Microwave Journal

Down-Converter Extends Cellular Equipment Coverage to mmWave

February 14, 2018

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To help mobile operators, field technicians and wireless equipment providers monitor and test the mmWave devices and networks being developed for 5G, ThinkRF offers the D2030 Downconverter, which enables the 27 to 30 GHz frequency band to be tested using existing equipment covering the sub-6 GHz cellular bands. ThinkRF developed the D2030 collaborating with VIAVI Solutions, so it works with VIAVI’s 2G/3G/4G CellAdvisor and other third-party test equipment.

Using patented, software-defined radio technologies, the D2030 is controlled via Ethernet from either a spectrum analyzer or PC and uses the standard software commands for programmable instruments (SCPI) interface. The IF output from the down-converter can be 3.55 or 5.6 GHz, with a real-time bandwidth of 160 MHz and 100 kHz tuning resolution. Multiple units can be synchronized using 10 MHz input and output clock reference signals.

The D2030 Downconverter’s conversion gain is nominally 0 dB, or 10 dB using the internal preamplifier. The noise figure is nominally 25 dB, dropping to 10 dB with the preamplifier on. Phase noise across the 27 to 30 GHz band is ‐72 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, ‐80 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset and ‐105 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset. With the preamplifier off, the third-order intercept is typically +10 dBm, with input-related spurious signals a minimum of 53 dBc at an RF input level of ‐30 dBm. The maximum operating RF input level is ‐20 dBm.

The ThinkRF D2030 Downconverter is a compact design, measuring 7.5 in. × 8.5 in. × 1 in. and weighing less than 2 lbs, making it portable, versatile and easy to use without adding significant size, weight or power requirements. The unit is biased with +12 VDC and dissipates 6 W.

ThinkRF develops software-defined spectrum analyzers that monitor, detect and analyze signals for wireless, signals intelligence, surveillance countermeasures and test and measurement applications.

Ottawa, Ontario