Tektronix Introduces Low Cost PC-Controlled Vector Network Analyzer

USB VNA

Tektronix has introduced a new low-cost PC-Controlled VNA solution to disrupt the he market and address the needs of IoT Design. The TTR500 Series of USB Vector Network Analyzers operates up to 6 GHz with a dynamic range of 122 dB. It also includes advanced features including new VectorVu-PC analysis software and the only built-in bias tee for testing active devices in this category. Pricing for this low cost USB-VNA solution starts at $9,000.

Vector Network Analyzers help IoT designers match Bluetooth, WLAN, RFID and other radios to antennas. In many cases, designers must rent or borrow VNAs, adding time and expense to projects. In education, the high cost of VNAs means students get little to no hands-on time with an important instrument. The TTR500 Series dramatically lowers the barrier to entry and features an easy-to-use user interface for common tasks. The TTR500's small, compact form factor eliminates the need to roll around a shared VNA.

Computer Controlled VNA's now achieve the same level of performance as a benchtop VNA, but at significantly lower costs. There are a number of companies who have started to develop these type of VNA products. These include Copper Mountain Technologies (read Interview with them here), Anritsu, R&S and MegiQ. Click here to see more Computer Based VNA's on everything RF.

The TTR500 Series offers a full 2-port, 2-path S-parameter VNA for such applications as measuring passive/active components, antennas and matching networks, RF modules, test cables, adapters and more. It features a solid set of specifications including 100 kHz to 6 GHz frequency range, 122 dB dynamic range, less than 0.008 dB trace noise, and -50 to +7 dBm output power, all in a compact package weighing less than 4 pounds.

An important feature of the TTR500 is the built-in bias tee that is accessible on both ports and allows for active devices, such as amplifiers, to be easily DC biased.  No longer will users need to contend with an external bias tee or pay a premium for an instrument with an optional internal bias tee. The TTR500's built-in bias tee allows for 0 to ± 24 V, and 0 to 200 mA on both ports for active devices.

The TTR500 works with any Windows PC or laptop and the VectorVu-PC software delivers a traditional look and feel for controlling and calibrating the instrument. It offers full point and click usability with the ease of PC-based networking for saving and sharing files. For automated test systems in design or manufacturing, VectorVu-PC offers programmatic support for SCPI commands, including command compatibility with common legacy VNAs for easy integration into existing test systems. In addition, the software offers an offline mode for data analysis with an output file format compatible with common EDA simulation tools.

The TTR500 Series is available with a robust set of accessories including a rugged carrying case, rack mount kits, rugged phase-stable cables, attenuators, adapters and calibration kits.

Pricing & Availability

The TTR500 Series vector network analyzer is available now and pricing starts at $9,000 US MSRP for a 3 GHz instrument and $12,000 for a 6 GHz instrument.