Six tips for better TDR measurements

Figure 1: Setup of two high-quality cables connected with an SMA thru adapter and connected to a PCB using a low-quality edge connector.

The setup in Figure 2 illustrates the impact of poor quality connectors.  In this image, the TDR is deskewed with no cables attached to set the reference plane at the TDR instrument front panel. A high-quality semi-rigid coax is connected to the front panel while a thru connector is used to attach a second high-quality cable.  Finally, the second cable is attached to a PCB 50Ohm test trace with a low-quality PCB edge connector.

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