Simple trick to measure plane impedance with a VNA

October 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

The question of time vs. frequency, as the most useful measurement domain, has long been a controversial topic.  In some cases, it leads to rather heated discussions.  The argument in favor of a vector network analyzer (VNA), a frequency domain instrument, is that the dynamic range and signal to noise ratio (SNR) of a VNA are much better than they are for a time domain reflectometer (TDR).  The argument in favor of TDR measurements is that they tend to be lower cost and are taken from a direct reading, so there is little to interpret.  Fortunately, most new TDRs can also transform measurements to S-parameters (much like a VNA) and most new VNAs can also transform to time (providing TDR equivalent data).

Having said all of this, the measurement of a PCB plane using a VNA may not be as straightforward as you might expect.   One simple trick makes it easy. Read more:

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