Siglent Handheld Vector Network Analyzer Simplifies Portable RF Testing

May 28, 2024 by Jake Hertz

Siglent designed the new vector network analyzer to bring the performance of a benchtop solution to a portable form factor.

Siglent recently announced a new handheld vector network analyzer (VNA) designed to bring the high performance of a benchtop VNA to a portable form factor. This offering supports sensitive electronics fields, such as high-speed or RF.



SHN900A. Image used courtesy of Siglent

Where voltage levels are low, timing budgets are tight, and the margin for error is minimal, testing equipment, like the SHN900A Series Handheld VNA, must be accurate and high-resolution to ensure that devices are field-ready before deployment.


Siglent's New Handheld Vector Network Analyzer

Siglent built the portable SHN900A as a comprehensive RF test solution for a wide range of applications, including field testing, R&D, and production. 

The SHN900A VNAs cover a frequency range from 30 kHz to 26.5 GHz with a frequency resolution of 1 Hz and a level resolution of 0.05 dB. These devices offer a dynamic range of 110 dB and support various types of calibration, including response, enhanced response, full-one port, full-two port, and thru-reflect-line (TRL) calibration to ensure high accuracy and flexibility for different measurement scenarios​​.


Waveforms and analysis on the SHN900A

Waveforms and analysis on the SHN900A. Image used courtesy of Siglent

The SHN900A series (datasheet linked) also supports a wide array of measurements, including scattering parameter, differential parameter, and time-domain parameter analyses. It can perform limit tests, ripple tests, impedance conversion, fixture simulation, and adapter removal/insertion adjustments. Additionally, it includes a spectrum analysis mode and can measure parameters like channel power, adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR), and occupied bandwidth.

The VNA's built-in time domain analysis (TDA) and enhanced time domain refractometry (TDR) modes provide comprehensive tools for characterizing signal integrity and identifying transmission issues. These features, combined with the ability to display data in multiple formats such as Smith chart, polar chart, SWR, phase, and log magnitude, make the SHN900A a versatile tool.


Calibration for VNAs

Calibrating an RF vector network analyzer is an important process that guarantees the accuracy and reliability of the device's measurements


One port and two port VNA error models.

One port and two port VNA error models. Image used courtesy of the University of Maryland

Calibration involves adjusting the VNA to correct systematic errors that can arise from various sources, such as signal path imperfections, connector mismatches, and environmental factors. This is achieved by performing a series of standard measurements using known reference standards, such as open, short, load, and through (SOLT) standards. These reference measurements allow the VNA to determine the error coefficients that describe the discrepancies between the actual and measured responses. Applying these coefficients allows the VNA to correct subsequent measurements, leading to more accurate and reliable results.

Calibration typically starts with connecting calibration standards to the VNA's ports. The VNA measures each standard's response, which provides the data needed to calculate the error coefficients. Advanced calibration methods like TRL and enhanced response calibration extend this process by using additional standards and techniques to improve accuracy over a wider frequency range. Some VNAs also support automated electronic calibration (E-calibration) modules, which simplify the process and reduce the risk of user errors.


Accurate Testing Anywhere

Developing RF electronics requires accurate, reliable, and high-resolution testing and measurement equipment. With its new handheld VNA, Siglent hopes to bring all of these features to a portable form factor so engineers can trust their testing equipment anywhere, whether in the field or the lab.