Spectrum Analysers

Spectrum analysers are widely used within the electronics industry for analysing the frequency spectrum of radio frequency, RF and audio signals. Looking at the spectrum of a signal they are able to reveal elements of the signal, and the performance of the circuit producing them. They are able to make a large variety of measurements and this means that they are an invaluable tool for the RF design development and test laboratories, as well as having many applications for specialist field service.


Spectrum analysers are an invaluable item of electronic test equipment used in the design, test and maintenance of radio frequency circuitry and equipment. They are used for observing signals in the frequency domain. Thus a spectrum analyser will display the amplitude of signals on the vertical scale, and the frequency of the signals on the horizontal scale.


Types of Spectrum Analysers


Swept spectrum analysers: Sweeping the frequency that is analysed across the required band to produce a view of the signals with their relative strengths. Type that is most widely used.


Fast Fourier Transform, FFT analysers: Converting the signals into a digital format for analysis digitally. More expensive and specialised.


Real-time analysers: Form of FFT analyser. Requiring much larger buffers and more powerful processing, these types are able to offer the top performance in signal analysis.


Audio spectrum analyser: Focussed on audio frequencies, this means that low frequency techniques can be adopted. This makes them much cheaper. It is even possible to run them on PCs with a relatively small amount of hardware.


Spectrum analysers tend to fall into 4 form factors:


  • Benchtop - can be plugged into AC power, which generally means in a lab environment or production/manufacturing area.
  • Portable – can be taken outside to make measurements or simply carried while in use.
  • Handheld - needs to be very light and small.
  • Networked - ability to connect the analyser to a network

Spectrum Analyser Tips


  • Beware input level: One major cause of damage is the input mixer being blown when the analyser is measuring high power circuits.
  • Determine if spurs are real
  • Wait for self-alignment: When first switched on, it goes through its software boot-up procedure and, undertakes a number of self-test and calibration routines.
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Part Details Brand Stock Bandwidth Number of Channels Setting Modes Series Maximum Frequency Minimum Frequency Display Type Screen Size Markers RF Input Desktop/Handheld Model Number p Dimensions Width Length Height Weight Minimum Operating Temperature Maximum Operating Temperature Plug Type
Rohde & Schwarz FPC1000 Desktop Spectrum Analyser, 5 kHz → 3 GHz Rohde & Schwarz 0 5 kHz → 3 GHz 1 Span R&SFPC 3GHz 5 kHz WXGA 10.1in Frequency N Connector Desktop FPC1000 396 x 147 x 178 (Without Feet) mm, 396 x 156 x 185 (With Feet) mm 147 (Without Feet) mm, 156 (With Feet) mm 396 (With Feet) mm, 396 (Without Feet) mm 178 (Without Feet) mm, 185 (With Feet) mm 3kg +10°C +40°C Type B - North American 3-pin
Rohde & Schwarz FPC1500 Desktop Spectrum Analyser, 5 kHz → 3 GHz Rohde & Schwarz 0 5 kHz → 3 GHz 1 Span R&SFPC 3GHz 5 kHz WXGA 10.1in Frequency N Connector Desktop FPC1500 396 x 147 x 178 (Without Feet) mm, 396 x 156 x 185 (With Feet) mm 147 (Without Feet) mm, 156 (With Feet) mm 396 (With Feet) mm, 396 (Without Feet) mm 178 (Without Feet) mm, 185 (With Feet) mm 3kg +10°C +40°C Type B - North American 3-pin
LeCroy T3SA3100 Desktop Spectrum Analyser, 9 kHz → 2.1 GHz LeCroy 0 9 kHz → 2.1 GHz 1 - T3SA3000 2.1GHz 9 kHz WVGA 10.1in - - Desktop T3SA3100 - - - - - - - -
LeCroy T3SA3200 Desktop Spectrum Analyser, 9 kHz → 3.2 GHz LeCroy 0 9 kHz → 3.2 GHz 1 - T3SA3000 3.2GHz 9 kHz WVGA 10.1in - - Desktop T3SA3200 - - - - - - - -
T3SA Spectrum Analyzer EMI measurement k LeCroy 0 - - - T3SA - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T3SA Spectrum Analyzer Tracking Generato LeCroy 0 - - - T3SA - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T3SA Spectrum Analyzer Utility Kit: Cont LeCroy 0 - - - T3SA - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T3SA Spectrum Analyzer series Advanced m LeCroy 0 - - - T3SA - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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