Multiband, Modular RF Down Converters Feature High Dynamic Range and Low Noise

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A new line of multiband, modular RF slot receivers accepts RF signals over the range of 800 MHz to 3 GHz, downconverting them to a 225 MHz IF signal suitable for A/D conversion by any of several signal acquisition modules. The Model 8111 series from Pentek captures the RF signal right from the antenna and delivers the IF output straight into Pentek A/D boards. Some customers do not need an RF receiver that tunes across a wide spectrum, but rather just a slice or “slot.” Pentek’s new slot receivers not only deliver the required high-performance downconversion; they also offer a lower-power solution that is smaller, lighter and less expensive, about one fifth the cost of a wide range receiver. 

The internal frequency-synthesized local oscillator can be locked to an external 10 MHz reference signal for precise tuning accuracy. Alternatively, an onboard, low noise 10 MHz oven-controlled oscillator (OCXO) can be used as the frequency reference. For custom applications, an external local oscillator signal can also be supplied.

Each tuner is provisioned with one of seven different 400 MHz bandwidth preselector filters covering the RF input range from 800 MHz to 3 GHz. The preselect filters overlap slightly to ensure that there are no gaps in RF spectrum coverage. An 80 MHz wide IF output is provided at 225 MHz, suitable for A/D conversion using Pentek’s high-performance signal acquisition products.

Low noise figure amplifiers and two programmable attenuators accommodate RF input signals from -60 dBm to -20 dBm, and deliver a nominal IF output level of 0 dBm. Higher-level signals can be attenuated prior to input. The Model 8111 modules are designed to be used as stand-alone or integrated on carrier modules in a 3U VPX size or larger. The module features a MicroUSB port for programming, a Micro-D connector for power and SMA connectors for signals, all in a high-performance, shielded enclosure. Future modules from Pentek will be available on a range of popular open standard form factors. Pricing starts at less than $5,000 and varies depending on the pre-select filter option.

Pentek, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (201) 818-5900. [].