White paper: Comparing CW and low duty cycle passive intermodulation (PIM) measurements

The measurement technique used by a PIM analyzer is CW or low duty cycle. The only
traceable device available to independently validate a PIM analyzer’s measurement accuracy
in the field is a PIM standard. For this technical discussion, the measurement techniques
are explored and explained along with the fact that CW and LDC offer similar measurement
performance, but the reason for LDC being adopted is battery preservation for
longer testing times. A number of PIM standards were measured by a number of different
PIM analyzers from different manufacturers, some using a CW measurement approach
and others using an LDC technique. All measurements fell within the PIM standard’s
manufacturer specification of ± 3 dB specification for comparative tests.