I have an EOM I am using to generate pulses from a CW laser. I would like to get pulses in the 0.5 ns to 2 ns range, but I am finding that most benchtop function generators or pulse generators usually die out in the 5-10 ns range. RF function generators that I have seen are over my budget. Since the optical signal mirrors the electrical signal, it needs to be straight up and down - not a switch turning on an RF source, as is shown in a "microwaves101.com" tutorial.
Meanwhile, everyday people do optical communications at 2.5Gb/s and 10 Gb/s, among other rates. Surely there must be some relatively inexpensive electrical sources. I've found various links for XFP and SFP modules. Though these have lasers built in, does anyone know of demo boards or evaluation kits for these types of things that will generate the pulses? Do these modules actually generate the pulses, or just have the drive amplifier and receiver circuitry?
I can amplify them after with an RF amp we already have, so output voltage is not important. OEM modules would be fine, as I can supply them with regulated DC voltage if necessary. If anyone knows of a cheap pulse source, I would really appreciate it.