Support for the 85054 N calibration and verification kit.

Inside Kirkby Microwave type-N  calibration kit

Contents

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. Instruments not supported. There are a very few VNAs which we don't support, either because of teachnical reasons that are impossible to overcome, or because the design is so poor that we feel it is futile to attempt to support them.
  5. Identifying components of the kit. It may not be obvious what each part is, so here you will find out.
  6. Configuring the VNA to use the calibration kit. Any VNA must be configured to use the calibration kit properly.
  7. Calibration kit coefficients of the 85054 kit. These are given in the format used by a number of different VNAs.
  8. Calibration. How to calibrate your VNA.
  9. Verification. - How to verify the VNA is correctly configured to use the SMA 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 econmic 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 about 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

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. In some instances this will need to be done from the front panel, but for the following VNAs we can supply files which make uploading very easy

You will not find files for all these instruments on our website, but we can create them for you, with the exception of some old Rohde & Schwarz VNAs and also some old Anritsu VNAs. We can create calibration kit files for all current instruments.

4. Unsupported instruments.

5. Identifying components of the kit.

The 6 most important parts are the two opens, two shorts, and two load standards. (Rohde & Schwarz refer to the load as the 'match' standard, but we will use the term 'load' as it is more commonly used.)

open and short VNA calibration standards SMA male load SMA male load

To allow devices to be connected which don't have the appropiate sex of connectors for the device under test, then we include two adapters. One is a male-male thru and the other a female-female thru.

female-female SMA calibrated adapter female-female SMA calibrated adapter

If your VNA supports unknown thru (Agilent Keysight term) or UOSM (Rohde and Schwarz term), then you will not need to worry about the delay of these adapters, but if the VNA does not suppor these method of calibration, then you need to consider the delay (ps) or electrical length (mm) of the adapters, which can be found below.

6. Configuring the VNA to use the calibration kit.

When a VNA is switched on it will default to using one particular calibration kit. For example, an Agilent 8753 series instrument will default to the 85031B APC7 calibration kit, which is fine if you are going to be calibrating APC7 components and have an 85031B calibration kit. However, if you are using a different connector type, the VNA needs to be configured to use the kit.

There are three steps to configuring a VNA to use the 85054 SMA calibration and verification kit.

  1. Know the coefficients of the kit - we provide them for all our kits. They are listed on this page for the 85054.
  2. Load the coefficients of the kit into the VNA. How you do this depends on the VNA
  3. Select the 85054 SMA calibration kit.

The second and third of these depend on the particular VNA, but we can give some general guidance, and then some more specific information on configuring most of the popular VNAs, and some of the less popular VNAs.

7. Coefficients of the 85054 SMA calibration kit.

All manufactuers of VNAs consider the calibration standards as a length of transmission line terminated in either a capacitor (for an open standard) or an inductor (for a short standard). Unfortunately, different manufacturers of VNAs express these in different formats. For example:

So many of the tables below might look identical, but there are subtle differences. You can always contact us for further information if you are unsure of anything.

Anritsu VNAs

The coefficients of the 85054 kit, in the format used by Anritsu, are as follows


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We can supply files which can be read by Anritsu VectorStar, Lightning and ShockLine VNAs. Please contact us, giving us the model number of your Anritsu VNA, and we will create files so the VNA can be configured very easily. For other Anritsu VNAs the data will need to be entered manually.

Should you need them, the electrical lengths of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Length (mm)
Male-Male thru 38.97
Female-Female thru 24.34

Copper Mountain

The coefficients needed for a Copper Mountain VNA are listed below. Only instruments with a full S-parameter test set, which support unknown thru calibration require the unknown thru standard. For other Copper Mountain VNAs, this can be ignored.


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You can download files for Copper Mountain VNAs.

Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

HP/Agilent 8753A, 8753B, 8753C, 8753D, 8753E, 8753ES and 8753ET.

In these very popular instruments, the sex of the calibration standard is rather confusing. SHORT (M) indicates a female short. The (M) indicates the calibration screws into a cable or test port with a male connector.


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Since the 8753 does not support unknown thru calibration, you will need to compensate for the electrical length of the male-male or female-female adapters if these are used. The delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

You can download files for the 85054 kit on 8753 series instruments in various formats. The most suitable format depends on:

HP/Agilent 8719, 8720, and 8722 series instruments.

The 85054 was developed primarily with an 8720D, so we have a lot of experience with this instrument.

The coefficients for the 8719, 8720, and 8722 series instruments are identical to the 8753, but the file format used on floppy disks is different. You can download files for the 85054 kit on 8719, 8720 and 8722 series instruments in various formats. Like with the 8753, the best file to download for an 8719/8720/8722 depends on

You can always enter the coefficients from the front panel of the 8719/8720/8722. The coefficients are:


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Since the 8719/8720/8722 series instruments do not support unknown thru calibration, you will need to compensate for the electrical length of the male-male or female-female adapters if these are used. The delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

HP/Agilent 8510A, 8510B, 8510C

Two user defined calibration kits can be set in the 8510 series. For the 8510C it is simplist to just obtain from us a floppy disk with the 8510C's coefficients, and load them via a floppy disk. For the 8510A and 8510B you either need to enter them from the front panel, or over the GPIB bus. The coefficients needed are:


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Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

HP 8714C.

These are broadly similar, but not identical to the 8510, 8753, 8719, 8720 and 8722 series of instruments, but data is entered in SI units. The delays are entered in seconds, not picoseconds so the numbers are smaller by a factor of 10-12. The fringing capacitance coefficient C0 is entered in Farads, not femtofarads, so is smaller by a factor of 10-15. The other capacitance coefficents (C1, C2, and C3) are smaller by factors of 10-27, 10-36 and 10-45 respectively. The loss is entered in Ω/s, not GΩ/s, so is naturally larger by a factor of 109.


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Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

We can supply files, contributed by one of our customers, which can be read by an 8714C.

Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

Coefficients for Agilent/Keysight ENA series instruments

Agilent and Keysight have really made the coefficients for the ENA series a mess, but we can give you the information to set up the kit for any ENA. The issues are:

  1. The oldest ENA instruments have no way to enter the data from a file, so it must be typed in manually.
  2. More recent ENA instruments can read a .ckd format file, which makes uploading the coefficients easy.
  3. For the very recent ENA instruments, Keysight have switched to using the software developed for their PNA series. Again data can be read from file, but in this case a different format. The defintion of the sex of the connector changed too.

Despite the above issues, Kirkby Microwave can supply data in the format needed by all ENA series instruments.

Old ENA series instruments

For these, the coefficients must be entered manually, as there's no way to read from a file. The sex of calibration standards is rather counter-intuitive and follows the same method as older 8710/8753/8719/8720/8722 instruments. The coefficients needed for the older ENAs are:


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Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

More recent Agilent/Keysights ENA series instruments.

These use the same defintions as the early instruments, but have the ability to read the coefficients from a file. We can supply the .ckd file needed for these more recent instruments.


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Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

The latest Agilent/Keysights ENA series instruments.

For these Keysight switched to using the PNA firmware developed in the US. These ENAs can read calibration kit data from a file, but in a differnet format to the earlier instruments. Since the way of specifying the sex of the connector changed, the coefficients need to be specified in a slightly different way. What was SHORT(M) on earlier instruments, is now SHORT -F-. The coefficients needed are:


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Should you need them, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

Agilent/Keysight PNA, PNA-X, FieldFox and newer ENA instruments

Agilent switched to a more intuitive system in their FieldFox, PNA, PNA-X and the latest ENA series instruments. Here 'SHORT -M-' indicates a male short. Note the round brackets '( )' of the 8510, 8712, 8753, 8720 and early ENA instruments have been changed to a minus sign.


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Since all PNA-X's, virtually all other PNAs and virtually all FieldFoxes support unknown thru calibration, you are not likely to need to know the delays of the adapters. But if you do, the delays of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Delay (ps)
Male-Male thru 130.0
Female-Female thru 81.2

Rohde & Schwarz

The coefficents used by Rohde & Schwarz analyzers. You may notice that these are a bit of mixture of Anrtisu and Agilent formats.


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Should you need them, the electrical lengths of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Length (mm)
Male-Male thru 38.97
Female-Female thru 24.34

VNWA

The VNWA is in our opinion the only low-cost vector network analyzer worth purchasing. Products from MFJ, Deepace, RigExpert are all technically inferior, along the stanalone nature of some of them may be attractive. The VNWA supports an arbitrary definition of the calibration kit constants, but the 3rd order polynomial format supported by all the main manufacturers works well, so this used by us for the VNWA.


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Should you need them, the electrical lengths of the male-male and female-female thru devices are given below.

Length (mm)
Male-Male thru 38.97
Female-Female thru 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 SMA 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 an attenuator

attenuator

which has been measured using an Agilent 85052B 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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