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2U, 4U, and 6U Developmental RF Interface Units

1257A-D

The Racal Instruments™ 1257A-D is a sixth-generation RFIU design. It comes with a new easy-to-use LXI Core 2011-compliant device and new enhanced features, including the ability to acquire all of the components you need to assemble your own unit in-house, reducing your design time.

The Racal Instruments™ 1257A-D is a development RF platform that includes all the pre-engineered hardware and software building blocks that enable customers to design and assemble their own customized RFIU solution. It features a standardized platform that delivers the reliability and supportability of COTS instrumentation, yet can be completely customized to suit specific application requirements.

This development unit is entirely scalable, as from one to ten drivers boards can be selected depending on the quantity of components to be installed in the instrument. With the capability to support up to 480 channels of I/O, control, LED, and general purpose digital I/O and the flexibility of TTL, open collector, and pulse latching component support, the 1257A-D can address a wide variety of RFIU application requirements.

The 1257A-D is ideal for developmental projects where the requirements may evolve or change rapidly. With the scalable design, modular mounting kits, flexible programming and control options, and a choice of standard relays, configuring or reconfiguring the RFIU for an application is fast, convenient, and cost effective. Further, since many of the hardware and software building blocks are standardized, subsequent units can be readily replicated offering equivalent performance.

The 1257A-D complements our other RFIU product offerings, the 1257A COTS RFIU and 1257A-C custom RFIU to address the full range of customer needs and preferences. Whether your project needs are best addressed by selecting an easily configured, off-the-shelf RFIU, a pre-engineered, modular development kit for self-assembly, or a completely custom engineered and fabricated RFIU ready for installation, we have a solution for you.

Applications for the 1257A-D
Common applications for the 1257A-D RFIU include the testing of communications equipment in production/installation/commissioning and the operational monitoring of RF, microwave, and radar signals. It can be used for base station, satellite antenna, or ATE test applications.

Relays with a frequency range of up to 18, 20, 26.5, or 40 GHz can be designed into the 1257A-D to accommodate a wide range of signal types. In many cases, the RFIU is utilized for routing and switching signals from one or more UUT’s or antennae to different RF test and monitoring equipment such as spectrum analyzers, frequency counters, and/or power meters.

Due to the expense of RF test instrumentation and the frequent need to measure or monitor multiple RF signals very quickly, the 1257A-D can provide a substantial ROI and fast payback.

Easy to configure, assemble, and/or reconfigure
The 1257A-D incorporates a scalable and modular design that enables it to be rapidly configured or reconfigured to changing development requirements. A selection of Agilent and Radiall relays, and Agilent attenuators are available for customer selection. You may choose from driver board options, specific relays and/or attenuators, and matching component mounting hardware kits.

The driver cards mate with personality adapters (blanks) that translate into the connector types used on the components. This makes it possible for manufactured cable assemblies to be used with commercially available RF components.

For the 4U and 6U units, there is up to 130 square inches of microwave component mounting space plus an additional 112 square inches in the mezzanine. Modular hardware kits enable component shelf or rail mounting. Blank front, rear, and mezzanine panels provide the maximum flexibility for locating internal components within the RFIU.

Flexible control options – easy to program
The 1257A-D comes standard with LXI/ Ethernet, USB, and GPIB control interfaces. This new LXI interface is based on Ethernet and offers discovery and a web-based interface. Set-up and control is simplified by auto recognition of relays. A rich SCPI command set and IVI drivers provide easy integration and compatibility with almost all software environments. Programming has been simplified with the incorporation of powerful and easy to use commands and features:

  • Path Names – Makes paths intuitive
  • Scan Lists – Set up a list that will run automatically
  • Relay Counter – Counts relay closures and tracks relay end of life

 

Easy  to service and support
The modular design of the 1257A-D platform and complete set of documentation reduce the Mean-Time-To-Repair (MTTR). 4U through 6U units offer removable top and bottom covers, facilitating service while the RFIU is still installed in the rack. These features enable relay or component replacement by dropping them out of the bottom of the unit, minimally disturbing sensitive microwave cables and preventing damage during service. Since each unit is delivered with a complete BOM, and system performance documentation, evaluating system performance degradation, and finding part numbers for replacements is straightforward. Additionally, relay counters provide visibility when components reach the end of their useful service life, enabling preventative maintenance instead of system downtime.

 

Product Features: 
  • Complete development kit for customer self-assembly
  • 2U, 4U, and 6U chassis sizes with open floor and mezzanine areas
  • Selection of Agilent, Radiall, Aeroflex/Weinschel, and other components
  • LXI/Ethernet, USB, and GPIB control interface
  • Scalable - Accommodates up to 480 control, indicator readback, and LED channels
  • Flexible component control - supports TTL, open collector, pulse latching, and general purpose digital I/O
  • Relay counter
  • Front and rear removable panels for easy fabrication