formats like QPSK, QAM, BPSK, FSK, and OFDM. Besides, because modern digital communication systems tend to be based on defined industry standards, you can find many digital signal generators that can produce signals that depend on these standards.
For instance, these can include W-CDMA, GSM, CDMA2000, Wi-Fi, and LTE. On the other hand, military communication systems like JTRS that focus on information security and robustness, usually utilize proprietary techniques. You can create your custom waveforms and even download them into the digital signal generator to test all these forms of communication. In this way, you can produce the test signal that you desire.
A Keysight digital pattern generator
A digital pattern generator also called a data pattern generator or a logic signal generator can generate logic signals which come in conventional voltage levels. The normal voltage standards are LVCMOS and LVTTL, but remember that this is different from pulse generators, which are signal generators that can produce logic pulses with various analog properties like the high-level length.
A digital pattern generator can be utilized as a stimulus source for embedded systems and digital integrated circuits, so you can use them for testing and functional validation.
Special purpose signal generators
Aside from the general-purpose devices, you can also find various signal generators with specific applications. There is a pitch generator that you can use in acoustic and audio applications. In most cases, pitch generators can have sine waves that are over an audio frequency range.
Even better, you can also find great pitch generators that have sweep generators, which is a feature that changes the output frequency. You can use the pitch generators together with sound level meters, oscilloscopes, or even specialized audio analyzers.
Most of the pitch generators perform in the digital field to generate output in a wide range of audio formats like SPDIF or AES3. These pitch generators can also come as special signals to make several digital effects, such as jitter, clipping, and bit errors.
Also, they offer various ways to manage metadata linked to digital audio formats. It’s also worth noting that a synthesizer refers to a device that produces audio signals for music.