Microwave Journal

Low-Cost 6 GHz Vector Signal Generator

September 12, 2019

Signal Hound has introduced a new 50 MHz to 6 GHz vector signal generator, model VSG60A, that offers the performance and agility of a serious vector signal generator at a fraction of the cost. A low phase noise, agile local oscillator with a 200 μs switching time enables frequency hopping spread spectrum testing, and a dual 14-bit DAC runs at 2 or 3x the I/Q symbol rate using digital oversampling to provide a flat, clean baseband. This results in baseband flatness of ±0.25 dB for 20 MHz and ±0.5 dB for 40 MHz (typical). Output power ranges from +10 to −55 dBm.

The VSG60A 6 GHz vector signal generator has 40 MHz streaming modulation bandwidth. It includes a variety of pre-programmed modulation types including Wi-Fi, QAM, PSK, CW, Pulse, Multi-tone and many more. Error vector magnitude is typically 0.3 percent (1 GHz carrier, 1 MSPS, 16-QAM, Alpha of 0.35, raised cosine) and typical phase noise is −114 dBc/Hz at 1 kHz offset and −135 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset.

A digitally adjustable internal VCTCXO ensures frequency errors are kept to a minimum over temperature, or an external 10 MHz input may be used for 0 ppm frequency error. Stability over temperature is ±0.28 ppm and aging is less than 1 ppm/year (typical). A trigger output is available to synchronize the VSG60A with other test equipment.

A custom API is available to continuously stream I/Q data to the VSG60A at an arbitrary sample rate up to 51.2 MSPS, or use the software to load a CSV, binary short int or binary floating point I/Q file. Corrections are automatically applied as the data is streamed to the instrument.

At a price of under $2,500, this VSG offers excellent value and rivals the performance of much more expensive instruments.

Signal Hound
(360) 313-7997