Teardown and Repair of HP 8648C Synthesized Signal Generator

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The HP 8648C Synthesized Signal Generator can be used for System Measurements and Calibration. It’s always important to have a few signal generators around the lab, you never know when you’ll need a good signal source.


In this episode Shahriar attempts to repair an HP 8648C Synthesized Signal Generator from a dumpster dive. The cause of failure is investigated and traced. Alongside the repair efforts, the internal construction and components of the synthesizer are also presented. Various component teardowns are shown and described including the structure of the VCO used in the generator assembly.

The functionality of the repaired unit is verified using an Agilent Power Meter and Rigol Spectrum Analyzer. Finally, the overall unit block diagram is presented and the principle of operation is described in detail.

Signal Generators can be used for system measurements and test site calibration, as well as RF antenna measurements. It’s always important to have a few signal generators around the compliance lab, you never know when you’ll need a good signal source as a test reference. Repairing you own equipment is a great way to stay familiar with electronic circuits while saving money.

Article: The Signal Path
Editor: M. Danmole’
Image: The Signal Path

 

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Bob Cole