Spectrum Analyzers and Signal Analyzers Information Spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers are passive receivers, which displays the signal in the form of easily identifiable data.  Spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers display raw, unprocessed signal information such as voltage, power, period, wave shape, sidebands, and frequency. They can provide the user with a clear and precise window into the frequency spectrum. Spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers are used to analyze the...
Learn More about Spectrum Analyzers and Signal Analyzers


Q & A on Spectrum Analyzers and Signal Analyzers

We asked our users for their input on Spectrum Analyzers and Signal Analyzers. Here are the results of 99 users familiar with Spectrum Analyzers and Signal Analyzers.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing spectrum analyzer and signal analyzer design?
14 answers
Answers:
Digital displays and the network interfaces that come from being a digital source allow logging and analysis of results. I remember the days when I used a Polaroid camera to record a sweep.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
Increase in measurement speeds and the requirement to lower the noise floor of all measurement tools
~Allen Brouillette, Engineer, Essex Jct, VT
Discovery of FFTW, time-frequency analysis methods, Vold-Kalman order tracking filter
~Tuma J, Faculty/Staff, Ostrava, Czech Repubic
See More Answers
Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers?
15 answers
Answers:
I am only now re-entering the market. I'd like the answer to this question too!
~Clark S, Engineer, Chicago, IL
H.P. Numerous small companies, Commtest.
~JOHN D, Engineering Consultant, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
AV Technology James Fisher ZonicBook SKF
~Simon M, Director of Training & Services, Leicester, UK
See More Answers

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers for?
26 answers
Answers:
Diagnostics of machines, noise and vibration reduction, active vibration and noise control, experimental dynamics, give lectures to students, pattern recognition, image processing, speech processing
~Tuma J, Faculty/Staff, Ostrava, Czech Repubic
Besides the obvious, RF systems maintenance, I have used them for wide band antenna tuning, sweeping cavity filters and monitoring off air performance and interference.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
I am a satellite installer and use satellite signal analyzer for installations and troubleshooting simple Ku-band and C-band DTH or VSaT Terminals occasionally.
~Technical Support/Services, ACCRA, Ghana
See More Answers
Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers have been used for.
10 answers
Answers:
The "long cable" method of return loss measurement to tune wide band transmit tin antenna. Many many years ago I learnt this method using a R&S Polyskop and have ported this to other forms of sweep generator, spec- an combinations.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
Wireless transmission of signal processing, i.e. magnetic properties or for metal detection
~Engineering, Other, Cavite, Philippines
Mapping environmental RFI frequency and energy level averages.
~Clark S, Engineer, Chicago, IL
See More Answers
Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers?
7 answers
Answers:
Don't drop them or blow the front end out. For power apps it is prudent to put an external power attenuators on the front end, 10 or 20dB should be sufficient.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
Misinterpretation due to percentage of element was operator skill only. New equipment I believe is computerized.
~Tom C, Plant Inspector, Liverpool, Englad, UK.
Yes... some cases by difference of potential in the primary force... ground disconnected...
~Sérgio S, Design Engineer, Curitiba, Brasil
See More Answers

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
12 answers
Answers:
Well, it may already exist, but TCP/IP over Ethernet connectivity to allow easy downloading of results via FTP or even SMB. Traces either as captured data in numerical form, a JPG snapshot or an AVI recording.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
Fuzzy logic for comparing measured waveforms to stored waveforms. Real-time filtering allowing multiple, tunable pass frequencies simultaneously.
~Clark S, Engineer, Chicago, IL
Portability of on line condition monitoring hardware, complete analytic reporting and with link to internet for technical manuals searches.
~Engineering, Other, Cavite, Philippines
Simple PC interface to interchange data with third-party software such as MATLAB
~Opas C, Faculty/Staff, Bangkok, Thailand
To identify which type of carbon steel, previously carbon was not possible.
~Tom C, Plant Inspector, Liverpool, Englad, UK.
Portability, increased frequency coverage, ease of menu driven operation.
~Jack C, Radio Communications Business Owner, Rockhampton, Australia
low frequency narrow bandwidth small envelope two to four ch.
~JOHN D, Engineering Consultant, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Designing own computional method incorporated into analyzers
~Tuma J, Faculty/Staff, Ostrava, Czech Repubic
Lower noise floor designs on real time spectrum analyzers
~Allen Brouillette, Engineer, Essex Jct, VT
Handheld Size, 1Hz to 100GHz Color Display, under $1000
~Mark S, Engineer, Fort Worth, TX
Extensive waveform math, scripting and programming
~Engineering,Design, Horseheads, NY
Rugged Size Weight Battery Life
~Simon M, Director of Training & Services, Leicester, UK

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers?
7 answers
Answers:
I am not familiar with the latest equipment, our equipment has radioactive sources so it does not produce light. The Metasope had a Titanium tip that vibrated to produce white light, this went through a prism and the chemical elements were checked as spectro lines. They left a burnt mark on the steel.
~Tom C, Plant Inspector, Liverpool, Englad, UK.
I would pick an analyzer that has an intuitive front panel and a company with a responsive support staff --- Also see if they will allow you a loaner for you to try before you purchase the tool -- Both R&S and Agilent do this.
~Allen Brouillette, Engineer, Essex Jct, VT
Firstly, identify your needs for now and the future. Look to see what retrofit upgrade options are available, in case your future needs change.
~Jack C, Radio Communications Business Owner, Rockhampton, Australia
Don't forget the Attenuator, if you are going to need one.
~Mark S, Engineer, Fort Worth, TX
Check the specs, then check the specs then ... Again.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
Put ease of use at the top of your selection list.
~Simon M, Director of Training & Services, Leicester, UK
Do not buy in a hurry.
~Donal Moran, Engineer, Ballyhaunis, Ireland

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using spectrum analyzers and signal analyzers?
8 answers
Answers:
Limitations of equipment to detect carbon sulphur etc. I believe the last equipment can detect carbon and is a digital readout, we had to verify elements by comparing homologous line brightness.
~Tom C, Plant Inspector, Liverpool, Englad, UK.
Be cautious when purchasing real time spectrum analyzers as they have significantly higher noise floors and the trade off for speed of measurement may not be worth it.
~Allen Brouillette, Engineer, Essex Jct, VT
Check min/max frequency range Don't confuse accuracy with repeatability Remember a spectrum is only a part view of a signal
~Simon M, Director of Training & Services, Leicester, UK
Yes - you must consider the whole system i.e. transducer to the output. Must be compatible with lap top.
~JOHN D, Engineering Consultant, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Buy the best you can afford, suitable to your mission requirements.
~Robyn E, Engineer, Perth, Australia
Pick a unit that has very good after sales support.
~Jack C, Radio Communications Business Owner, Rockhampton, Australia
Get the model with the built in tracking generator.
~Mark S, Engineer, Fort Worth, TX
List all applications
~Donal Moran, Engineer, Ballyhaunis, Ireland


Related eNewsletters
See More

Also on GlobalSpec...
  • Receive email updates on new products and suppliers of interest to you
  • Online, interactive conferences / trade shows featuring latest news and industry trends
  • CR4
    Q&A and discussion for the engineering, scientific, and technical community
  • Engineering and scientific news from hundreds of sources
  • Industrial manufacturers and distributors