Support for the NCV032B VNA calibration and verification kit

It is absolutely essential that a VNA has the correct calibration constants for a calibration kit. Just taking random opens and shorts, and picking the N calibration kit from your VNA will result in incorrect measurements. They might look fine, and show a nice flat S12 and S21 of close to 0 dB, and an S11 and S22 of -60 dB or more, but the results of any measurements will be incorrect.

Since no HP vector network analyzer will have the correct constants for this calibration kit, these must be entered as a user-defined calibration kit. The method of doing this is given in the HP manual, and must be followed closely. A couple of very common mistakes will be pointed out. If you have one of 8510, 8753, 8719, 8720 or 8722 series VNAs, then you will get a floppy disk like this:
A floppy disk for an 8753 series VNA - all others are similar.
from which it is very easy to load the coefficients.

Misinterpreting what HP mean by the sex of connectors during calibration

Irrespective of what test ports your VNA may have, if you wish to test N devices then you need an N calibration kit. Because of the design of the N connector and in particular where the reference plane is defined, the HP calibration menu will give you the option of selecting the sex of the N standard. This is not so with the sexless APC-7 connector, but neither is it with 3.5 mm connectors either.

One should understand that the sex HP refer to is that of the test port, and not that of the standard. So if one is going to connect a female short, one must select SHORT(M), since this standard is going to fit on a male test port.

A common error when defining a user calibration kit

If possible, it is much easier to enter a calibration kit via GPIB or a floppy disk, but if you don't have that facility, then you must define it manually. There is one step in this process where it is easy to go very wrong. The annotated photo below shows this.
A common mistake when entering a calibration kit manually Note in yellow the VNA indicates calibration standard 1. Note that SHORT is underlined. If one wishes to change the parameters of the open standard, it is tempting to pressing the soft key to the right of the word OPEN. However, what that will do is redefine standard 1 to be an open, rather than a short. Instead one should use the up/down arrow keys until the standard underlined is OPEN, and not SHORT as in this example.

Standard Definitions

System Zo = 50 Ω         Calibration kit label: NCV032B
Type C0 C1 C2 C3 Fixed or sliding Delay(ps) Zo(Ω) Loss(Ω/s) Fmin (GHz) Fmax (GHz) Coax or waveguide Standard
1 Female short           0.1 50 700 M 0 999 Coax SHORT(M)
2 Female open 119 0 0 0   -13.7 50 700 M 0 999 Coax OPEN(M)
3 Load         Fixed 0 50 700 M 0 999 Coax Broadband
4 Delay/thru           0 50 700 M 0 999 Coax Thru
7 Male short           21.378 50 2.1 G 0 999 Coax SHORT(F)
8 Male open 62.14 -143.07 82.92 0.76   17.411 50 700 M 0 999 Coax OPEN(F)
The fringing capacitance of an open is assumed to be given by the 3rd order polynomial:

Cfringing=C0x10-15 + C1x10-27f + C2x10-36f2+C3x10-45f3

where the capacitance is in Farads and the frequency in Hz.
  1. Ensure the system impedance is set to 50 Ω
  2. Standard labels that specify sex, (M) or (F), refer to the sex of the analyzer’s test port connector, not the standard. This is very confusing, but is the way HP specify this.

Standard Class assignments

Calibration kit label: NCV032B
Class A B C D E F G Standard Class Label
S11A 2 8 Opens
S11B 1 7 Shorts
S11C 3 Load
S22A 2 8 Opens
S22B 1 7 Shorts
S22C 3 Load
Forward Transmission 4 Thru
Reverse Transmission 4 Thru
Forward Match 4 Thru
Reverse Match 4 Thru
Response 1 7 2 8 4 Response
Response and Isolation 1 7 2 8 4 Response & Isolation

The 50 Ω Female to female barrel has a delay of 81.2 ps

After making a 2-port calibration using a SOLT technique, if the DUT is non-insertable (i.e. it has two male ports or two female ports), then it necessary to add an adapter. The kit is supplied with two barrels which allow you do make measurements on non-interstable devices. In order to get accurate phase results, you must compenstate for the delay caused by the barrel. One does this by seting a port extension on the CAL menu of the VNA. If you add the female barrel to test port 1, then set a port extension of +81.2 ps. Depending on the design of your VNA, it may be necessary to enter that as 0.0812 ns, but the display should show 81.2 ps.
Female to female barrel

The 50 Ω Male to male barrel has a delay of 130.0 ps

Male to male barrel
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