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SC2426 – 26 GHz Frequency Converter

The SC2426 Microwave Converter is a stand-alone platform for use in the 6 to 26 GHz range.

The module is designed to interface directly with software-defined radios, such as those commonly implemented using Analog Device’s Mixed-Signal Front-End (MxFE), National Instruments USRP, or similar Software Defined Radio.

Up to four modules can be combined in parallel to create complex MIMO applications.

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Power is provided via a 12-volt wall cube which is included with the Development Kit. An embedded fan and temperature monitoring are integrated into the unit to manage heat.

Control of the module is provided via the USB, UART, or SPI interfaces. Most users will find it convenient to control the module using the console interface over USB. Alternatively, embedded controllers may access the UART or SPI interfaces available on the external Control Ports.

Two API protocols are available. The first is ASCII-based, and its commands follow the SCPI structure as defined in IEEE 488.2. The second is a binary protocol, targeted at embedded control applications where speed and timing are critical. Both protocols are detailed in an API Specification.

Up to 4 units can be combined in a vertical stack to create a complex 4 x 4 MIMO radio system. In this scenario, the internal control buses are routed to the cascaded modules over the Expansion Port. In this manner, API commands sent on the primary unit, can be redirected to the downstream modules. This eliminates the need for multiple controllers and simplifies timing and synchronization between units. Module addresses are set using a DIP switch on the Configuration Port.

Secondary and External Control Ports are also available. These ports expose Power, SPI, I2C, UART and GPIO that provide users with a convenient method of interfacing to external front-end modules, such as integrated antenna arrays or switched filter banks.

The low-frequency RF inputs include the I/Q, and external LO ports on SMA connectors.

The converter can be used in either Time Division Duplex (TDD) or Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) mode. The RF ports include 3.5mm connectors for the FDD TX and RX functions, in addition to a bidirectional TDD port.