10 Hz to 4.4 GHz spectrum analyzer PC based ( $1000 )

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by AG6JU, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. AG6JU

    AG6JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    friend of mine told me about this inexpensive ( about $1000 ) PC based spectrum analyzer, it also have option of getting tracking generator for another $600, they also have model go up to 12 GHz for $2000


    it seems like with in price range of Ham use,
  2. KE5TOY

    KE5TOY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, there is an even less expensive RF spectrum analyzer called the RF Explorer, whcih sells for between $119 and $129 for the base model, depending on options. The WSUB3G expansion card will expand the measurement capabilities to 15MHz to 2,700MHz. I don't have one yet, but some people that I know do and consider it a capable unit for the money.
  3. G0HZU

    G0HZU QRZ Member

    I was asked about the Signalhound last year and had a quick look at the datasheet for it.

    Like all spectrum analyser designs it has its limitations and also its good and bad points.
    However, it is a very unconventional design with the choice of two very low first IF frequencies. (2.9 and 10.7MHz?)

    This means it ought to be very poor wrt image and IF rejection but it achieves its image rejection through a search/identify routine that presumaby attempts to decide if energy detected is real or an image. i.e. it probably does a degree of dynamic IF swapping and LO swapping to try and build up an image free result onscreen.

    So this is definitely not an analyser for the purists. However, I'd imagine it can do most of the tasks that a ham would require if they understand and work around its limitations.

    It would be interesting to see how well it performs as an SDR receiver. I doubt it would work well with a real aerial but for monitoring a transmission via its 'SDR' mode it would be very useful compared to a conventional analyser.

    In other words I think most hams would happily live with the limitations in image and spurious rejection because of the demodulation advantages it offers through its DSP and also it can presumably sweep quite quickly on very narrow spans compared to a conventional analyser.

    However, I'd expect it to be very slow at sweeping large spans, eg if you wanted to sweep 0 to 1500MHz it would probably take a second or more. By contrast, a decent conventional analyser can sweep 0-1500MHz in 0.02 seconds and gives the appearance of a real time display.
  4. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just checked out the RF Explorer on the net , sent a email waiting to see what / when the extended version is ready 15 - 2,700 mHz .
    Maybe good for looking for noise in local area ?
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