We're adding to our growing line of RF Building Blocks. Hot on the heels of our RFSG002 RF Signal Generator and FIL001 filter modules, is the AMP001 Gain Block. This general purpose block provides a nominal gain of 16 dB and covers 45 to 3000 MHz. The linearity and noise figure of this amp also look pretty good. Check out the product spec
for more information!
Are harmonics getting you down? Grab one of our new FIL001 Low Pass Filter Modules
. They have 3 dB cut-off frequencies ranging from 145 to 2900 MHz, and the edge mount SMA connectors easily slip in line with our RFSG002 Radio Frequency Signal Generator or RFPM002 Radio Frequency Power Meters! For more details about available options, check out the product specification
We are excited to announce a brand new USB RF gadget. The RFSG002 is a 45-2700 MHz radio frequency signal generator with modulation capabilities in the same small package as our RFPM002 radio frequency power meter! It has a similar terminal interface as our RFPM002 power meter, as well as a GUI interface written in VB (source available). Take a look at the product spec
for more information.
Another RFPM002 and Beaglebone mash-up from the folks over at Kiss-Electronics
! This time they are driving an old analog meter to display power (and an LCD to display measurement frequency). They are using one of our RFPM002 for the RF power measurement and a Beagle Bone to drive the analog meter and LCD.
We are pleased to announce a new addition to our radio frequency test equipment line up. The new RFSG002 Radio Frequency Signal Generator (product specification
). The same form factor as our RFPM002, but with the ability to output continuous wave or modulated signals from 45 to 2700 MHz. We expect them to be in stock soon!
We are frequently asked how to use the RFPM002 Radio Frequency Power Meter without a computer. We took the hardware-hacker focused Beaglebone
, added a serial LCD, 10K Potentiometer, and a LiPo step-up converter and created a pretty portable power meter!
We wanted to make a simple-to-build platform that would allow us to take portable measurements with a RFPM002 Radio Frequency Power Meter. The Beaglebone was one obvious choice, and it finally gave us a project to develop on our now 5 month old beagle. This was our first attempt to write programs that run on embedded linux.
Our script was written in Python and run on the default Angstrom Linux that comes with the Beaglebone. If you are buying a Revision 5 Beaglebone, no changes will be required to the provided image. Our unit was a R3 so we had to update the image to the R5 build. Instructions for this process can be found at Circuitco.com
We needed a lot of guidance on this build. The Python scripts from the Beaglebone tutorials over at the GigaMegaBlog
were a huge help,a and was the source of the LCD interface and analog to digital converter commands. If this is your first time with embedded Linux systems, I recommend reading through their site first. They give you a lot of background and detail of interfacing to a Beaglebone that we do not give here.Hardware Parts List
- Connect the RFPM002 to the USB port of the Beaglebone
- Connect the LCD to the Beaglebone as follows:
- LCD VDD PIN to Beaglebone header P9, pin 4
- LCD GND PIN to Beaglebone header P9, pin 2
- LCD RX PIN to Beaglebone header P9, pin 24
- Connect the 10K Potentiometer to the Beaglebone as follows:
- One end of the 10K Potentiometer to the Beaglebone header P9, pin 46
- Other end of the 10K Potentiometer to the Beaglebone header P9, pin 32
- Wiper of the 10K Potentiometer to the Beaglebone header P9, pin 39
- Use WinSCP to transfer rfpm002.py to the /home/root folder
- Use WinSCP to transfer rfpm002lcd.sh to the /etc/init.d folder
- Use PuTTY to SSH to your Beaglebone
- Once logged on, type "opkg update" and press enter
- Next type "opkg install python-pyserial" and press enter
- Change directory to /etc/init.d by typing "cd /etc/init.d" and press enter
- Make the start up script executable by typing "chmod +x rfpm002lcd.sh" and press enter
- type "update-rc.d -f rfpm002lcd.sh start 99 2 3 4 5 ." and press enter. Remember to add the "." at the end of the command.
- log out of PuTTY and cycle power on your beaglebone.
After a bit of a start up delay, you should be greeted with power measurements. Adjust the 10K potentiometer to adjust the measurement frequency.
Future Improvements to our Hand-held meter
- Replace the potentiometer with up/down buttons or a keypad.
- A rugged enclosure.
- Add a LiPo Charger/Booster and LiPo from Sparkfun Electronics.
Application note AP003 covers how to perform quick VSWR measurements with two RFPM002 RF power meters, a directional coupler, and the VSWR Measurement Tool software. AP003 and the VSWR measurement tool software can be found over on our downloads
Hot on the heals of our Basic measurement GUI is the New RFPM002 VSWR Measurement Tool. If you have two RFPM002 Radio frequency power meters, a signal generator, and a directional coupler laying around this tool will quickly get you measuring VSWR and return loss of a load.
Not looking for measurement logging? Just want a basic display for you RFPM002 Radio Frequency Power Meter and don't want to run through the terminal? Tired of answering questions? Then check out the basic power monitor GUI on the downloads
page. The new GUI allows you to adjust the measurement frequency and read back a power simply and easily.