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Tektronix MCA3000 series Microwave Analyzer

Tektronix MCA3000 series Microwave Analyzer

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Key performance specifications
  • 27 GHz and 40 GHz models
  • Microwave analyzer channel with CW or Burst
  • Two 300 MHz general-purpose channels
  • 100 ps single-shot time resolution
  • 12 Digit/s frequency resolution, 14 digit display
  • 25 ms (auto) or zero (manual) acquisition Time
  • 3 mV voltage resolution
  • Optional 1.5×10–8 ultra high-stability oven time base
  • –35 dBm to +10 dBm power range
Key features
  • Measurement throughput
    • 250k Sample/s data transfer rate to internal memory (up to 750k samples stored)
    • 5k sample/s data transfer rate over USB/GPIB bus (block mode)
  • Available functions and features
    • Automated measurements: frequency, period, ratio, time Interval, time interval error, pulse width, rise/fall time, phase angle, duty cycle, maximum voltage, minimum voltage, peak-to-peak voltage
    • Integrated power meter
    • Multi-measurement display
    • Trend plot mode
    • Measurement statistics mode
    • Histogram mode
    • Allan deviation
    • Zero dead-time frequency/period measurements
  • USB device and GPIB ports on rear panel for quick PC connectivity
  • GPIB interface supports full SCPI-compatible programmability and offers an emulation mode for Plug-and-Play replacement in existing ATE systems
  • External arming input
  • 10 MHz reference oscillator output
  • Includes national instrument’s LabVIEW SignalExpress™ TE limited edition software for connecting your bench
Optional application software
  • Optional TimeView™ software available for modulation domain analysis
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Tektronix MCA3000 series Microwave Analyzer

With industry-leading frequency and time resolution, the MCA Series comes standard with internal memory, a fast data transfer rate of 250k Samples/s to memory, and an integrated power meter. The multi-parameter display shows auxiliary measurements alongside your main measurement to provide you with the results you need at a glance. With the industry’s most comprehensive analysis modes, including measurement statistics, histograms, and trend plots, you have the tools you need to quickly and accurately analyze your signal.

Industry-leading performance for demanding designs

Fast high-resolution frequency or power measurements with a very short acquisition time of 25 ms (Auto) or zero (Manual) is essential for validating today’s complex designs. For calibration and metrology applications, the MCA3000 Microwave Counter Analyzer Series offers very high accuracy through a stable internal OCXO time base, low systematic time interval A-B error, and high resolution.

MCA3000 Series instruments outperform every microwave counter on the market today in terms of resolution, speed, and acquisition time. Including an integrated power meter, the MCA3000 Series packs many different functions into one feature-rich instrument.

Besides being an outstanding microwave counter, the MCA3000 Series also serves as a general-purpose timer/counter with two additional 300 MHz inputs.

Fast throughput reduces test time

The MCA Microwave Counter Series offers industry-best throughput, saving you up to 90% on your testing time compared to other microwave timer/counters on the market. Up to 250,000 measurement results per second can be stored in the internal memory. Alternatively, you can transfer up to 5,000 measurement results per second in Block mode through the GPIB or USB interface.

Power measurements

With an integrated power meter, the MCA Series provides measurement of frequency and power with a single connection at any supported frequency level. For the first time, variations in signal power can be seen, collected, and analyzed in the same manner as frequency, both numerically and graphically. With 0.01 dBm at 100 ms measuring time resolution and a wide power range from –35 dBm to +10 dBm, you have the flexibility for a broad range of power measurement applications.

Analyze your device with the Industry’s only graphical display

With the unique display of the MCA Series, you can measure multiple parameters of the same signal from one test connection. To reveal signal quality issues like drift, intermittent transients, and stability, you can view the data as a real-time trend plot or a histogram with the MCA Series graphical display mode, or you can use measurement statistics to track how signal parameters are changing over time. A single-button Analyze mode gives you fast insight into the behavior of your device right on the timer/counter’s display.

Multi-parameter display

With the multi-parameter display, you can read important auxiliary measurement values (such as Vmax, Vmin, and Vp-p) displayed with your main frequency, time, period, or phase measurements. With one glance, you can see the information you need to quickly assess your device’s performance.

With three input channels, you can measure the relationship between different signals. For example, you can measure the phase relationship between the input and output signals of your device. You can read other critical parameters simultaneously, such as the test frequency of the signal and the voltage ratio (in dB), in one glance with the multi-parameter display.
Measurement trend plots

Depending on your test case, your signal parameters may change from instant to instant. With the Trend Plot Analysis mode, you can graphically plot the trend of a measured value over time.

Measurement statistics

With integrated statistics processing, you can calculate the average, standard, and Allan deviation of a measurement, as well as track the minimum and maximum measured values, all with the push of a button.

Histogram plots

The histogram function lets you graphically see the average and standard deviation of a set of measurements, and the distribution of measurement results.

Optional modulation domain analysis

With the optional Tektronix TimeView™ software (TVA3000), the MCA Series products become high-performance modulation domain analyzers. With high measurement speeds (up to 250k measurement/s) and memory depth at 750k, fast frequency changes can be captured in real time and then analyzed with TimeView. This comprehensive software tool allows for remote instrument control, and the analysis and display of measurement results in a choice of graphs. For example, results can be displayed as raw data, statistical histogram, waveform graph (as if you were using an oscilloscope), or as an FFT spectrum graph. TimeView further allows analysis of modulation parameters like modulation depth or frequency modulation index.


Designed to make your work easier

The MCA3000 Series are designed with the ease of use and familiar operation you have come to expect from Tektronix.

Intuitive operation

Menu-oriented settings reduce the risk of mistakes. With dedicated and menu-driven front-panel buttons, you will have fast access to frequently used functions and parameters, reducing setup time. For example, a single-touch Analyze key toggles you between Statistics, Trend Plot, and Histogram modes.

Autoset function

Similar to Tektronix oscilloscopes, the front-panel Autoset button automatically sets optimum trigger levels and hysteresis adapted to the actual signal applied.

Easy PC connectivity

Connect to your PC with the rear-panel GPIB or USB device ports. The GPIB interface operates in SCPI/GPIB for plug-and-play replacement in existing ATE systems or easy integration into larger test systems. If desired, an emulation mode for existing timer/counters is available.

Connect your bench for intelligent debug

Easily capture, save, and analyze measurement results from your MCA Microwave Counter Series with the special Tektronix Edition of National Instruments LabVIEW SignalExpress™ software. Every MCA3027 and MCA3040 ships with a free copy of the Limited Edition version of SignalExpress for basic instrument control, data logging, and analysis. The optional Professional Edition offers over 200 built-in functions that provide additional signal processing, advanced analysis, sweeping, limit testing, and user-defined step capabilities.

SignalExpress supports the range of Tektronix bench instruments 1 enabling you to connect your entire test bench. You can then access the feature-rich tools packed into each instrument from one intuitive software interface. This allows you to automate complex measurements requiring multiple instruments, log data for an extended period of time, time-correlate data from multiple instruments, and easily capture and analyze your results, all from your PC. Only Tektronix offers a connected test bench of intelligent instruments to simplify and speed debug of your complex design.

1 For a complete listing of Tektronix instruments supported by NI LabVIEW Signal Express, visit www.tektronix.com/signalexpress.

Performance you can count on

In addition to industry-leading service and support, every MCA Series Microwave/Counter/Analyzer comes backed with a three-year standard warranty.

Tektronix MCA3000 series Microwave Analyzer

MCA3000-Series-Datasheet-3CW255575 (1)

Tektronix MCA3000 series Microwave Analyzer

Model Max Frequency Time Resolution Frequency Resolution List Price
MCA3027 27 GHz 100 ps 12 digit

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MCA3040 40 GHz 100 ps 12 digit

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Additional information




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