If you are an electronics enthusiast, professional electrician, or computer technician, you know all too well about the importance of having an RF generator as part of your essential equipment. While many people are stuck with having an RF generator that is big and bulky, sometimes weighing up to 40 pounds, more and more people are starting to discover versions that are significantly smaller yet still do the tasks of larger models. One of the most popular in recent years has been the SynthNV Pro, which is now widely used in pre-compliance testing. Costing an average of $500-$600, this RF generator is small enough to fit in one’s pocket, yet powerful enough to accomplish virtually any task on a job or in a home workshop. If you are considering buying a SynthNV Pro for yourself, here are four things you should consider.
RF Output Level
Whether you are planning to use a SynthNV Pro at home or on a job, one of the most important factors to take into consideration will be the RF output level. With a SynthNV Pro, it has features allowing it to pulse modulate the output. By doing so, it will be very good for testing various standards including DO-160 and MIL-STD-461. Along with this, the output level of the SynthNV Pro is strong enough to drive a near field probe, and has enough field strength to scan and determine various weaknesses and abnormalities within internal circuitry.
USB Powered Generator
To make this RF generator even more convenient to use at home or elsewhere, the SynthNV Pro is made to operate on USB power. By having this capability, the SynthNV Pro can run on most current Windows operating systems. In addition to this, it comes with a standard external power adapter input that allows it to be programmed and then disconnected from a computer so that it can function as a standalone oscillator. Finally, an additional port is located on the RF generator, allowing it to source or receive additional RF input for measuring the power of a device. Not only will this allow for quicker analysis, but also function as a network analyzer.
Labview User Interface
For many RF generators, one of the biggest problems users face on a regular basis in having a interface that is not well-designed to function well with a wide variety of computers. However, the SynthNV Pro does not present that problem to those choosing to make it part of their electronics arsenal. Considered to be one of the best designed interfaces on the market today, the SynthNV Pro relies on software that is based on National Instruments Labview. As a result, it can run quite well on Mac, Microsoft, and other types of computers. When able to be put into manual mode, the RF generator will allow for frequency tuning in incremental steps, ranging from 1 kHz to 100 kHz. In addition, preset output can be controlled using the High Power button, which will switch between default and individual decreases in power output. However, as some users have pointed out, this can sometimes be a bit confusing. Since most people assume the scale corresponds to the actual power output, various calculations may be needed to arrive at the correct power level.
If there is one feature most users of the SynthNV Pro enjoy, it is the ability to set up automated sweeps. Using start, stop, and step frequencies, a user can set up step times for either a single sweep or continuous sweeps, depending upon their needs. This is especially useful in pre-compliance testing, since the generator’s control panel will let the user take control of the sweeps, making testing procedures even more accurate. Along with this, a near field probe can also be done using the automated sweeps function. This will not only allow for observation of test disruptions, but also make test failure data much more accessible.
By taking these four important tips into consideration, you will be able to decide if the SynthNV Pro RF generator will be the best fit for your various needs. From pre-compliance testing to conducting automated sweeps and more, it appears this RF generator is efficient and reliable.