Learn the difference between the time and frequency domains
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In this episode of What the RF (WTRF) Nick goes into detail on the difference between the time domain and frequency domain and demonstrates both on an oscilloscope and signal analyzer respectively.
What exactly is the difference between the time domain and frequency domain? And what about the frequency domain tells us more about our signal?
In this video we have the same signal going to an oscilloscope and a signal analyzer, both being tools to visualize electrical signals in the time and frequency domain respectively.
Typically the higher the frequency, the more waves we see in the same span on our oscilloscope.
In the time-domain, signals appear as sinusoidal waves and in the frequency-domain they appear as distinct impulses.
But why do we care to use a signal analyzer? In a perfect world we would see the undistorted sinusoidal waveform like we would see on an oscilloscope, but we don’t live in a perfect world.
When dealing with various devices it’s often you see a not so perfect, distorted sine wave with many ripples. You can say that a real-world signal can be represented as a sum of different sinusoid signals, or rather different frequencies.
Now let’s say you’re designing a product and your product can only operate in a specified bandwidth and can’t be emitting in other bandwidths. Then you must determine at what other frequencies do the other signals exist that are corrupting the signal you want from your device
And that’s where signal analyzers come in – they help separate and display this combination of different sinusoid signals into their distinct frequency components … so that if you were expecting your device to operate at a certain frequency you can see all the other frequencies that are messing with your device.
And once that’s figured out you can use a band-pass filter to tune out those annoying extra signals you weren’t expecting – hence the benefit of seeing signals in the frequency domain!
Tune in for future What The RF (WTRF) episodes covering more spectrum analyzer capabilities and fundamental measurements to see how you can test more efficiently!
The signal analyzer we used: http://bit.ly/MXASignalAnalyzer
(The Keysight X-Series MXA Signal Analyzer)
The X-Series signal analyzers allow you to visualize across the spectrum to see known and unknown signals. Choose from frequencies of 3 Hz – 110 GHz and 1 MHz – 1 GHz analysis bandwidth.
What the RF is hosted by Nick Ben. The video series covers when and how to use analyzers to make various RF measurements. You’ll gain familiarity with features that will help you save time in your measurement, further your analysis, and deepen your insight.
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