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Application Notes

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  • EZ Terminal Software for Vista, XP and Win2000
    Signal Forge EZ Terminal for Windows
    Serial Communication Software for the Signal Forge Signal Generators
    Signal Forge EZ Terminal program for Windows. EZ Terminal is and easy to use serial communication software utility for the SF1000 . EZ Terminal provides support for macros, terminal window screen capture, downloading firmware (Wave Manager software for the SF1000), and downloading arbitrary waveform descriptor files. EZ Terminal is similar to the well known Windows Hyperterminal program.

    Click on the link to download the EZ Terminal software.
  • 3-in-1 Signal Generator
    The Signal Forge 800/1000 Digitally Synthesized Signal Generator combines the features of both a signal source, signal generator and function generator in a single, low-cost device. In addition, the SF800/1000 incorporates features which make it ideal for testing differential systems, such as high speed serial busses, analog and digital circuits, and RF and telecommunication equipment.
  • Compensating for External Signal Loss
    In any RF or analog test setup, there is likely to be signal loss due to cables, attenuators, filters or switches between your source, the Signal Forge 1000 or 800, and the device under test (DUT). The accuracy of the signal level that arrives at the DUT is affected by the sum of these components. This application note describes how to measure the signal loss and how to compensate for for it using the embedded Wave Manager software.
  • Controlling The SF1000 With An External Program
    In some cases it is necessary to control the Signal Forge 1000 (SF1000) programmatically using an external application or controller. This document describes how to create and use an external control file to operate the SF1000.
  • Converting LVPECL to LVDS and CML
    The Signal Forge Digitally Synthesized Signal Generator provides a differential clock output that conforms to the LVPECL standard. While LVPEC is a widely used standard, there are other differential signaling standards in use today including LVDS and CML. This application note addresses how to interface the LVPECL differential output of the SF800/1000 to conform to the LVDS and CML standards.
  • External Clock Requirements for the "E" Model
    The SF800E/1000E are designed to operate only when and an external 10 MHz digital clock source is attached. (For applications where an external clock source is not available, the SF800/1000 should be used.)

    This document defines the requirements for the external 10 MHz reference clock source.
  • Generating Spectrally Clean Output
    The SF800 and SF1000 Signal Generators provides an AC coupled output that can source a sinusoidal output in the range of 100 KHz to 1 GHz. This output provides a signal with harmonics at least 20 dB down (from 300 MHz to 1 GHz) at programmable output power levels. If a cleaner sinewave signal is needed, for example to drive the LO, or a receiver mixer, an external filter may be attached as described in this application note.
  • I & Q Output
    While the Signal Forge 800/1000 does not produce I & Q outputs directly, an external splitter may be used to derive the in-phase and quadrature components from the AC-coupled output. This application note describes how to design an external I & Q splitter.

  • Power Conversion Table
    This application note provides a conversion between dBm, mW and mV for the entire power range of the Signal Forge 1000.
  • Signal Generators as Alternative to BER Testers

    The traditional method of design margin testing in serial data communication systems is to employ a specially designed bit error rate (BER) tester. While BER testers have proven effective, they are typically expensive and they do not always exercise the system under test with the same level of noise or using the same data patterns that will be seen by the system in the field.This article discusses a test methodology, using signal generators, that may be applied to a wide range of data communication systems and devices which transmit data over a serial bus. This test methodology may be part of the design verification process or it may be used to qualify substitute components after the product has been released to production. In this case, the signal generators uncovered a latent design flaw that had not been detected using a BER tester.


  • Software Update Procedure
    The embedded operating software of the Signal Forge 1000 and 800 Signal Generators may be updated in the field by following the procedure described in this document. Any available software updates may be on the Support page of the Signal Forge web site www.signalforge.com.
  • Testing Digital Systems
    The Signal Forge 1000 / 800 may be used to test the design margins of a digital system by varying the clock input to the system from min to max. This test ensures that the design maintains the required setup and hold times under all conditions.
  • Testing High-Speed Serial Busses
    Proper operation of high-speed serial busses requires that data integrity be maintained between the two devices under test (eg. a disk controller and a disk drive) even though these devices are not being driven from the same clock source. Since operation and compatibility must be guaranteed across a range of frequency variations and manufacturing variances, it is imperative to test many device samples under varying conditions. This application note discusses how to configure a test serial bus devices using the Signal Forge 1000 or Signal Forge 800.
  • Testing Wireless Data Transmission Systems
    Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK) and On/Off Keying (OOK) are two techniques used to test and exercise digital data transmission systems such as wireless security systems, keyless entry systems and garage door openers. This application note describes how to use the ASK and OOK waveform modulation functions of the Signal Forge 1000 Signal Generator for testing wireless digital data transmission systems.


Digital Test, RF Test, Amplifiers, IP3, Receiver Calibration, Serial Busses, Wireless Systems, Frequency Sweep

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