Boonton’s versatile 4541 (1 Ch) and 4542 (2 Ch) combined Peak / Average Power and Voltage meters are leading edge instruments for most accurate RF measurements. Features like high dynamic range, rise time of less than 7ns and an effective time resolution of 200 ps provide the greatest detail in signal waveform analysis. These meters are the instruments of choice for capturing, displaying and analyzing RF power in both the time and statistical domains. Applications include pulsed RF signals such as RADAR, MRI particle accelerators, pseudorandom or noise-like signals such as CDMA, WLAN and WiMAX, LTE, UMTS. The high dynamic range and very fast sampling rate make the 4540 series also ideal to measure RF telecommunication amplifiers. Both Boonton 4541 and 4542 Power meters, have built in step calibrators for highest accuracy allowing calibrating sensors over their full range right before the measurement. A wide range of power sensors and voltage probes is available for these instruments.


• 200 ps time resolution

• 7 ns rise time

• Video bandwidth up to 70 MHz

• 17 default presets plus storage for 25 user defined presets

• Fast statistical analysis including CCDF

• Text view of up to 14 out of 28 parameters per channel simultaneously (power / voltage, time, statistics, channel math)

• Bright, clear 4” color LCD display

• GPIB, LAN, USB device (B-type connector) interfaces

• High bandwidth, wide dynamic range sensors available

Modulated, Pulsed and Statistical Measurements

Modulated Mode

Modulated Mode measurements are possible with cost effective CW sensors, or with fast Peak Power sensors. Using Peak Power sensors, the 4540 Series can measure true average power of modulated waveforms, while providing important information about the instantaneous peak power value. Large digits allow clear, legible measurement reading.

Pulsed Mode

Analysis of fast single pulses or pulses with high pulse repetition interval (pri) requires an instrument with sophisticated trigger and data acquisition capability. This provides accuracy and high definition trace detail of the measured signal. A variety of trigger settings, including pre and post trigger in combination with a high sampling rate allow the 4540 Series to capture any pulse. High level of signal detail is essential when short pulses, signal edges, signal overshoots, filters, high gain amplifiers, delay lines and such have to be analyzed.

Statistical Mode

Non-periodic signals, such as hdtv, evdo, umts or lte are noise-like and consist of varying magnitude peaks randomly distributed over the channel. These random events do not serve as a trigger for consistent measurements. Amplifier designs require fast peak measurement capability from a power meter to detect signal clipping and compression due to overload. The Complementary Cumulative Distribution Function, or CCDF, displayed by the 4540 plots the probability that the power will be above or below a specified level. By examining the areas close to 100% probability, it is possible to see how often the highest peaks occur. It is easy to see amplifier compression under actual operating conditions, and to predict the effect on error rate that this may have. Up to 4 GSamples of data can be collected, compiled and analyzed by the 4540 Series.

Effective Random Sampling

The 4540 Series RF Power Meter offers an impressingly detailed representation of measured signals. As a result, signals can be analyzed thoroughly and anomalies can be detected immediately. High signal definition is achieved with two powerful features: a time resolution of 200ps, unprecedented in a power meter of this class, and a technique called Repetitive Random Sampling. For repetitive signals, the 4540 Series offers an effective sampling rate of up to 5 GSamples / second.


For accurate, repeatable measurements, power meters require diligently chosen trigger and timing settings. Finding the correct trigger settings is often more difficult than performing the actual measurement – not so with the 4540 Series. Our instruments are equipped with an “AutoSet” feature. This feature analyzes incoming signals and presets the instrument’s timing and trigger settings in a way that allows for immediate measurements. Presets are available for many common wireless formats.

RF-Voltage Measurements

In some cases it is necessary to measure RF voltage without terminating or significantly loading the source. The 4540 Series supports voltage measurements with different Boonton voltage probes (also known as voltage sensors). Boonton’s high impedance voltage probes are available for frequencies from 10 Hz to 1.2 GHz. Voltage probes are designed to measure CW voltage to 10 V, but they can also be used to measure the root mean square (rms) value of a fluctuating or modulated signal up to 20 mV (2 V with 1:100 divider). Linearity correction factors are stored in the sensor adapter, so voltage measurements can be taken immediately.

Firmware Updates

Boonton strives to provide the best products to our customers, hence the 4540 Series can be easily field-updated with new firmware. New firmware versions are released periodically and available at the Boonton website. The download package comes with a loader that handles the proper update of the 4540 Series via a PC. Advantages of firmware updates are obvious: features added – for free.

Virtual Front Panel Software

The 4540 Virtual Front Panel software (vfp) can be downloaded from the Boonton web site.

It provides three powerful features:

• 4540 Series Remote Key Simulation

• Screenshots

• Full Screen Display Remote Key Simulation allows simulating all the keys of the 4540 Series that is connected to the PC via LAN. If more than one 4540 Series is present at the subnet, VFP software will detect all instruments and show their IP addresses and serial numbers. The operator can now select which instrument he wants to control. VFP does not switch the power meters into remote state; while controlled by VFP they still allow operation via the actual front panel keys.

Screenshots of traces are often required as records or when signals need to be analyzed at a later point in time. The 4540 VFP software takes a screenshot with one push of a button and stores the images as bitmap files. The 4540 Series has a 4” display providing high resolution and great detail of the signal trace. Menu buttons can be hidden to increase the usable screen area. If an even larger screen display is required, the Viewer function of the VFP transfers the 4540 Series screen live to a PC to utilize the full screen size.