I am designing a board that I will eventually have to hook up to a tracking spectrum analyzer to tune the PI circuit on.

I have 2 different circuits. The first goes RF-OUT -> PI circuit -> U.FL connector -> external antenna, and the second goes RF-OUT -> PI circuit -> U.FL connector -> On board antenna

In the board design, I assume because I am going to use a tracking generator on a spectrum analyzer that I need 2 U.FL connectors per line, so that I can hook up the analzyer.

Where would I put them? My instinct is to go RF-OUT -> U.FL connector (for testing) -> PI circuit -> U.FL connector


If I were you would include a stripline Directional Coupler to antenna port on PCB so you can detect Return loss and output power with a pin diode peak detector to DMM using sweep test pattern on your radio. Then you don't need an SA and you have a built-in test method. We call this Design for Testability (DFT) which is a MUST HAVE for any design, not an afterthought!!

You might use this on your prototype.

enter image description here

Normally directional coupler (splitters) are used for this. You can choose the coupling factor to minimize loss like -20 dB sample ports so insertion loss is low. So if you are ok with this, look for microstrip or stripline DC-20. These have 4 ports on PCB and you you have 2 U.FL ports for the DC-20 and 1 for the External Antenna. If you choose to use only 3 of 4 ports and antenna port as the output then the DC-20 is terminated with 50R on the unused port.


You need a minimum number of accessories. U.FL to SMA to N cables

Do a tolerance analysis on your RF PCB design. dielectric k has a wide tolerance as well as track tolerance on impedance. Testing at board shop includes test coupons is about >100$ This allows them to control your designated track impedances with TDR testing and the tune G codes for give batch of laminate to obtain this result.

Learn "What is a Directional Coupler?" and how to measure Return Loss with it. such as for antenna. without spending $600 ( research)

Semi-rigid coax works best after calibration using SMA . learn to make.... later If Analyzer has only 1 port then save gen response and then normalize when reading DUT response to get ratio.

Since s11 input impedance may be not 50 Ohms, the transfer function will then depend on source impedance so ratios must consider this using directional couplers... aka splitter



design these loop antenna for EMI nearfield noise detection. enter image description here

ref info: http://www.semtech.com/images/datasheet/rf_design_guidelines_semtech.pdf https://www.everythingrf.com/rf-calculators

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    \$\begingroup\$ Device under test (DUT) are U using good quality U.FL to SMA adapters for Analyzer? SMA splitters are easy to find on search engine \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 25 '17 at 1:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ You are new. DUT means "Device Under Test". \$\endgroup\$ – WhatRoughBeast Jun 25 '17 at 2:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I hope you got a calibration kit and tracking gen options.. you have lots to learn about calibrations.. and how to use ..not hard but necessary look for how to from Agilent and other sources.. saelig.com/product/rbssa3x20.htm this is a directional coupler built to precision mechanics ... like 0.01% tolerances thus expensive. But you might read on how to do it cheap with gen to antenna out and another antenna or 1/4W wire to input. then insert filter but you need adapters rated for >3GHz from U.FL to SMA to N(male) Pasternack cables probably ok for 2Ghz,cheap ,poor for 10GHz \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 25 '17 at 2:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ accessories siglent.com/ENs/… \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 25 '17 at 2:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ start reading siglent.com/ENs/… \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Stewart Sunnyskyguy EE75 Jun 25 '17 at 2:46

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