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The unit in question is an Elecraft XG3 test signal generator. It puts out anywhere from -107 dBm to 0 dBm. Is it safe to have these signal generators on and transmitting while not connected to anything, or should they always be connected to a 50 ohm load?

I want to fire it up for the first time but I don't want it hooked up to my actual rig until I know everything's good. Can I just hook it up to a dummy load? Or is the power so minuscule that it doesn't matter?

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It's not necessary to turn it off while it is not connected. Zero dBm is a power level of only 1 milliwatt, and no device will be damaged by that power level.

If it were, the manual would have said so.

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    $\begingroup$ yeah i saw no mention of it in the manual one way or the other. guess i was overthinking it. $\endgroup$ – Paul Apr 11 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Paul Well, I've also been accused of overthinking things. ;-) If my answer helped you, it's customary here to mark it as accepted by clicking the check mark next to it. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 12 at 19:20
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From Elecraft support:

"You do not have to connect a load to the XG3. A signal generator is different from a transmitter."

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