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Handheld Users Group

Handheld Users Group

Delivering leading solutions for today's field and maintenance challenges

Interference hunter

With over 20 years leading the way in handheld testing Anritsu has a well earned reputation for superior measurements in not so superior conditions. learn more about the very latest handheld testing technology.

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How to Accurately Measure End-to-end Loss in Coaxial and Waveguide Systems


Measuring end-to-end loss in coaxial and waveguide systems presents significant challenges for field technicians once those systems are installed and their physical ends are far from each other. Most measurement options use a signal source and power meter to conduct a single CW measurement at a defined frequency. If field technicians test these coaxial transmission systems using a single CW frequency point or set of CW frequency points, they can easily miss a problem. Increasing the number of CW measurement points beyond 10 or 20 is cumbersome and time-consuming since the signal generator and power meter need to be normalized at every CW frequency point before a measurement at that point can be made.

If the transmission system operated over a very narrow frequency range, technicians might get a reasonable characterization of the system using multiple discrete points. Today's systems, however, support multiple bands and wide bandwidths. For example, today's currently installed DAS systems are often required to cover multiple bands ranging from about 700 MHz to 3.5 GHz, with more bands added over time.
A typical in-building passive DAS configuration is shown below. The test signal is applied to the input of the tree feeding individual antennas on multiple branches of the system. The antennas are located throughout the building to provide optimal coverage. Distances between antennas and test signal input increases as the size of the building increases, and can easily spread out over 70+ meters.


The Anritsu Site Master™ S820E can perform all of the required transmission and reflection measurements, including Distance-To-Fault (DTF), on DAS systems, as well as other systems operating as high as 40 GHz. The Site Master S820E is also capable of performing these measurements with only one calibration required.


3 Keys: Mitigating PIM in DAS

Eliminating PIM is a challenge in DAS environments due to so many potential sources (cable trays, air handling duct work, lighting fixtures, suspended ceiling frames, fire suppression pipe, etc.) and because there are more harmful frequency combinations. Here are three keys to mitigating PIM in a DAS:
  • Use high-quality components from companies that test 100% for PIM performance before shipping.
  • Rely on trained, PIM-certified installation crews. They understand the importance of cleanliness, cable preparation, and tight connections, as well as have experience using PIM test equipment such as the PIM Master™ MW82119A.
  • 3. PIM test as you build to identify and correct problems before they are replicated throughout the DAS. This makes it faster to locate PIM causes and reduces rework at antenna locations.

Test Tip

If you simultaneously measure and display reflection and end-to-end loss using a USB sensor, the reflection measurement may be inaccurate if the USB sensor is connected at the end of the DUT. If the reflection measurement must pass a user-defined limit for sweep verification, remove the USB sensor and replace it with a precision calibration grade termination at the end of the transmission system before judging and saving the measurement. Using a precision calibration grade termination for the reflection measurement will eliminate erroneous results.

LMR Master Helps Technicians Deploy, Install TETRA Networks

Ensuring the proper deployment and installation of TETRA networks in public safety, transportation, utility and critical communication networks requires field instrumentation that can conduct signal analysis quickly, easily and accurately. Anritsu developed TETRA analyzer and TETRA coverage mapping options for its LMR Master™ S412E handheld analyzer specifically to meet the needs of technicians working on these emerging networks.
The TETRA options expand the already-comprehensive measurement capabilities of the LMR Master S412E. Equipped with the new options, the durable, handheld analyzer can be used by field technicians and engineers for over-the-air and coverage analysis of TETRA networks. For advanced field analysis, the TETRA analyzer includes a special TETRA Summary display so users can view key data, such as base and mobile color codes, mobile network code, location area code, and mobile station maximum transmit power level. This new capability, coupled with the industry-leading receiver technology of the LMR Master S412E, allows users to quickly, easily and accurately diagnose and troubleshoot system performance of TETRA networks using over-the air analysis without preamplifiers.
Anritsu has also updated and enhanced existing LMR Master options to match changes in the ITC-R Positive Train Control (PTC) standard. Among the updates are the alignment of symbol rates to "Half Rate" and "Full Rate," and support for new "burst/packet" air interfaces in the ITC-R standard, including updated signal generator patterns.

Site Master Helps Technician Answer the Call Atop 8,000-foot Mountain

Most field technicians receive urgent requests at all hours during the worst possible times. Some of those calls require those technicians to visit the sites they dread the most. For Bryce Mobley, that site would be Snow Bank, Idaho. When he was contacted late one night to repair a tower that sits 8,166 feet above sea level, he knew the one thing that could get him through the project – his Site Master S332E handheld cable and antenna analyzer.
There are plenty of good reasons why Snow Bank brings less than pleasant memories for Bryce. During one trip, he tore up his knee ligaments. The mountain is famous for its lightning storms in the summer, and screaming winds and as much as 12 feet of snow during the winter. "Extreme white outs have left people scrambling to get to a shelter before hypothermia has set in. During one attempt to gain access to the site via snowmobile, I tore my MCL and spent six hours trying to dig out the snowmobile," said Bryce.
When Bryce received the call of a problem at Snow Bank, he packed his S332E Site Master and made the trek up the mountain. He had to find the cause of RF interference to the OC-3 SONET multiplexer that was adversely affecting signal quality at the site.
Bryce arrived atop the mountain, overcame the deep winter weather conditions and powered up the Site Master. He turned on the spectrum analyzer function and went to work.
"On the job, we used the markers and GPS mapping features to locate and analyze RF interference. It allowed us to zero in on the source of the interference quickly." said Bryce.
Because of the Site Master, Bryce was able to find the culprit – the FAA radar dome about a half mile from the site – with relative ease. He and his crew installed wire mesh and interference was no longer a problem.
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