Passive intermodulation (PIM) is a growing issue for cellular network operators. PIM issues may occur as existing equipment ages, when co-locating new carriers or when installing new equipment. It is a particular concern when diplexing new carriers into old antenna runs.
High speed digital data communications make PIM testing critical. As cell usage and throughput grows, the peak power produced by the new digital modulations increases dramatically, contributing heavily to PIM problems.
For these reasons, Anritsu Co. has developed the MW8209A PIM Master. The new analyzer has been designed specifically to support the 900 MHz band to address the growing need to measure PIM in E-GSM networks, including UMTS Band VIII and LTE Band 8.
Field engineers and technicians can use the MW8209A to help ensure optimum performance of UMTS Band VIII and LTE Band 8 networks by locating PIM faults before intermodulation distortion adversely affects signal transmission. The MW8209A has been designed to be integrated with many of Anritsu’s handheld instruments – the S332E/S362E Site MasterTM cable and antenna analyzers, MS2712E/MS2713E and MS272xC Spectrum MasterTM handheld spectrum analyzers, MT8212E/MT8213E Cell MasterTM handheld analyzers and the MT8221B/MT8222A BTS MasterTM handheld analyzers.
Field personnel can use the PIM Master to generate two high power tones in the transmit band of a base station, and use any of the compatible handheld analyzers to measure the 3rd, 5th, or 7th order intermodulation products in the receive band that travel down the same cable. Using the GPS option available on all the analyzers, the location of the measurement can be recorded, as well.
Innovative PIM Technology
Anritsu’s patented Distance-to-PIMTM (DTP) is a standard feature on the MW8209A. DTP helps field engineers, technicians and contractors pinpoint passive intermodulation faults, eliminating the unknown of whether the PIM source is from the antenna system or surrounding environment. Simple, immediate and accurate, DTP simultaneously informs the user of the distance and magnitude of all the PIM sources, both inside the antenna system and beyond the antenna.
DTP testing provides the detail and insight that can expedite repairs, control repair costs and help plan budgets. Historical data can be used to monitor a site and determine if corrections need to be made before a failure results in dropped or blocked calls.
2 x 40 W PIM Testing
Many PIM problems can be intermittent. This is often the case in the early stages of a PIM issue, and can be caused by light corrosion, high traffic loading or changing weather conditions activating environmental diodes. High power levels can help show these intermittent PIM sources more clearly than a standard 20 W tester. Also, testing at 40 W more closely duplicates the power levels found in today’s multicarrier, heavily loaded base stations. This allows the technician to find PIM problems and microscopic arcing that could go unnoticed with a 20 W PIM tester.
With 40 W of power and Distance-To-PIM, the MW8209A can help the operator find all sources of PIM, minimizing trips to the site and giving him maximum data throughput for his customers.
Morgan Hill, CA,