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Handheld Users Group

Handheld Users Group

Questions and Answers

Question: What type of remote control tools does Anritsu have for its handheld analyzers?

Answer: Wireless Remote Tools™ has been developed for the touchscreen models in the PIM Master™, Site Master™, Spectrum Masterand VNA Master™ series. It is free of charge and allows measurements such as sweeps, spectrum analysis, PIM, and S-parameters to be made from the ground.

Question: Does Anritsu have an instrument to measure broadcast signals to ensure they comply with Part 73 of the FCC rules?

Answer: Indeed we do. The MS2720T Spectrum Master with option 709 (frequency coverage from 9 kHz to 9 GHz) is self-certified by Anritsu to comply with the NRSE requirements for conducting AM and FM broadcast measurements. The certification verifies that the MS2720T is capable of conducting AM and FM broadcast-proofing measurements. In fact, it is the only handheld spectrum analyzer with the necessary phase noise and dynamic range to conduct highly accurate broadcast-proofing measurements.

Question: Are there special features on PIM Master to reduce the time I spend on rooftops trying the find PIM sources?

Answer: The new overlay trace can be used with the Distance-to-PIM (DTP) technology to make it easier and faster to locate PIM sources when measuring rooftop antennas. Your current measurement serves as an active trace on the PIM Master display. The overlay trace (a previous measurement stored into memory) is placed over the active trace. This process is particularly useful for identifying the location of an unknown PIM source relative to a known “PIM marker” such as steel wool.

Question: Why are there three level offset adjustments in the MS2720T and MS271xE tracking generators?

Answer: Each adjustment – RL Offset, Generator External Gain/Loss, and Transmission Offset – serves a specific purpose. RL Offset is used to adjust the power level (not gain) readings on the graph to account for an attenuator or amplifier between the DUT and Spectrum Master. Generator External Gain/Loss is similar to RL Offset, but it corrects the indicated (and set) output amplitude by the gain or loss of an external attenuator or amplifier.

Question: Why is a filter combiner used in the PIM Master™?

Answer: The MW82119A PIM Master uses a filter combiner to maximize RF efficiency and minimize power consumption. It is one reason the MW82119A is superior to alternatives that use a hybrid combiner, which requires two times the input power to achieve a given output power. That is inefficient for field use.

Question: Can I work with all VNA Master™ S-parameter traces with Line Sweep Tools?

Answer: Line Sweep Tools (LST) PC post-processing software is for people doing large numbers of cable and antenna sweeps. It is designed to work with field mode traces from many Anritsu handheld instruments, including the VNA Master and LMR Master™. LST also supports the S-parameter equivalents to the field mode traces. For instance, it supports both Return Loss and Log Mag S11 vs. Frequency.

Question: Does Anritsu offer PC-based software tools for storing measurements and preparing standardized reports?

Answer: Line Sweep Tools™ (LST), the latest generation of Anritsu Handheld Software Tools, are free and can be downloaded at www.anritsu.com. This PC-based, post-processing software efficiently manipulates line sweep and PIM traces, reducing the time necessary working with traces and preparing reports. LST enables users to easily collect traces from the instruments, verify that the traces are correct using markers and limit lines, and report results in industry-accepted PDF and/or DAT file format.

Question: What tools can I use to detect intermittent signals that are causing interference?

Answer: The MS2720T Spectrum Master™ is one tool that is excellent for locating intermittent signals. A burst detect feature allows emitters as low as 200 μs to be captured. Plus, the MS2720T has extremely low phase noise, wide RBW range down to 1 Hz, and wide dynamic range, making it easy to detect intermittent signals even in the presence of steady signals.

Question: Can I sweep antennas close to another RF source?

Answer: Yes, but you need to be very careful that the RF from another source is not going to exceed the 23 dBm max on the RF port of your measuring instrument. Power in excess of 23 dBm can result in damage to your analyzer.

Question: Does Anritsu offer an automated online tool to simplify line sweep reporting?

Answer: Anritsu offers Sweep Master Pro™, a web application that can dramatically reduce line sweep reporting errors and time. Field technicians save traces with an easily defined naming format, then place the sweeps (or measurement files) into a common directory and log into Sweep Master Pro. Once the files are uploaded, construction managers and/or RF engineers are notified and they can review the data as long as they have Internet access. Files can be created in .zip for .pdf format for storing on a computer or other project tracking systems.

Question: What is the best calibration method – OSL, InstaCal™, FlexCal™ or OSLT?

Answer: The calibration method is often determined by the type of test to be conducted. OSL is the most accurate calibration for one-port tests, such as return loss, VSWR, and DTF. InstaCal, which can be used with the Site Master™ and Cell Maser™, is quicker than OSL but is slightly less accurate. FlexCal can be used for troubleshooting over wide frequency ranges. OSLT is used for two-port tests.

Question: While making spectrum analysis measurements on a handheld analyzer with GPS on, is there a way to display the measurements on a map?

Answer: Spectrum analyzer measurements made using a BTS Master™ or Spectrum Master™ with the GPS receiver (option 31) on can be mapped using Master Software Tools, as long as Microsoft MapPoint is installed in your computer. After measurements are transferred to your computer, open the File Menu and click on New. A Measurement Map selection will automatically open Microsoft MapPoint within Master Software Tools. Using the Local Tab on the left, navigate to the folder containing the saved measurements. Select the measurements and drag them to the (+) sign at the bottom left corner of the Map screen. All the measurements will now be displayed on a map.

Question: Does Anritsu offer the ability to upload traces acquired in the field for online delivery and viewing?

Answer: Our SweepMasters DIRECT (available to S331L users only) is an easy-to-use online trace delivery system that allows you to capture, upload and deliver traces. When you are ready to deliver results, links to the organized traces, as well as a .pdf report, are sent via email to the specified project management company or wireless carrier. Passwords prevent unauthorized access to the data, adding a level of security to the system.

Question: What tools on the Spectrum Master™ help measure intermittent interfering signals?

Answer: If the interfering signal is periodic – or bursty – it is helpful to use the “Max-Hold” on Trace B, while keeping Trace A in normal view. For signals that are intermittent over a long period, you can use the “Save-on Event,” coupled with an a limit line that is several dB above the expected signal levels. This limit line can be automatically created using Limit Envelope. Burst Detect can be very helpful to find intermittent interferers. See the following article. Once detected, the trace is saved for later analysis. We also offer Spectrogram, an excellent tool that shows how signals change over time. See "Tools of the Trade" for Burst Detect, a way to easily see pulsed or bursty signals."

Question: Can I use the same instrument to conduct PIM tests and line sweeps?

Answer: Yes, our Site Master™, Cell Master™, and BTS Master™ can conduct both line sweeps and PIM tests, when they are configured with our PIM Master™. This ability saves time and simplifies measurements, as an installation contractor or technician only has to learn how to use one instrument to make all related antenna measurements for linearity and impedance testing.

Question: Does Anritsu offer Tracking Generator capability in its handheld analyzers?

Answer: We have recently introduced a tracking generator option for the E-Series Spectrum Master™ handheld spectrum analyzers that provides state-of-the-art performance, to help field technicians test many types of passive and active components and circuits in the field. A tracking generator is also available on the MS2720T Spectrum Master.

Question: When should I use a Tracking Generator vs. a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA)?

Answer: Tracking generators are ideal for providing scalar network analysis, providing signals to a DUT that can be measured by a spectrum analyzer, such as the c, MS2712E, MS2713E, and MS2720T. Unlike VNAs, tracking generators do not provide phase information. VNAs are used for applications such as developing conjugate matching circuits for filters and amplifiers, as well as for circuit simulation, and characterizing components (magnitude and phase). Tracking generators are sufficient when magnitude-only measurements are required, and often provide better performance than VNAs where a wide dynamic range is needed.

Question: What are the advantages of a Tracking Generator in field testing?

Answer: With a tracking generator option as part of a handheld spectrum analyzer, field technicians or contractors can easily conduct in-field measurements on site, eliminating the need to carry suspect components back to the lab for analysis, saving both time and money. Additionally, the tracking generator/spectrum analyzer combination can be used to conduct scalar frequency response measurements in the field.

Question: How can I display spectrum analysis measurements on a map?

Answer: Spectrum analyzer measurements made using a BTS Master™ or Spectrum Master™ with the GPS receiver turned ON can be mapped using Master Software Tools, if Microsoft MapPoint is installed in your computer. After measurements are transferred to your computer, you should see a Measurement Map selection. This automatically opens Microsoft MapPoint within Master Software Tools. Using the Local Tab on the left, navigate to the folder containing the saved measurements. Select all the measurements and drag them to the (+) sign at the bottom left corner of the map screen.

Question: What is the formula that relates Ec and CPICH on WCDMA/HSPDA Over-the-Air measurements?

Answer: Ec is defined as the chip energy for PCPICH and is determined by multiplying CPICH by the chip time. Ec = CPICH + 10*log10(Chip Time) or Ec = CPICH - 65.84 dB

Question: What is the difference between line sweeping and PIM testing?

Answer: Line sweep testing and PIM are very different tests. Both are very important and accurately measure a cell site’s ability to provide service and perform optimally. Line sweeping measures the signal losses and reflections of the transmission system (impedance matching). PIM testing is a measure of construction quality (linearity); poor quality will result in self-interference. Remember, a quality transmission line is not relevant unless accompanied by comprehensive line sweep tests and PIM tests.

Question: Can I convert a return loss measurement terminated to an antenna to a DTF measurement?

Answer: Yes. A feature in our Handheld Software tools allows you to convert a return loss measurement to DTF. In Handheld Tools, go to tools and select distance-to-fault. Enter the cable information and the software will convert your trace.

Question: Can I use the MS2024/26A VNA Master to test cable TV applications that have an impedance of 75 Ohms?

Answer: Yes. When using 75 Ohm matching pads you are limited to 3 GHz for your testing. You need to use a matching pad, part number 12N50-75B, and 75 Ohm calibration components. The calibration components are:

  • 22N75 Open/Short, DC to 3 GHz, N(m) 75 Ohms
  • 22NF75 Open/Short, DC to 3 GHz, N(f) 75 Ohms
  • 26N75A Precision Termination, DC to 3 GHz, N(m), 75 Ohms
  • 26NF75A Precision Termination, DC to 3 GHz, N(f), 75 Ohms

Question: What is the benefit of the Noise Marker feature?

Answer: The Noise Marker switches the detector type to RMS and normalizes the measured noise to a 1 Hz bandwidth. The value is reported in dBm/Hz. As the name implies, this detector is best used when measuring noise or noise-like signals.

Question: How do I get the fastest possible sweep time on my Spectrum Master™?

Answer: Sweep time is affected by the RBW, the VBW, the number of markers and the detector type. Use a wide video bandwidth, a relatively wide resolution bandwidth, turn off all markers and select the sample detector for the fastest sweep time. Also, use the minimum span to make the required measurements.

Question: How do I see both the maximum and the minimum of a signal at the same time?

Answer: The MS272xB, MS271xB and MT8222A have three traces available. The best way to see the maximum and minimum simultaneously is to set Trace A to Normal, Trace B to Max Hold and Trace C to Min Hold.

Question: Can I convert a return loss measurement terminated to an antenna to a DTF measurement?

Answer: Yes, our Handheld Software tools has a feature that allows you to convert a return loss measurement to DTF. In Handheld Tools go to tools and select Distance to Fault. Enter cable information and the software will convert your trace.

Question: What is the difference between the internal power meter and the high accuracy power meter on the handheld products?

Answer: The internal power meter uses the Spectrum Analyzer receiver to measure the channel power over a certain bandwidth. The high accuracy power meter uses an external RMS sensor, which makes a broadband power measurement. The sensor provides better accuracy than the internal power meter and is also better suited for making accurate measurements of modulated signals. The main advantage of the internal power meter is that you can make power measurements of specific channels and it filters everything outside the bandwidth you entered.

Question: If I use a very narrow resolution bandwidth compared to the span, will I miss some frequencies as the instrument sweeps?

Answer: For all detector types – except Sample – enough measurements are made for each display point that there are no gaps in frequency coverage. The Sample detector makes one measurement per display point, so gaps will occur if the resolution bandwidth is < 1/551 of the span.

Question: Why does the noise floor change when I alter the RBW or add input attenuation on my spectrum analyzer?

Answer: When you select a wider resolution bandwidth, more noise comes through the filter and causes the noise floor to rise. When you add an internal input attenuator, an instrument will increase IF gain to maintain a constant reference level. The added gain causes the noise floor to rise by an amount equal to the added attenuation.

Question: When should I use Line Sweep Tools (LST), Master Software Tools (MST) and Handheld Software Tools (HHST)?

Answer: If you routinely work with cable, antenna, or PIM traces, LST is optimized to speed up your work. If you focus on spectrum traces, transmitter test, or backhaul test, MST supports these functions. HHST is the predecessor to LST and is best used if you have an “A,” “B,” or “C” series Site Master.

Question: What is a one-port cable loss test?

Answer: Traditionally, measuring the insertion loss of an installed coaxial cable is a one-port reflection measurement since it is virtually impossible to connect both ends of the cable to test equipment. The measurement is made by placing a short on one end of the cable and measuring the return loss at the other end. The desired value – cable loss – is return loss divided by two, since the signal travels through the cable in both directions.

Question: Can I sweep antennas close to another RF source?

Answer:Yes, but you need to be very careful that the RF from another source is not going to exceed the 23 dBm max on the RF port. Power in excess of 23 dBm can result in damage to the instrument.

Question: How do I reduce the side lobes in a DTF on a Site Master™?

Answer: Windowing will reduce the lobes depending upon their severity. It is similar to an averaging or smoothing technique. Four windowing options are available:

  • Rectangular windowing – Normal mode of operation

  • Nominal side lobe – Some smoothing
  • Low side Lobe – More smoothing
  • Minimum side lobe – Maximum smoothing

Question: What is the maximum cable loss I should measure using the one-port method on my Site Master?

Answer:To have an accurate measurement, the maximum cable loss is 10 dB or less. A two-port cable loss measurement technique should be used for measurements that exceed 10 dB.

Question: Why is my signal accuracy poor when I have a wide bandwidth?

Answer: In wide spans, the handheld spectrum analyzer can take many measurements for every display point. If a very narrow signal is being received and average detection mode is on, only a few of the measurement points would see the signal; the rest would see the noise floor. The average of those will cause a display that is less than the actual signal level.

Question: How can I train new staff on how to use a Site Master™?

Answer:We offer a few different training options. Authorized training is conducted through our dealers. Dedicated classes for just your employees, taught at a convenient location, are also available. Online demos of the Cell Master™ and Spectrum Master™, available through www.us.anritsu. com/smiu, can be helpful as well.

Question: What is the difference in accuracy between the InstaCal™ module and precision calibration tee?

Answer: InstaCal has a specified directivity of 38 dB for frequencies below 3.5 GHz while the regular calibration tee provides > 42 dB of directivity. The directivity is many times the largest contributor to measurement uncertainty and the difference between the two calibration techniques will affect the uncertainty. In general, it is recommended to use the InstaCal when you are looking for a fast way to make the calibration. If superior accuracy is most important, precision calibration tee is the best way to go.

Question: Are CDMA measurements supported in the BTS Master?

Answer: Yes, CDMA measurements are supported in the BTS Master, as well as the Cell Master and Spectrum Master. These platforms also support EVDO, GSM/EDGE, and WCDMA/HSDPA measurements. Additionally, WiMAX and LTE measurements can be made with the BTS Master and Spectrum Master analyzers.

Question: How do I use a sliding load?

Answer: First, check and adjust the width of the pin depth gauge, if necessary. Next, set the pin depth of the sliding load to -0.0002 to insure that the shoulders of the male and female connectors are sufficiently spaced. After the pin gap is set, the sliding load must be mated to the test port of the VNA when prompted during calibration. Always position the slider as close to the test port as possible when making the connection. Gently tap the shaft of the sliding load if the center conductor is obviously misaligned. When visually centered, carefully mate the sliding load to the test port connector. When prompted, insert the fixed load.

Question: What is the difference between an OSL calibration and FlexCal™?

Answer:With the OSL calibration, you have to calibrate each time you change the frequency range. With the FlexCal, you can change the frequency range and you don’t have to perform another calibration. FlexCal is great for troubleshooting purposes. The accuracy can be affected if your span is really narrow, so for optimum accuracy, it is recommended to use the OSL calibration.

Question: After completing a sweep in return loss with a short connected to the other end, my customer requested I include an insertion loss sweep. How do I convert this return loss sweep to an insertion loss sweep?

Answer: Handheld Software tools solves this dilemma. Set marker one to peak and the second marker to valley. Add the two values together and divide by four. For more detail, see page 3 of the “Insertion Loss Measurement Methods” application note, 11410-00276 (http://www. us.anritsu.com/downloads/files/11410-00276.pdf).

Question: On occasion, the noise floor on my MS2711D changes value by 25 dB. Why is that?

Answer: The MS2711D, S332D and the MT8212B have a feature called “dynamic attenuation” that monitors the overall signal levels into the instrument. If there are no strong signals, it removes all input attenuation and turns on the preamplifier. When strong signals occur, it immediately turns off the preamplifier and, if necessary adds input attenuation to avoid mixer saturation. The preamplifier has a gain of approximately 25 dB, which is why the noise floor changes by 25 dB when it is inserted or removed from the signal path.

Question: Does the Cell Master™ MT8212B require GPS when building CDMA PN searches?

Answer: Yes, the Cell Master MT8212B does require GPS to do in-building CDMA PN searches. This requirement is not due to limitations in the test equipment but is driven by the CDMA technology, which requires a sync source.

Question: What is the difference between an OSL calibration and FlexCal?

Answer:With OSL, you have to calibrate each time you change the frequency range. FlexCal allows you to change the frequency range without performing another calibration. FlexCal is great for troubleshooting purposes. The accuracy can be affected if your span is really narrow so for optimum accuracy, it is recommended to use the OSL calibration.

Question: Can I sweep antennas close to another RF source?

Answer: Yes but you need to be very careful that the RF from the other source is not going to exceed the 20 dBm max on the RF port. Power in excess of 20 dBm can result in damage to the unit.

 

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