Credit card sized instrument has vector network analyser capabilities

The low cost credit-card-sized, reconfigurable STEMlab instrument from Red Pitaya is now available with a vector network analyser bridge module and applications. As a result, the multi-function, open-source, reconfigurable test and measurement platform can now measure the electrical performance of RF components.

The bridge module and application enables STEMLab to function as an affordable vector network analyser. The measuring tool tests the electrical performance of high frequency components in the RF.

STEMlab is a test and measurement environment that includes a board, an application marketplace and a source code library. It is designed as a low-cost alternative to measurement and control instruments. STEMlab can function as an oscilloscope, logic analyser, signal generator, spectrum analyser and now includes vector network analysis.

To run the vector network analyser application users need a STEMlab and an additional VNA bridge module – both available from Red Pitaya’s web store. VNA is a contributed application that runs on Windows and Linux. It covers a frequency range of 500kHz to 62MHz, has a directivity of 42dB (typical), a dynamic range of 74dB and a noise floor of 88dBm. Software features include plot formats (Smith chart, impedance, SWR, reference co-efficient, return loss), open, short and load calibration modes, measurement export and marker readouts. Included in the vector network analyser module box are an RF SWR bridge module in an aluminium enclosure, calibration accessories (50 Ohm, open and short load) and cables.

CEO Rok Mesar said: “Vector network analyser running on STEMlab . . .  enables engineers to test and optimise the performance of antennae, RF filters, RF switches, couplers and cables. It is the perfect tool for professionals seeking affordable, highly functional test and measurement equipment, educators, students, makers, hobbyists and ham radio amateurs,” he added.

Red Pitaya is a privately-owned, Slovenian company established in 2013. STEMlab includes a board, an application marketplace and a source code library.

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