TF960 - 6GHz Universal Counter with USB

  • Frequency, period, pulse width, frequency ratio, duty cycle, and event counter modes
  • DC to 6000MHz range, 0.001mHz resolution, TCXO Timebase
  • High impedance measurement up to 125 MHz
  • AC or DC coupling, 1M/50Ohm selection, polarity invert
  • Switchable attenuator, threshold control
  • Noise filter for low frequency measurements
  • Selectable measurement time; display hold function
  • Large 10 digit display with full range of annunciators
  • Internal rechargeable batteries for portable use
  • USB interface provides full remote control and readback

Price: $560

The TF960 is a high performance bench-top instrument that is suitable for portable applications because of its built-in rechargeable batteries.

It has a range of DC to 6GHz and can measure frequency, period, pulse width, frequency ratio, duty cycle, and events.

It incorporates a large 10 digit LCD display and has a USB interface for remote control and readback.

A 3GHz model, the TF930 is also available.

High measurement accuracy

The TF960 uses a high quality temperature compensated internal frequency reference (TCXO) which has a low aging rate and is stable to within ±1ppm over the full temperature range. Its short warm-up time allows accurate measurements to be made even under portable battery powered conditions.

An External Reference input is provided and changeover from the internal timebase is automatic when an external reference standard is connected.

High resolution

For frequency, period and frequency ratio functions the instrument uses a reciprocal counting technique to provide high resolution at all frequencies.  Eight significant digits of answer are produced in a 1 second measurement time, nine digits in 10s and ten digits in 100s with a granularity of less than 2 counts in the least significant digit.

Flexible signal conditioning

Input A has configurable coupling (AC or DC), input impedance (1MOhm or 50Ohm), attenuation (1:1 or 5:1), threshold (fully variable) and active edge, and can be used for frequencies in the range 0.001Hz to >125MHz.

Input B is a nominal 50Ohm input for frequencies in the range 80MHz to  > 3GHz.

Input C is also a nominal 50Ohm, but uses an N type connector.   It operates for frequencies in the range < 2GHz to  > 3GHz.

Multiple measurement functions

The TF960 can measure frequency, period, pulse width, duty cycle and frequency ratio, as well as event counting (totalise).

Remote control and read-back via USB

The TF960 incporporates a USB interface which allows it to be remotely controlled using RS232 protocol via a computer’s USB port. The remote commands of its predecessor instrument, the TF830, are compatible with the TF960/TF930 command set. 

Battery operation when needed

The TF960 operates from internal rechargeable NiMH batteries which give typically 24 hours operating life. The universal AC charger supplied will recharge the batteries in less than 4 hours and can be used for continuous AC operation.

The instrument can also be powered from a standard USB port.

Ten digit LCD

The high contrast display has ten 12.5mm (0.5”) high digits along with a comprehensive set of annunciators.

These show input configuration and function, measurement time and status, external reference connection, low battery and the units of the measurement which may be Hz, kHz, MHz, ns, us, ms or s.

Input A
Input Coupling: AC or DC
Input Impedance: 1M//25pF (DC or AC coupled), or 50R (AC coupled only)
Attenuation: 1:1 or 5:1
Active Edge: Rising or falling, or width high or low
Low Pass Filter: 50kHz cut-off, or None
Frequency Range: 0.001Hz to > 125MHz (1M, DC coupled)
< 30Hz to > 125MHz (1M, AC coupled)
< 500kHz to > 125MHz (50R, AC coupled).
Sensitivity: Sinewave - 15mVrms 30Hz to 100MHz,
25mV to 125MHz at optimum threshold adjustment.
Signal Range: 1M, DC - 0 to 3.3V (1:1) or 1 to 12V (5:1),
1M, AC - up to 1Vrms (3Vpp) (1:1) or up to 4Vrms (12Vpp) (5:1)
50R, AC - up to 1V rms above 300kHz
Trigger Threshold: DC coupled - 0 to 2V (1:1) or 0 to 10V (5:1)
AC coupled - Average ± 200mV (1:1) or ± 1V (5:1)
Input B
Input Impedance: 50R (AC coupled)
Frequency Range: <80MHz to >3000MHz
Sensitivity: Sinewave - 12mVrms 80MHz-2GHz,
25mV to 2.5GHz, 50mVrms to 3GHz
Signal Range: <0dBm recommended, +13dBm (1Vrms) maximum
Input C
Input Impedance: 50Ohm (AC coupled)
Frequency Range: <1800MHz to >6000MHz
Sensitivity: Sinewave - 12mVrms 80MHz-2GHz,
25mV to 2.5GHz, 50mVrms to 3GHz
Signal Range: <0dBm recommended, +13dBm (1Vrms) maximum
Connector Type: Type N
External Reference
Input Impedance: >100k, AC coupled
Frequency: 10MHz
Signal Level: TTL, 3Vpp to 5Vpp CMOS or 1 to 2Vrms sinewave
Maximum Input Voltage
Input A and Input B: 30Vdc; 30Vrms 50Hz/60Hz reducing to 1Vrms above 1MHz
Note that the inputs will not be damaged if subjected to an accidental short-term connection to a
50/60Hz line voltage not exceeding 250V rms.
A Input Range: 0.001Hz (DC coupled) to >125MHz
B Input Range: 80MHz to >3000MHz
Resolution: up to 10 digits (see Note) or 0.001Hz
A Input Range: 8ns to 100s (DC coupled)
B Input Range: 333ps to 12.5ns
Resolution: up to 10 digits (see Note)
Pulse Width Mode (Input A only)
Functions: Width high, width low, ratio H:L (high time to low time) and duty cycle
Pulse Width Range: 40ns to 1000s
Averaging: Automatic within measurement time selected, up to 50 pulses
Resolution: 20ns for one pulse; up to 1ns or 10 digits with multiple pulse averaging
0.01% for Ratio H:L and Duty Cycle,
Total Count (Input A only)
Count Range: 1 to 9 999 999 999
Minimum Width: 8ns
Frequency Ratio B:A
Resolution: Equal to the resolution of the two frequency measurements,
If the ratio exceeds 10 digits, 6 digits and the exponent are displayed
Measurement Time
Selectable as 100s, 10s, 1s or 0.3s. The instrument displays the average value of the input
signal over the measurement time selected, updated every 2s, 1s, 0.5s or 0.3s respectively.
The hardware captures the count values and continues measuring without any dead time.
The displayed resolution depends upon measurement time and input frequency. The basic
resolution of period is 8 digits for every 2 seconds of measurement time. Frequency resolution
is the reciprocal of period resolution. Usable resolution can be reduced by noise at low
Measurement accuracy is timebase accuracy + measurement resolution + 2 counts.
Measurement Clock: 50MHz
Internal Reference: 10MHz TCXO with electronic calibration adjustment (> +/- 8ppm)
Temperature Stability: Better than ± 1ppm over rated temperature range
Initial Error: < ± 0.2ppm at 25ºC
Ageing Rate: <± 1ppm/year
Noise Filter
The Filter key controls a low pass filter, with a cut-off frequency of about 50kHz, to ensure
more stable readings at low frequencies.
Pressing the Hold key will stop further measurements being made and the current measured
value will remain in the display, with the Hold indicator on, until the Hold key is pressed
again. A long press on the Hold key clears old data and restarts the measurement.

Pressing the Hold key will stop further measurements being made and the current measured
value will remain in the display, with the Hold indicator on, until the Hold key is pressed
again. A long press on the Hold key clears old data and restarts the measurement.
Intelligent Power Switching
The unit automatically selects the best available power source of AC adaptor, USB or battery.
Intelligent switching avoids discharging the battery overnight when operated from externally
switched AC power.
A press-to-measure facility allows a quick measurement to be made by pressing a function
select key which will power the instrument up in the corresponding function. The instrument
will automatically switch off 15 seconds after the last key-press.
Signal Activity Indication
Dual bi-colour LEDs show signal activity and indicate whether a DC coupled signal is above or
below the trigger threshold.
Interface: USB (Serial port emulation over USB)
Current Used: < 95mA (<5mA if AC adaptor power is present)
Command Set: Annunciators show input configuration, operating mode,
measurement units and gate time
No. of Digits: 10 digits
Size of Digits: 12.5mm (0.5”)
Annunciators: Instrument specific. TF830 compatible
The instrument has fixed internal rechargeable batteries and is supplied with a universal
voltage external mains adaptor with interchangeable UK, Euro, Australian and US power
Battery Type: Three 2500mAh NiMH cells
Operating Life: Typically 24 hours per full charge
Low Batt. Indicator: ‘Lo Bat’ shows when approximately 10% of battery life remains
Recharge Time: >4 hours
Adaptor Voltage: 85 to 240V, 50 or 60 Hz
Power Consumption: 5W max at DC input to unit; 15VA max at AC adaptor input (charging)
Operating Range: +5°C to +40°C, 20% to 80% RH
Storage Range: -20°C to +60°C
Environmental: Indoor use at altitudes up to 2000m Pollution Degree 2
Size: 260mm(W) x 88mm(H) x 235mm(D)
Weight: 950 gms (plus 170 gms AC adaptor)
Electrical Safety: Complies with EN61010-1
EMC: Complies with EN61326

Thurlby Thandar Instruments Ltd. operates a policy of continuous development and reserves the
right to alter specifications without prior notice.

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