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Measuring PCB, Cable and Interconnect Impedance, and Dielectric Constants

Low cost, portable, oscilloscope connected TDR/TDT

A TDR/TDT is generally a large, expensive instrument that includes a high-speed edge pulse and a sampling oscilloscope. TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) is used to measure dielectric constants, PCB coupons, PCB signal traces, interconnects and cables, TDT (Time Domain Transmission) is used to measure crosstalk, rise time degradation, insertion loss, dielectric loss, skin effect and characterize lossy transmission line parameters, Picotest has a low-cost, pocket sized, signal edge generator and resistive port splitter that together with a real time oscilloscope can be used to make these measurements with excellent accuracy. Along with a sampling oscilloscope, it can also be used to generate an eye diagram. Look below for testing solutions and product information.

Measurement Basics

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Application notes about this measurement.

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J2151A PerfectPulse Fast Edge Signal Generator

  • Precise, Fast Edge Generation and TDR in one convenient package
  • Ultra-fast rise time and fall time of 32ps (typical) with little variance
  • No overshoot or undershoot
  • Variable output pulse train with 1kHz, 10kHz, 100kHz, 1MHz, and 10MHz square wave

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