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RFxpert RFX2 World’s Fastest, Repeatable & Reliable Antenna Performance Scanner

The RFX2 is a desktop scanner that characterizes antennas without the need for a chamber. RFX2 provides far-field patterns, bisections, EIRP and TRP in seconds. Novel near-field results, including amplitude, polarity and phase give insights into the root causes of antenna performance challenges and help troubleshoot far-field radiation patterns.

  •   Overview

    Key Features & Functions

    • 300 MHz - 6 GHz
    • 1,600 H-field probes Maximum radiator size:
      • L 32 cm x W 32 cm (L 12.60” x W 12.60”) real-time scanning
      • L 2.3 m x W 2.3 m (L 91.34” x W 91.34”)
    • Far-field resolution: 1.8° for theta and 3.6° for phi
    • Plug n play: no external analyzer is required to run the system. Simply excite your antenna/device and start testing
    • Test CP (circularly polarized) antennas
    • Get repeatable & reliable results that pinpoint the cause of a design failure
    • Optimize positioning & effects from design layout
    • Monitor changes from packaging or design layout changes
    • Verify performance of a final product
    • Programmable via DLL
    Warranty Warranty

    What’s Included:

    • RFX2 (integrated antenna board & processing electronics)
    • Universal power supply & cable
    • USB cable
    • Sample reference chip antenna
    • Foam spacer
    • USB drive with RFxpert SW

    How To Acquire:

    This EMSCAN product is sold through EMSCAN’s Authorized Sales Partners.

  •   Options
    Part Number Part Number / Description
    3000-0818 3000-0818 Hard Transit Case RFX2 with customized insert
    3000-0303 3000-0303 CP analysis 
    3000-0300 3000-0300 BSE function 
    3000-0819 3000-0819 RF Source 
    3000-0820 3000-0820 High Frequency Basic MCP Jig 
    3000-0824 3000-0824 High Frequency MCP Jig Expansion 
    3000-0825 3000-0825 Low Frequency Basic MCP Jig 
    3000-0826 3000-0826 Low Frequency MCP Jig Expansion 
    3000-0129 3000-0129 NRE Charge for custom development of a VNA driver 
    3000-0130 3000-0130 NRE Charge for custom development of a VNA driver 
    3000-0301 3000-0301 NRE Charge for custom development of a BSE driver 
    3000-0302 3000-0302 NRE Charge for custom development of a BSE driver 
    3000-0960 3000-0960 NRE Charge for custom development of a PM driver 
    3000-0961 3000-0961 NRE Charge for custom development of a PM driver 
    3000-0121 3000-0121 RFxpert 3 GHz to RFxpert 6 GHz upgrade
    3000-0122 3000-0122 Additional one-year Customer Care Package for the RFxpert. 
    3000-1610 3000-1610 Calibration Assurance Plan for the RFX and RFX2 / Return to EMSCAN / 3 years 
    3000-1611 3000-1611 Calibration Assurance Plan for the RFX and RFX2 / Return to EMSCAN / 5 years 
    3000-0900 3000-0900 On-site installation and customer training per day. 
    3000-0902 3000-0902 Trainer’s travel, accommodations and expenses 
    3000-0901 3000-0901 Trainer’s travel, accommodations and expenses 
    3000-0903 3000-0903 Training at EMSCAN's Education Center per participant per day. 
    3000-0347 3000-0347 Tablet Fixture for free space testing of tablets and large devices
    3000-0306R 3000-0306R Phantom Head+Hand Test Kit as per CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1 for RFX2 
    3000-0307R 3000-0307R Additional Right CTIA Hand 
    3000-0317R 3000-0317R Additional Right CTIA Hand 
    3000-0337R 3000-0337R Additional Right CTIA Hand 
    3000-0306L 3000-0306L Phantom Head+Hand Test Kit as per CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1 for RFX2 
    3000-0306LH 3000-0306LH Phantom Head+Hand 
    3000-0307L 3000-0307L Additional Left CTIA Hand 
    3000-0317L 3000-0317L Additional Left CTIA Hand 
    3000-0327L 3000-0327L Additional Left CTIA Hand 
    3000-0337L 3000-0337L Additional Left CTIA Hand 

    Software application for circular polarization Axial Ratio (AR), Left-Hand Circular Polarization (LHCP) and Right-Hand Circular Polarization (RHCP) measurements and graphs

    Programmable remote control of a Base Station Emulator to enable power and pattern measurements at a single frequency or series of frequencies at a set interval

    Stable programmable power source from 300 MHz to 6 GHz that fits into the shielded box of the 3GPP RAN4 MIMO Antenna.

    • Maximum output power: +10dBm
    • Repeatability of output power level: +-0.2dBm
    • Battery power: 2-3hours
    • Enclosure: 121 mm x 78 mm x 26 mm
    • Standalone operation: Front panel controls

    Set of tiles, absorber blocks and rolling rig to enable high frequency 1.3 GHz to 6 GHz multiple-co-planar measurements with RFX2. Includes:

    • 6 tiles with positioning holes for a 2 x 3 set
    • 6 absorbers: 4 RFX2 blocks and 2 standard blocks for test above 1.3 GHz
    • 1 rolling rig for RFX2 with positioning wheels

    Two tiles and two square absorber blocks for test > 1.3 GHz

    Set of tiles, absorber blocks and rolling rig to enable high frequency 600 MHz GHz to 6 GHz multiple-co-planar measurements with RFX2. Includes:

    • 6 tiles with positioning holes for a 2 x 3 set
    • 6 absorbers: 4 RFX2 blocks and 2 standard blocks for test above 600 MHz
    • 1 rolling rig for RFX2 with positioning wheels

    Two tiles and two square absorber blocks for test > 600 MHz

    for any network analyzer. Customer to loan specific network analyzer for 3 weeks.

    for any network analyzer. Equipment rental included provided it is available from rental companies.

    for one Base Station Emulator test application. Customer to loan specific equipment for 8 weeks.

    for additional Base Station Emulator test application during the original driver development.

    for any power meter. Customer to loan specific power meter for 2 weeks.

    for any power meter. Equipment rental included provided it is available from rental companies.

    Includes:

    • Parts & labor
    • Software updates
    • Free shipping to factory for repair and return
    • Same day technical support
    • Two 30-minute web training sessions per year
    • Annual single calibration event included
    • Built-in system update
    • Freight to/from EMSCAN factory not included unless unit under original or extended warranty
    • Annual single calibration event included
    • Built-in system update
    • Freight to/from EMSCAN factory not included unless unit under original or extended warranty

    PAYABLE IN ADVANCE. Cost of instructor’s travel and accommodation additional (inside continental North America p/n 3000-0902 or outside continental North America p/n 3000-0901). Scheduling dates to be committed only by EMSCAN. Sales person to indicate on the P.O. customer’s preferred dates. EMSCAN to finalize all course scheduling and related arrangements with customer and EMSCAN Sales Representative or Distributor. Training sessions require a minimum of 4 weeks to schedule. Maximum number of participants is 10; participants are to bring their own EMSCAN equipment.

    for travel within the Continental USA and Canada. PAYABLE IN ADVANCE.
    THIS ITEM EXCLUDED FROM ANY CONTRACTUAL DISCOUNT OR COMMISSION.

    for travel outside the Continental USA and Canada. PAYABLE IN ADVANCE.
    THIS ITEM EXCLUDED FROM ANY CONTRACTUAL DISCOUNT OR COMMISSION.

    PAYABLE IN ADVANCE. EMSCAN will provide equipment for the hands-on training, materials and lunch each day. Course scheduling will be determined based on a minimum of 3 confirmed registrants. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Every effort will be made to customize the course curriculum to meet participant needs.

    Includes:

    • Half-head derived from full head specifications
    • PDA grip right hand for smartphone
    • Palm spacer and alignment tool
    • Test fixture for holding RFX2 including sliding/rotating head+hand fixture with material properties as per CTIA compliant fixtures

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • ’Mono’ IXB-050R

    Custom hands on request.

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • ’Fold’ IXB-051R

    Custom hands on request.

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • Ultra-wide ‘PDA’ hand IXB-054R

    Custom hands on request.

    Includes:

    • Half-head derived from full head specifications
    • PDA grip left hand for smartphone
    • Palm spacer and alignment tool
    • Test fixture for holding RFX2 including sliding/rotating head+hand fixture with material properties as per CTIA compliant fixtures

    As per CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1 for RFX2 that includes:

    • Half-head derived from full head specifications
    • PDA grip left hand for smartphone
    • Palm spacer and alignment tool “

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • ’Mono’ IXB-050R

    Custom hands on request.

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • ’Fold’ IXB-051R

    Custom hands on request.

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • ‘Data’ IXB-052R

    Custom hands on request.

    Per Appendix C of CTIA Test Plan for Mobile Station Over the Air Performance 3.2.1. Includes Palm Spacer and Alignment Tool.

    • Ultra-wide ‘PDA’ hand IXB-054R

    Custom hands on request.

  •   Resource Centre
  •   FAQ

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How do you provide an accurate EIRP estimate despite the fact that only one side of DUT is measured?  

      Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) is the power that has to be supplied to an isotropic antenna to achieve the same maximum far-field strength. EIRP is determined traditionally by identifying and measuring the peak radiated value on the surface of the “measurement sphere”. For directive antennas, by measuring radiation in the main hemisphere there will be no difficulty in identifying and precisely measuring the peak value. So even if you had other devices under test that were not so specifically dominant in one direction, you could still accurately estimate the EIRP value. What gets potentially compromised in scanner measurements for omni directional sources is accurate far-field pattern. Radiated power (PRAD) is obtained by integrating power density (obtained from the NF to FF transform) over the hemisphere. So in the worst case when only measuring one side, the TRP error is 3 dB. Both “sides” can be measured and the power sum taken, to get accurate TRP. As a design tool, differential changes on the peak side (or the weak side in the case of SAR optimization) are probably all that are necessary for optimizing.

    2. How fast is the full measurement cycle?  

      Each measurement including processing and display takes 1 second on the RFX and 4 seconds on the RFX2. RFxpert collects the data in 40 milliseconds and then the PC may require an additional 1 second to process and display the data. The overall measurement time can be reduced to 300 milliseconds for a simple go/no go scan result (e.g. measuring EIRP against a spec limit). In TDMA mode the scan time will be longer, due to the fact that the system must wait for a pulse to appear.

      Currently, the total scan time for a GSM phone is approximately 3 seconds on the RFX and 12 seconds on the RFX2.

    3. When measuring GSM power, how do we address duty cycle?  

      We tested GSM sources at 1/8 duty cycle. At 1/8, it slows down the process. GSM has a 500 μs pulse. The system waits for the rising edge to level out and then measures it.

    4. How do we measure transmitters with rapidly changing power levels?  

      RFxpert requires the power level to remain constant for 40 ms. If it is less than 40 ms, power level measurements will not be reliable.

    5. What is the measurement sensitivity for accurate power measurements?  

      RFxpert can measure a minimum source power of 0 dBm for a reasonable antenna.

    6. Are the measurements reliable in noisy ambient environments without an anechoic enclosure?  

      In testing of active antennas using a BSE, we put an intentionally radiating device 30 cm away from the scanner and it did not compromise the cell phone results. If the interfering element is 20 dB higher than a DUT and no closer than 1 meter from the RFxpert, the effect is minor. In more extreme cases where there is predictable interference, frequency and level coordination can be used. For adjacent test systems operating at very different power levels, frequency discrimination isolates the measurement systems. The scanner and DUT do not need to be put into an “anechoic” enclosure.

    7. Can you measure multiple antennas on different planes?  

      Yes. This can be done if you know the location of each antenna on the DUT, their locations in relation to the sensors, and if each antenna can be excited individually and not all on at the same time. The measured data will then be adjusted based on distance tables.

    8. What kind of power supply can be used?  

      Use the 6 VDC power supply for RFX and 12 VDC for RFX2 that is shipped with the system only. It is an universal 50/60 Hz and 100 v/240 v converter.

    9. What is the range of supported power levels?  

      The supported power level range is from +33 dBm to 0 dBm. There is no risk in running RFxpert with less than the minimum supported power. RFxpert software will indicate if the signal level is too low to be detected or measured accurately. For power levels greater than +40 dBm, RFxpert may be damaged.

    10. Where do I place the DUT?  

      To test a device it should be placed on the scanner. The device should be placed with the radiating surface down, and ideally positioned in the white area. The maximum device size can be larger than the scan area, but the radiating surface should be small enough to fit in white scan area (depicted by blue arrows in below picture).

      rfx-faq-1

    11. What is the accuracy of RFxpert measurements?  

      Current accuracy values for a calibrated RFxpert with the latest configuration file are summarized as follows:

      rfx-faq-2

      For even more details on accuracy, look at the following error distribution of the RFX2 measured efficiencies compared to chamber data:

      rfx-faq-3

    12. I have a network analyzer that is not on the list of supported analyzers, can it still be supported?  

      If your network analyzer is not on the supported network analyzer list, please contact your local representative or EMSCAN at info@emscan.com for details.

    13. What are the minimum system requirements?  

      Intel Core, 3.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM recommended. Windows XP SP3 OS and a CD ROM Drive.

    14. What is the maximum power level that RFxpert can receive without being damaged?  

      The maximum power level for accurate measurement is approximately +33 dBm into the antenna.

      Damage may occur above +40 dBm.

    15. What are the effects on the measurement from driving the antenna with lower power (e.g. dBm vs. 20 dBm)?  

      As long as the power received at the reference probes is high enough, there should be no change other than a lower power level. As the source power goes out of range, you will start to see phase errors first which will influence far-field results.

    16. The features/specifications indicate measuring dipoles and helical antennas. I assume that this is done by laying the DUT flat on the scanner bed? How do you feed the antenna without having the cable on the scanner bed, without some sort of de-embedding? Both of these conditions would seem to compromise the integrity of the near-field and alter the measurement accordingly.  

      The system always provides measurement results as is, in the near-field. If a cable is present, then very often currents can be seen on it. The onus is on the tester to set up the conditions so as best to represent what they want to measure. If the cable cannot be moved away from the scanner surface then absorbing foam may help to reduce the impact on the test.

    17. When selecting “Pattern Settings Properties”, “Amplitude Scale”, “Comparison Type”, switching from linear to Log10 seems to have no effect. What is this supposed to do? I thought it changed the scale of the near-field and far-field patterns.  

      The linear/log switch applies to the difference mode of the comparison scan. When comparing the near-field of two scans that have different power output, it is often more instructive to compare the fields in a log sense

    18. If I put my cell phone on the scanner, does it scan?  

      You cannot measure your cell phone since it is being managed by a live network. The output power and transmit times are too variable to get a good measurement. However, if you were to connect to your phone using a base station emulator, RFxpert will be able to measure it accurately.

    19. How can I measure each side of the DUT in order to get a full spherical pattern?  

      Refer to Aggregate Node. The DUT should be rotated around the Y axis of the scanner for the second measurement. This will ensure the aggregate node combines them together properly.

      rfx-faq-4

    20. Can RFxpert be integrated into existing test applications or simply automated to provide faster measurement results?  

      RFxpert system can be easily integrated into existing test applications or simply automated to provide faster measurement results. This is done by accessing the API of RFxpert dll. There is a documented installation package included with RFxpert installation CD in RFxpertDLL folder. This package includes a sample program to remotely control RFxpert. For more information please contact EMSCAN Technical Support.

    21. Why am I getting low power warning? How can I test an antenna while getting low power warning?  

      RFxpert can measure a minimum source power of 0 dBm for a reasonable antenna. Reasonable means that the antenna is effective at radiating the available input power into free space, also known as being efficient. A Low Power error messages pop up at – 5 dBM of measured power. There is however, not a clear cutoff on when the low power measurements become inaccurately. This is mainly because we define the limit based on input power which is what the customer knows, but the RFxpert measures radiated power.

      For example, if an antenna with less than 10% efficiency is tested with a 0 dBm source, the radiated power would be less than -10 dBm. RFxpert would very likely not be able to measure this antenna accurately even though minimum input power requirement is met. Whereas, an antenna with an efficiency of 50% fed with the same input power radiate -3dBm and can easily be characterized on RFxpert. So at a minimum we can measure an omnidirectional antenna that has an efficiency of 50% (-3 dB) from a 0 dBm source. If the efficiency or directivity drops then the minimum source power must be increased correspondingly.

      The actual power that can be measured accurately changes versus frequency and also from system to system. This is why we use the more ambiguous term “reasonable” rather than a specific number. Additionally, it is often the case that the radiating properties (e.g., efficiency and directivity) of the antennas that are tested on RFxpert are not known.

      Although 0 dBm is the minimum specification RFxpert can still perform accurately down to -5 dBm or -10 dBm at most frequencies. A low-power warning message will pop up when the maximum measured near-field is too close to the noise floor. First check phase pattern to judge whether the results are reasonable and add 3 dB to PRAD results. If in doubt, please send the file to EMSCAN.

      How to check phase pattern? The phase will start to degrade first as RFxpert approaches minimum radiated power. The degradation will show up as ‘noise’ in the phase plot as is shown in the three images below. The center image is marginal and the right image is poor.

      rfx-faq-5

    22. What is the resolution bandwidth of Rfxpert?  

      The built in receiver has an IF bandwidth of 60 MHz. For modulated signals that are wider than 60 MHz there may be slight offset in the reported far-field values. This offset can be determined by comparing a modulated signal to a CW signal for the same antenna or by comparing a chamber measurement to the RFxpert reported value.

    If you can't find answers to your questions, contact us

  •   Supported Peripherals

    Supported VNA

    Below is a list of network analyzers that can be configured with and are supported by RFxpert. If your network analyzer is not listed, contact us.

    Supported Base Station Emulators

    RFxpert supports base station emulators from different manufacturers. If your base station emulator is not listed, contact us.

    • Agilent 8960 – Series 10 Main Frame Model E5515C  

      FIRMWARE: A.18.28
      LA MODEL OPTIONS:
      E6785T - Revision: T.01.12
      E6702T - Revision: T.04.04
      TA MODEL OPTIONS:
      1962B (CDMA/IS-95/AMPS Support) - Revision: B.17.08 and B.16.12
      1963A (WCMDA Support) - Revision: A.16.08 and A.15.12
      1968A (GSM/GPRS Support) - Revision: A.12.08, A.11.12
      CONNECTION: GPIB

    • Rohde & Schwarz CMW500  

      FIRMWARE:
      CMW Base: 3.0.11.15
      CMW LTE: 3.0.20.8
      OPTIONS: KS500 - LTE FDD R8 SIG BASIC
      CONNECTION: GPIB

    • Rohde & Schwarz CMU200  

      FIRMWARE: v4.30
      OPTIONS:
      CMU-K21:GSM900-MS V4.30
      CMU-K22:GSM1800-MS V4.30
      CMU-K23:GSM1900-MS V4.30
      CMU-K24:GSM850-MS V4.30
      CMU-K84:CDMA2000(Cellular)
      CMU-K85:CDMA2000(PCS)
      CMU-K86:CDMA2000(IMT-2000)
      CMU-K-- : WCDMA(Bands 1-11)
      CONNECTION: GPIB

    Supported Power Meters

    Below is a list of power meters that can be configured with and are supported by RFxpert. If your power meter is not listed, contact us.

     

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