Support for the 85054 N calibration and verification kit.

Inside Kirkby Microwave type-N  calibration kit


This page describes the 85054 kit in detail. Other pages on our site show how to set up calibration kits for various VNAs. Unless you know how to set up a calibration kit, you will need to read both sections to familirize yourself with this kit, and also how to set it up.

  1. Introduction.
  2. Frequency range.
  3. Supported instruments. Virtually all VNAs can be made to work with the 85054. Some VNAs, such as those from HP. Agilent, Keysight, Copper Mountain and L A Techniquests can be easily configured to work with the 85054 kit. Some Rohde & Schwarz VNAs are easily configured, other less so. Full details are given below.
  4. Identifying components of the kit. It may not be obvious what each part is, so here you will find out.
  5. Configuring the VNA to use the calibration kit. Any VNA must be configured to use the calibration kit properly.
  6. Calibration kit coefficients of the 85054 kit. These are given in the format used by a number of different VNAs.
  7. Calibration. How to calibrate your VNA.
  8. Verification. - How to verify the VNA is correctly configured to use the N calibration kit.

1. Introduction.

The Kirkby Microwave 85054 type-N calibration and verification kit is used when measuring devices with type-N connectors, irrespective of the connector type on the VNA - N, SMA, 3.5 mm, 7 mm/APC7 etc. It is designed to be used with virtually any vector network analyzer (VNA) to allow the VNA to be calibrated by the user. It is designed to fill a gap in the market between high end calibration kits from companies like Keysight, Anritsu, Rosenberger, Maury Microwave etc, and some very low cost kits often sold on eBay by people who assemble an open, short and 50 Ohm load, and call it a calibration kit. There's a review of our SMA kit, (but not the N kit), at by Dr. R. Watson at Bath University on the Amazon website. We invite you to read that.

The kit is particularly popular with

2. Frequency Range

The frequency range of the 85054 type-N calibration and verification kit is DC-18 GHz. However, new loads suitable for use to 18 GHz are very expensive, which makes producing a kit at an economic price impossible. So most kits are sold with loads suitable for use to 6 GHz - the opens and shorts are still usable to 18 GHz. Please advise us if you need frequencies above 6 GHz, as we may be able to supply suitable loads. The photograph below shows a kit with 6 GHz loads. This is by far the most popular version of the kit we sell.

6 GHz version of the type-N kit

We can sometimes supply the kit with 18 GHz load - typically the HP 909F. These looks somewhat different

18 GHz loads

3. Supported Instruments.

VNAs manufactured by the following companies are fully supported.

We may be able to support other makes, such as Advantest and Sark, but we would need to be made aware of the model number first, to allow us to research this.

It is necessary to load the coefficients of the kit into the VNA. The coeffficients of the kit will be supplied with the kit - if you have lost them, or purchased a used kit, please send us a photograp of the male short. We will then advise all the coefficients.

The electrical lengths of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps) Electrical length (mm)
Male-Male thru 130 38.97
Female-Female thru 81.2 24.34

Calibration of the VNA

How you calibrate the VNA depends on the particular VNA. You will need to read the manual. We can give examples of doing this on the HP/Agilent 8753ES and 8720D, but ultimately you will need to read the manual for your particular VNA.

How to verify the VNA is correctly configured to use the N calibration kit

Once the VNA is set up to use the 85054 SMA calibration and verification kit, it is tempting to start making measurements. However, it is wise to verify that that the kit is correctly configured, and the VNA giving sensible results. Our kits include a serial numbered attenuator


which has been measured using an Agilent 85054B calibration kit. The results of the measurements are stored on a USB stick included with the kit. We have a page about verification in our FAQ, so Please read that.

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