Evaluating the RF performance parameters of CATV products can be quite cumbersome. Some of the major performance parameters are: gain, flatness, return loss, noise figure and distortions. Certain distortion tests such as composite triple beat, cross-mod and second order are especially time consuming and require a high level of operator skill to interpret the desired data accurately.
The introduction of RF computer controlled test equipment has made it possible to perform all of the above RF performance tests automatically under the supervision of a controller. The test programs (software) can be written in a high level language such as "BASIC", thus enabling expedient program development.
This paper describes the equipment requirements and test methodology used in implementing such a test station at Warner Amex to facilitate RF product evaluations.