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Introduction to JFW’s USB Attenuator Test Software

Why use a USB Attenuator?

In RF test labs, programmable attenuators and RF switches are a basic building block of performance testing. Programmable attenuators are used in fading, handover, and rate vs range testing. Among other things, RF switches are used in signal routing, component bypassing and switched filter banks. To fill this need, JFW offers an expansive selection of Programmable Attenuator Assemblies and RF Switch Assemblies in 19″ rack or benchtop enclosures. These boxes typically include Ethernet and RS-232 control. While appropriate for medium to large testing environments, a USB Attenuator or USB RF Switch is often a better solution for smaller test setups. Lower cost and smaller size of the USB device are especially relevant.

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USB Programmable Attenuators to 3 GHz w/ 0.25 & 0.5 dB steps

USB Programmable Attenuators

Now available from JFW:  USB Programmable Attenuators with 0.25 dB & 0.5 dB step size up to 3 GHz. The majority of programmable attenuators available have 1 dB steps.  However, for some applications, such as satellite communication testing, smaller step sizes can be beneficial.  For those cases, these three models can provide that capability.

New Models

  • 50P-2058 has 0.25 dB steps up to 31.75 dB.
  • 50P-2042 has 0.5 dB steps to 63.5 dB.
  • 50P-2055 goes all the way to 95.5 dB in 0.5 dB steps.

All three attenuators are controlled and powered through a Mini-B USB connector.  A USB hub can be used to simultaneously control multiple attenuators.  Included with each step attenuator is our Windows-based GUI software for easy attenuation control of a single or multiple attenuators.

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Dual Rotary Attenuator for LTE Band 42 Testing

Dual Rotary Attenuator

JFW is excited to announce a new dual rotary attenuator, 50DR-141, that covers LTE Band 42. It functions from DC up to 3600 MHz. This attenuator handles up to 2 Watts of RF power. The maximum attenuation is 40 dB in 1 dB increments. The 50DR-141 has mounting holes in the front plate for easy mounting on panels for instrumentation applications. RF connector options include SMA or N.

In addition, the 50DR-141 can also be configured on 19″ Rack Panels, L-Brackets or Benchtop enclosures for use in test racks or lab environments.

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75 Ohm Electro-Mechanical Switches for CATV & VSAT

With the recent announcement of new 1P6T and 1P12T models, JFW is now able to offer an entire line of 75 Ohm electro-mechanical RF  switches for cable TV and VSAT testing applications. All models cover a frequency range of DC-2150 MHz, are self-terminating, and come standard with F female connectors (75 Ohm BNC and N also available). Full list of models include:

Looking for a solution with Ethernet, RS-232 or GPIB control? JFW will also design a custom RF test system in a 19″ rack or benchtop box with no NRE!

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Certification to the ISO 9001:2015 Standard is Complete

JFW Industries, Inc is now certified to the ISO 9001:2015 standard.  Our updated ISO 9001 certificate is available for download.  JFW has operated in a certified quality management system since 1995.  Our quality system ensures that JFW manufactures quality RF attenuators and RF switches with a documented manufacturing process and traceable paperwork.  Our commitment to our quality system reflects our commitment to providing quality RF components to our customers.

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Matrix Switch for use with 75 Ohm Network Analyzers

75 Ohm Matrix Switch

Three new 75 Ohm blocking matrix switch models have been added to the JFW website.  Model 75MS-029 is a solid-state 2X8 blocking matrix that operates 3-1000MHz.  Model 75MS-030 is a solid-state 2X6 blocking matrix that operates 3-1000MHz.  Model 75MS-037 is an electro-mechanical 2X12 blocking matrix that operates DC-1700MHz.  These 75 Ohm matrix switches can be used to fan-out connections from a 2-port 75 Ohm network analyzer to allow for automated multi-port 75 Ohm testing.  Connecting the 2X12 matrix in series with a 2-port network analyzer, creates a twelve port test set.  For all three models, the unused output ports are self-terminating at 75 Ohm impedance to keep the DUT properly impedance matched at all times.  All three models are remotely controlled via serial or TCP/IP connections.  The remote command set consists of simple ASCII formatted commands.  The remote command set for our 3.x.x firmware is available for download.  If you have any technical questions about these 75 Ohm matrix switches, please contact our engineering department for assistance.

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