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Handheld 3GHz counter features extended resolution

TTi has released the PFM3000, a low-cost, handheld frequency counter that can measure signals from less than 3Hz to more than 3GHz. The latest version has an eight-and-a-half-digit display, replacing the eight-digit one used previously. This enables the full potential of the high-resolution measurement technique to be used.

The PFM300 uses a “reciprocal counting” measurement system to achieve high measurement resolution at all frequencies. This system yields up to eight digits of resolution per second of measurement time and can resolve low frequencies to 0.001mHz.

As well as frequency measurement, period measurement is provided for signals in the range of 8ns to 330ms. A selectable low-pass filter is provided to reduce the noise on lower-frequency signals.

Two measurement ranges are provided: Range A covers from less than 3Hz to more than 125MHz via a high-impedance input; Range B covers from less than 80MHz to more than 3000MHz via a 50ohm input. Sensitivity is typically better than 15mV across the range, rising to 25mV at 2.5GHz and 50mV at 3GHz.

A “push to measure” function is incorporated that provides an immediate reading on the press of a key followed by an automatic power-down after 15 seconds, ensuring maximum battery life when continuous signal monitoring is not required.

The PFM3000 is small and lightweight, measuring 81mm x 173mm x 30mm and weighing less than 200g. Despite its small size and low cost, it provides most of the features of larger bench-top frequency counters.