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John Blankenship

Handheld Spectrum Analyzer

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As many people know, a quality spectrum analyzer can run you into the thousands of dollars. So, the terms "inexpensive" and "spectrum analyzer" don't naturally occur in the same sentence.

Still, it would be nice to know what RF activity is in a particular band.

Well, that price-performance equation is no longer true. I just took delivery of what has to be one of the neatest cheap toys you'll find for our profession and obsession.

Here is the link:

http://www.seeedstud....html?cPath=174

Here's a link to manuals, software, etc.:

http://micro.arocholl.com/

It's so darn cheap, does the unit work? The short answer is: YES.

For that matter, the long answer is also: YEESSSSS!

The analyzer covers the range of 240MHZ to 960 MHZ with a maximum span of 100MHZ. You can even display just the frequencies of a given wireless transmitter's band and you can zoom in or zoom out the frequency range that is displayed. There are several different ways of viewing the scan and you can define the dB range of the signal strength shown on the display. There's even PC software that allows you to connect the unit to a computer. The analyzer is housed in an aluminum case and comes with an extendable antenna. It's a convenient hand-held size so it's great for location work.

NOTE: When I ordered mine I thought that the Wi-Fi (2.4GHZ) version was a separate unit. Well, it is, but there is also a plugin module that will allow this unit to do both. I've since ordered that module. The web site even has step-by-step instructions for adding the module.

The model you want for our application is the wideband WSub1G. The add-on Wi-Fi frequency module is RFEM2.4G.

The price is a low $129 for the WSUB1G with free shipping for orders over $50. The FREM2.4G module is $45.

Here's the link where you can find the additional module.

http://www.seeedstud...choll-m-22.html

They are out of stock on the wideband units right now as they were when I was first looking at them a couple of months ago. I added my email address to the "NOTIFY ME" selection on the following link and when they emailed me that they were in stock again, I ordered promptly.

http://www.seeedstud....html?cPath=174

I think these are designed primarily for the RC crowd. I'm not sure where the designer lives, but the units ship out of China and it took a bit to get mine, maybe 2-3 weeks.

My analyzer has already helped me find a source of broadband RF polution on my cart that I didn't know existed in a particular band.

NOTE: Follow the "handling care" link to help you protect your instrument.

Well, that's it. I just wanted to share a "find."

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I put myself on the "Notify" list. Cool little tool to use in conjunction with the IAS software, without having to drag a full-blown spectrum analyzer out with me. I hope it performs as advertized.

Thanks John!

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has anyone else tried this spectrum analyzer? It looks like Gotham sells it as well.

recently received mine, Seems to work as advertised.

internal rechargable battery (via USB) and very simplistic controls = handy addition to the kit

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The Gotham listing says there is an additional module coming this summer that can scan Comtek frequencies. If I read it right, it could be added to the scanner if you buy one today. I have not gotten around to investigating if it's worth waiting to buy till that module exists, or if it's easy to upgrade in a few months. Either way, they sound like something everyone can justify buying.

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Great find indeed! Glad there are fresh posts on this since I missed it in Feb. John B, what was your newly discovered on cart RF pollution? Hard drives?

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Great find indeed! Glad there are fresh posts on this since I missed it in Feb. John B, what was your newly discovered on cart RF pollution? Hard drives?

Not so much hard drives.

I learned a few things, but a surprise was the RF that one of my M216 Comtek transmitters was putting out into much higher bands -- the other m216, not so much. I have a bunch of different transmitters on the cart, an M216 for key crew, an M72 for video village, an M216 for wireless boom, a Lectro as needed, a Sennheiser G2 for reference feed to a 5D, and my Nomad's Zaxnet.

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I bought one, works fine. Not FCC approved, FYI.

Wait, so the scanning tool has not been tested/approved not to bleed its own RF noise and interference? That's kind of funny on some level.

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Wait, so the scanning tool has not been tested/approved not to bleed its own RF noise and interference? That's kind of funny on some level.

I did a comparison scan with my lectros 411a's and rx analyser and they pretty much look the same... The rx analyser seems a little bit more sensitive... I plan on using the analyzer just for scouts, nothing more. My dBm is set to -107dBM=1uV and -47dBm=1000uV so my scan is somewhat similar to my lectro scan uV wise.

It doesn't seem to pick up its rfi... As I use it more I'll let you know...

The only thing so far I don't like about it is you have to charge it via USB mini. Wish it was just AA... But hey it is what it is. ;)

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...

The only thing so far I don't like about it is you have to charge it via USB mini. Wish it was just AA... But hey it is what it is. ;)

IMHO: Considering that it sells for a small fraction of the price of most similar devices, there is nothing to dislike about it.

NOTE: In order for the USB charge to work the power switch must be in the "ON" position.

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IMHO: Considering that it sells for a small fraction of the price of most similar devices, there is nothing to dislike about it.

NOTE: In order for the USB charge to work the power switch must be in the "ON" position.

Yup, had to download the PDF manual to figure that one out. I haven't used the software program that comes with it for the computer yet...

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