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Mon Mar 24 13:03:54 2008
HP4195A is back
The swept sine output looks totally normal from 500Mhz to 150MHz (measuring ~220mVrms below 300MHz -- 0dBm), where it abruptly transitions to a distorted waveform which the scope measures as having a frequency of ~25MHz and with 450mVrms (+6dBm). It then transitions again at some other part of the sweep to a cleaner-looking 25MHz waveform with ~1.2Vrms (+15dBm).
The HP4195A is back from repair. At first, it exhibited exactly the same behaviour for which it was sent in for repair, and which is described above (pillage from entry 337). After speaking with the repair tech on the phone,
who tried to imply that the digital scope was tricking us
, I plugged the output into our HP8591E spectrum analyzer, just to have firm ammunition to combat the repair guy's looniness. This led to even weirder behaviour, like no output and overload signals on the inputs (with nothing connected). After turning the unit on and off several times, and firmly seating (and screwing in) the DB9 connectors in the back of the unit, it appears to be working properly. Except for a brief glitch as it passes through 150MHz, the swept sine signal now appears normal, both on the scope and in the spectrum analyzer.
Apparently the whole thing is due to a loose connection somewhere in the box, which wasn't actually fixed by the repair, but has at least been temporarily fixed by me stumbling around with a screwdriver and then pushing the power button a couple of times.