The economical alternative for testing smart devices with Bluetooth communication (Internet of Things)

Manufacturers of smart devices with Bluetooth communication often encounter problems in their design and manufacture: the small size and position of the antennas, the interference caused to the RF signal of the device, the coupling to the printed circuit… Therefore, it is necessary to test the performance of this type of communication.

The Internet of Things is a concept that is based on the interconnection of any electronic device with any other one around it: from a computer, tablet, smartphone, or refrigerator…
The goal is to make all these devices communicate with each other and the communication protocol of almost all of them is Bluetooth. These communications allow for energy savings in smart devices and thus greater operational durability.
As a general rule, Bluetooth communication using the band 2400 to 2483.5 MHz, with frequency hoppings of 1600 hoppings/s, transmission rates between 1 and 3 Mbps, and modulations GFSK, DQPSK or DPSK as the case may be.

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What tools do I need to test Bluetooth communication?

Manufacturers of smart devices with Bluetooth communication often encounter problems in their design and manufacture: the small size and position of the antennas, the interference caused to the RF signal of the device, the coupling to the printed circuit… Therefore, it is necessary to test the performance of Bluetooth communication.

The high test performance requirements are covered by the CXA and EXM spectral analysis solutions from Keysight Technologies, which incorporate specific applications for Bluetooth measurement (N9081A), but these tests can be performed without the need for a specific Bluetooth communications tool.

Keysight Technologies’ N9320B and N9322C bench spectrum analyzers, 3 and 7 GHz respectively, are general-purpose equipment, with USB, LAN and GPIB connectivity, capability to incorporate power sensor, tracking generator, filters, and demodulation.


What tests are performed in these tests? How do I configure my Keysight Analyzer?

In these tests, the engineer must verify that the signal level (power) emitted corresponds to the design of the device, the possible appearance of peaks in other frequencies (probably due to interference from external or internal factors, which will require a redesign), a possible shielding of the signal due to a failure in the assembly of the printed circuit, or the instability of the received signal that may be caused by a mal-dimensioning of the antenna.
For these tests, Keysight recommends putting the device into test mode, disabling frequency hopping and connecting the smart device through three signal channels (advertising channels) to optimize these measurements of frequency and transmitted power.

Should the technical need for testing require automation and export of data to a PC, the engineer could use the SCPI programming commands of these analyzers. In any case, Ayscom, Premium Partner of Keysight Technologies, can provide all the necessary support in this regard.

 

Source: Eurofach Electronica