Test Equipment


An open source, Arduino-compatible RF signal generator with Wi-Fi connectivity

$187,545 raised

of $25,000 goal

750% Funded! Order Below

Available for pre-order.

$1,700 - $2,250

View Purchasing Options

Recent Updates

You'll be notified about news and stock updates for this project.

Finally, an affordable signal generator for everyone!

ERASynth is a high quality portable signal generator at a price point affordable by everyone including makers, students, universities, research labs, and start-ups.


RF signal generators are expensive pieces of test equipment typically only accessible by pro engineers. ERASynth removes the cost barriers and makes quality RF signal synthesis accessible to everyone, especially budget-conscious makers.


ERASynth is for everyone who wants to learn how signal generators work. Since it is open source with open schematics, students or anyone who is curious about the inner details of signal synthesis can learn from ERASynth. You can learn a lot by reverse engineering and hacking, without having to pay $50k in tuition in engineering program. After all, learning the design of test equipment turned Jim Williams into one of the best analog engineers in the world. ERASynth’s advanced design will certainly teach you several RF tricks.


Professional engineers will find ERASynth is a very good alternative to many of their existing signal generators. If you are professional engineer, you can compare it yourself: find the lowest cost equipment on your bench that can give you a 1 GHz signal with -120 dBc/Hz or better phase noise at 10 kHz offset. Its price tag will be several times more than ERASynth’s. See the comparison charts below to learn more about how ERASynth compares to common signal generators.


With all the cuts in research funds, who can afford to spend tens of thousands on signal generators? Whether you are a college professor studying Gigasample converters or a start-up developing state-of-the-art converter technology, you need to clock ADC/DAC somehow. Check out the specs, you will find ERASynth may very well be your next clock source. Besides the price, ERASynth’s portability will definitely help when you are out in the field.

Anyone Else

ERASynth is for anyone interested in RF testing. Below is a short list of application areas where users can take advantage of ERASynth:

1. Mini-USB for Serial Access12. RF Attenuators (RFSA2113)
2. Wi-Fi Module (ESP8266)13. RF Output (50 Ω)
3. Wi-Fi Antenna Connector14. Wideband PLL with VCO (LMX2594 or LMX2595)
4. Micro-USB Input for Power15. 10 MHz Reference Output
5. Microphone Input16. 10 MHz Reference Input
6. Trigger and External Modulation Input17. ±0.5ppm TCXO (10 MHz)
7. Step-down Switcher18. ±25ppb OCXO (AOCJYR)
8. Step-up Switcher19. Ultralow Phase Noise VCXO (ABLNO-V)
9. RF LDOs (TPS7A8300)20. Tunable Reference Generator (LMX2594)
10. DDS (AD9913)21. Arduino Due MCU (ATSAM3X8EA-CU)
11. RF Attenuators (RFSA2023)22. Serial to USB Bridge (ATmega16U2)

Features & Specifications

Signal Generator Architecture: Multiloop with a Tunable Reference vs Single Loop Fractional-N

Low cost, USB-controlled RF signal generators are available from a multitude of vendors. These signal generators usually include a single fractional PLL IC with integrated VCO. Examples of such PLL ICs are: ADF435x and ADF5355 series from ADI, LMX series from TI, MAX2870 from Maxim, and STuW series from STMicro. These signal generators are mostly a close replica of the eval board of the PLL/VCO IC and they are usually limited in terms of performance. ERASynth architecture provides several built-in features that overcome these limitations.

ERASynth rev3.1 block diagram

Competitor block diagram

ERASynth Eliminates Integer Boundary Spurs

While fractional-N PLLs are great for generating frequencies with fine frequency resolution, they suffer from a phenomenon called "integer boundary spurs" (IB spurs). IB spurs are visible at the output of a frac-N PLL IC when the output frequency is close to an integer multiple of the reference frequency. For example, generating an RF output of 6000.01 GHz from a 100 MHz reference will result in IB spurs as large as -30 dBc. This level of performance may be acceptable for some specific application, but generally it is unacceptable for signal generators. ERASynth’s multi-loop architecture eliminates IB spurs by varying the reference in fine steps while keeping the main loop in integer-N mode. This architecture not only diminishes IB spurs but also helps reduce phase noise. PLL IC’s phase noise floors are usually lower by 2-3 dB in integer-N mode compared to frac-N mode.

ERASynth rev2 (turquoise) vs ADF5355 Eval Board (yellow) @ 6.14401418 GHz. ERASynth rev2 uses ADF4356 as the main PLL.

ERASynth Improves Phase Noise

On top of the dual loop PLL that generates the RF output, ERASynth adds another PLL to minimize the reference phase noise. While many competitors use low-cost TCXOs in the range of a few tens of MHz, ERASynth uses a 100 MHz VCXO with a very low phase noise floor. This VCXO is stabilized with a ±0.5 ppm TCXO or ±25ppb OCXO depending on the model. The VCXO may also be locked to an external 10 MHz reference.

ERASynth rev3.1 phase noise at 10 GHz RF output.

ERASynth rev3.1 phase noise at 1 GHz RF output.

ERASynth rev3.1 phase noise at 100 MHz RF output.

ERASynth rev3.1 phase noise at 10 MHz RF output.

ERASynth rev3.1 10 MHz REF OUT phase noise.

Comparisons: ERASynth vs. Low-cost USB Signal Generators

-ERA Instruments ERASynthERA Instruments ERASynth+Vaunix LMS-602DDS Instruments SG6000LDWindfreak SynthHD
ArchitectureInt-N Driven by Frac-N Int-N Driven by Frac-N ?*Frac-N Frac-N
Frequency Range250 kHz to 6 GHz250 kHz to 15 GHz 1.5 to 6 GHz25 to 6000 MHz and 6 to 12 GHz54 MHz to 13.6 GHz
Frequency Resolution1 Hz 1 Hz 100 Hz~3 kHz 0.1Hz
Max Frequency Error0 Hz 0 Hz ?*~3 kHz0 Hz
Amplitude Range-60 to +15 dBm -60 to +15 dBm -40 to +10 dBmtypical +11 dBm with 31.5dB attenuator?
Phase Noise at 1 GHz and 10 kHz offset-120 dBc/Hz -120 dBc/Hz -97 dBc/Hz-91 dBc/Hz (*)-100 dBc/Hz
Frequency Switching Time250 µs 250 µs 100 µs ?*4 ms
SubharmonicsNone None None over 6 to 12 GHz over 6.8 to 13.6 GHz
Reference100 MHz VCXO locked to a ±0.5 ppm TCXO100 MHz VCXO locked to a ±25 ppb OCXO & ±0.5 ppm TCXO ±2 ppm±2.5 ppm 10 MHz TCXO±2.5 ppm 10/27 MHz TCXO
REF IN/REF OUT ConnectorsYes Yes Only REF IN. REF OUT is optionalOnly REF INOnly REF IN
Trigger InputYes Yes optional ($400 USD)NoYes
Microphone InputYes Yes NoNoNo
EnclosureMilled aluminum Milled aluminum Milled aluminum Extruded aluminumExtruded aluminum
Power Input5 to 12 V 5 to 12 V 5 V5 V6 V
Power Input Connectormicro USB micro USB mini USBmicro USB power jack
Serial ConnectivityYesYesYesYesYes
Wi-Fi ConnectivityYes Yes No No No
Open SourceSchematics, firmware and GUI Schematics, firmware and GUINothing Nothing LabVIEW GUI
GUI platformPlatform independent web-based GUI Platform independent web-based GUI WindowsWindowsWindows and Linux

Comparisons: ERASynth vs. Professional Bench-Top RF Signal Generators

-ERA Instruments ERASynthERA Instruments ERASynth+Rigol DSG830Stanford Resarch SG386Keysight N5171B EXA
ArchitectureInt-N Driven by Frac-NInt-N Driven by Frac-NInt-N Driven by DDS?Rational Approximation Frequency SynthesisProprietry Frac-N ASIC
Frequency Range250 kHz to 6 GHz250 kHz to 15 GHz 9 kHz to 3 GHzDC to 6 GHz9 kHz to 6 GHz
Frequency Resolution1 Hz1 Hz0.01 Hz1 µHz0.001 Hz
Amplitude Range-60 to +15 dBm-60 to +15 dBm-110 to +13 dBm -110 to +16.5 dBm -140 to +18 dBm
Level ControlOpen LoopOpen LoopClosed Loop ALC Closed Loop ALC Closed Loop ALC
Calibration over TemperatureOnly at Room Temp Only at Room Temp 0 to 50°C 0 to 45°C 0 to 50°C
Phase Noise at 1 GHz, 10 kHz offset-120 dBc/Hz -120 dBc/Hz -104 dBc/Hz -114 dBc/Hz-122 dBc/Hz
Frequency Switching Time250 µs 250 µs <10000 µs8000 µs<5000 µs standard, <800 µs optional
Harmonics-10 dBc typical -10 dBc typical <-30 dBc<-35 dBc<-35 dBc
Reference100 MHz VCXO locked to a ±0.5 ppm TCXO100 MHz VCXO locked to a ±25 ppb OCXO ±2 ppm TCXO or optional ±5 ppb OCXO ±2 ppb OCXO ±1 ppm TCXO or optional ±5 ppb OCXO
ModulationAM, FM and pulseAM, FM and pulseAM/FM/ΦM and optional pulseAM/FM/ΦM/pulseoptional AM/FM/ΦM/pulse

Support & Documentation

ERASynth schematics, Arduino firmware, web and Windows GUI source codes, datasheet and user guide are all available on ERA Instruments GitHub repository.

In the Press

Ask a Question

Produced by ERA Instruments in Istanbul, Turkey.

Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.


250 kHz to 15 GHz RF Signal Generator with OCXO and TCXO

$1,700 Free US Shipping / $18 Worldwide


250 kHz to 20 GHz RF Signal Generator with OCXO and TCXO. Comes with a 15 to 20 GHz cavity filter.

$2,250 Free US Shipping / $18 Worldwide

About the Team

ERA Instruments

Istanbul, Turkey  ·  erainstruments.com

Makers of RF test and measurement equipment.

Nurullah Kılınç

Embedded Firmware Engineer

Erkin Halaçlı

PCB Designer

Muhammet Küçük

Web Application Engineer

See Also

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects