Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

NI Vector Signal Transceiver

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TLDR, it's kinda done.


Original post:

Hi Folks,

Pinky promise I'm not in any way affiliated, I'm just running a search once in a while on ebay for PXIe instruments for my collection, and I noticed that the running price for used PXIe-5644R VSTs dropped to around $350, which is insane. I'm guessing these are being phased out from certain manufacturing lines and hitting the used market in mass.
I was contemplating a while ago to make an adapter board and 3d print a bracket to be able to put this in a double 5.25" disk bay in a PC and wire it to a PCIe slot on the motherboard. Otherwise a used PXIe chassis / controller now costs more than the instrument itself.
Software out of the box is quite simplified, but if one doesn't mind a bit of coding this is a very capable piece of RF hardware for the price.

Thanks for sharing this. I'll have to look into this unit when I have time. I'm always interested in SDR transceiver hardware. Crazy what you can get for the money once something starts getting dumped on the used market. My first was the original Agilent VXI VSA hardware. Then it was the e4406A. Those are Rx only. Lately I've been using ADALM Plutos since they are Tx and Rx, and are wider bandwidth. The limitations of Pluto are frustrating, but it's hard to complain for the price.

That's some good stuff. I use a e4440a at work now. I like that series.

Meanwhile I got very excited about putting a PXI VST into a regular PC and started a challenge project on it.

I might say not bad since Monday. I'm only 72% that it will work and even if it does there are a bunch of mechanical integration issues, but I'll deal with that if I get there.

Might be cheaper in both time and money to look for a second hand PXI chassis, either NI or Agilent.  If you do so, make sure the chassis comes with a CPU and a power supply modules, or else you'll need to buy them later.  AFAIK you'll still need proprietary software to fully control the hardware (unless the chassis+control unit you bought came with software, too), but I've heard NI has now a free to use license for their LabVIEW.

Either DIY or ebay buy, I'm curious how the project will go, good luck with it.  :-+

It is relatively easy to find a used PXI chassis and controller (or MXI interface). But PXIe stuff was still quite expensive last time I looked.


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