8652A Gigatronics RF Power Meter

The 8652A is an RF power meter from Gigatronics. Radio frequency (RF) power meters are the electronic test equipment of choice to collect information, analyze RF power, and display information in an easy-to-read digital format. Engineers use RF power meters to measure and document pulsed RF signals, noise-like signals, and pseudorandom signals.
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Additional Features:

  • Frequency Range: 10 MHz to 40 GHz
  • Power Range: -70 dBm to + 47 dBm; (100 pW to 50 Watt) 10
  • Single Sensor Dynamic Range:
  • CW Power Sensors: 90 dB
  • Peak (Pulse) Power Sensors: 40 dB, Peak; 50 dB, CW
  • Modulation Power Sensors: 87 dB, CW; 80 dB, MAP/ PAP 11; 60 dB, BAP 11
  • Display Resolution: User selectable from 1 dB to 0.001 dB in Log mode, and from 1 to 4 digits of display resolution in Linear mode
  • Automatic Time Gate Setting
  • Direct Crest Factor Measurement
  • Statistical Power Measurement Analysis

GPIB CW Measurement Speed (rdgs/s)

  • Normal Mode: > 300
  • Swift Mode: > 1,750
  • Fast Buffered Mode: > 26,000

GPIB Modulated Measurement Speed (rdgs/s)

  • Normal Mode: > 150
  • Swift Mode: > 800
  • Fast Modulated Mode: > 800
  • Asynchronous Sample Rate: 2.5– 5 MHz
  • Maximum Diode Sensor Video Bandwidth: 20 MHz
  • Maximum Instrument Video Bandwidth: 10 MHz
  • Maximum Single Sensor CW Dynamic Range: 90 dB

Maximum Single Sensor Modulation Dynamic Range

  • TDMA/GSM: 60– 80 dB
  • CDMA (IS-95): 80 dB
  • Wideband CDMA (10 MHz bandwidth): 80 dB
  • Maximum Peak Power Sensor Rise Time: 100 ns

Meter Functions

  • Measurement Modes (Sensors): CW (80300A, 80350A, 80400A, 80600A, and 80700A Series)
  • Peak (80350A Series)
  • MAP/ PAP/ BAP 11 (80400A, 80600A, and 80700A Series)
  • Averaging: User selectable, auto-averaging or manual from 1-512 readings. Timed averaging from 20 ms to 20 seconds.
  • dB Rel and Offset: Power display can be offset by -99.999 to + 99.999 dB to account for external loss/ gain.
  • Configuration Storage Registers: Allows up to 20 front panel setups.
  • Power Measurements and Display Configurations: Any two of the following channel configurations, simultaneously:
  • A, B, A/ B, B/ A, A-B, B-A, DLYA, DLYB
  • Number of Display Lines: 4
  • Sampling:
  • CW and Modulation Mode: 2.5 to 5 MHz asynchronous

Analog Bandwidth:

  • CW Mode: >/=3 kHz
  • Modulation Mode: > 10 MHz

Time Gating:

  • Trigger Delay: 0 to 327 ms
  • Gate Time: 10 μ s to 327 ms
  • Holdoff Time: 0 to 327 ms

The Gigatronics 8652A Universal Power Meter is a digital controlled, self-calibrating instrument that can measure RF and microwave signal power over a wide range of frequencies and levels. The Gigatronics 8652A can be operated locally from the front panel or remotely over a GPIB interface.

The Giga-tronics 8650A Series Universal Power Meters have the extensive measurement capabilities and unique features required to test today’s sophisticated communications systems faster and more accurately.


The 8652A can automatically measure the average power of pulse modulated signals or pulse signals that are amplitude modulated during the pulse ‘on’ period — such as TDMA signals. Using the exclusive Burst Average Power mode (BAP), the average power reading in the pulse burst is automatically measured between the 3 dB points. Therefore, the duty cycle can change in time without affecting the accuracy of the meter reading. This method eliminates the need to manually set time gating, which can add errors if the gate is not set accurately.


The Time Gating feature of the 8652A lets you program a measurement start time and duration to measure the average power during a specific time period of a GSM burst signal. The graphic display provides visual feedback if you prefer to set the gate manually. And, of course, there is the ability to use the TTL signal for automatically setting the time gate control.


The 8652A has the wide, 80 dB single sensor dynamic range required for CDMA signal open-loop tests, the speed you need to quickly measure power during closed-loop tests, and the 10 MHz bandwidth needed to test third-generation CDMA signals.

Instantaneous Peak Power

You can also measure the instantaneous peak power level of a pulse modulated signal with the 8652A. A built-in delay line lets you trigger a few nanoseconds ahead of the pulse for rising edge measurements. While a built-in time base gives you sample delay control up to 100 ms after the trigger point with 0.5 ns resolution. And you can view the profile and see the exact measurement point on the pulse.

Maximum Peak Power

The peak hold feature of the 8652A lets you display the highest instantaneous power measured from the time the feature is enabled until it is reset. The display value tracks the measured value only when it is rising to a new maximum; when the measured value falls, the display value holds at the maximum.

Crest Factor

The crest factor capability of the 8652A displays the ratio of the maximum peak power (peak hold) measurement to the average power measurement (in dB) from the time the feature is enabled until it is reset. The crest factor capability operates in the same manner as the peak hold capability: the display value holds at the maximum until it is reset.

Incredible Speed and Statistical Analysis

No other meter delivers the measurement speed available from the 8652A. Achieve over 1,750 readings per second over GPIB. Or use our exclusive fast buffered mode to further reduce processor overhead and capture over 26,000 readings per second. Incredible speed for CW and modulated measurements results from an asynchronous sampling rate of 2.5 to 5 MHz, that minimizes the aliasing effects of signals to produce faster average power measurements. And the 8650A features a wide variety of statistical power measurement analysis, to evaluate communications system efficiency.

Burst Start and End Exclude

The exclusive burst start and end exclude capabilities of the 8652A allow you to exclude the beginning or end of a burst when measuring the average burst power.

Masking the beginning or the end of a burst signal, in order to exclude overshoot or other distortions, can be desirable or even required for certain types of power measurements.

Unrivaled Accuracy and Built-In Calibration

Giga-tronics uses diode sensors exclusively to provide speed, range, capability and accuracy unavailable from any other power meter.

Accuracy Over a 90 dB Range

Giga-tronics has solved the problem that limited the use of diode sensors to below –20 dBm — the ‘square law’ region — by utilizing a patented built-in power sweep calibration system. The power sweep calibrator uses a 50 MHz amplitude controlled oscillator to step from –30 to +20 dBm in 1 dB increments. Each step is set using an internal thermistor— the standard for accuracy and traceability. Giga-tronics gives you thermistor accuracy plus diode speed for measuring signals over a full 90 dB power range.

Built-in Frequency Response Calibration

Configuring the meter for measurements is easy with calibration factors programmed into the sensor. When the measurement frequency is entered, the meter automatically applies the correct calibration factor from the sensor EEPROM. And the meter automatically reads a new set of cal factors when a sensor is changed. This avoids the chance of measurement error from using invalid calibration factors when you change sensors, or from forgetting to enter new calibration factors. You not only avoid measurement errors; you also save yourself test time.

The Secret is the Sensors

Giga-tronics power meter architecture provides for a broad choice of functional sensors. Just by changing a sensor, you can measure CW power, pulse power, and the peak and average power of TDMA, GSM and CDMA signals faster, more accurately, and over a wider range.

The Fastest CW Measurements

Giga-tronics 80300A Series CW Power Sensors let you measure CW power from 10 MHz to 40 GHz at more than 1,750 readings per second over GPIB. Measure up to 90 dB with a single sensor, and select from a variety of high power sensors, up to 50 W.

Pulse Power Measurements

Attach a Giga-tronics 80350A Series Peak Power Sensor to an 8652A meter and directly measure the instantaneous peak power level of a pulse modulated signal. Use the ‘sample delay’ function to set the desired measurement point on the waveform. And an external scope can be used to view the profile and see the exact measurement point on the pulse.

Modulated Power Measurements

The Giga-tronics 80400A Series Modulated Power Sensors let you measure the average power of amplitude modulated, burst modulated and other complex modulated signals — such as TDMA signals — at bandwidths up to 40 kHz.

The Giga-tronics 80600A Series Modulated Power Sensors provide bandwidth up to 1.5 MHz to measure the peak and average power of CDMA signals.

And the Giga-tronics 80701A Modulated Power Sensor operating with the 8652A power meter, provides system bandwidth up to 10 MHz to measure the peak and average power of wide band, third-generation CDMA signals over an 80 dB range.

Displays of Intelligence; See for Yourself

The 8652A incorporates a 3.72” wide by 2.15” high Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) with 240 x 120 dot resolution, 0.38 mm dot pitch, and Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) back light for maximum detail and optimum viewing.

The large display lets you see more information. And the display works in tandem with the meter controls to let you view menu selections and see your input data as you enter it. You can view calibration information, select a standard mode, setup and recall preconfigured, custom modes, and set measurement points and durations.

Statistical Analysis

Excessive cost can prove as detrimental to the success of communications equipment as inadequate performance. The 8652A provides a range of statistical power measurement analysis features that help you optimize your designs to prevent inadequate performance due to under design or excessive cost due to over design.

These features include crest factor, standard deviation, strip chart, CDF/CCDF, and histogram, and they let you view and thoroughly analyze the power signal over a selected period of time. Combined, they make the 8652A the most advanced power meter available for communications systems design.

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