Teardown and tests of Hittite 10 MHz - 20 GHz signal source


RF sources are common building block in today’s connected world. They are available in wide array of frequency ranges, power levels, form-factor and type. In this article we will take a brief look on benchtop RF source, designed to provide clean signal from 10 MHz to 20000 MHz with output levels over +20 dBm. It is lightweight half-rack size instrument with simple encoder control, 16×2 LCD and SMA output connector. There is RF output toggle switch and a power switch.

It features the following performance parameters:

Parameter Value Unit
Frequency range 10 – 20000 MHz
Phase Noise -98 dBc/Hz 10 kHz Offset @ 10 GHz
Setting resolution from front panel 10000 Hz
Setting resolution from GPIB 1 Hz
Power output -35.0 to +26.0* (depends on Fout) dBm
Power stability ±2 dBm
Stability 1.5 ppm/year
Aux signals Trigger in/out, Reference Clock In/Out 10MHz
Interfaces RS232, USB, GPIB
Min operational temperature -10 °C
Max operational temperature +80 °C
Power supply External, +12V 8A rating

Table 1. HMC-T2220 specifications


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Teardown of HMC-T2220 RF source.

After little tracing for input power connector, RF source was powered up from trusty HP 6653A DC power supply. While sourcing 20 GHz -20 dBm it was consuming around 25W (+12V 2.1A).

EIP 578B counter was used to measure output of the HMC-T2220. To avoid overloading counter input source was limited to -20 dBm power. Counter was also configured to use external 10 MHz reference clock, sourced from RF source as well.

Author: Illya Tsemenko
Created: March 23, 2022, 5:15 a.m.
Modified: Jan. 2, 2023, 8:35 a.m.