EIP/PhaseMatrix 578B Locking microwave counter

Construction and design

Counter built in nice and rugged cast enclosure. It rather compact for full-size 19” instrument.


Image 1: EIP 578B measuring 6 GHz sine, sourced by Keysight N9912A analyzer

Rear have optional input ports for automated applications, external timebase BNC input (accepts 10 MHz), GPIB interface for communications, phase-lock output and coarse tune output for external source operation. There is rotary switch for mains voltage and fan vent slots.

Instrument have four separate inputs for specific frequency bands:

  • Band 1 , 10 Hz to 100 MHz with 1 MΩ impedance | 20 pF load, resolution up to 0.1 Hz
  • Band 2 , 100 MHz to 1 GHz with 50 Ω impedance, resolution up to 1 Hz
  • Band 3 , 1 GHz to 26.7 GHz with 50 Ω impedance, resolution up to 1 Hz
  • Band 4 , 26.7 GHz to 110 GHz with external mixer hardware, resolution up to 1 Hz

Input connector types are BNC for Band 1 and 2, precision 3.5 mm (Type K) for Band 3.

Band 4 is optional and available only with 578B option 06, which is our unit.

Band 3 and Band 4 connected together with special short jumper.

What is this connector type? It has push-pull locking mechanism.

Manuals

Teardown

Unit was almost pristine clean inside.

Design is easy to service with modular design, with functionally separate cards.

Cover have silicon pads to secure cards when installed.

Fan is high quality ebm-papst, and barely audible in operation.

Component assembly with poison warning sign is input YTF filter for Band 3 input.

EIP 578B feature a rather unusual for counter component – YIG-based bandpass filter at Band 3 microwave input, which provide additional burnout protection, FM tolerance and frequency selectivity. This filter prevents harmonics and other out-of-band spurious signals from interfering with analysis of the desired signal. It is common component used in high-end spectrum and network analyzers to provide great out of band signal rejection.

A102 PCB assembly – GPIB interface card

A103 PCB assembly – Reference DAC loop card

A104 PCB assembly – Phase lock card

A105 PCB assembly – Processor card

A106 PCB assembly – Counter card

A107 PCB assembly – Gate generator card with reference 10 MHz oscillator

A108 PCB assembly – Band 3 converter

A109 PCB assembly – Band 2 converter

Firmware

Firmware chips were read back by TL866CS programmer

External mixer option

Band 4 allow connection of external mixers to measure frequencies higher than 26.5 GHz available at Band 3. We will be exploring this functionality for 60 – 90 GHz band E.

Remote sensor (EIP type) Band selected Frequency range Waveguide size Power range
91 41 26.5 – 40 GHz WR-28 -25 to +5 dBm
92 42 40 – 60 GHz WR-19 -25 to +5 dBm
93 43 60 – 90 GHz WR-12 -25 to +5 dBm
94 44 90 – 110 GHz WR-10 -25 to +5 dBm
95 42 or 43 50 – 75 GHz WR-15 -25 to +5 dBm
96 41 or 42 33 – 50 GHz WR-22 -25 to +5 dBm
97 41 or 42 26.5 – 50 GHz 3.5mm (K) -25 to +5 dBm

TBD

Author: Illya Tsemenko
Published: Aug. 1, 2020, 8:03 a.m.
Modified: Aug. 1, 2020, 8:47 a.m.

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