Colby Instruments is the industry leader in high-precision programmable delay line instruments.


What is a programmable delay line?


A programmable delay line is a high frequency/RF signal path that is subjected to a specific and changeable (via computer program control) electrical delay. This results in a signal delay (as measured in the time domain) or a phase shift in the frequency domain.


How is delay achieved?

Precision delay is introduced into the high frequency signal path (or transmission line) by the expansion (more delay) or compression (less delay) of the patented electromechanical trombone.


Coarse delay is offered through a switched network of Aerospace grade microwave relays and precision cut low-loss semi-rigid coaxial  cable. Total delay is the sum of each switched relay section of delay (either on for additive delay or off for no additional delay). 

There is no other competitive product in the marketplace that offers the total range of delay, the ease of programming, the precision accuracy, and repeatability as the PDL-100A series of Programmable Delay Line instruments.


Colby precision. The standard for our customers' industries. And yours.

Our products are used in test and measurement laboratories, electronic and aerospace companies, defense systems, fiber optics, telecommunications, semiconductor fabrication, and in leading university and laser research labs.


Why do Colby customers use programmable delay lines?


Precision pHASE SHIFT

  • Achieve quadrature lock, noise cancellation loop, and phase comparison in phase noise analysis systems
  • Phase matching applications
  • Phase array radar and antenna testing
  • Satellite and signal simulation testing
  • High frequency signal generation and receiver testing and analysis

programmable Delay

  • Synchronize data or clock sources in digital communications equipment
  • Timing and shaping of laser pulses
  • Semiconductor research and design validation
  • High frequency digital data analysis
  • De-skewing and timing of single ended or differential signal sources

Interested? Learn more about our product lines.