Using a VNA as a Signal Generator

A common question from users of Copper Mountain Technologies’ USB-based Vector Network Analyzers is whether the analyzer can be used as a signal source. Users’ motivations for doing so vary, but most commonly the question arises when an additional source is needed in a test setup but is not available. For example, a source might be needed as the LO to a mixer, to check functionality of another test equipment like a power meter or spectrum analyzer, or to produce a reference clock for use elsewhere in a test system. Fortunately, any CMT VNA can readily be used as a signal source.

This application note describes the process of configuring a CMT VNA as a signal source, and the expected performance of an analyzer so-configured. This application note is based on the S2 family of instruments’ software; other instruments will follow similar menu structures and procedures.

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