Test Equipment

 From DC to Daylight, KSF Labs has the test equipment to ensure your project’s success!  (OK, there is a wee gap between 1.5GHz and 1100nm). We have a versatile collection of both vintage and modern instruments, and a fancy new mixed-signal oscilloscope to help take best advantage of them all.

Measurement and Observation Instruments

OscilloscopeAgilent MSOX3024A – This mixed-signal marvel is the centerpiece of our test bench, and is loaded with fun and useful signal observation features. MSOX3024 photo

  • Maximum sampling rate of 4 GBits/sec
  • Analog bandwidth of 200MHz
  • Four analog and 16 digital channels with integrated logic timing analyzer
  • Captures and displays up to 1 million waveforms/sec
  • Real-time hardware decode of commonly used serial data formats such as RS232, RS485, SPI, and I2C
  • Complex triggering methods
  • Standard and advanced math functions including trend charts and low pass filters
  • Ethernet interface with internal web server
  • VGA output for viewing on a larger monitor
  • Several USB ports for saving and recalling waveform data, printing, and PC control interface


Oscilloscope - Tektronix TDS210 - Our secondary scope is nothing to sneeze at, either. We generally keep this little beauty on our fabrication bench for quick and dirty signal checks. This unit is also very lightweight and portable, perfect for troubleshooting in the field.

  • Maximum sampling rate of 1 GBits/sec
  • Analog bandwidth of 60MHz
  • Two analog channels and external trigger input
  • Dual time base; 5 ns to 5 s per division, with zoom
  • Triggering modes include edge, video, external; Trigger View function provided
  • Automatic measurements include period, frequency, cycle RMS, mean, and peak-to-peak


Spectrum AnalyzerHP 8590A - One of the first models of a new breed of spectrum analyzers (in 1986, that is), cutting edge this instrument is not. However, it is a versatile and easy-to-use window into the frequency domain. It can be used for a variety of tasks, from testing basic performance of radio links, to sniffing for sources of RF interference, to checking for spurious outputs and harmonic distortions while debugging analog circuits.

  • 9kHz to 1.5GHz frequency range
  • Resolution Bandwidth (RBW) of 1kHz to 3MHz
  • Sweeptime range of 20ms to 100s
  • Large amplitude range of -115dBm to +30dBm
  • 50-ohm input


Bench MultimeterAgilent 34401A - This industry-standard 6½-digit DMM can measure and log a wide variety of DC and low-frequency AC signals. This is the most accurate meter we’ve got, so we keep it calibrated to NIST-traceable standards.

  • 6½ digit resolution to 100 nV, 100 µA, 10 µHz
  • 12 measurement functions, plus limit testing, ratio, and min/max average
  • Basic accuracy: 0.0035% DC, 0.06% AC
  • 1000 V max input
  • 1000 readings/second in ASCII format across the GPIB bus
  • 512-reading memory
  • True RMS AC Volts and Current up to 300kHz
  • 2- or 4-Wire ohms, Frequency/Period, Continuity, Diode Test
  • 1000 readings/sec across the GPIB
  • GPIB (SCPI) and RS-232 included


ElectrometerKeithley 614 – How good is that insulation, really? What is the input bias current of that op-amp, really? What is the charge injection on that analog switch, really? Standard multimeters are great but they often run out of ranges just when you need them most. An electrometer is designed to measure these sorts of very tiny currents (and conversely, very large resistances) with relative ease.

  • Specialized 4 ½-digit multimeter designed for speed, accuracy, and simplicity of use
  • Features four main measurement functions:
    • Current
      • 20 pA to 2000 µA in 9 ranges
      •  accuracies from 1.5 to 0.3%
      • 10fA max resolution
    • Resistance
      • 2 kohms to 200 Gohms in 9 ranges
      • accuracies from 0.5 to 2%
      • 50 Teraohm input impedence
      • 1 ohm max resolution
    • Voltage
      • 0.2 V to 20 V in 3 ranges
      • accuracies to 0.08%
      • 50 Teraohm input impedence
      • 10µV max resolution
    • Charge
      • 0.2nC to 20nC in three ranges
      • 1pC max resolution
  • Rear panel pre-amp and 2VDC full scale outputs for interface with other instruments


Handheld MultimeterFluke 189 – Another industry standard unit with high precision and several handy features:

  • 0.025% basic DC accuracy at 50,000 counts
  • Dual display, two level backlight
  • True-RMS AC, AC + DC, dBm, dBV
  • 100 kHz AC bandwidth
  • 250 µs peak MIN/MAX capture
  • MIN/MAX/AVG record with real-time clock
  • Capacitance 0.01nF to 50milliF
  • Frequency 0.5Hz to 1MHz
  • Duty cycle & pulse width measurement
  • Temperature measurements (thermocouple)
  • Internal 1000 point memory and adjustable event logging
  • Infrared port for data capture to a PC with FlukeView software
  • Rugged, overmolded case
  • Cat IV 600 V / Cat III 1000 V


AC VoltmeterHP 400EWe have a few of these marvelous meters here at KSF Labs. They feature a big, bold, and beautiful analog meter movement that’s great for trend watching and circuit tuning. Even better, those clever HP engineers thoughtfully provided connectors on the back which output the front-end-amplifier signal, both pre- and post rectification, so this meter can also do triple-duty as a broadband switchable gain AC amplifier and precision rectifier/low frequency RF probe. Voila!

  • Voltage range: 1 mV to 300 V F.S. 12 ranges
  • Frequency range: 10 Hz – 10 MHz
  • Input impedance: 10 Mohm on all ranges , <25pF to <12 pF depending on ranges
  • Overload: 500VrmsAC, 300VDC


Frequency Counter / Function Generator - Metex MXG9802A - This curious instrument combines a fairly basic 2MHz function generator with a dual-channel high-speed frequency counter. Since we have several other mostly better-performing signal generators, this gets used mostly as a frequency counter.

Function Generator

  • 2Hz – 2MHz
  • Wave forms: sin, square, triangle, skewed, ramp, pulse and TTL level square
  • Frequency: 2Hz to 2MHz in 7 ranges
  • Output impedance: 50 ohm +/-10%
  • Output amplitude: 2 to 20Vpp at open load; 1 to 10Vpp at 50 ohm load
  • Offset variable range (max.): +/-10VDC at open load
  • Frequency sweep time: 20ms to 2s
  • VCF (frequency control)  input: 0 to 10VDC


Frequency Counter

  • 1Hz – 2700MHz
  • Measuring range: channel A: 1Hz to 20MHz; channel B: 20MHz to 2.7GHz
  • Input sensitivity: channel A: 20mVRMS sinewave or 100mVp-p; channel B: 40mVRMS for 20MHz to 1.3GHz; 70mVRMS for 1.3GHz to 2.7GHz
  • Max. input voltage: channel A: 35Vp-p; channel B: 3Vp-p
  • Input impedance: channel A: 1M ohm; channel B: 50 ohm
  • RS232 serial port provides basic logging and display functions.

Generators and Signal Sources

Function / Arbitrary Waveform GeneratorAgilent 33120A - Yeah, so Agilent’s latest AWGs pull all kinds of impressive stunts at screaming speeds but they cost an arm, a leg, and couple of precious digits. This classic first-of-the-series model still gets plenty done.

  • 15 MHz sine and square waves
  • Sine, triangle, square, ramp, noise, sin(x)/x, cardiac & more
  • Arbitrary waveforms 12-bit, 40 MSa/s, 16k deep
  • Direct digital synthesis for 10 µHz or 10-digit resolution
  • 50mV to 10Vp-p output into 50 Ohms with 3-digit resolution
  • Linear and log sweeps
  • AM, FM, FSK, and Burst modulation
  • GPIB (SCPI) and RS-232 included


Function / Arbitrary Waveform GeneratorHP 3314A - As only a half-rack-width unit, this chunky by modern standards function generator perhaps qualifies as a “canoe anchor”. Despite it’s heft, it is delightfully accurate and straightforward to use, with modulation and phase-lock features that typically aren’t included on modern FGs. It also features a funky etch-a-sketch sort of scheme using an oscilloscope XY display along with the generator’s selection dials and buttons as the “user interface” to draw a custom waveform for the AWG. Groovy!

  • Frequency range 0.001Hz to 19.99MHz
  • Sine, triangle, square waveforms
  • LIN/LOG sweep, gate, counted burst, am/fm/vco, arbitrary waveform generation, phase-lock
  • Phase offset, phase lock modes.
  • Output amplitude 0.01 mVpp to 10Vpp into 50 ohms
  • AM, FM/VCO modulation
  • HP-IB interface


Pulse GeneratorHP 8011A - This binary signal source is nothing fancy, but it is a handy clock generator, delay line, and all-around digital timing tool.

  • Repetition rate is variable from 0.1Hz to 20MHz
  • Positive, negative or symmetrical output
  • Transition times are 10 ns fixed
  • Pulse width can be adjusted from 25 ns to 100 ms in four ranges
  • Output is adjustable from 0.25 V to 16 V in 3 ranges
  • Output impedance is 50 ohms
  • Option 001 = Counted Burst (not shown here)


Random Noise GeneratorGeneral Radio 1390-B - Sometimes you need a very stable signal, sometimes you need a very stable noise. This vintage precision noise source uses a “Thyratron” gas-discharge tube to generate very wideband white noise which is then filtered to cover three frequency bands which might be dubbed “audio”, “ultrasonic”, and “long wave RF”.

  • Frequency range is 5Hz to 5MHz
  • Maximum output voltage
    • 20KHz Range = 3V
    • 500KHz Range = 2V
    • 5MHz Range = 1V
  • Output Attenuator provides multiplying factors of 1, 0.1, 0.001, and 0.0001
  • Output impedence 1k


Precision Voltage Reference - EDC E100C - This  low impedance DC millivolt standard provides a rock-stable DC voltage over an impressive six-decade range. It can easily drive a 1K load at 10V output, so it’s great for meter calibrations,  linearity and polarity error testing, circuit simulation, and as an external reference for other systems. The E100C warms up quickly, good to 0.5mV within 10 minutes, and has selectable positive, negative and zero outputs.

  • 5 Stepped Selectors
  • 1 Variable Selector
  • 5.5 Digit Resolution
  • From 11.1111VDC (full-scale) to Zero
  • 10V or mV Output
  • Remote Sensing For Voltage Output
  • 0.01% + 110uV Overall Accuracy
  • Ripple of 110uV

Power Sources

DC Power Supply - Agilent E3616A - This versatile unit is great for powering stepper motor and other high-power projects.

  • Features 60W Single output, 35V @ 1.7A max
  • Constant current and constant voltage modes
  • Adjustable overvoltage protection
  • Remote analog programming
  • Front/rear output terminals
  • Remote sensing that automatically compensates for voltage drops.
  • Auto-parallel, Auto-series and Auto-tracking operation
  • 10 turn voltage and current adjust potentiometers
  • Ripple & Noise from 20 Hz to 20 MHz
    • Voltage rms: 200 µV
    • Peak-to-Peak: 1 mV
  • Load & Line Regulation
    • 0.01% + 2 mV
  • Meter Resolution
    • Voltage: 10 mV (0-20 V), 100 mV (>20 V)
    • Current: 1 mA


DC Power Supply - HP E3630A - Your basic bench supply, HP-style. An adjustable logic power source good for a couple of amps on one side, and clean, solid bipolar analog supply rails on the other. What’s not to like?

  • Output Ratings
    • Output 1: 0 to 6 V, 0 to 2.5 A
    • Output 2: 0 to +20 V, 0 to 0.5 A
    • Output 3: 0 to -20 V, 0 to 0.5 A
    • Power (max): 35 W
  • Ripple & Noise from 20 Hz to 20 MHz
    • Normal Mode Voltage rms: 350 µV
    • Peak-to-Peak: 1.5 mV
  • Load & Line Regulation
    • 0.01% + 2mV
  • Meter Resolution
    • Voltage: 10 mV
    • Current: 10 mA


Isolated Variable AC Supply and Safety Analyzer - Sencore PR72 ”Powerite” – Nothing powered from the AC mains leaves our shop without a passing grade from this safety sentinel. This unit is also crucial for finding vulnerabilities to power line fluctuations and brown-outs. 

  • Isolated output adjustable from 0-140VAC
  • Current 0-3A continuous, 3-4A intermittent usage
  • Meter Circuits
    • Line Voltage (0-150V AC)
    • Output Voltage (0-150V AC)
    • Output Current (0-1.5A, 0-4A AC)
    • Output Wattage (0-175W, 0-470W)
    • Safety Leakage Test Range = 0-800uA
  • Safety Probe with calibration test resistor

Component Testers

Inductor and Capacitor Analyzer - Sencore LC75 “Z Meter 2″ - Yes, most multimeters have a “capacitor test” function which will tell you the precise value of many capacitors (although many have odd range combinations that leave out common smaller and larger values). However, component value often is the least interesting thing you’d like to know about a part. Is this capacitor leaky? What is its dielectric loss or breakdown voltage? Are there shorted turns in this coil that would dramatically lower it’s Q? This clever little box can tell us all of that and more.

  • Capacitor Tests
    • Value (1pF to 200,000µF)
    • Leakage (to 600V)
    • Dielectric Absorption
    • Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR)
  • Inductor Tests ( in or out of circuit)
    • Value (1µH to 10H)
    • Quality (ringing test detects even 1 shorted turn)
  • Special Tests
    • Transmission Line Distance to Open or Short
    • Leakage in switches, circuit boards, connectors, etc. (down to 1µA)


Transistor Tester - Sencore TF42 “Super Cricket” - EBC, DSG, which leg means the most to me? Testing a transistor, especially while it is still in-circuit, can be a tricky endeavor, especially if you can’t power up the board to observe bias levels. This handy checker conducts a variety of measurements common to many discrete semiconductor devices, either in-circuit or out.

  • Cricket Good/Bad Gain Test
  • Bipolar Beta Gain Test (range = 0-500)
  • Bipolar Reverse-Bias Leakage Tests (range 0-2500µA)
  • Field Effect Transistor Gm Test (range 0-25,000µmho)
  • FET Leakage Test (Igss, range 0-2500µA)
  • Zero Bias drain Current (Idss, range = 0-50mA)

Signal Processing and Switching

Adjustable Active Filter (2Hz – 200KHz) - Krohn-Hite 3550 – We have a couple of these on hand for picking out the signal we want or for getting rid of the one we don’t want.

  • Pass band gain is unity
  • Attenuation slopes are 24 dB per octave
  • In and Out BNC connections on front and rear panels
  • Operating modes are low pass, high pass, bandpass, and band reject
  • Butterworth or RC filter shapes (rear panel switches)


Adjustable Active Filter (20 Hz – 2MHz) - Krohn-Hite 3202 – We have a couple of these on hand as well, they cover a decade higher frequency range than the 3550′s, which are more optimized for audio applications.

  • Two independent channels
  • Pass band gain is unity
  • Single-channel attenuation slope is 24 dB per octave
  • The individual channels may be interconnected to obtain band-pass and band-reject modes or to achieve 48 dB per octave high-pass or low-pass slopes
  • In and Out BNC connections on front and rear panels
  • Operating modes are low pass, high pass, band pass, and band reject
  • Butterworth or RC filter shapes (rear panel switches)


VHF SwitchHP 59307A - Fumbling around with BNC cables is fine until someone gets hurt. This switch takes the pain out of A/B and other sorts of comparison tests. And it can be switched remotely via GPIB commands. Is this first one better? Or how about this? Can you hear me now?

  • In/Out Terminals: Groups A and B are 50 ohm BNCs numbered to correspond with front panel switches. One of four outputs for each input (or vice-versa) are selectable under front panel or program control.
  • Remote Indicator: Light means the 59307A is under the control of remote programming
  • Local Reset: Pushbutton resets to front panel control unless “local lockout” command has been given
  • Pushbuttons, Set A and Set B: Provide local control for switch settings. Light means that position is connected to the common (regardless of whether 59307A is under remote or local control).

Photonics and Optics

Digital Photometer - Tektronix J16 - This classic 70′s-vintage light meter is capable of making a wide variety of measurements. Interchangeable probes are available for measuring illuminance, irradiance, luminance, light emitting diode output, and relative intensity. We have the J6501 probe, which measures illuminance or emitted light in foot-candles (lumens/square foot), and the J6503 probe, which measures luminance or reflected light in foot-lamberts (3.4 candelas/square meter). The more common units for these measurements nowadays are the lux and the nit, respectively. Both of these sensors include photopic correction to closely match the spectral response of the human eye.

  • Easy to read 3-1/2 digit display
  • Instability is 2% per year
  • Non-linearity is 2% over the entire range (enables single point calibration).


Reference Photodiode - Advanced Photonix SD-444-12-171 – We have two of these cyclopes in our optics kit, and boy are they useful. They fit perfectly into a 30.5mm filter mount, as do all of our 25mm round bandpass filters, polarizers, and other test lenses,  so we can build up most any sort of filter stack. This doesn’t make for a highly calibrated detector in absolute terms, but they are great for comparative studies, laser beam modulation profiling, and general optics “sniffing around”. Add some reverse bias and the response time gets snappy, too.

  • Blue Enhanced Silicon Photodiode (350-1100nm)
  • Active area = 11.28mm dia
  • BNC connector
  • Response time = 190 nS unbiased, 13ns with -10V
  • Responsivity @ 450nm, Vr=0C = 0.28A/W
  • Dark current = 52nA max


Optics Kit – We have a versatile selection of optic filters and lenses that are useful with the photodiodes described above, as well as for general tinkering. Here is a partial list, unless stated they are 25mm round:

  • Neutral Density Filters
    • 0.3OD (50% Transmission @ 546nm)
    • 0.6OD (25% Transmission @ 546nm)
    • 1.5OD (3.2% Transmission @ 546nm)
  • Glass Color Filters
    • Longpass Schott GG395 (rejects <395nm)
    • Longpass Schott GG445 (rejects <445nm)
    • Longpass Schott RG715 (rejects <715nm)
    • Shortpass Schott KG5 (rejects >668nm)
    • Bandpass Schott UG1 (passes 360±30nm)
    • Bandpass Schott BG28 (passes 445±60nm)
  • Polarizers (2)
  • Cold Mirror 25.4mm square, OptoSigma 034-3160 (Reflects>95% avg 420-700nm, Reflects<20% avg 800-2500nm)
  • Dual Convex Lens, 75mm focal length (this is useful as a “relay lens” to image a source onto another focal plane)
  • Various beamsplitters, prisms, small lasers, and other devices useful for optics experimenting





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