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Acterna SDA-5500 Analyzer
Digital Analyzer


The Stealth Digital Analyzer (SDA) cable network measurement tools test a wide range of critical parameters, helping you prove and maintain your system’s performance. Advanced features include tools to support preventative maintenance programs for improving network quality. Applications include aligning amplifiers such as optical nodes, testing the performance of both forward and reverse path networks, finding and fixing sources of reverse path ingress, measuring signal quality (both continuous and bursty digital carriers), and fulfilling FCC and CENELEC proof-of-performance requirements. You can perform comprehensive troubleshooting and preventative maintenance tests with accuracy and ease using Acterna’s SDA products: • Quickly check frequency response, signal levels, hum, carrier-to-noise (C/N) ratio, depth of modulation, and monitor the general performance of the cable system • Perform tests without interfering with CATV subscribers' service • Evaluate system performance precisely and diagnose and eliminate problems quickly to maintain quality operation of your CATV system equipment. Acterna’s Stealth Sweep System consists of at least two major components: a headend transmitter and a field receiver. SDA-5500 Stealth Sweep Transceiver The SDA-5500 is a standard 19" rack mount unit weighing approximately fifteen pounds. Its 320 X 240 dot matrix LCD shows measurement data in both graphical and numerical form. It is a full-featured signal analysis meter with a complete spectrum display and an analog representation of single channel measurement data. When tuned to a specific channel, a comprehensive set of information is provided, including: • tuned channel • video frequency and level • audio frequency and level • differences between video and audio carrier levels The SDA-5500 performs essential cable TV system preventive maintenance tests with accuracy and ease. Signal levels, hum, C/N, and, in tandem with the SDA-5000 frequency response, can be quickly tested without interfering with subscribers’ service. The Sweep System is made up of two components: the field unit (SDA- 5000), and one or both of the headend units /SDA-5500 and(SDA-5510). Sweep response is tested by injecting a low-level signal in vacant spectrum areas and by monitoring cable system carrier levels in occupied spectrum areas. In addition to generating the sweep test signal, the SDA-5500 continuously monitors the system carriers. It sends headend level readings to the field receiver with every sweep update. In this way, any headend level changes are compensated for by the receiver, maintaining measurement accuracy. Sweep response measurements won’t be affected by changing signal levels in the headend. The SDA-5500 has the measurement capability of the SDA-5000 so you can keep an eye on headend levels. With the Reverse Sweep option (OPT2), a transmitter is built into the hand-held sweep receiver. The headend sweep transmitter (SDA-5500, is set up to receive the reverse sweep sent from the field. When a reverse sweep is activated from a field test point, the headend transmitter receives the telemetry signal indicating which receiver is sending the sweep. The headend transmitter measures the sweep and sends the results to the field via its telemetry signal. The field receiver with the tagged serial number then displays the sweep response as measured in the headend.

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User Manual
Manual type:
User Manual
9.25 Mbytes (9694422 Bytes)
2001 05 01
Electronic document, no scan, very well readable.
Upload date:
2018 08 16


ABOUT THE MANUAL Section I Introduction Chapter 1 introduces you to the new SDA family of CATV test equipment. In this chapter, you learn about the features and capabilities of the SDA field and headend units, and about the various options available. Section II Field Units Chapter 2, "Description and Basic Operation," describes the SDA-5000’s user Interface and its basic modes of operation. You also learn basic configuration procedures and what you need to print files and screen shots. Chapter 3, "Channel Plans," shows you how to configure your unit’s channel plan capability, edit channel plan parameters, create, copy and edit channel plans, and how to configure a digital carrier. Chapter 4, "Field Sweeping with the SDA-5000 " begins with coverage of test point compensation and how to configure your SDA-5000, Sweep configuration is covered in detail, after which you learn how to connect to Amplifier test points and how to conduct forward, reverse, sweepless, and loopback sweeps. This chapter also describes reverse amplifier alignment. Chapter 5, "Reverse Path Troubleshooting," describes the problems most common to the return path, offers tips to help you more quickly trace the trouble, and shows you how to use the Zero Span mode to look at TDMA signals. Chapter 6, "Measuring System Performance," explains how to evaluate system performance by measuring key parameters. Operations covered include Level, Tilt, Scan, Carrier-to-Noise ratio (C/N), Hum, Modulation-Demodulation, Composite Second Order (CSO) and Composite Triple Beat (CTB). Chapter 7, "Spectrum Analyzer Mode," describes the SDA-5000’s spectrum analysis capabilities and how it can assist you in general troubleshooting and in examining TDMA signals with the Zero Span mode. CSO/CTB mode is covered as well. Chapter 8, "PathTrak Field View (OPT3)," shows you how to use PathTrak mode for return path troubleshooting by comparing spectrum measurements at the node with current conditions at the headend. Chapter 9, "Digital Analysis (QAM View OPT4)," explains how to use the new QAM digital channel tool. You’ll learn to measure the most critical characteristics of a digital channel, and how to use a spectrum view of ingress. You’ll also learn how to use the constellation view to assist you in your troubleshooting efforts and how to use the equalizer to correct the effects of reflections in the transmission path. Chapter 10, "Automatic Test," explains how to perform automatic system tests, an easy way to acquire proof-of-performance compliance data. You learn how to create test locations and how to edit location parameters, as well as how to set testing schedules and how to view and print test reports. Chapter 11, "Files," describes how to store, view, or print files created from field measurement data. Sweep reference files and measurement files are covered, along with the procedure for comparing a reference file with a "live" sweep in the field. Chapter 12, "Maintenance," covers the routine maintenance tasks that a service technician can perform in the field. Inspection, connector replacement, battery terminal cleaning, general cleaning, and calibration are all covered. The chapter ends with a list of Acterna service centers worldwide. Section III Headend Units Chapter 13, "Description and Basic Operation of the SDA-5500 and SDA-5510 " describes the user Interface and basic modes of operation for the SDA headend units /SDA-5500 and SDA-5510). You also learn basic configuration procedures and what you need to print files and screen shots. Chapter 14, "SDA-5500 SDA-5510/Sweep Configuration," shows you how to configure the SDA-5500 for forward sweep and for reverse sweep. It covers wiring connections, telemetry and frequency settings, channel plan creation and editing, and how to test the transmitter setup. You’ll also find important information about using the SDA-5500 and SDA-5510 together. In addition, this chapter includes a section on sweep history and theory that will deepen your understanding of what sweeping is and how it works. Section IV Appendices Appendix A, "Application Notes," contains the full text of four application notes that help to clarify many of the issues covered in other chapters in the manual. The four application notes are: "Forward Sweep and Balance," "Reverse Sweep and Balance," "Return Path Troubleshooting," and "Proofing and Testing." Appendix B, "Specifications," lists the technical specifications for each unit. Appendix C, "Status Indicators and Icons," provides a descriptive list of indicators and icons that you’ll find on the SDA’s screens and used throughout the manual. Appendix D, "User and Error Messages," describes many of the messages that appear on-screen indicating a problem in operation or a malfunctioning unit. The Glossary defines many of the terms used throughout the manual.

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