Designed for bench and production use, the N5186A generates wireless signals to 8.5 GHz and includes a built-in reflectometer.
Designing commercial or military wireless receivers, amplifiers, and systems means you’ll need to generate test signals. Keysight’s N5186A MXG vector-signal generator (datasheet) is available in one-channel or four-channel models with Type-N connectors. Each channel can generate RF signals from 9 kHz to 3 GHz, 6 GHz, or 8.5 GHz depending on model. The 8.5 GHz option covers all Wi-Fi bands and 5G FR1 while the 6-GHz version covers the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands and 5G FR1 including the popular unlicensed bands between 3 GHz and 4 GHz. It uses proprietary direct digital synthesis (DDS) digital-to-analog converter (DAC) technology to produce RF signals with up to 960 MHz of bandwidth. The MXG also has an optional arbitrary waveform generator for generating custom RF signals.
The N5186A supports analog (AM, FM, PM) and vector I/Q modulation. Settable output power is +20 dBm to -144 dBm (standard) with optional +30 dBm. Output power depends on frequency, with +20 dBm standard output power from 10 MHz to 6 GHz. Output power is +18 dBm above 6 Hz and +13 dBm from 9 kHz to 10 MHz. You can add other modulation through Keysight’s PathWave signal-generation software.
When dealing with gigahertz frequencies, test fixtures create signal losses and distortion. You must characterize test fixtures, cables, and connectors for those losses and compensate for them. The MXG features a built-in reflectometer, which lets you perform that characterization without the need for a separate instrument.
Designed into a 2U-height box, the N5186A saves rack space compared to previous signal-generator models on 3U cases. It also reduces the height of bath-test setups, which can make a difference of you have other instruments such as network analyzers and power supplies in a stack.
Connectivity options include USB, LAN, and GPIB ports. When using LAN, you can take advantage of the instrument’s web and FTP servers.