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Azur Electronics

Network Analysis Progress and Problems is a short review of how far I have got with this project and what's holding me up.

Bearing in mind that I'm starting from scratch so I know little about Network Analysis. I have a limited amount of time to spend on this hobby, so work proceeds in occasional short bursts. I generally learn something new every time.

December 2006

Bought an incomplete plug-in unit for the HP 8620 Sweep Oscillator. Downloaded Manual. This turned out to be the HP 86260A RF Plug-In, 12.4 to 18GHz minus its front panel and controls. I thought that this would be a useful introduction to microwaves, YIG Oscillators and something to experiment with.

Now repaired and Sold.

Bought a damaged HP 8620C Sweep Oscillator for spares or repair. Downloaded Manual. This was a bit bashed around with the pcb's loose inside. This was stripped down, cleaned up, re-assembled and various faults repaired. Now repaired and tested.

March 2007

Bought a HP 8410C Network Analyser, HP 8411A Harmonic Frequency Converter & HP 8414A Polar Display, all in good condition. Manuals downloaded for all of them. Inspected and power up ok. Need the HP 8120-2208 Source Control Cable to connect to the 8620, now acquired. 8414A has now been tested, rest to be tested.

April 2007

Bought a HP 8412B Phase - Magnitude Display in good condition. Downloaded Manual. Inspected and powered up ok. A HP 08410-60067 Service Cable would be useful for maintenance of all the Display Unit plug-ins, now acquired. Now tested.

Bought a HP 86220A RF Plug-In, 10 to 1,300MHz  for the 8620C. All in good condition. Inspected and powered up ok. Now tested.

Bought a HP 8413A Phase - Gain Indicator in good condition. Inspected and powered up ok. Now tested.

May 2007

Bought an APC-7 to N-type male Adaptor for the 8411A.

Now Sold.

Bought a HP 11604A Universal Extension. This is used with the HP 8745A S-Parameter Test Unit.

Having looked at this Test Unit in a bit more detail, I don't think that I will go this far after all, so will resell the 11604A. Not been able to test this Extension but just a mechanical assembly with APC-7 connectors and swivel joints. Now Sold.

November 2007

Bought a HP 8407A Network Analyser and another HP 8412B Phase - Magnitude Display untested. Downloaded Manual.

The 8407A had some minor damage and was very dusty inside. Completely stripped down, cleaned up, a few minor faults repaired and re-assembled. Powered up ok.

Unlike the 8410C, the 8407A will not work with the 8620C sweeper as it needs a VTO (Voltage Tuned Oscillator) input which is 200MHz above the sweeper RF output as part of the phase-locked loop circuitry. Checked out the options and the best solution is to buy a HP 8601A Generator Sweeper, now acquired. Now tested.

December 2007

Sent a copy of HP Application Note 121-1 "Network Analysis with the HP 8407A 0.1 - 110 MHz" of February 1970 (thanks Chuck). Very useful reading.

January 2008

Bought a HP 8418A Auxiliary Display Holder with another HP 8414A Polar Display.

The 8414A has now been found to be faulty and will be kept as a maintenance spare. The 8418A is now tested.

Bought 2 APC-7 to N-type female Adaptors for the 8411A Harmonic Frequency Converter.

Bought a HP 8601A Generator Sweeper. This unit has a few problems that will need some repair work. Downloaded Manual.

Now repaired and tested.
February 2008

Bought a Amphenol 'blue' 50 way plug and 14 way plug to make up the Source Control Cable. Both were new old stock complete with shells (thanks Steve).

March 2008

Sold the unwanted APC-7 to N-type male Adaptor and the 11604A Universal Extension.

Made up the Source Control Cable. This only needs 4 connections at each end. The 50 way plug goes to the 8620C Sweep Oscillator and the 14 way plug to the 8410C Network Analyser. For more detailed information see HP 8120-2208 Source Control Cable.

The system was connected up for the first time: 8620C + 86220A to 8411A + 8410C + 8412B. This was not sucessful, although the Sweep Oscillator is working, the Network Analyser didn't indicate any Ref Channel Level or display. More work required.

Bought a HP 8471A RF Detector. This is a crystal detector which is needed for testing both the 8601A & 8620C Generators. This has a 50Ω input with a bandwidth of 100kHz to 1.2GHz and an output of a -ve dc voltage proportional to the input level.

Now tested.

April 2008

Bought a HP 8721A Directional Bridge. This is 50Ω 100kHz to 110MHz Bridge for making reflection measurements with the 8601A & 8407A.

Now tested.
November 2008

Bought a HP 8750A Storage Normalizer to investigate working with the 8412B Display. Need the 08750-60034 Inter-Connecting Cable (now acquired).

To be tested.

December 2008

Bought Manuals for 8413A and 86220A to enable performance testing.

March 2009

Bought a 2nd HP 8411A Harmonic Frequency Converter, Option 018 as a spare.
To be tested.

May 2009

Bought as 'spares or repair' a HP 8620A Sweep Oscillator with a HP 86260B RF Plug-In, 10.0 - 15.5GHz and a HP 8620C Sweep Oscillator with a HP 86222A RF Plug-In, .01 - 2.4GHz.The 8620C, 86222A & 86260B are now repaired and tested.

The 8620A has been dismantled for spares which are for sale.  See HP 8620A Parts for details.

June 2009

Bought a HP 86290-60045 Detector. This is a crystal detector which is needed for testing the 8620C Generator. This has a 50Ω input with a bandwidth of 2 to 18GHz and an output of a -ve dc voltage proportional to the input level.

Now tested. This has SMA/SMC connectors so will need adaptors to N-type (RF) and BNC (dc).

December 2009

Bought a HP 8621A RF Section to use as spares for the 86260A.

Now dismantled and remaining parts are for sale. See HP 8621A Parts for details.

February 2010

Original 8620C has now been tested. Made up a new HP 8120-2208 Source Control Cable (my original attempt used coax) and a 08620-60032 Extender Cable. Completed some research into the HP 86200 Series RF Plug-Ins. Tested 86220A RF Plug-In. Scrapped 8621A and repaired both 86260A and 86260B.

March 2010

Second 8620C has been tested and 8620A dismantled for spares. Tested 86222A RF Plug-In.

Service Cable HP 08410-60067 arrived from USA (thanks James O) and another complete HP 86260A RF Plug-In (thanks Steve K). Now tested.

April 2010

Bought 2 off N-type to SMA Adaptors (thanks Kevin), one for the 86260B repair and one for use with the 86290-60045 RF Detector. Tested as far as possible both 86260A's and 86260B RF Plug-In's.

June 2010

Bought a Radiall R451570000 RF Detector. This has a 50Ω input with a bandwidth of 10MHz to 4GHz and an output of a -ve dc voltage proportional to the input level.

Now tested and is responsive up to 18GHz!

November 2010

Bought a HP 11652-60009 Power Splitter but unfortunately DOA! (see below)

Bought 2 MAC Technology Directional Couplers. Top is CA3333-40A with N-type main line connectors and SMA coupled line connectors. 1GHz to 4GHz frequency response.

Bottom is C4238-20 with all SMA connectors and 1 coupled port terminated. 1Ghz to 18GHz frequency response.

Now both tested.

December 2010

Bought a HP 8470A RF Detector. This is a crystal detector which is needed for testing the 8620C Generators and RF Plug-Ins. This has a 50Ω input with a bandwidth of 10MHz to 18GHz and an output of a -ve dc voltage proportional to the input level.

Now tested.

January 2011

Progress with the Network Analysis System at last. Started testing the 8407A and Plug-Ins. The 8407A has been tested, one 8412B has been tested, one 8412B is faulty but is being kept as a maintenance spare, and the 8413A has been tested.

February 2011

Started testing 8414A, one 8414A has been tested, one 8414A is faulty but is being kept as a maintenance spare. This completes the testing for the 8407A System and it is now operational with all 3 Display Units see Operating HP 8407A Network Analyser. Finally understanding the use and applications of the 8407A System represents a major 'milestone' achieved.

Downloaded the 8418A Manual and now tested ok.

HP 8407A Network Analyser System
July 2011

Bought a HP 08750-60034 Inter-Connecting Cable for the 8750A.

To be tested.

October 2011

Have now bought a replacement HP 11652-60009 Power Splitter and tested ok.

November 2011

Bought a HP 8405A Vector Voltmeter to provide measurements in high impedance circuits.

To be tested.

February 2015

Bought a HP 86290B RF Plug-In. This covers the frequency range 2.0 to 18.6GHz and has an automatic sweep facility with the 8410C Network Analyser.

To be tested.

Project Summary

Making good progress as have now obtained nearly all the necessary equipment. Now have a 8407A System for 100kHz to 110MHz. The 8410C System for 110MHz to 18GHz is still to be tested. Still looking for a few accessories and inter-connecting cable. The 8405A is also to be tested and evaluated to see if it offers any benefits over the 8407A or 8410C.

Big hold up because of building our own hi-tech home, which has been a massive project for me and has taken 3 years (2011-14) plus nearly all of my time. Looking forward to working on this project again soon!