Using an attenuator for NoiseLo/NoiseHi in NFM

A common method of making Noise Figure measurements of a receiver is to use a noise generator of known noise power. The output power of the DUT is measured with the generator off (NoiseLo) and on (NoiseHi), a Y factor calculated, and from that Noise Figure is calculated.

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Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 7

Summary

This series of seven articles has:

  • explained the meaning and value of G/T as a single metric for receive system performance;
  • defined and explained the G and T terms;
  • explained the relationship between Teq and Noise Figure;
  • explained how to analyse simple cascaded stages and hence more complex networks;
  • described how to estimate transceiver Noise Figure and Teq;
  • demonstrated application of the analysis techniques to a set of practical configuration options to provided quantitative comparison of the S/N performance of the options; and
  • discussed measurement of G/T as a means of validating system performance.

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Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 6

Measurement of G/T

G/T can be measured using celestial noise sources provided the antenna can be pointed to them. The noise source that is most appropriate will depend on expected G/T, frequency, time etc.

Sun

Continue reading Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 6

Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 5

Bringing it all together

This part explains how to build a model of the entire receive system to calculate G/T.

Firstly, make an inventory of all of the system elements that you intend to model.

A model needs to be no more detailed than is necessary to provide adequate accuracy for the purpose at hand.

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ARRL Test Procedures Manual (Rev L) – Noise Figure calculation

(Allison et al 2011) detail the method used by the ARRL in their test reports on equipment.

Effectively they calculate NF=-174+27-MDS where MDS is measured in the CW mode using the 500 Hz, or closest available IF filter (or audio filters where IF filters are not available).

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Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 4

Finding transceiver Teq

We have explained how to calculate Teq from Noise Figure, but most transceiver specifications do not give Teq or Noise Figure directly, in fact they don’t really contain sufficient information to reliably calculate Teq or Noise Figure.

Credible equipment reviews might provide an estimate of Noise Figure or Teq.

The best approach is to directly measure Noise Figure using a known noise generator and the Y Factor Method.

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Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 3

Relationship between Teq and Noise Figure

In the last part, the meaning of the equivalent noise temperature of an amplifier was given.

Whilst you will find that working in Teq has advantages for this analysis, amplifier specifications may not give Teq, but may give Noise Figure.

Continue reading Designing high performance VHF/UHF receive systems – Part 3