Author Topic: RF Test Automation  (Read 2839 times)

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Offline vinoTopic starter

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RF Test Automation
« on: April 12, 2024, 05:28:47 pm »
Good Day Guys,
I would like to ask expert advices because I'm very interested in doing RF test automation. As a newbie I would like to know where should I start? Is there a step by step procedure that I need to follow?
Is there any websites, reading materials ,videos and etc. that this forum can provide. Thank you very much
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Offline Bud

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2024, 05:38:39 pm »
Do you mean EMI Compliance test? Your question is broad open, you have to say what RF characteristics you want to test.
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Offline dobsonr741

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2024, 01:32:29 am »
Get a few RF test equipment manuals. Learn about SCPI. Take a look at LabView. Those should be the standard tools in an RF lab.
 
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Online pdenisowski

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2024, 02:15:23 pm »
We have some excellent online tutorials on automating test and measurement instruments

https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/us/driver-pages/remote-control/automation-by-remote-control-step-by-step_231238.html

It's very easy (and essentially free) to get started with automation.  I would recommend just starting small with some basic commands / queries using SCPI.  Sending an *IDN? and getting a response is kind of the "Hello World" of test automation :)

We also published a really good (paper) book on this topic as well, but it's long out of print.  Most of the important information from that book is on the webpages :)



Test and Measurement Fundamentals video series on the Rohde & Schwarz YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKxVoO5jUTlvsVtDcqrVn0ybqBVlLj2z8
 
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Offline vinoTopic starter

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2024, 12:32:48 pm »
For now my focus is testing and characterizing RF Power amplifiers. I want to automate the measurement of each parameters.
 

Online pdenisowski

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2024, 01:01:20 pm »
For now my focus is testing and characterizing RF Power amplifiers. I want to automate the measurement of each parameters.

Which instruments will you be using for this?  If you're using a VNA, the automation via SCPI should be fairly straightforward.  The same is also true if you're using a sig gen +  spec an, although you would need to be sure that the behavior of the instruments is "synchronized". 

Note that some (higher-end) sig gens and spec ans may have the ability to "talk" to each other and allow you to automate the tests by only communicating with one of the instruments (e.g. our FSW K18 amplifier measurements work this way - the sig gen is controlled by the spec an)

Here's an example of the kinds of SCPI commands that would be used for amplifier measurements using our instruments.  I presume they would be (at least somewhat) similar for instruments from other manufacturers as well.

https://www.rohde-schwarz.com/webhelp/FSW_HTML_UserManuals_en/Content/subprojects/fsw_k18/9d0828df6bce4ba4.htm
Test and Measurement Fundamentals video series on the Rohde & Schwarz YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKxVoO5jUTlvsVtDcqrVn0ybqBVlLj2z8
 

Offline Bud

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2024, 02:54:31 pm »
For now my focus is testing and characterizing RF Power amplifiers. I want to automate the measurement of each parameters.
Again, do you know which parameters you want to measure? Measuring different parameters may require different test equipment and different test setup. I'd think full automation of measuring all amplifier parameters under the Sun will require an elaborate test setup on the bench, and that even before using SCPI.
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Offline vinoTopic starter

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2024, 10:47:57 pm »
These are the parameters that I'm interested in automated testing.
1. Gain
2. Gain Flatness
3. IMD
4. Psat
5.P1dB
6. Spurious

I know how to test them manually and I'm also confident in using the equipment and tools to test them.
I just want to take advantage of capability of the programming language such as Python to make my work easier. By incorporating test automation.
 

Offline vinoTopic starter

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2024, 06:47:19 pm »
For now my focus is testing and characterizing RF Power amplifiers. I want to automate the measurement of each parameters.
Again, do you know which parameters you want to measure? Measuring different parameters may require different test equipment and different test setup. I'd think full automation of measuring all amplifier parameters under the Sun will require an elaborate test setup on the bench, and that even before using SCPI.

These are the parameters that I'm interested in automated testing.
1. Gain
2. Gain Flatness
3. IMD
4. Psat
5.P1dB
6. Spurious

I know how to test them manually and I'm also confident in using the equipment and tools to test them.
I just want to take advantage of capability of the programming language such as Python to make my work easier. By incorporating test automation.
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Offline rfdave#gmail.com

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2024, 02:10:07 am »
So have you started? Take the equipment you are current using, read the manual, install python, and get started with the examples the vendors provide.
 
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Offline Marsupilami

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Re: RF Test Automation
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2024, 08:10:07 pm »
If you have HP/Agilent/Keysight bench instruments I would start at trying BenchVUE and Command Expert.
Former is not free for most instruments, but even the trial can get you a good feel of a conditional test flow, while the latter is free and a perfect introduction to SCPI sequences.
With this knowledge go download pyvisa and go nuts.
 
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