Signal Generator Specifications Datasheet by Seeed Technology Co., Ltd

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RF Explorer®
Signal Generator
Signal Generator Combo
Specifications and Datasheet
Updated to Firmware Version 1.31
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 2
Description of main features
The RF Explorer Signal Generator is a powerful, wideband fully programmable RF signal generator. It is the
perfect companion for Spectrum Analyzer RF Explorer product line.
As a standalone unit, RFE6Gen can generate CW and Sweep signals by selecting embedded menu options.
When connected to a PC, it can be fully programmed with the RF Explorer for Windows software tool and
automated with Python, .NET and USB RS232 API. Furthermore, the unit can work as a powerful Tracking
Generator when used with RF Explorer Spectrum Analyzer connected to the same PC, offering full Scalar
Network Analyzer (SNA) capabilities. The SNA feature allows full characterization of filters, amplifiers and
any 2-port RF device.
Feature
Pocket size and light weight
Solid aluminum metal case
Lifetime free firmware upgrades available, open to community requested features
High capacity Lithium for 10hs+ of continuous run, rechargeable by USB
RF Explorer for Windows free software download
Can be extended with internal Expansion Modules for additional future band support and
functionality
Wide band support for CW signal, Frequency and Amplitude Sweep, and advanced Tracking SNA.
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 3
General Specifications
Parameter
Combo
Signal Generator
Baseline
Signal Generator
Frequency range
100KHz to 6GHz
23.4MHz to 6GHz
Frequency step/resolution
1Khz
1Khz
Frequency stability
100KHz to 250MHz:
±5ppm or 800Hz
250MHz to 6GHz:
±0.5ppm
±0.5ppm
Frequency accuracy
(internal reference)
100KHz to 250MHz:
±10ppm or 800Hz
250MHz to 6GHz:
±1ppm
±1ppm
Output power range
Calibrated: -40 to +10dBm
Uncalibrated: -60 to +18dBm
More details in section below
40dBm to -30dBm in 3dB steps
-10dBm to 0dBm in 3dB steps
More details in section below
Output power resolution
0.25dB
3dB
Output power accuracy
Typical ±1.5dB
Typical ±3dB
Output power stability
Typical ±0.5dB
Typical ±0.5dB
Output amplitude settling time
500uS
500uS
Output protection
25VDC
25VDC
Harmonics
Typical -40dBc
More details in section below
Typical -10dBc
Spurious
Typical less than
-52dBc
Typical less than
-50dBc
Phase Noise
Typical less than
-125dBc/Hz on 1MHz at 1GHz
Typical less than
-125dBc/Hz on 1MHz at 1GHz
Frequency Sweep settling
< 5ms
< 5ms
Amplitude Sweep settling
< 500uS
< 500uS
Sweep hops range
unlimited
unlimited
Functional modes
CW
Frequency Sweep
Amplitude Sweep
Tracking SNA
CW
Frequency Sweep
Amplitude Sweep
Tracking SNA
Operating temperature
5-35C
0-45C
Connector type
SMA 50 ohms
SMA 50 ohms
Display
Graphics LCD 128x64 pixels
Graphics LCD 128x64 pixels
Backlight
5 levels
5 levels
Weight
205g
185g
user manual
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 4
Parameter
Combo
Signal Generator
Baseline
Signal Generator
Size
113x70x25 mm
113x70x25 mm
Programmable
USB generic API
Python API
.NET API
USB generic API
Python API
.NET API
Software
Windows PC
Windows PC
Certification
CE/FCC/RoHS/MSDS
CE/FCC/RoHS/MSDS
Harmonics Filtering (Combo model)
A more detailed section on harmonics and filtering is available in the full user manual.
These values are measured at reference output signal at -20dBm, measuring all harmonics order #2 - #10, as
this is representative of worst-case scenario.
RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo Harmonics filtering
Frequency range (MHz)
Best case (dBc)
Typical (dBc)
Worst case (dBc)
0.1 0.5
-42
-40
-20
0.5-250
-59
-57
-42
250-430
-53
-40
-22
430-630
-53
-45
-35
630-820
-39
-37
-22
820-1960
-50
-43
-34
1960-2500
-30
-26
-20
2500-4600
-50
-40
-27
4600-5200
-42
-33
-24
5200-6000
-46
-42
-37
Usually harmonics have better filtering at higher power levels up to +10dBm, and about the same response
on lower power levels. Higher signal levels beyond +10dBm may increase harmonics due to saturation of
internal power amplifiers.
An example of harmonic filtering in action at 25MHz comparing baseline Signal Generator and filtered
Combo model below.
RE? 009 “3'“ Unfiltered 25MHz from baseline Signal Generator KEYSIG HT 10.0 1113/ 1234 A i M1: 25.028000 MHz 9134 63m Am: 14935700 MHz -15.67 as @0112: 49993000 MHz 42.19 03 A145: 19999400 MHz 49.54 as pus: 99.997000 MHz 44.70 an we: 24985400 MHz 49.34 03 Stan 23.00000 MHz Stop 300.0000 MHz #Ree BW 3000 kHz vew 3000 kHz Swp (1001 p15) Comparison between onginal output signal from baseline RF Explorer Signal Generator (above) and the new RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo (below) i Raf “00 “3'“ Filtered 25MHz from Signal Generator Combo KEYSIG HT 10.0 63/ 1234 A E M1: 25.028000 MHZ -19.881!Bm M4=Olf EAM2: 25.000000 MHz 64.57 GB M5=01l E‘ M3: 49.998000 MHZ 48 38 dB M6=Olf Stan 20.00000 MI-k Stop 3000“” MHz Res BW 1.000 MHz vew1.ooo MHz Swp (1001 pts)
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 5
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RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 6
Same signal compared in the time domain with an oscilloscope
Contact us
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 7
Output Power Levels (Combo model)
The RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo model delivers output power signal in the nominal range -60 to
+15dBm. The range is calibrated by bench laboratory grade instruments, sampling 600 measurement points,
and is suitable in the range -40 to +10dBm. Output signals outside this range will not perform with the same
linearity and accuracy as within the calibrated range.
The calibrated range accuracy is described in next table. Uncalibrated or out-of-range power levels are
described as “n/a”. In these ranges the device can be used but output power level may not be accurate.
RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo output power accuracy
Frequency range (MHz)
Power range (dBm)
Typical Accuracy (dB)
Worst case Accuracy (dB)
0.1 to 1
-40 to 0
±2
±5
0 to +10
n/a
n/a
1 to 10
-40 to 0
±1
±2.5
0 to +10
n/a
n/a
10 to 1950
-40 to -10
±1
±2.5
-10 to +10
±1.5
±3.5
1950 to 3600
-30 to +10
±1
±2.5
3600 to 5200
-30 to +10
±1.5
±3
5200 to 6000
-30 to 0
±2
±4
0 to +10
n/a
n/a
Future firmware upgrade will increase accuracy in some frequency and power ranges using internal
calibration table adjusted in factory.
An optional software process will be available to manually calibrate the device and adjust for amplitude
deviation. Contact us for additional details.
Absolute maximum and minimum power levels available are described in next table. Note these levels are
not guaranteed and not calibrated.
RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo Absolute output power range
Frequency range (MHz)
Minimum output power (dBm)
Maximum output power (dBm)
0.1 to 1
-60
0
1 to 10
-60
+5
10 to 3200
-60
+15
3200 to 3650
-60
+10
3600 to 5200
-60
+15
5200 to 6000
-60
0
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RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 8
Output Power Levels (baseline model)
The RF Explorer Signal Generator baseline model delivers 8 different power levels, nominally specified as per
table below:
RF output power (nominal)
High Power
Power Switch
0dBm (1mW)
ON
4
-3dBm (0.5mW)
ON
3
-6dBm (0.25mW)
ON
2
-9dBm (0.125mW)
ON
1
-30dBm (1uW)
OFF
4
-33dBm (0.5uW)
OFF
3
-36dBm (0.25uW)
OFF
2
-39dBm (0.125uW)
OFF
1
These are ideal power levels that are not actually constant with frequency. Actual power levels are a
function of frequency, as depicted in graph below. This graph is generic but every RF Explorer Signal
Generator includes an internal calibration table, produced in the factory at calibration time, with actual
values for accurate reading on screen.
The delivered power levels have a linear response up to about 2GHz, for higher frequencies there are some
roll off and power becomes predictable but not constant. The unit is fully calibrated and includes an internal
amplitude calibration table to allow accurate power normalization and measurement done in Tracking
mode.
The exact power level available on each frequency point is available on screen, as well as in the RF Explorer
for Windows application. If you need better accuracy please upgrade the unit to a RF Explorer Signal
Generator Combo model.
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RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 9
Spurious and Phase Noise
RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo uses a low noise signal source and low noise independent voltage
regulators to provide a reduced phase noise output signal.
Below table shows typical values measured at -20dBm output power. These values can slightly increase or
decrease at different power levels.
CW Frequency
Phase Noise @ 1KHz
Phase Noise @ 100KHz
Phase Noise @ 1MHz
2MHz
-93 dBc/Hz
-105 dBc/Hz
-122 dBc/Hz
1GHz
-96 dBc/Hz
-108 dBc/Hz
-128 dBc/Hz
5.8GHz
-74 dBc/Hz
-90 dBc/Hz
-115 dBc/Hz
Spurious signals are created by the internal signal source at multiples of the frequency divider and, even
though they are filtered, some residues signals may display at 1GHz CW output signal.
Spur @ 16KHz
Spur @ 32KHz
Spur @ 4MHz
Spur @ 8MHz
-52 dBc
-72 dBc
-55 dBc
-68 dBc
Signal measured at 1GHz narrow
band displaying spurs at 16KHz and
32KHz.
Signal measured at 1GHz wideband
displaying spurs at 4MHz and 8MHz.
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RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 10
Connecting RF Explorer Signal Generator
The unit includes 50 ohm impedance RF connector standard SMA format.
The RFE6Gen baseline model includes only one connector, the RF SMA on the left in the above
image. This model will display this information in the RF Connections screen:
* 3.1-EBBBMHE -4 Expansion board found Left HF connector is disabled: USE Right HF connector only. 2MB HUM Extra found
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 11
The RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo model includes two SMA connectors, but only the
enhanced functionality of the SMA connector on the right side is enabled. A future firmware may
enable both connectors to allow double signal source but with different capabilities. It is
recommended covering the left SMA connector with a dummy load 50ohm for better protection.
This model will display this information in the RF Connections screen:
RF Bower level accuracy cannot be guaranteed contact form www. iexglorer.com[windows www. rflexglorercomzwflware www.r‘f7exglorer.c0m[AP| .NET Python GITHUB
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 12
Expansion Module
RF Explorer Signal Generator includes an internal expansion port to enhance the RF power capabilities and
frequency coverage of the main unit with RF Explorer Signal Generator compatible Expansion Modules.
Note: Spectrum Analyzer modules cannot be connected to the Signal Generator, they are incompatibles and
have a changed gender connector to avoid any change of connecting incompatible modules.
RF Explorer Signal Generator Expansion is an advanced expansion board. It can be used to easily extend RF
Explorer RFE6GEN Signal Generator baseline model into a Combo model.
For more details and assembly information please visit link below.
Important: After assembling of the RF Explorer Signal Generator Expansion board into a RF Explorer Signal
Generator RFE6GEN baseline mainboard, the device becomes fully compatible with a RF Explorer Signal
Generator Combo (specifications). Same specifications will apply for harmonics filtering, frequency accuracy
and RF capabilities as a Combo unit assembled and calibrated at factory. However, due to differences
between mainboard electronics, the RF power level accuracy cannot be guaranteed and may not comply
with RF Explorer Signal Generator Combo specifications. We offer calibration services to fully adjust to
specifications, please use contact form to request more information.
Connecting RF Explorer to a computer
RF Explorer device can be connected to a computer (Windows, Linux, Mac and Android) for additional
capabilities, including higher resolution screen, additional features and programmability.
For free, open source RF Explorer for Windows tool, please check this link: www.rf-explorer.com/windows
For additional software options developed by a growing list of 3rd party companies, please check this link:
www.rf-explorer.com/software
API programming specification for RF Explorer
RF Explorer offers a compact, easy to use, USB / RS232 programming interface. It can be used to automate
external solutions when connected to an external computer or device.
For full specification of the current API, check www.rf-explorer.com/API .
There are .NET and Python libraries available in GITHUB repository, ideal for custom work required by your
application.
www.rf-explorer.com/expansion
hacker corner link
RF Explorer Signal Generator Specifications and Datasheet page 13
RF Explorer for Windows open source code
RF Explorer is a hacker friendly device. Full open source under LPGL license is offered to the community.
As hackers ourselves, we do like customizing, tinkering and expanding gadgets. We certainly designed and
built RF Explorer with these factors in mind.
We love and make good use all community contributions, contact us or send us a PULL request if you have
source code contributions you want integrated in the final product.
Check our hacker corner link for more details.
FCC and CE regulations
RF Explorer is a Test and Measurement device, and therefore compatible with US FCC regulation 47 CFR Part
15.103(c).
RF Explorer is certified for CE compliance under regulations EN/IEC61236 and EN/IEC61000.
License
RF Explorer embedded firmware is copyrighted © by RF Explorer Technologies, 2010-2019
RF Explorer for Windows is Open Source software released under GPL v3, so you are free to modify,
distribute and use it based on GPL terms.
RF Explorer is a registered trademark in USA, Australia, China, Japan, Canada and all EU Countries.

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