Tektronix Intros USB-Based RF Spectrum Analyzer

Tek’s new solution provides real-time, high performance RF spectrum analysis on a tablet.

Tektronix recently introduced the RSA500 series of spectrum analyzers, built to bring real-time RF spectrum analysis to a wide range of engineers needing to track down hard-to-find interference, maintain RF networks and document their efforts.

The heart of the RSA500 series is the USB-based RF spectrum analyzer that captures 40 MHz real-time bandwidths with great fidelity in harsh environments. With 70 dB spurious free dynamic range and frequency coverage to 18.0 GHz, all signals of interest can be examined with high confidence in the measurement results.

The USB form factor moves the weight of the instrument off users and engineers and replaces it with a lightweight Windows tablet or laptop. Holding a light PC instead of a heavy spectrum analyzer means users can move faster, for longer, and accomplish work faster. The optional tracking generator enables gain/loss measurements for quick tests of filters, duplexers and other network elements, and you can add cable and antenna measurements of VSWR, return loss, distance to fault and cable loss as needed.

SignalVu-PC software offers rich analysis capability in the field. The RSA500 series operates with SignalVu-PC, a powerful program used as the basis of Tek’s traditional spectrum analyzers. SignalVu-PC offers a deep analysis capability previously unavailable in high performance battery-operated solutions. Real-time processing of the DPX spectrum/ spectrogram is enabled in a PC, further reducing the cost of hardware. Customers who need programmatic access to the instrument can choose either the SignalVu-PC programmatic interface or use the included application programming interface (API) that provides a rich set of commands and measurements directly. Basic functionality of the free SignalVu-PC program is far from basic. Base version measurements are shown below.

The RSA500A combined with SignalVu-PC offers advanced field measurements With 40 MHz of real-time bandwidth, the unique DPX spectrum/ spectrogram shows every instance of an interfering or unknown signal, even down to 15 µs in duration.

Controller for USB spectrum analyzers

A complete solution requires a Windows Tablet or laptop for instrument operation, record keeping and communication. Tektronix recommends the Panasonic FZ-G1 tablet computer for controlling the RSA500 series and as a standalone unit.

The Panasonic FZ-G1 tablet computer is sold separately and is available for purchase from Panasonic and a variety of third party vendors. Tektronix recommends the FZ-G1 over other tablets because of its performance, portability, and ruggedized form-factor. The FZ-G1 has been tested to work with all Tektronix USB RSA products.

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