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How to measure a filter using a DSA-815-TG Spectrum Analyser

Posted on: August 20th, 2021 by James

Solution: This document provides step-by-step instructions on using the Rigol DSA800 series of Spectrum Analysers to measure the characteristics of an RF Bandpass filter.
NOTE: The DSA must have a Tracking Generator to effectively perform the following test.
Normalise the trace (Optional)
Many elements in an RF signal path can have nonlinear characteristics. In many cases, these nonlinear effects on your base measurements can be minimised by normalising the instrument.
1. Connect tracking generator output to RF input using the same cabling that you will be using to test your device. Any element, like an adapter, used during normalisation should also be used during device measurement as any changes to the RF signal path could effect the accuracy of the measurement.
2. Enable the tracking generator by pressing the TG button > TG On
3. Store the reference trace by pressing the TG button > Normalise > Stor Ref
4. Enable normalisation by pressing the TG button > Normalise > Normalise on

Measure the filter
1. Connect the tracking generator output to the filter input using the appropriate cabling and connectors.
2. Connect the filter output to the instrument RF input.

3. Set the tracking generator amplitude by pressing the TG button and the TG Amplitude. You can use the keypad or wheel to enter the correct value.

NOTE: If your instrument is equipped with a Preamplifier, you can enable it to lower the displayed noise floor by pressing the following sequence:
Amplitude button > Down Arrow > RF Preamp On
4. Enable the Tracking generator by pressing the TG button > RF Source ON You can see the small bump in the figure below.

5. You can use the Auto button to center and zoom on the waveform. You can also use the Freq and Span buttons to manually manipulate the displayed data.








6. You can now enable the Marker function to measure the bandwidth and attenuation or passband characteristics of the filter.

7. Press Marker Fctn > N dB BW and set the function to the amplitude of interest. In this example, we are measuring the 3dB Bandwidth of our filter.

Products Mentioned In This Article:

  • DSA800 Series please see HERE