API Weinschel’s model 8512 switch matrix series provides users with access to multiple individual switches that can be locally or remotely controlled. Instead of using a custom switch assembly where all of the coaxial interconnections between switches are embedded within the unit, the 8512 programmable switch matrix offers the flexibility to customize the switch architecture by externally interconnecting the individual switches.
The 8512 series can be configured with up to 14 failsafe or latching SP3T, SP4T, SP5T or SP6T switches in one 19 inch enclosure. The switches cover DC to 18 GHz (Options A and B) or 26.5 GHz (Option C). Maximum insertion loss is 0.5 dB at 18 GHz or 0.8 dB at 26.5 GHz, with maximum VSWR of 1.5:1 and 1.7:1 respectively. Isolation is 60 dB or greater at 18 GHz (Options A and B) and 70 dB or better at 26 GHz (Option C). Switching speed is 15 msec. Switch life is a minimum of 5 million cycles (Option C). Each option includes an integrated switch cycle counter.
The front panel local control and display make the switch matrix easy to use in the lab and manual test environments. For automated testing, Ethernet 10/100 BaseT, USB 2.0 and RS-232 are standard control interfaces. A GPIB/IEEE-488 interface is available as an option.
SWITCH CONTROL CENTER SOFTWARE
LabVIEW-based switch control center software (SCCS) supplied with each unit controls the operation of the Weinschel 8512 series, enabling the user to set up and control the programmable switches in one of three modes. Through a graphical user interface (GUI), Mode 1 enables independent control of each installed switch to any desired position (see Figure 1). Mode 2 is a virtual switch controller that allows the user to define multiple channels, where each channel path flows through several switches. Customized channels can be designated by an input label and an output label (see Figure 2). For example, the path from “ANTENNA 1” to “TEST 5” sets Switch 1 to position 3, Switch 2 to position 5 and Switch 8 to position 2. Mode 3 enables switch matrix control, allowing the user to configure the unit to an N × M full-blocking switch matrix. Figure 3 shows an example of the control interface for a 3 × 3 switch matrix.
Custom switched RF paths are required for many wireless standards, such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and LTE. The flexibility of Weinschel’s 8512 series switch matrix makes it ideal for use in multiple applications, as well as test environments with:
- Signal routing from multiple instruments to single or multiple devices being tested
- Multiple tests using the same test setup, reducing production test time
- Applications requiring configuration flexibility and agility.