USRP Power Supply Noise

Hello,
I am attempting to build an analog front-end to a USRP 1 device. I have
selected a VCO that will suit the frequency range we are looking at: It
is an RFVC1800 and has a tuning range of approximately 7.4 - 12.4 GHz
over a 13 volt tuning voltage. As this VCO is very sensitive to
external noise, some power filtering will be necessary to minimize
jitter and phase noise. What I would like to know is whether or not
there are any other adverse effects from using the simple switch mode
supply that is included with the USRP?

Thanks,
~Jeffrey L.

~Jeffrey L., K1VZX

On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM, Jeffrey L. [email protected]
wrote:

Hello,
I am attempting to build an analog front-end to a USRP 1 device. I have
selected a VCO that will suit the frequency range we are looking at: It is
an RFVC1800 and has a tuning range of approximately 7.4 - 12.4 GHz over a 13
volt tuning voltage. As this VCO is very sensitive to external noise, some
power filtering will be necessary to minimize jitter and phase noise. What
I would like to know is whether or not there are any other adverse effects
from using the simple switch mode supply that is included with the USRP?

Are you referencing the power brick that comes with the USRP (and
provides the raw +6V DC input)? If so, you’ll definitely want to do
some significant filtering/cleaning up of this supply, and want to
think carefully about the gnd paths to your VCO as well. IIRC, we saw
non-trivial ringing on the gnd that had a period of ~5 uS and occurred
every 20 mS (don’t quote me on the exacts here, as my memory is a bit
fuzzy, though this is what I sketched into my engineering notebook at
the time). We ultimately determined we were simply seeing the
residual effects of the switching power supply in the power brick and
had to live with it or use a better external power suply.

Most daughterboards take the raw +6V passed to it right from the power
brick, and the use LDOs on the daughterboard to generate the voltages
necessary for the sensitive RF components. But this is typically
stepping down to 5V/3.3V, which, with a 6V input, provides enough
margin for an LDO to work and still provide excellent power supply
ripple rejection (PSRR). This is key when generating a stable supply
for feeding a VCO, as any variation (i.e. ripple) will show up as
variation in the output of your VCO.

If I were you, I’d start with a good oscilloscope and begin probing
around the power supply lines and the gnd lines of the USRP to see
what the supplies look like, and from there you should be able to
assess whether or not you’ll be able to use this voltage as a starting
point for your design. You’ll also want to make sure the gnd
reference point for the scope is as close to the measurement point as
possible to ensure that you aren’t picking up stray
signals/interference.

Good luck, and keep the list posted of progress. Sounds like quite a
challenging project :slight_smile:


John O.
CEO/System Architect
Epiq Solutions
www.epiq-solutions.com

On 08/24/2010 07:32 AM, Jeffrey L. wrote:

Thanks,
~Jeffrey L.

The 6V supply on the daughterboards is filtered, but it is still
unregulated, so it will rise and fall between 5.8 and 6.4V with load
changes. You’ll want to pass it through an LDO to use it.

You mention 13V, which will take a switcher to boost the 6V. In that
case, you can use the 6V directly into your switcher, which should then
be followed by an LDO to your final voltage.

Matt

This forum is not affiliated to the Ruby language, Ruby on Rails framework, nor any Ruby applications discussed here.

| Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Remote Ruby Jobs