Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spectrum Analyzer Choices

Here's a newbie discussing the purchase of his first spectrum analyzer.

Over the holidays, I decided to take the incredibly bulky cell phone analyzer I had purchased a few years back to electronic recycling.  I had purchased the analyzer based on advice that it had a pretty good spectrum analyzer inside.  It did, but it was incredibly hard to use, required an external monitor, was enormous and enormously heavy and with sharp edges so I'd cut myself whenever I tried to use it. About 24 inches deep, it could not possibly fit on any of my shelves.  It had cost me $400.  Now I'm willing to pay a bit more to get something nice.  I did use the $400 analyzer to test various remote control extenders and that was how I discovered they used similar but not entirely identical frequencies around 815mHz.

The above discussion reveals the HP 8594E as being a fairly nice analyzer, however best if you can get the high performance and tracking generator options.  the *94 has bandwidth to 2Ghz, the *91 only has bandwidth to 1500Mhz.   However the 856* analyzers have better specs.  Brand new Rigol spectrum analyzers may be a better choice…brand new with factory warranty and priced below many long used HP analyzers.

I looked at the HP 859* spec sheets and the difference between 8591e and 8594e is just the extension of bandwidth.  I seem to see a pattern where going above 1500mHz costs a lot for some reason.  Maybe I could live without the added bandwidth, at least Android phones can show wifi power levels without making connections (iPhones won't do this) which is about all I'm actually interested in at 2.2Ghz.

In the Rigol line, the DSA815-TG looks nice and quite affordable at 1500mHz bandwidth.  The 3.2Ghz model with only a little better specs costs more than twice as much.  Then the prices climb steeply for additional increments of Ghz bandwidth.

No comments:

Post a Comment