Dual-channel 13.6 GHz microwave signal generator in module format

October 10, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Specialist distributor Saelig (Fairport, New York) has released SynthHD PRO, designed and manufactured in USA by Windfreak Technologies (Holiday, Florida) - a temperature-compensated, dual-channel, software-tunable RF signal generator and frequency sweeper, controlled and powered via a USB port on a device running Windows or Android software.

The SynthHD PRO's dual, independent 54 MHz to 13.6 GHz channels can be configured to run at two different frequencies, or at the same frequency with different phases. This allows its use in antenna beam steering applications or quadrature signal generation commonly used in image-reject frequency conversion. The SynthHD PRO also has nonvolatile on board memory so it can be programmed to start up by itself on any frequency, power, sweep or modulation setting (or combinations thereof) to run stand-alone in field use. This makes it a mobile, low power, and light weight signal source.


The SynthHD PRO's typical channel output power is 20 dBm maximum and -40 dBm minimum, with the variable gain set via a 16-bit D/A. Each RF channel's power and frequency is independent, with dBm power levels settable in 0.01 dB increments and frequency resolution of 0.1 Hz or less with 2.5 ppm frequency accuracy. For more complex applications the SynthHD PRO also has an internal 100 point Frequency and Amplitude Hop Table, with a 0.01 degree phase control on each channel and a 4 msec RF lock time. On-board calibration is attained through a user-programmable look up table, plus two overall bias constants. Full unique device calibration can be performed at the factory and stored in onboard EEPROM. All parts of the signal chain have high quality voltage regulation, and the D/A's driving the VGAs have a 1% voltage reference controlling their outputs. The SynthHD PRO can measure its own temperature, allowing for excellent power and frequency control over a wide temperature range. Open source Labview GUI software, which features an Absolute Power display, is provided for setup and control of the unit via a USB port. Compact in size (2.8" X 2.2"), the SynthHD PRO will find application in wireless communications systems design, antenna beam steering, quadrature oscillators for image-reject mixers, RF and microwave radios, software-defined radio (SDR), radar systems including FMCW, automated