A Tale Of Two Pulse Modulators

In the realm of test equipment, there are a number of items that you don’t know you need until you need one. That’s probably the case with the HP11720A pulse modulator. [Tom] acquired two of these even though, by his own admission, he had “no need for these things.” We’d like to say we don’t get that, but — alas — we do.

The good news, though, is he used one of them to measure the quality of some coax cable and shared the exercise with us in the post and a video, which you can watch below. The device can generate pulses with extremely fast rise and fall times (under 10 nanoseconds) at frequencies from 2 to 18 GHz. These were often used in pulsed radar applications and probably cost quite a bit more new than [Tom] shelled out for them.

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