MCA3000 Microwave Counter Analyzer Power Meter, Datasheet
With industry-leading frequency and time resolution, the MCA Series comes standard with internal memory, a fast data transfer rate of 250k Samples/s to memory, and an integrated power meter. The multi-parameter display shows auxiliary measurements alongside your main measurement to provide you with the results you need at a glance. With the industry’s most comprehensive analysis modes, including measurement statistics, histograms, and trend plots, you have the tools you need to quickly and accurately analyze your signal.
Key performance specifications
- 27 GHz and 40 GHz models
- Microwave analyzer channel with CW or Burst
- Two 300 MHz general-purpose channels
- 100 ps single-shot time resolution
- 12 Digit/s frequency resolution, 14 digit display
- 25 ms (auto) or zero (manual) acquisition Time
- 3 mV voltage resolution
- Optional 1.5×10–8 ultra high-stability oven time base
- –35 dBm to +10 dBm power range
- Measurement throughput
- 250k Sample/s data transfer rate to internal memory (up to 750k samples stored)
5k sample/s data transfer rate over USB/GPIB bus (block mode)
- Available functions and features
Automated measurements: frequency, period, ratio, time Interval, time interval error, pulse width, rise/fall time, phase angle, duty cycle, maximum voltage, minimum voltage, peak-to-peak voltage
- Integrated power meter
- Multi-measurement display
- Trend plot mode
- Measurement statistics mode
- Histogram mode
- Allan deviation
- Zero dead-time frequency/period measurements
- USB device and GPIB ports on rear panel for quick PC connectivity
- GPIB interface supports full SCPI-compatible programmability and offers an emulation mode for Plug-and-Play replacement in existing ATE systems
- External arming input
- 10 MHz reference oscillator output
- Includes national instrument’s LabVIEW SignalExpress™ TE limited edition software for connecting your bench
Optional application software
- Optional TimeView™ software available for modulation domain analysis
Industry-leading performance for demanding designs
Fast high-resolution frequency or power measurements with a very short acquisition time of 25 ms (Auto) or zero (Manual) is essential for validating today’s complex designs. For calibration and metrology applications, the MCA3000 Microwave Counter Analyzer Series offers very high accuracy through a stable internal OCXO time base, low systematic time interval A-B error, and high resolution.
MCA3000 Series instruments outperform every microwave counter on the market today in terms of resolution, speed, and acquisition time. Including an integrated power meter, the MCA3000 Series packs many different functions into one feature-rich instrument.
Besides being an outstanding microwave counter, the MCA3000 Series also serves as a general-purpose timer/counter with two additional 300 MHz inputs.
Fast throughput reduces test time
The MCA Microwave Counter Series offers industry-best throughput, saving you up to 90% on your testing time compared to other microwave timer/counters on the market. Up to 250,000 measurement results per second can be stored in the internal memory. Alternatively, you can transfer up to 5,000 measurement results per second in Block mode through the GPIB or USB interface.
With an integrated power meter, the MCA Series provides measurement of frequency and power with a single connection at any supported frequency level. For the first time, variations in signal power can be seen, collected, and analyzed in the same manner as frequency, both numerically and graphically. With 0.01 dBm at 100 ms measuring time resolution and a wide power range from –35 dBm to +10 dBm, you have the flexibility for a broad range of power measurement applications.
Analyze your device with the Industry’s only graphical display
With the unique display of the MCA Series, you can measure multiple parameters of the same signal from one test connection. To reveal signal quality issues like drift, intermittent transients, and stability, you can view the data as a real-time trend plot or a histogram with the MCA Series graphical display mode, or you can use measurement statistics to track how signal parameters are changing over time. A single-button Analyze mode gives you fast insight into the behavior of your device right on the timer/counter’s display.
With the multi-parameter display, you can read important auxiliary measurement values (such as Vmax, Vmin, and Vp-p) displayed with your main frequency, time, period, or phase measurements. With one glance, you can see the information you need to quickly assess your device’s performance.
With three input channels, you can measure the relationship between different signals. For example, you can measure the phase relationship between the input and output signals of your device. You can read other critical parameters simultaneously, such as the test frequency of the signal and the voltage ratio (in dB), in one glance with the multi-parameter display.
Measurement trend plots
Depending on your test case, your signal parameters may change from instant to instant. With the Trend Plot Analysis mode, you can graphically plot the trend of a measured value over time.
With integrated statistics processing, you can calculate the average, standard, and Allan deviation of a measurement, as well as track the minimum and maximum measured values, all with the push of a button.
The histogram function lets you graphically see the average and standard deviation of a set of measurements, and the distribution of measurement results.
Optional modulation domain analysis
With the optional Tektronix TimeView™ software (TVA3000), the MCA Series products become high-performance modulation domain analyzers. With high measurement speeds (up to 250k measurement/s) and memory depth at 750k, fast frequency changes can be captured in real time and then analyzed with TimeView. This comprehensive software tool allows for remote instrument control, and the analysis and display of measurement results in a choice of graphs. For example, results can be displayed as raw data, statistical histogram, waveform graph (as if you were using an oscilloscope), or as an FFT spectrum graph. TimeView further allows analysis of modulation parameters like modulation depth or frequency modulation index.
Designed to make your work easier
The MCA3000 Series are designed with the ease of use and familiar operation you have come to expect from Tektronix.
Menu-oriented settings reduce the risk of mistakes. With dedicated and menu-driven front-panel buttons, you will have fast access to frequently used functions and parameters, reducing setup time. For example, a single-touch Analyze key toggles you between Statistics, Trend Plot, and Histogram modes.
Similar to Tektronix oscilloscopes, the front-panel Autoset button automatically sets optimum trigger levels and hysteresis adapted to the actual signal applied.
Easy PC connectivity
Connect to your PC with the rear-panel GPIB or USB device ports. The GPIB interface operates in SCPI/GPIB for plug-and-play replacement in existing ATE systems or easy integration into larger test systems. If desired, an emulation mode for existing timer/counters is available.
Connect your bench for intelligent debug
Easily capture, save, and analyze measurement results from your MCA Microwave Counter Series with the special Tektronix Edition of National Instruments LabVIEW SignalExpress™ software. Every MCA3027 and MCA3040 ships with a free copy of the Limited Edition version of SignalExpress for basic instrument control, data logging, and analysis. The optional Professional Edition offers over 200 built-in functions that provide additional signal processing, advanced analysis, sweeping, limit testing, and user-defined step capabilities.
SignalExpress supports the range of Tektronix bench instruments 1 enabling you to connect your entire test bench. You can then access the feature-rich tools packed into each instrument from one intuitive software interface. This allows you to automate complex measurements requiring multiple instruments, log data for an extended period of time, time-correlate data from multiple instruments, and easily capture and analyze your results, all from your PC. Only Tektronix offers a connected test bench of intelligent instruments to simplify and speed debug of your complex design.
1 For a complete listing of Tektronix instruments supported by NI LabVIEW Signal Express, visit www.tektronix.com/signalexpress.
Performance you can count on
In addition to industry-leading service and support, every MCA Series Microwave/Counter/Analyzer comes backed with a three-year standard warranty.
All specifications are guaranteed unless noted otherwise. All specifications apply to all models unless noted otherwise.
- Frequency A, B, C
Input Input A, B DC to 300 MHz Input C 300 MHz to 40 GHz (MCA3040) 300 MHz to 27 GHz (MCA3027) Resolution 12 digits in 1 s measuring time Acquisition C Auto or Manual Acquisition time 25 ms in Auto (typical) Aux Parameters Input A, B Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p Input C Power C in dBm or W
- Frequency burst A, B, C
Range Input A, B 0.001 Hz to 300 MHz Input C 300 MHz to 40 GHz (MCA3040) 300 MHz to 27 GHz (MCA3027) Acquisition C Manual Minimum Burst Duration Down to 40 ns Minimum Pulses in Burst Input A, B 3 (6 above 160 MHz) Input C 3 × prescaler factor PRF Range 0.5 Hz to 1 MHz Start Delay 10 ns to 2 s, 10 ns resolution Aux Parameters PRF
- Period A, B (single or average), C (average)
Mode Single, Average Range Input A, B 3.3 ns to 1000 s (single, average) Input C 3.3 ns down to 25 ps (40 GHz) 3.3 ns down to 37 ps (27 GHz) Resolution 100 ps (single); 12 digit/s (average) Acquisition C Type Auto or Manual (within ±40 MHz) Acquisition time 25 ms in Auto (typical) Aux parameters Input A, B Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p Input C Power C in dBm or W
- Ratio A/B, B/A, C/A, C/B
Range (10–9) to 1011 Input frequency Input A, B 0.1 Hz to 300 MHz Input C 300 MHz to 27 GHz (MCA3027) 300 MHz to 40 GHz (MCA3040) Aux parameters Freq 1, Freq 2
- Time interval A to B, B to A, A to A, B to B
Range Normal calculation: 0 ns to +106 s Smart calculation: –106 s to +106 s Resolution 100 ps single Min Pulse Width 1.6 ns Smart Calculation Smart Time Interval to determine sign (A before B or A after B)
- Positive and negative pulse width A, B
Range 2.3 ns to 106 s Min Pulse Width 2.3 ns Aux Parameters Vmax, Vmin, Vp-p
- Rise and fall time A, B
Range 1.5 ns to 106 s Trigger Levels 10% and 90% of signal amplitude Min Pulse Width 1.6 ns Aux Parameters Slew rate, Vmax, Vmin
- Positive and negative duty factor A, B
Range 0.000001 to 0.999999 Frequency Range 0.1 Hz to 300 MHz Aux Parameters Period, pulse width
- Phase A relative B, B relative A
Range –180° to +360° Resolution Single cycle: 0.001° to 10 kHz, decreasing to 1° >10 MHz. Resolution can be improved by averaging (statistics) Frequency Range Up to 160 MHz Aux Parameters Freq (A), Va/Vb (in dB)
- Vmax Vmin Vp-p A, B
Range –50 V to +50 V, –5 V to +5 V. Range is limited by the specification for max input voltage without damage (see input A, B) Frequency Range DC, 1 Hz to 300 MHz Mode Vmin, Vmax, Vp-p Resolution 3 mV Uncertainty (5 V range, typical) DC, 1 Hz to 1 kHz 1% + 15 mV 1 kHz to 20 MHz 3% + 15 mV 20 MHz to 100 MHz 10% + 15 mV 100 MHz to 300 MHz 30% + 15 mV Aux Parameters Vmin, Vmax, Vp-p
- Time stamping A, B, C
Raw time-stamp data together with pulse counts on inputs A, B, or C, accessible through GPIB or USB only.
Max Sample Speed See GPIB specifications Max Frequency 160 MHz Time-stamp Resolution 100 ps
- Power C
Range Power –35 dBm to +10 dBm Frequency 300 MHz to 27 GHz (MCA3027) 300 MHz to 40 GHz (MCA3040) Display Units dBm (default) or W Resolution 0.01 dBm at 100 ms measuring time Accuracy, typical Acquisition Auto or Manual (within ±40 MHz) Acquisition Time, typical 20 ms to 30 ms in Auto Aux Parameters Frequency C
Inputs and outputs
- Inputs A, B
Frequency Range DC Coupled: DC to 300 MHz AC Coupled: 10 Hz to 300 MHz Impedance 1 MΩ / 20 pF or 50 Ω (VSWR ≤ 2:1) Trigger Slope Positive or negative Max Channel Timing Difference 500 ps Sensitivity 15 mVRMS (DC-200 MHz) 25 mVRMS (200-300 MHz) Attenuation X1, X10 Dynamic Range (X1) 30 mVp-p to 10 Vp-p within ±5 V window Trigger Level (Readout on display) Resolution 3 mV Uncertainty (X1) ±(15 mV + 1% of trigger level) AUTO trigger level Trigger level is automatically set to 50% point of input signal (10% and 90% for rise/fall time) Auto Hysteresis Time Min hysteresis window (hysteresis compensation) Frequency One-third of input signal amplitude Analog LP Filter Nominal 100 kHz, RC type Digital LP Filter 1 Hz to 50 MHz cutoff frequency Max Voltage without Damage 1 MΩ 350 V (DC + AC peak) to 440 Hz, falling to 12 VRMS (X1) at 1 MHz 50 Ω 12 VRMS Connector BNC
- Input C
Impedance 50 Ω nominal, AC coupled Connector 2.92 mm spark plug female Frequency Range 0.3 to 27 GHz (MCA3027) 0.3 to 40 GHz (MCA3040) Operating Input Voltage Range 0.3 to 18 GHz –33 dBm to +18 dBm 18 to 20 GHz –29 dBm to +18 dBm 20 to 27 GHz –27 dBm to +18 dBm 27 to 40 GHz (MCA3040) –23 dBm to +13 dBm VSWR 0.3 to 27 GHz 27 to 40 GHz (MCA3040) FM Tolerance Manual acq. 50 MHzp-p, Frequency C >3.5 GHz 30 MHzp-p, Frequency C Auto acq. 20 MHzp-p, for any Frequency C and modulation frequency >0.1 MHz AM Tolerance Any modulation index (minimum signal must be within sensitivity range) Automatic Amplitude Discrimination 10 dB separation between 2 signals within 30 MHz; 20 dB otherwise Max Voltage without Damage +18 dBm (1.78 VRMS); 27 and 40 GHz models Overload Indication ON when Input C power > +10 dBm
- Rear panel
Reference Input 1 MHz, 5 MHz, or 10 MHz; 0.1 to 5 VRMS sine; impedance ≥1 kΩ Reference Output 10 MHz; >1 VRMS sine into 50 Ω Arming Input (Arming of all measuring functions) Impedance Approx. 1 kΩ Frequency range DC to 80 MHz
Compatibility IEEE 488.2-1987, SCPI 199953131A Compatibility mode Interface Functions SH1, AH1, T6, L4, SR1, RL1, DC1, DT1, E2 Max Measurement Rate GPIB 5k readings/s (Block mode) 500 readings/s (individual GET triggered) To internal memory 250k readings/s Internal Memory Size 750k readings
USB Version 2.0 full speed (11 Mb/s)
- Trigger holdoff
Time Delay Range 20 ns to 2 s, 10 ns resolution
- External start and stop arming
Arming can be used to synchronize the frequency and power measurements with the start of a burst signal. Minimum burst length must exceed 100 μs.
Modes Start and Stop Arming Input Channels A, B, or E (Ext. arming input) Max Rep. Rate for Arming Signal Channel A, B 160 MHz Channel E 80 MHz Start-time Delay Range 20 ns to 2 s, 10 ns resolution
- Other functions
Measuring Time 20 ns to 1000 s for frequency, burst, and period average. Single cycle for other measuring functions Time-base Reference Internal, external, or automatic Display Hold Freezes the result, until a new measurement is initiated through a restart Limit Alarm Graphical indication on front panel and/or SRQ through GPIB Limit Values Lower limit, upper limit Settings Off, or alarm if value is above, below, inside, or outside limits On Alarm Stop or Continue Number of Stored Instrument Setups 20. Instrument setups are saved/recalled from internal nonvolatile memory. 10 can beset as user-protected
Mode Closed case, menu controlled Calibration Frequencies 0.1, 1, 5, 10, 1.544, and 2.048 MHz
Functions Maximum, Minimum, Mean, ΔMax-Min, Standard Deviation, and Allan Deviation Display Numeric, histograms, or trend plots Sample Size 2 to 2 × 109 samples Limit Qualifier Off, or capture values above, below, inside, or outside limits Measurement Pacing Pacing Time Range: 4 μs to 500 s
Math functions (K*X+L)/M, (K/X+L)/M, or X/M-1. X is current reading and K, L, and M are constants; set using the keyboard or as frozen reference value (X0)
Time-base option characteristics
|Standard (medium stability)||High stability (Opt. HS)||Ultra high stability (Opt. US)|
|Time base type||OXCO||OXCO||OXCO|
|Uncertainty due to aging:|
|Per 24 hr||–9 1||–10 1||–10 1|
|Uncertainty due to temperature variation, typical:|
|0 °C-50 °C||–8||–9||–9|
|20 C-26 °C||–8||–9||–10|
|Short-term stability (t = 1 s)||–10||–11||–12|
|Root Allan variance (t = 10 s)||–10|
|Deviation versus final value after 24h ON time, after a warm-up time of:||30 min||10 min||10 min|
|Total uncertainty, for operating temperature 20 °C to 26 °C, at 2σ (95%) confidence interval|
|1 year after calibration||–7||–7||–8|
|2 years after calibration||–7||–7||–8|
1 After 1 month of continuous operation.
Display Numeric + Graphic. Backlit LCD graphics screen for menu control, numerical readout, and status information Number of digits 14 digits in Numerical mode Resolution 320 × 97 pixels
Height 90 mm (3.6 in.) Width 210 mm (8.25 in.) Depth 395 mm (15.6 in.)
Net 2.7 kg (5.8 lb.) Shipping 3.5 kg (7.5 lb.)
Environmental, Safety, EMC
Temperature Operating 0 °C to +50 °C (+32 °F to +122 °F) Storage –40 °C to +71 °C (-40 °F to +160 °F) Humidity 5-95% (+10 °C to +30 °C) (+50 °F to +86 °F) 5-75% (+30 °C to +40 °C) (+86 °F to +104 °F)
5-45% (+40 °C to +50 °C) (+104 °F to +122 °F)
Altitude Operating 2,000 m (6562 ft.) Storage 12,000 m (39,370 ft.) Power 90 V to 265 VRMS, 45 to 440 Hz,
- Safety, EMC
Class MIL-PRF-28800F, Class 3 Safety Directive 2006/95/EC, EN61010-1, UL61010-1, CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 61010-1 EMC EU Directive 2004/108/EC, EN61326-1, EN61326-2-1, Class A
- Microwave/Counter 27 GHz / 100 ps
- Microwave/Counter 40 GHz / 100 ps
Includes: Microwave/Counter; line cord; calibration certificate; Quick Start User Manual; CD-ROM with user manual (English, French, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Russian, Japanese); Programmer's Guide; Technical Specifications; Trial version of TimeView™ Software; CD-ROM with National Instruments LabVIEW SignalExpress™ Tektronix Edition, Limited Edition Software.
- Three years
Recommended accessories and software
- Rackmount shelf kit for 2 units
- Hard carrying case
- Soft carrying case
- USB host to device cable, 3 ft.
- GPIB cable, double shielded
- BNC male to BNC male, cable shielded, 9 ft., 50 Ω
- BNC male to BNC male, cable shielded, 3 ft., 50 Ω
- National Instruments SignalExpress™ Tektronix edition interactive measurement software – professional version
- TimeView™ Modulation Domain Analysis Software
- High-stability oven time base
- Ultra high-stability oven time base
Power plug options
Specify the power plug when ordering the instrument
- Opt. A0
- North America power plug (115 V, 60 Hz)
- Opt. A1
- Universal Euro power plug (220 V, 50 Hz)
- Opt. A2
- United Kingdom power plug (240 V, 50 Hz)
- Opt. A3
- Australia power plug (240 V, 50 Hz)
- Opt. A5
- Switzerland power plug (220 V, 50 Hz)
- Opt. A6
- Japan power plug (100 V, 50/60 Hz)
- Opt. A10
- China power plug (50 Hz)
- Opt. A11
- India power plug (50 Hz)
- Opt. C3
- Calibration Service 3 Years
- Opt. C5
- Calibration Service 5 Years
- Opt. D1
- Calibration Data Report
- Opt. R5
- Repair Service 5 Years (including warranty)
- Opt. SILV600
- Standard warranty extended to 5 years