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USB-controlled RMS RF power meter debuts

Posted: 14 Jan 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF test  power meter  USB 

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National Instruments has announced the company's first USB-controlled true RMS RF power meter, which promises a highly flexible solution for automated test, measurement and monitoring applications in a small footprint.

The 6GHz NI USB-5680 power meter features high measurement accuracy and wide dynamic range packaged in a size similar to a typical power head. In automated test applications, the small size frees up valuable rack space without sacrificing performance. Powered solely from the USB cable, the new power meter is also suitable for portable applications because it consumes only 100mA of current without an external power supply.

Traditional power meters feature a power sensor or head located close to the unit under test and connect via cable to an accurate ADC located in conventional instrumentation housing. Using the latest PC and ADC technologies, the USB-5680 combines both the sensor and the ADC in one package occupying less than 9.6 cubic inches?much smaller than the benchtop equivalent. The USB-5680 simply connects directly to an available USB port on any PC or PXI controller.

To realise full instrumentation capabilities, the USB-5680 comes with a full-featured, executable soft front panel and intuitive, easy-to-use software libraries to help engineers quickly set up their systems. Engineers who need to measure continuous wave RF signals up to 6GHz can use the USB-5680 in a standalone configuration with a VXI plug & play compatible executable soft front panel to facilitate interactive control. To incorporate the USB-5680 in an automated test and measurement system, engineers simply use the intuitive API with their programming environments of choice including NI LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI and the Microsoft .NET environment.

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