IF Path Configuration Settings

This dialog is used to set many IF receiver settings for models.

In this topic:

Other IF Access Topics

Auto IF Frequencies

Wideband/Normal IF path:

Note: For the following discussion, RF = Receiver Frequency

With DSP Version 4:

With DSP Version 5, the IF frequency is dependent on the RF AND the current IFBW setting:



1 MHz

7.692 MHz

1.5 MHz

7.368 MHz

2 MHz

8.450 MHz

3 MHz

8.163 MHz

5 MHz

6.897 MHz

7 MHz

10.53 MHz

10 MHz

15.38 MHz

15 MHz

22.22 MHZ


Narrowband IF path:

Manually change the IF frequency

The IF frequency can be changed to any value between +14.9999 MHz and -14.9999 MHz using SENS:IF:FREQ or IFFrequency commands.

Learn about DSP Version


How to start the IF Path Configuration dialog

To provide quicker access, use the Setup softkey. Learn how.  

Using front-panel
[softkey] buttons

Using Menus

  1. Press Channel

  2. then [Hardware Setup]

  3. then [IF Config]

  1. Click Trace/Chan

  2. then Channel
  3. then Hardware Setup

  4. then IF Config


IF (Receiver) Path Configuration dialog box help

The IF path, represented in the block diagram at the top of the dialog, is duplicated for each of the receivers (A, B, C, D, R1, R2, R3, R4). In addition, each path can be configured differently for each channel.


Element - Indicates an element in the expanded  block diagram.

IF Input (1) - Available on the PNA-X and N522xA  with Opt 020. Internal input is a test port or reference receiver input. External Input is through the PNA-X and N522xA rear-panel connectors.

IF Attenuator (3) - Specify IF attenuation for the narrowband path of the selected receiver.

IF Filter (2) - Select Wideband or Narrowband (includes the ability to pulse gates).

IF Gain (10)- Set to Auto by default, the following are reasons to change the IF Gain:

  • For millimeter systems that do NOT use the external millimeter test set, the millimeter head output IFs are routed directly to the RF receivers.  You may want to change the IF gain to improve the noise figure of the receivers.

  • External couplers are often used for high-power test setups  The PNA automatically adjusts the IF Gain depending on the frequency of operation in order to correct for several aspects of the hardware, including the large coupled-arm roll off at low frequencies (below 700MHz).  If you replace the internal coupler with one having a different low-frequency roll off, then you may also want to change the IF gain to avoid overdriving the receiver.

  • When using the rear panel direct IF inputs, the gain is set low when in standard operation and very high when in millimeter mode.  You may want to control the gain of the direct IF inputs to improve noise figure or to avoid overdriving the receivers.

ADC Filter (5) - Select Auto, Narrow (9 MHz or 11 MHz), or Wide (16 MHz or 38 MHz) filter.  Learn more.

Couple all IF paths - Check to make the same setting for all receivers.

Expanded Block Diagram (IF / Pulse Generators / DSP)

Blue boxes are configurable elements.
Click a blue box, or scroll down, to see how to make settings using SCPI and COM commands.

Receiver / IF Path (top block)

Scroll up for descriptions of the Receiver / IF Paths blocks. Most of these elements can be set from the front-panel User Interface (UI).

ADC: (Analog to Digital Converter) This block, responsible for quantifying receiver measurements, is triggered when BOTH the Meas Trig line AND P0 pulse generator line are TRUE. In addition, the Meas Trig signal MUST be TRUE before or at the same time as the P0 signal.

Meas Trig Signal

P0 (Trig) Signal - See below.

Pulse Generators (middle block in above diagram)

See how to make these settings remotely

Switch 6: Represents Internal or External triggering for the pulse generator. This setting, and the External Trigger Pulse settings, are made on the Trigger dialog, Pulse Trigger tab.

On the Integrated Pulse App, Pulse Setup dialog, when Pulse Trigger source is set to External, then External is selected automatically in the Pulse Gen dialog.

External trigger input is on the Pulse I/O connector pin 7 (PulseSyncIn). The PulseSyncIn line provides a trigger signal into the Pulse Generators. If a level trigger is still valid when the first set of pulses is finished, another set will be generated. Only one set of pulses is emitted when edge triggering is used.

The External pulse input polarity (positive or negative) and type (edge or level) is configurable only with DSP version: 4.0 FPGA: 34 or higher. Learn more. Otherwise, the pulse generators respond only to positive, level input trigger signals.

P0:  When P0 is enabled, it is hardwired to trigger the data acquisition ADCs. See ADC (above).

Data acquisition is synchronized to the pulse generator ONLY when P0 is enabled. This is equivalent to enabling Synchronize ADCs using pulse trigger on the Pulse Generators Setup dialog. Data acquisition begins on the rising edge of P0. The width of P0 does NOT directly matter as data acquisition does not stop when P0 goes false. The following describes how the P0 generator triggers data acquisition:

P1 thru P4 These four pulse generator outputs are hardwired to rear panel outputs on the Pulse I/O connector (pins 10 - 13). They are also routed to two switches (#4 and #7 on the above diagram) along with the following three lines:

Switch 7  Pulse Modulation  - 1 of 7 lines to each of the sources. Important: When internally modulating the sources, source leveling must be set to Open-loop.  

Rear-panel Outputs: Pulse I/O connector (pins 10 - 13) hardwired.

Source1 and Source2 pulse modulators: (#8 and #9 on the above diagram)

DSP (bottom block)

See Also

IF Path Configuration using COM and SCPI

Most of the following elements, highlighted in BLUE in the above Block Diagram, have settings that are made using SCPI or COM commands. In general, the command specifies an element name and a setting.


Element Name





For 2-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, R1, R2

For 4-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, C, D, R (for R1 to R4)

For example: "IFSWB"

Requires Opt 020  external IF inputs on the rear panel


"External" Rear Panel IF connectors. 4-port use R for Ref 1 to 4



For 2-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, R1, R2

For 4-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, C, D, R1, R2, R3, R4

"IFSigPathAll" makes setting for ALL receivers.

"WBF" Wide Band Filter Path (default)

"NBF" Narrow Band Filter Path



For 2-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, R1, R2

For 4-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, C, D, R1, R2, R3, R4

For example: "NBFATNB"

0 to 31 in 1 dB steps

For example: "28"



For 2-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, R1, R2

For 4-port PNA-X and N522x, n = A, B, C, D, R1, R2, R3, R4

For example: "IFGateB"

"On"  Gate is always ON

"Off"  Gate is always OFF

"RearPanel" (use Pulse IO pins 1 to 5)







  • This filter is labeled ADC Filter on the IF Path Configuration dialog.

  • This setting affects ALL receivers. It can NOT be made for individual receivers.

  • The ADC Filter values depend on the DSP Version. Learn more.

"Auto"  PNA selects which filter to use based on other IF settings.


Sets 9 MHz for DSP Version 4

Sets 11 MHz for DSP Version 5


Sets 16 MHz for DSP Version 4

Sets 38 MHz for DSP Version 5

"9MHZ" is Superseded - Use "Narrow".

"16MHZ" is Superseded - Use "Wide".



Requires Opt 025 - Four Internal Pulse Generators

"Internal" Internal Pulse In - pulse generators are triggered each period.

"External"  External Pulse Synch In -Pulse I/O pin 7) - An external trigger signal is required to trigger the pulse generators for each pulse.

<name>  An external pulse generator to be configured as the Master Pulse Trigger.



Select from 1 of 7 lines to modulate the OUT1 path of Sources 1 and 2 .

Important: When Pulse 1-4 is selected to modulate the sources, source leveling must be set to Open-loop.

"On" Pulse Mod drive is always ON, leaving "SRC1|2 Out 1" ON and not modulated. Default setting.

"Off"  Pulse Mod drive is always OFF, leaving  "SRC1|2 Out 1" OFF.

"RearPanel"  (use Pulse IO pin 8)







Requires Opt 021 - Source1 Pulse Modulator





Requires Opt 022 - Source2 Pulse Modulator





For 2-port models, n = A, B, R1, R2

For 4-port models, n = A, B, C, D, R1, R2, R3, R4

For example: "IFGAINB"

"0", "2", "4", "6", "8","10", "11", "13", "15", "Auto"

Last Modified:


Provided ink to block diagram


Fixed IFPathN


More sync info and image from NJ.


Added N522xA models


Modified for new DSP version and IF Gain (A.09.30)


Modified for UI (A.09.20)


Added external pulse input polarity and type


Added subpointtrig content


New Image and minor edits


MX New topic