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The 436A measures absolute power in Watts or dBm, and relative power in dB. Depending on the power sensor used it can measure power from 100pW -70dBm to 3W +35dBm at frequencies from 100kHz to 18GHz. It originally cost $2,900 in 1987. A HP Manual was downloaded from the Web.

Front view
Rear view
I use this as my main 'bench' power meter and it is especially useful as it has an analogue display, which is useful for 'peaking', as well as a digital display with autoranging. The power reference output and calibration controls are used to calibrate the particular power sensor in use.


Frequency Range: 100kHz to 18GHz (10MHz min with 8481A/8484A Power Sensors).

Power Range with 8481A Power Sensor:
50dB with 5 full-scale ranges of -20, -10, 0, +10 and +20dBm (10µW to 100mW).
Power range of 0.3µW to 100mW. Maximum power input 300mW.

Power Range with 8484A Power Sensor:
50dB with 5 full-scale ranges of -60, -50, -40, -30 and -20dBm (1nW to 10µW).
Power range of 0.3nW to 10µW. Maximum power input 200mW.

Power Reference: 50MHz at 1mW into 50Ω.


Front Panel:
Power Sensor Input Special Connector
Power Reference Output N-type Female

Rear Panel:
Recorder Output BNC Female
RF Blanking BNC Female
Power Sensor Input Special Connector