Midnight  Scalar Network Analyzer

 

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Documentation


Please Note:  Much of this documentation refers to the "NAT" or "NACT", which is the predecessor of the SNA Kit.  As such, the documents may be used in starting the understanding and assembly of the SNA Kit, and we'll soon have everything current with accurate SNA information.

SNA Power Point Presentation ... This slide presentation gives a general overview of the NAT to SNA development project and illustrates many of the device's capabilities. This is a good starting point for gaining familiarity with the NAT/NACT/SNA and its many capabilities.

SNA Overview ... This document gives another good overview of the Midnight SNA, as presented at a local ham club in April.

SNA User Guide

NEW! ... MSNA Quick Reference Guide v5.00-beta-0

Tutorials ... A set of tutorials describes common, basic operations as step-by-step procedures. The tutorials also describe various accessory test fixtures and how to construct them as well as how to use them. The tutorial set will be updated as new features are added to the SNA.

0:   Reference Clock Calibration
This tutorial takes you through the steps to calibrate the reference clock which is a prerequisite to virtually all NACT operations.

M1:  Power Level Calibrations  (Midnight SNA specific) ... updated for v4.20 ... Note the use of holding LEFT-ALT key during procedure!
This tutorial takes you through the process of setting the output level of the PWRCAL circuit to 3 dBm and using that signal to determine the slope and zero intercept values for the RF Power Meter. The calibrated RF Power Meter is then used to set the RF OUT power level to a standard value. Normally these procedures need only be done once but it is advisable to repeat them periodically to assure that the effects of environment changes and component aging have not affected the Midnight SNA settings.

3:   Frequency Response Calibration
This tutorial takes you through the process of generating and capturing calibration data to account for variations in of the DDS output level at different frequencies.  The calibration data can be saved in EEPROM and reloaded every time the NAT is powered up.  This calibration sequence also normalizes the power readings such that they reflect the absolute power readings one would observe if the DDS were outputting a constant RF power level of one milliwatt.  Some basic Signal Generator mode operations are also described.

3T: Frequency Response Calibration
This tutorial takes you through the process of generating and capturing calibration data to account for variations in of the DDS output level at different frequencies using only the touch screen. The keyboard is not used.  The calibration data can be saved in EEPROM and reloaded every time the NAT is powered up.  This calibration sequence also normalizes the power readings such that they reflect the absolute power readings one would observe if the DDS were outputting a constant RF power level of one milliwatt.  Some basic Signal Generator mode operations are also described.

4:   Measuring DUT Frequency Response
This tutorial takes you through the steps necessary to perform frequency scans on a basic DUT (Device Under Test).  A “basic DUT” is one that does not require a test fixture and can be inserted directly into the test setup between the DDS output and the RF Power Meter input.  Basic DUTs include RF filters, RF cables, attenuators, etc.  The tutorial also covers the plotting, spooling, and playback of the scan results.

M5:   Crystal Characterization and Matching   (Midnight SNA specific)
This tutorial takes you through the steps to test, grade, and sort a batch of crystals to select one or more groups of crystals for use in a crystal filter.  The filter used as an example here is a 6-crystal filter with a target -3dB band pass of 400 Hz and a center frequency of about 3.277 Hz.  As a rule of thumb, the series resonant frequency spread should be less than 10% of the target filter band pass.  We will need six crystals with a frequency spread of less than 40 Hz.  A batch of 30 crystals are sorted to find the six with the narrowest series resonant frequency spread.

6:   Return Loss Bridge
This tutorial takes you through the steps to use a Return Loss Bridge (RLB) to measure the return loss and VSWR of a resonating DUT.

7:   Making LC Measurements ... NEW! ... 
This tutorial takes you through the steps to configure and use your MSNA to measure unknown capacitance and inductance values. It includes a discussion of the theory behind the LC Meter (LCM) and a description of one possible implementation of the required LC Meter fixture (LCMF).

8:   Frequency Counter ... NEW! ... 
This tutorial takes you through the steps to configure and use your MSNA to measure frequency. It includes a discussion of how frequency measurements are made, how to tune SNA timing functions for better accuracy, and a description of an RF signal conditioning circuit.

9:   Measuring Harmonics using the PHSNA Measurement Receiver ... NEW! ... 
This tutorial takes you through the steps to configure and use your MSNA along with the PHSNA Measurement Receiver to perform very wide frequency scans and to find and analyze harmonic content. It includes a discussion of the theory behind the Measurement Receiver and some description of the PHSNA Measurement Receiver.

White Papers:  

SNA Calibration for Use in Your Shack ... Demystifying the approach and benefits of the NAT-SNA Calibration process.

NEW! ...  Measuring the BW of a Mechanical Filter ... Using new Plot Format feature in v4.2 f/w. 
 

Assembly Guide ... Step-by-step instructions for assembling and testing the NAT Kit.

 

Power-Up & Testing Guide ... Step-by-step instructions for ensuring that your newly-assembled NAT Kit is working right

 

Enclosure Specs ... Dimensional specifications for the recommended enclosure (Hammond 1591XX)

 

LCD Display Specs ... Information about the QVGA display

 

 

 


Copyright 2015-2016 Midnight Design Solutions, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.
Page last updated:  Apr 2016