The challenge:

To design a modular and expandable testing platform for RF products up to 2,7GHz with up to 50dB attenuation for the Faraday cage. The platform had to be able to test different products, so the fixture had to be exchangeable.

The solution:

To use 6TL modularity concept, combined with and RF exchangeable cassette system. The RF fixture from 6TL has also the option to perform functional vision test inside the Faraday chamber, as well as a powerfull mass interconnect interface that guarantees a reliable RF interconnection.

Article:

This integration based on the 6TL-22 platform, features the needed flexibility and scalability requiered for producing different RF products (it is open in therms of software, maintenance friendly and can grow with the needs of the customer). Thanks to the RF fixture from 6TL, allowing cassette exchange, the fixturing became part of the platform, and therefore the investment on Faraday cage is needed only once. As an option, the RF fixture with Farday chamber can be supplied with absorbers in the walls, reducing drasticaly the internal wave rebounds. The chamber is open to almost all the possibilities: CCD camera with color selectable lighting, pneumatic actuators, high voltage, etc.

All In/Outs are high frequency filtered. Thanks to CAN bus we can control the chamber lighting as well as some active switching and the actuators inside the fixture, with only four wires This feature saved a lot of work, time and space.

This integration based on the 6TL-22 platform, features the needed flexibility and scalability requiered for producing different RF products (it is open in therms of software, maintenance friendly and can grow with the needs of the customer). Thanks to the RF fixture from 6TL, allowing cassette exchange, the fixturing became part of the platform, and therefore the investment on Faraday cage is needed only once. As an option, the RF fixture with Farday chamber can be supplied with absorbers in the walls, reducing drasticaly the internal wave rebounds. The chamber is open to almost all the possibilities: CCD camera with color selectable lighting, pneumatic actuators, high voltage, etc.

All In/Outs are high frequency filtered. Thanks to CAN bus we can control the chamber lighting as well as some active switching and the actuators inside the fixture, with only four wires This feature saved a lot of work, time and space.

The instrumentation we selected for the project, to cover the needs of the customer for his standard RF testing platoform, was the following one:
NI PXIe-1065 chassis
NI PXI-5670 2.7GHz Vector Signal Generator
NI PXI-5660 RF Signall Analyzer 2.7GHz
NI PXI-4065 6 1/2 digit DMM (300V, 3A)
NI PXI-4130 Power SMU, with APS-4100 Auxiliary Power Supply
6TL H3005000, DC Programmable Power Supply

The SMU was chosen to simulate the battery of the remote controls, as it enabled us to measure the standby current with precission (microA).

Fixture set (pushers plate and bed of needles) for testing remote control devices (receivers and transceivers):
The first project we had to develop for this testing platform, was the test of a wireless tranceiver and the receiver. All the electric parameters, including power transmission and receiver sensibility had to be checked. The MSK 500 kBauds data chains transmited and received had to be checked as well.

Conclusion:

Specs of the tester:
– 250kHz to 2,7GHz RF Vector Signal Generator
– 9kHz to 2,7GHz Signal Analyzer
– 20MHz instantaneous Bandwidth
– 14-bit resolution, 64MS/s digitizer
– 20V, 2A Source Measurement Unit
– RF Mux
– Pneumatic Sub-system for up to 10 actuators
– Interchangeable RF Fixture with CCD camera for LED test
– 14-slot PXI Chassis with Intel Core i5-2510E controller
– NI LabView-TestStand based test executive software
– CAN bus automation – Distrinuted control
– Automatic fixture ID and test executive sw selection
– DUT and ambient temperature monitoring
– Smart Power Distrinution Unit

Autors:

David Batet, Business Unit Manager