Bird introduces cable and antenna analyzer

September 12, 2014. Bird Technologies, a provider of RF components, subsystems, test equipment, and services, has introduced the compact SiteHawk SK-4000-TC antenna and cable analyzer. The instrument makes troubleshooting the transmission path of commercial and military communications systems operating between 85 MHz to 4 GHz easy, fast, and precise. As the successor to Bird’s Site Analyzer SA-3600 XT, the new instrument is 80% smaller, 60% lighter, and offers new features.

Problems along the transmission path from where the signal exits the transmitter through the antenna are the most frequent causes of performance degradation in deployed communication systems. The SiteHawk SK-4000-TC quickly and precisely detects these problems, determines their location, and displays the results on its 1,920 x 1,080-pixel display. It indicates impedance mismatch (VSWR) and return loss throughout the path as well as cable insertion loss over the entire range or one specified by the user. The instrument also employs frequency domain reflectometry (FDR) to precisely locate the physical location of the problem or problems regardless of how far along the transmission they are from the instrument. Measurements include return loss or cable insertion loss in dB, VSWR, distance to fault in feet or meters, and distance-to-fault VSWR or return loss.

The instrument has an intuitive touch-screen user interface that shows all measurement results, and its range of adjustable parameters can be modified from a single screen. The SiteHawk SK-4000-TC has 16 GB of high-speed flash memory that provides room for thousands of traces and instrument set-ups, and data can be offloaded via its USB interface to a flash drive or other external storage device. The USB interface is also used for charging the SiteHawk SK-4000-TC’s internal, removable battery, which provides a typical operating time per charge of 4 hr.

The swept measurement architecture of the SiteHawk SK-4000-TC requires only 0.025 ms per frequency point, and seven points throughout the desired frequency span can be chosen from 51 to 3,201 data points per sweep. It has user-adjustable X and Y scales and units, six markers for direct or difference measurements, and a user-adjustable pass/fail limit that reduces operator error and reduces measurement time by providing visual “go/no-go” status. The SiteHawk SK-4000-TC can measure performance in relation to the user-selected limit line or a recalled trace, and a measurement-hold function allows a trace to be temporarily stored. Frequency can be set using either start-stop points or center and span frequencies.

The SiteHawk SK-4000-TC is supplied with an AC adapter, hard and soft carrying cases, 1-m USB cable, 1-m long coaxial cable, USB flash drive and interface cable, and an international power adapter.

The SiteHawk SK-4000-TC is priced at $2,500

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