[TowerTalk] Measuring Common Mode Choke with Anritsu VNA

Steve Hunt steve at karinya.net
Mon Jan 1 05:00:46 EST 2018


A test I use to assess the capacitance added by the test jig is as 
follows: Wind a high-Q air-cored coil and connect a small-value parallel 
capacitor across it. Measure its resonant frequency using a 
"non-contact" method. [I suspend the coil on a nylon line and place 
coupling coils either side of it, several inches away. One coupling coil 
goes to a signal generator, the other to a 'scope. When you sweep the 
generator you quickly see the resonant frequency]. Then re-measure the 
resonant frequency of the coil using S21 on the VNA. The shift in 
resonant frequency enables you to assess the capacitance added by the 
test set up. I typically measure values around 0.2pF.

On a related topic, its worth remembering that the "self-capacitance" of 
a coil (or choke) doesn't always behave as you might expect. For 
example, increasing the number of turns can sometimes _decrease_ the 
self-capacitance. I've also measured examples where a small increase in 
the number of turns has made an unexpectedly large _increase_ in the 
self-capacitance. The problem is that models picturing capacitance 
between adjacent windings are overly simplistic; the winding needs to be 
treated as a transmission line in order to get results more 
representative of the real world. There's a good paper on the topic here:

Steve G3TXQ

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