ERASynth Micro – An Open Source RF Signal Generator

ERASynth Micro – An Open Source RF Signal Generator

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ERASynth Micro is a USB-Powered, Low Priced, Open Source RF Signal Generator, by ERA Instruments.

ERASynth Micro is an open source signal generator with impressive features. Everyone can afford it, including makers, hackers, students, ham radio and SDR users. ERASynth Micro can be powered from a USB port and features an LCD interface for standalone use without a computer or phone. It can generate low phase noise RF signals from 12.5 MHz to 6.4 GHz with a dual PLL architecture.

Features & Specifications

  • Architecture: Dual loop Fractional-N PLL
  • Frequency Range: 12.5 MHz to 6.4 GHz
  • Amplitude Range: -50 to +15 dBm
  • Phase Noise: -115 dBc/Hz @ 1 GHz output and 10 kHz offset
  • Frequency Switching Time: 1 ms (typical)
  • Reference: Ultra-low noise 50 MHz VCXO locked to a ±500 ppb TCXO
  • MCU: ATMEGA32U4 (same as in the Arduino Micro)
  • Interfaces:
    • Touch Display Module (3.2” Nextion NX4024T032)
    • Micro-USB for power input and serial access
    • REF In (SMA) for external reference input
    • REF Out (SMA) for 10 MHz reference output
    • RF Out (SMA)
    • Expansion connector: External trigger input, external modulation input, microphone input, GPIO (I2C), and SPI
  • Modulation: AM, FM, Pulse (Internal and external)
  • Size: 57 mm x 118 mm x 23 mm
  • Weight: <120 g (including the LCD screen)
  • Power Input: 5 V
  • Power Consumption: <2 W
  • Enclosure: Injection molded plastic case
  • Open Source: Schematics, embedded Arduino code, LCD screen source code, and RS-232 command set

Makers/Hackers:

RF signal generators are expensive pieces of test equipment mainly used by pro engineers. ERASynth Micro aims remove the cost barrier and make quality RF signal synthesis accessible to everyone, especially the makers.

Students:

ERASynth Micro is for everyone who wants to learn how signal generators work. Since it is open-source and open-schematics, students or anyone who is curious about the inner details of signal synthesis can benefit from ERASynth Micro. You can learn a lot more by reverse engineering and hacking than you can learn in an entire year of a $50k/year engineering school. Learning about the design of test equipment turned Jim Williams into one of the best analog engineers in the world. ERASynth Micro’s advanced design will certainly teach you several RF tricks.

Professionals:

Professional engineers will find ERASynth Micro to be a very good alternative to many of their existing signal generators.

The project is live on CrowdSupply and has 26 days to go. ERASynth Micro Early-bird is for $189.

Mike is the founder and editor of Electronics-Lab.com, an electronics engineering community/news and project sharing platform. He studied Electronics and Physics and enjoys everything that has moving electrons and fun. His interests lying on solar cells, microcontrollers and switchmode power supplies. Feel free to reach him for feedback, random tips or just to say hello :-)

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