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R&S FSPN Phase noise analyzer and VCO tester

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Leo Bodnar:
We had this phase noise tester unit for a week but it wasn't enough to take it through its paces.
Does anybody have comments about this unit?

We have also tried FSWP but could not make our mind up either.  With all the options (SA, etc) it was just too expensive.  FSPN, on the other hand is almost "take it or leave it" - this appeals to me.

I always thought that FSWP is positioned as E5052B killer.  Not sure how FSPN stacks up against that.


Did all my PhD work on an FSWP26.

The FSPN looks like a phase noise only version of the FSWP (No SA, noise figure, pulse, IQ, protocols, ...).
How much do they ask for an FSPN ? The FSWP is a lot above the Keysight pricewise, but it can also do a lot more.

IMHO, the main criteria is frequency range. If you need <10MHz (I did), Keysight has no offer, If you need < 200MHz, the Microsemi part could be an option (53100A). Above, its R&S or Keysight.

The RS parts are "integrated" solutions with internal references. These can limit performance, but a dual external reference system is not supported AFAIK. Keysight the same, Microsemi *must* use external references, making very low PN measurements possible (< -130dBc@1Hz).

What do you intend to measure ?

Leo Bodnar:
Thanks, Wolfganag.

This all does make sense. 

Indeed, for simple sub-200MHz work I now use 53100A - I switch between low PN and high stability external sources depending on the needs.  It's fanless and fits on my desk easily.

For over-200MHz I could use E5500 or HP3048A but you'd need a clean signal source for each frequency of interest.  They are both very noisy so don't get much use these days.

I see FSPN as a simple and fast GHz instrument.  Need to think about a bit more.



Howabout one of these, we find them more than sufficent for PH meas


Leo Bodnar:
I have looked at Holzworth (and a few Swiss companies) offers for quite some time but I don't personally know anybody who has one.
Yeah, I know, it's shallow but still...


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