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RF Signal Generator TSG4100A

TSG4100A Series RF Signal Generator offer mid-range RF performance and up to 200MHz super wide modulation bandwidth at an entry-level radio frequency signal generator price. The convenient in-field software upgrade allows engineers to easily transition units from analog to more advanced vector and digital modulation capabilities, providing the most flexible configuration and best CAPEX protection.

Add an RF Signal Generator to your bench

TSG4100A Series complements other leading mid-range RF test solutions from Tektronix, such as the USB-based RSA306 Spectrum Analyzer, 3 Series MDO Mixed Domain Oscilloscope, 4 Series MSO Mixed Signal Oscilloscope, and the 5 Series MSO Mixed Domain Oscilloscope.

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this was edited on 10/8/2020 - 3:24
Base Price
US $10,200 - US $19,500
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RF Signal Generator for Analog and Digital Applications

The TSG4100A Series RF Signal Generators accommodate both analog and more advanced vector and digital modulation capabilities at an extremely low cost. Engineers can easily transition from analog to vector signals, providing the most flexible configuration and best CAPEX protection. These low-cost RF signal generators have built-in support for the most common vector modulation schemes, including ASK, QPSK, DQPSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8PSK, FSK, CPM, QAM (4 to 256), 8VSB, and 16VSB.

Most common vector modulation schemes examples
I/Q Constellation Screen image

RF Signal Generator with an Internal Bandwidth up to 6MHz

With an innovative architecture for I/Q modulation, the user-friendly TSG4100A Series provides quick waveform generation and supports the playback of pure digital data. The instruments automatically map digital symbols into a selected I/Q constellation at symbol rates of up to 6 MHz and passes the result through the selected pulse shaping filter to generate a final waveform updated in real time at 125 MHz. This baseband signal is then modulated onto an RF carrier using standard IQ modulation techniques.

Superior OCXO Time-base with the RF Signal Generator

The TSG4100A Series instruments use an oven-controlled SC-cut oscillator time-base, providing a 100x improvement in stability (<±0.002ppm) and a 100x reduction in the in-close phase noise compared to instruments that use a TCXO time-base. It also allows for superior aging (<±0.05ppm) for R&D applications.

OCXO Time-base on RF Signal Generator
AFG31000 Arbitrary Function Generator to drive the IQ inputs on the TSG

RF Signal Playback on the TSG4100A RF Signal Generator

TSG4100A RF Signal Generators have an option for using external IQ signals, which can provide >200MHz of radio frequency modulation bandwidth for high carrier frequencies, like those above 400MHz. Learn how to use the RF signal captured using an RSA, along with the SourceXpress application to format the baseband IQ signals, and then how-to setup the AFG31000 Arbitrary Function Generator to drive the IQ inputs on the TSG.

Captured RF Signal Playback on the TSG4100A using the AFG31000

RF Signal Generator FAQs

What is an RF signal generator used for?

Engineer testing signals with an RF Signal Generator

A radio frequency (RF) signal generator is used to create continuous radio frequency signals with known characteristics to test the design of circuits, primarily those in communication equipment. An RF signal generator doesn’t make any measurements itself, it simply sets up the right conditions for other instruments to measure the device under test.

How does an RF generator work?

An RF signal generator is typically a signal source used to test circuits being developed for RF communications such as wireless and cellular communications, radar, electronic warfare etc. Engineers can set amplitude, frequency and apply modulations to the signal using system controls.

How do you generate RF frequency?

The easiest way to generate RF frequency is to use the front panel of the TSG4100A RF Signal Generator. You can easily set the frequency, amplitude, modulation, and a number of other signal characteristics right before connecting your RF signal generator to the device under test (DUT).

What’s the difference between signal generators and function generators?

A signal generator is any device that creates electronic signals. A vector signal generator specializes in creating RF signals with analog and digital modulation schemes in formats such as QAM, QPSK, FSK, BPSK, and OFDM. Vector signal generators are commonly used for receiver sensitivity testing.

A function generator has a preset list of waveforms or patterns that it can play. The operator can change the parameters of a waveform, such as how fast it’s played, the amplitude and offset, or add basic distortion or modulation.

What are the types of signal generators?

There are many types of signal generators, including function generators, arbitrary waveform generators, and vector signal generators.

View the chart below to see the differences between each.

Signal Generator Generic category name for analog and digital electronic signal sources.
Function Generator Signal generators are typically used when common waveforms like sine, wave, triangular, etc. are needed.
Arbitrary Function Generator Function generators are capable of arbitrary compiled waveforms.
Arbitrary Waveform Generator Arbitrary waveform generators are mostly used when custom compiled waveforms (rather than preset common waveforms) are needed.
RF Signal Generator RF signal generators are used for wireless applications and typically provide normal analog modulation such as AM, FM, and PM as well.
(RF) Vector Signal Generator RF vector signal generators support both analog and vector modulation on RF carriers for digital communication applications.