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Entry  Mon May 3 01:16:50 2010, rana, HowTo, Electronics, Marconi phase noise measurement setup pn.png
    Reply  Tue May 4 18:40:27 2010, rana, HowTo, Electronics, Marconi phase noise measurement setup Untitled.pngifrnoise.png
    Reply  Tue May 11 18:58:49 2010, rana, HowTo, Electronics, Marconi phase noise measurement setup Untitled.png
       Reply  Wed May 12 02:21:56 2010, rana, HowTo, Electronics, Marconi phase noise measurement setup pn.png
Message ID: 2869     Entry time: Mon May 3 01:16:50 2010     Reply to this: 2879   2913
Author: rana 
Type: HowTo 
Category: Electronics 
Subject: Marconi phase noise measurement setup 

 To try the 3-corner hat method on the Marconis, I started to set up the measurement into the DAQ system.

I have set the bottom 2 in the PSL rack to 11.1 MHz. I use a ZP-3MH level 13 mixer as the phase detector. The top one is the LO, it has an output of +13 dBm.

The bottom one is the test unit, it has an output of +6 dBm (should be close to the right level - the IP3 point is +9 dBm). The top one has external DC FM modulation enabled with a FM dev range of 10 Hz.

Mixer output goes through a 50 Ohm in-line termination and then a BLP-5 low pass filter (Steve, please order ~7 of the BLP-1.5 or BLP-1.9 low pass filter from Mini-Circuits) and then into

the DC coupled of a SR560. After some gain and filtering that feedback goes back to the FM input of the top-Marconi to close the PLL. I adjusted the gain to be as small as possible and still stay locked and not

saturate the ADC.

The input to the SR560 is Tee'd into another SR560 with AC coupled input, G = 1000, low-noise. Its output is going directly to the ADC channel - C1:IOO-MC_DRUM1.

I calibrated the channel by opening the loop and setting the AC coupled gain to 1. This lets the Marconis beat at several Hz. The peak-peak signal is equivalent to pi radians.


As usual, I was befuddled by the FM input. For some reason I always forget that since its a straight FM input, we don't need any filtering to get a plain 1/f loop. The attached plot shows how we get bad gain peaking if you forget this and use a 0.03 Hz pole in the SR560.

The grey trace is the ADC signal with everything hooked up, but the RF input set to zero (via setting Carrier = OFF in the bottom Marconi). It is the measurement noise.

The BLUE trace is very close to the true phase noise beat of the two Marconis with a calibration error of ~5%. I have not corrected for the loop gain: its right now around a 1 Hz UGF and 1/f. Next, I will measure the loop and compensate for it in the DTT calibration.

Then I'll measure the relative phase noise of 3 of the signal generators to get the individual noises.

Bottom line is that the sensitivity of this approach is good and we should do this rather that use spectrum analyzers since its easy to get very long averages and high res spectra. To get 5x better sensitivity, we can just use the Rai-FET box instead of a SR560 for the readout, but just have to contend with its batteries. Also should try using BALUNs on the RF and LO signals to get rid of the ground loops.

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