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PXIe-5668R Calibration Procedure

Calibration Executive 4.0 Help

Edition Date: March 2017

Part Number: 374564H-01

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This topic contains information for calibrating the National Instruments PXIe-5668R vector signal analyzer (VSA) using Calibration Executive. In this procedure, "NI 5668R" refers to both the PXIe-5668R 26.5 GHz VSA and the PXIe-5668R 14 GHz VSA unless otherwise specified.

Calibration Executive Procedure Features:


Manual Mode

Selectable Test Points


Approximate Test Time: 60 minutes (verify only)

Test Equipment| Test Conditions| Device Setup
NoteNote  The NI 5668R is composed of the PXIe-5606 RF downconverter, the PXIe-5624R intermediate frequency (IF) digitizer, and the PXIe-5653 synthesizer/local oscillator (LO) source module.

Test Equipment

The following table lists the test equipment required for calibrating the NI 5668R.

Signal source analyzer Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) FSUP Signal Source Analyzer Frequency range: 9 MHz to 10 GHz

Frequency accuracy: 1 ppb over the frequency range, 900 MHz to 9 GHz recommended

Noise floor: < -152 dBm/Hz

Phase noise measurement using cross-correlation

Frequency counter marker feature

Spectrum analysis capabilities

Power meter Anritsu ML2438A Display resolution: ≤0.01 dB

Settling: ±0.1%

Instrumentation accuracy: <±0.5%

Noise, zero set, and drift: <±0.5% full-scale (lowest range)

Reference power uncertainty: <±0.9%

Reference output VSWR: <1.04 : 1

Power sensor (x2) Anritsu SC7413 Power range: -55 dBm to 20 dBm

Frequency range: 100 kHz to 26.5 GHz

Input VSWR:

<150 MHz: <1.17 : 1
150 MHz to <2 GHz: <1.08 : 1
2 GHz to <12.4 GHz: <1.16 : 1
12.4 GHz to <18 GHz: <1.21 : 1
18 GHz to <32 GHz: <1.29 : 1


<18 GHz: <1.8%
<27 GHz: <2.5%

Refer to the NI PXIe-5668R Calibration Procedure for calibration factor uncertainty (2 σ) specifications.

Signal generator (RF source 1) Anritsu MG3694C

Options 1A, 2B, 4, 22, and 28B

Frequency range: 10 MHz to 26.5 GHz

Leveled power: -50 dBm to 18 dBm

Power accuracy: ±1.5 dB


0.1 MHz to ≤10 MHz:<-30 dBc
>10 MHz to ≤100 MHz:<-40 dBc
>100 MHz to ≤2.2 GHz:<-50 dBc
>2.2 GHz to ≤16 GHz:<-30 dBc

Nonharmonic spurious:

0.1 MHz to ≤10 MHz:<-30 dBc
>10 MHz to ≤2.2 GHz:<-60 dBc
>2.2 GHz to ≤16 GHz:<-60 dBc

Output VSWR: <2.0 : 1

Signal generator (RF source 2) Anritsu MG3694C

Options 1A, 2B, 4, 22, and 28B

Frequency range: 10 MHz to 26.5 GHz

Leveled power: -50 dBm to 9 dBm

Power accuracy: ±1.5 dB


>10 MHz to ≤100 MHz:<-40 dBc
>100 MHz to ≤2.2 GHz:<-50 dBc
>2.2 GHz to ≤16 GHz:<-30 dBc

Nonharmonic spurious:

>10 MHz to ≤2.2 GHz:<-60 dBc
>2.2 GHz to ≤16 GHz:<-60 dBc

Output VSWR: <2.0 : 1

50 Ω termination (3x)* NI 778353-01
PXI Express chassis PXIe-1075 or PXIe-1085
PXI Express controller PXIe-8133 or PXIe-8135
SMA-to-SMA cable, labeled U* NI 152637A-01
SMA-to-SMA cable, labeled V* NI 152638A-01
SMA-to-SMA cable, labeled W* NI 152639A-01
SMA-to-SMA cable, labeled X* NI 152640A-01
SMA-to-SMA cable, labeled Y* NI 152641A-01
2.92 mm (m)-to-2.92 mm (m) cables (24 in.) (x3) Frequency range: DC to 26.5 GHz

Insertion loss: ≤10 dB at 26.5 GHz

Impedance: 50 Ω

VSWR: ≤2 at 26.5 GHz

2.92 mm (m)-to-2.92 mm (m) adaptor Anritsu K220B Frequency range: DC to 26.5 GHz

Impedance: 50 Ω

VSWR: <2.0 DC to 26.5 GHz

Return loss:

DC to 1.5 GHz:≤35 dB
1.5 GHz to 6.0 GHz:≤30 dB
6.0 GHz to 18.0 GHz:≤20 dB
2.92 mm (f)-to-2.92 mm (f) adaptor Fairview Microwave SM4953 Frequency range: DC to 26.5 GHz

Impedance: 50 Ω

VSWR: <2.0 DC to 26.5 GHz

2.92 mm (m)-to-2.92 mm (f) 20 dB attenuator Anritsu 41KC-20 Frequency range: DC to 26.5 GHz

Attenuation: 20 dB (nominal)

Power rating: 2 W average

Impedance: 50 Ω


DC to 4 GHz:≤1.15 : 1
4 GHz to 8 GHz:≤1.20 : 1
8 GHz to 12.4 GHz:≤1.25 : 1
12.4 GHz to 26.5 GHz:≤1.35 : 1
Power splitter (two-resistor type) Aeroflex/Weinschel 1534 Frequency range: DC to 26.5 GHz

Amplitude tracking: <0.25 dB

Phase tracking: <4°

Insertion loss: ≤8.5 dB (6 dB, nominal)

Power rating: 1 W

Impedance: 50 Ω


DC to 26.5 GHz: ≤1.35 : 1

Equivalent output VSWR:

DC to 26.5 GHz: ≤1.35 : 1

Connectors: 2.92 mm (f)

Anti-distortion test fixture NI 538381A-01 Refer to the NI PXIe-5668R Calibration Procedure for anti-distortion test fixture specifications.
Frequency reference source Symmetricom 8040C rubidium frequency standard Frequency: 10 MHz

Frequency accuracy: ≤1 × 10-9

Torque wrench Refer to Test Conditions for torque wrench specifications.
*  Included in the PXIe-5668R cable accessory kit.

Test Conditions

The following setup and environmental conditions are required to ensure the NI 5668R meets published specifications.

  • Keep cabling as short as possible. Long cables and wires act as antennas, picking up extra noise that can affect measurements.
  • Verify that all connections, including front panel connections and screws, are secure.
  • Maintain an ambient temperature of 23 °C ± 5 °C.
  • Keep the relative humidity between 10% and 90%, noncondensing.
  • Ensure that the PXI/PXI Express chassis fan speed is set to HIGH and that the empty slots contain filler panels. For more information about maintaining adequate air circulation in your PXI/PXI Express chassis, refer to the Maintain Forced-Air Cooling Note to Users document available at
  • Allow a warm-up time of at least 30 minutes after NI-RFSA is loaded and recognizes the NI 5668R. The warm-up time ensures that the measurement circuitry of the NI 5668R is at a stable operating temperature.
  • Use a torque wrench appropriate for the type of RF connector that you are using. NI recommends a 0.565 N · m (5 lb · in.) wrench for SMA connectors and an 0.90 N · m (8 lb · in.) wrench for 2.9 mm connectors.
  • Connect the frequency reference source to the REF IN connector on the PXI Express chassis with a standard BNC (m)-to-BNC (m) cable. This connection replaces the connection from the NI 5653 REF OUT (10 MHz) connector to the PXI Express chassis REF IN connector, if present.
  • Lock all test equipment to the REF OUT signal on the back of the PXI Express chassis. Refer to the NI 5668R Timing Configurations topic in the NI RF Vector Signal Analyzers Help for more information about configuring clocking sources.

Device Setup

Refer to the NI PXIe-5668R Getting Started Guide for information about how to install the software and hardware and how to configure the device in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).

  1. Install the NI 5668R in the PXI Express chassis according to the instructions in the NI RF Signal Generators Getting Started Guide.
  2. Configure the hardware using Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX). You must create a MAX association between the hardware modules to control them as a single RF device before you can program the device. Complete the following steps to make this association.
    1. In MAX, select the NI 5606 RF downconverter in the configuration tree.
    2. In the Associated Devices section, select the appropriate module from each system component drop-down listbox.

      For NI 5668R, you must associate the NI 5624R IF digitizer module and the NI 5653 LO source module with the NI 5606 RF downconverter.

      NoteNote  Device associations are lost when you move modules to different chassis slots.
    3. Click Save in the MAX toolbar.
  3. Launch the Calibration Executive procedure. Calibration Executive guides you through the required connections.


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