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How to measure a Digital TV Pilot Carrier Signal with a DSA815

Posted on: December 16th, 2020 by James

Here is a user submitted  application note on measuring Digital TV Pilot Carrier frequency.
Thanks to Frank Hertel Newman-Kees RF Measurements & Engineering.

1.    Under Control — “BW / Det” — “Det Type”, select POS PEAK Detector.
2.    Under Control — “Trace / P/F” — “Trace Type”, select CLEAR / WRITE.
3.    Under Marker — “Marker”, select NORMAL.
4.    Under Marker — “Marker Fctn”, select “Frequency Count”
5.    Under “State” Select ON — Then Select “Resolution” and set it to 1 HZ / MANUAL
6.    Under Control — “TG” Assure that “TG” is OFF
7.    Under Control — “Sweep / Trig” Select “Time / Manual”
8.    Set the “Sweep/Time” between 0.16 seconds and .60 seconds . Other SWEEP times can be used for desired and best results.
9.    Under Control — “BW / Det” Set RBW to Manual & 100 Hz
10.    Under Control — Set VBW to Manual & 1 KHz
11.    Under Span — Set SPAN to 3 KhzSo you will be able to see the “Pilot Carrier”, in case the station is “Off Frequency / Out of limits”)
12.    Under Freq — Enter the TV Channel’s Pilot FREQUENCY I.E. xxx,309,441 Hz
13.    Once you can see the “Pilot Carrier”, centered in the display, you can then narrow the “Span” to between 1,000 Hz and 500 Hz and set “VBW” to 10 HZ
14.    Under Marker — “Peak”, set “Cont Peak” to “ON”
15.    Read the Channel’s “Pilot Carrier” FREQUENCY  (with 1 HZ Resolution) as displayed in the upper Right area of the screen
16.    For a more Precise Frequency Measurement, you will need to connect a “Precision” 10 Mhz Reference Signal to the rear “10 Mhz In “, BNC connector 

NOTE: For Antenna / Distant Measurements:
Set Reference level (Ampt – “Ref Level” at –20 to –30 DBM)
Set “Input Atten” at 10 DB / MANUAL
Set “Pre-Amp” ON
Set  “Input” 75 Ω