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RoadTest the TEKTRONIX  RSA306B - Review

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 10
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 10
Support materials were available: 10
The price to performance ratio was good: 10
TotalScore: 60 / 60
  • RoadTest: RoadTest the TEKTRONIX RSA306B
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Independent Products
  • Was everything in the box required?: No - N connector with antenna is required to actually use the device, other Demo kits included this and a Demo Board.
  • Comparable Products/Other parts you considered: None
  • What were the biggest problems encountered?: I was informed of the needed materials for use of the device ahead of time so while the lack of N connector and antenna delayed use it was expected and understood.

  • Detailed Review:

    Introduction:

    To start off this RoadTest I would like to thank Element 14 and Tektronix for allowing me the opportunity to work with this incredible tool and get addicted to learning about yet another electronic device!  rscasny / Mr. Randall Scasny @ Element 14 has been a great person to work with and I appreciate his patience in regards to this RoadTest, tax forms, digital signatures, shipping, follow ups, all part of the flow that he deals with and makes it easier for us RoadTesters!

     

    This device has a variety of very interesting application uses that can easily guide you farther and farther down the RSA306B/SignalVu-PC knowledge path.  Quite honestly, I had to stop reading about new things I can do with the tool and just focus on providing a solid review/RoadTest.

     

    To give you an idea on how you can be pulled down the RSA306B rabbit hole, the tool and base software comes with 17 signal analysis and real-time spectrum analysis measurements.  While you would expect this to be ample to keep you occupied, it doesn’t take long until you are looking at the 15 advanced measurement options available and wondering, hmm...  Luckily these are available for 30 day trials, they even have recommended packages to help you see which advanced option you should use with another.

     

    So let’s take a look at what the Tektronix RSA306B is!

     

    RSA306B information:

     

    Here we have the Tektronix RSA306B in the center, with the RSA500 on the left and the RSA600 Series on the right.  At less than half the size and half the price of the other 2 this device is an interesting option for those looking to keep costs and size down while still having a functional and impressive toolset in your hands.

     

    Here is some basic information taken from the Tektronix Website:

    The RSA306B uses your PC and Tektronix SignalVu-PC™ RF Signal Analysis Software to provide real time spectrum analysis, streaming capture and deep signal analysis capabilities for signals from 9 kHz to 6.2 GHz, all in a low-cost, highly portable package that is ideal for field, factory, or academic use.

    Key performance specifications
    • +20 dBm to -160 dBm measurement range
    • Mil-Std 28800 Class 2 environmental, shock and vibration specifications for use in harsh conditions
    • Acquisition bandwidth of 40 MHz enables wideband vector analysis of modern standards
    • Minimum signal duration of 100 μsec captured with 100% probability of intercept
    • Full-featured spectrum analysis capability with included Tektronix SignalVu-PC™ software
    • 17 spectrum and signal analysis measurement displays enable dozens of measurement types
    • Options for mapping, modulation analysis, WLAN, LTE, and Bluetooth standards support, pulse measurements, playback of recorded files, signal survey, and frequency/phase settling
    • Real time Spectrum/Spectrogram display to minimize time spent on transient and interference hunting
    • Application programming interface (API) included for Microsoft Windows environments
    • MATLAB instrument driver for use with Instrument Control Toolbox
    • Streaming capture records long-term events
    • Three year warranty
    • Academics/education
    • Maintenance, installation and repair in the factory or field
    • Value-conscious design and manufacturing
    • Interference hunting
    Key features
    Applications

    The RSA306B: a new class of instrument

    The RSA306B offers full-featured spectrum analysis and deep signal analysis at a price unmatched by any previous offering. Using the latest in commercial interfaces and available computing power, the RSA306B separates signal acquisition from measurement, dramatically lowering the cost of instrument hardware. Data analysis, storage and replay is performed on your personal computer, tablet or laptop. Managing the PC separately from the acquisition hardware makes computer upgrades easy, and minimizes IT management issues.

    SignalVu-PC™ software and an API for deep analysis and fast programmatic interaction

    The RSA306B operates with SignalVu-PC, a powerful program that is the basis of Tektronix performance signal analyzers. SignalVu-PC offers a deep analysis capability previously unavailable in value-priced solutions. Real-time processing of the DPX spectrum/spectrogram is enabled in your 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. A MATLAB driver for the API is available, enabling operation with MATLAB and the Instrument Control Toolbox.

     

    There are more details at the website in regards to SignalVu-PC software and its functionality.

     

    In addition, at the very end of this review I have added specifications taken from the datasheet for the RSA306b.

     

    I find that the Mil-Std 28800 class 2 rating is appealing. Having spent time as both an Active Duty Marine and as a Contractor for the U.S. Army in the Balkans I have had the opportunity to appreciate the extra protection over standard equipment. 

     

    Generally, with MIL-PRF, class 2 rating shows that the equipment is designed for operation in rugged environments where climate is uncontrolled.  Something I appreciate when using in my rural area, especially as future plans allow for field use!

     

    I have to admit, I did not actually perform any specific planned testing to see just how rugged the device was but Tektronix does have an interesting video available that highlights the RSA500 and RSA306B.

     

    Video:  http://bcove.me/eldam6d4

     

     

    Differences between RSA306 and B to include known Reviews:

     

    The RSA306 vs RSA306B:

     

    As can be assumed by the B designation this is not the first RSA306 Spectrum Analyzer.  While this is not a review of the RSA306 original piece of equipment I would like to go over some of the reviews/information out there on it, what was offered up as constructive criticism and how it has been addressed with the RSA306B model.

     

    Looking back a little I can see when the RSA306 was released there were what appears to be 2 different review groups. 

     

    Non Element 14 Video Bloggers:

    One group were video bloggers and they were provided a nice package to work with prior to the actual release of the product.  The RSA306, a printed Demo Manual, whip antenna, type N to BNC connector, BNC cable, special Demo Board, Y USB cable, USB 3.0 cable and even a carrying case. 

     

    It was interesting to look at their reviews since they were covering a completely new product and were unsure if what they had would be the actual released package to the public or just a special setup provided for their demonstration purposes. 

     

    The term “World Exclusive” is used a couple of times. If you are curious, Shahriar/TheSignalPath has an interesting video and Sebastian/KF5OSBS has a shorter teaser video. Sebastian also has some interesting follow up videos on SignalVu and even a tear down of the RSA306 if you want to see the internals!

     

    Element 14 RoadTest reviewers:

     

    The second group of reviewers were 3 hand picked members of Element 14, participating in the Tektronic RSA306 USB Spectrum Analyzer Road Test

     

    Their demo package was a little different, they did not receive the demo board, printed manual, antenna, connectors and BNC cable. Instead they were provided with a Lenova Thinkpad E431 (to keep up with the processing that the RSA306 requires), the RSA306, USB memory stick with software and documentation and the USB 3.0 cable.

     

     

    All 3 reviews can be of course seen at Element 14 and I provided the link above.  There is some pretty amazing information there but since this is also an Element 14 RoadTest I am assuming you, the reader, have already looked around the Element 14 forums and with the link provided can review at your leisure. 

     

    I do have to warn you, lui_gough / Mr. Gough Lui’s review on Element 14 set a very high bar for me with his information and I am finding myself with quite a lengthy review myself to share.  As such, I apologize if this RoadTest length is overly extensive and hope that you enjoy speeding past various parts until you find the parts that intrigue you.

     

     

     

    Jump forward about a year and I find a review/product advertisement for the RSA306B out there by Simon of Distrelec.  It is under 2 minutes, but from what I can see it is similar to the original video bloggers setup since it also has the demo board being used.

     

     

     

    Interestingly enough, looking at the reviews of the RSA306, (especially the Element 14 ones), I noticed comments in regards to the rubberized casing having issues and residual spurious problems.

     

    What Tektronix has done with the RSA306B seems to be focused on those complaints.  The casing has been redone to avoid the rubberized issues, residual spurious has been improved and they have even added a 10 dB better SFDR.  They took a great product, listened to the reviewers and improved upon it.  Having worked with many vendors in the past, I have always appreciated when they listen to the people in the field/customers and apply changes appropriately.

     

     

    Above is a size comparison, you can see that the improvements to the casing required a slight size increase but they are very similar.

     

     

     

    On to the latest Element 14 RoadTest for the Tektronix RSA306B spectrum Analyzer.

     

    As I mentioned earlier I am honored to be one of the reviewers for this product.  Our package is slightly different once again from previous packages. We have been provided with the RSA306B product, a USB 3.0 cable, a USB memory stick with software and documentation and a variety of other interesting and pertinent documentation.  Since it has been a bit of time, obviously, it is expected that reviewers would have the minimum hardware needed and there was no need to send a laptop with the device.

     

     

    Minimum requirements:

     

     

    USB 3.0 port (non-negotiable!)

     

    Windows7 or 8/8.1 operating system or Windows 10 (64-bit) operating system

     

    Intel Core i7 4th generation processor or greater.  Processors of lower performance can be used, with reduced real time performance. This means that the minimum signal duration for 100% probability of intercept will increase and the performance of AM/FM demodulation and listening will be degraded.

     

     

    8 GB RAM

     

     

    Drive capable of sustained write rates of 300MB/sector support streaming data.  If streaming data is not needed, drives with slower write rates will work.

     

     

    20 GB free space on the C: drive (considering I observed 2gig files being written when I was capturing 10 seconds at a time, more space is better.)

     

     

     

     

    Unboxing:

     

    The box in all its glory!  Not a very large box, but large enough to safely pack the RSA306B and assorted parts.

     

     

    That white foam is great stuff for keeping your instrument safe and snug while being shipped.

     

     

    Notice the static bag taped to the RSA306B bag? Inside that is the USB memory stick with software and documentation.  Don’t get so excited removing the RSA306B out of its bag that you forget that static bag is there.

     

     

    You can always download the manuals and software, in fact, odds are high you probably will want to download a newer version of SignalVu-PC anyway, but having it all there on the USB memory stick is nice.

     

     

    I created additional folders on the USB memory stick and used it as a repository of all the additional information I downloaded so I could have it safely archived.  I find myself adding to it more and more as I do additional research on the Tektronix website.

     

     

    Here are the key pieces you will want to have on hand.

     

     

    The RSA306B, the USB 3.0 cable and the USB memory stick.  Foam can be stored back in the original box.

     

     

    Alternate view for those that prefer the slim look on your desktop.

     

     

     

    Connecting the RSA306B:

     

    Items not included, N connectors and antenna options. If you don’t already have your own antenna(s) for what you want to do, definitely spend a little time doing research on connector types and what is actually being sold to you by the supplier.

     

    Wanting to avoid internet confusion/delay, I waited until I was in a large enough city to support a Micro Center and went to them explaining what I needed.

     

     

    Being as I had just drove 250 miles over the Rocky Mountains and had to pick someone up and then drive back to get home, I was relying on the staff there to be able to assist.  Sadly, I was sold a basic antenna with a male Type N to SMA Male adapter. (You can see the two items above with the adapter at the bottom.)  When I mentioned it did not appear to be compatible I was assured that the antenna had a twist off at the base that would allow it to work.  As I found out later, it did not.  So off to the online ordering I went to get the adapter on the right.

     

     

     

    Do I need an Antenna?

     

    Here is an example of No antenna.  Not very exciting.

     

     

    With an antenna, much better!  So some type of antenna is needed.  Which explains why the Demo board kits were sent out with at least a basic whip antenna.

     

     

     

    USB Connecting:

     

    Where to put that rascally USB 3.0 cable?  Ideally your system is similar to the one on top and they are clearly marked with the blue insert.  The system on the bottom also has USB 3.0 ports showing but as you can see it is not quite as obvious on how to differentiate between what is a USB 2.0 and 3.0.  You will probably have to look it up in your system to verify.

     

     

    If you have SignalVu-PC installed this is what you will see when plugged into a USB 2.0 port instead of a 3.0 port.  Click OK and you get:

     

     

    Remember my mentioning in the beginning of how the USB 3.0 requirement was non-negotiable? 

     

     

     

    USB Connected:

     

    This is what the RSA306B will share to you with a bad connection.  Red light steady.

     

     

     

    Once you get plugged into a proper USB 3.0 port then your light should go to a steady green.  Flashing green will occur during actual receiving.

     

     

     

     

    SignalVu-PC software install/setup:

     

    USB Memory Stick install:

     

    To install the SignalVU-PC software you have two options. One quick and easy is to browse to your provided USB memory stick and install from there.

     

     

    Website install option:

    The other way is to go to website and download the latest version to your desktop.

     

    I actually did both starting with the USB based software. Then seeing on the website that it was out of date, I ended up upgrading/installing from the website. 

     

     

    Differences between 3.7.0567 and 3.10.0030 Versions:

     

     

    Off of the USB memory stick, version 3.7.0567.  As you can see from the website they were providing version 3.10.0030 as the most current at the time of this RoadTest.

     

     

    Here is the Display option window from version 3.7.0567.

     

     

    Here is the newer version, with the default option to see all of the unpurchased goodies that are available.  If you prefer not to be tantalized, there is a box to check and Hide unpurchased measurements.  There are other changes as well but for brevity I am sharing the one that made me look further into addon options.

     

    Using the website is probably the best option, this ensures you have the latest software.  Unless you have issues with Internet connectivity, then you can always run setup from the USB memory stick.

     

    There is ample room on the USB memory stick to copy over the newest version and any additional information you might find helpful. Tektronix has a variety of interesting pdfs in regards to RF and the various tools they provide to work with RF.

     

    If you do decide to upgrade I came across a note saying that when upgrading to uninstall any older versions of TekVISA.  I was not running TekVISA on the first install so this was not an issue for me.

     

     

    Installing:

     

    Pretty basic install.  Click Next.

     

     

    I am not sure what you would want to review or change at this point since all it does is take you back one screen to where you can only click Next or Cancel.  I did try it out just to see.

    Click Install.

     

     

    I clicked the option to install TekVista v4.04.2 this time since I want to work with the mapping option and possibly the programmatic interface in the future. 

     

     

    Yes to restart.

     

    After reboot, click on the Tektronix SignalVU-PC icon and see the splash screen showing version number 3.10.0030

     

              

    System is attempting to connect to the RSA306B, (we do NOT want to see that error: Device failed to connect as USB 3.0.)

     

     

    After successful linking to the RSA306B you will get the basic Spectrum screen complete with the Warm-up period message at the bottom left.

     

     

    From what I have been able to see it takes about 30 minutes every time for the Warm-up period to end. 

     

    Over all a very simple install to quickly get you ready to work with the RSA306B.

     

    It is good to note that if you want to work with recorded data you can install the SignalVu-PC software on another computer with the free software.  Thus you can be demonstrating to someone on the other side of the world without needing the hardware at that location.

     

     

    So let’s move to some actual application of the application:

     

    Audio Demodulation:

     

    The first Test I wanted to play with was the demodulation of audio signals.  This experiment will be to see what FM stations I can observe while in my basement.

     

    My office in my basement is in a corner with no windows or other easy access to signal from outside the house.  Currently I have not ran any wire for antennas outside of the office/house.

     

     

    I do not run WiFi in there either, relying on Ethernet cabling through the floors/walls.  Rarely I will use a Bluetooth headset for VOIP calls, only because my wired one died and I was sent a wireless one as replacement.

     

     

    To start the Test, make sure you have your antenna connected and the RSA306B connected. 

    1. 1.    You can check the RSA306B connection by looking at the symbol at the bottom right hand of the screen.  If it is green you are go for testing.  Green light on the device is also a go sign.
    2. 2.    On the top right hand side of the screen you will see a blue Preset button, click that to clear you back to a base screen.
    3. 3.    Change your Frequency to 97.75 MHz.
    4. 4. Change Span to 20.50 MHz.  In the United States FM broadcasting stations operate between 87.8 MHz and 108.0 MHz.  While you can extend your Span to 40 MHz easily for the RSA306B, 20.5 is fine for the FM Test we are looking at.  Since Commercial broadcasting uses the 92.1 MHz to 107.9 MHz range that is where I am expecting to see some traffic in my basement.

    Interesting bit of history, originally FM was licensed for 42 MHz to 50 MHz back in 1940.  In 1945 FM was moved up to 88 MHz to 108 MHz to allow for growth and possible interference.  Some say this was really due to RCA trying to control the Radio market since they were heavily invested in AM and with the switch, old Stations and old receivers all had to be upgraded or completely replaced.  It was not until the late 1950s that FM radio started to pick up steam again.  What is interesting is that in 1982 FM was reported as having 70% of the global audience. Back in the 80s I lived in a very small rural area and the only station we had was AM local.

    1. 5.    Change Rev Lev to -30 dBm.
    2. 6.    Right click on the screen and you should see a pop up that allows you to click Marker to Peak.  Click it.

     

     

    1. 1.    Click the To Center button.  This will move the Marker in the Spectrum to the center.
    2. 2.    Click the Speaker/Audio Demod icon on top bar to open Audio Demod Control Panel.
    3. 3.    Make sure you are set to FM – 200 kHz and click Run to start listening.  (In the picture Run has already been clicked and Stop is being shown.)
    4. 4.    If you decide you want to record this demodulated audio then you have the option to record to a .wav file.  Click Browse to specify where you want to have this file streamed to.
    5. 5.    Check the Activate box to start recording. Uncheck to stop recording.

     

    You should now be listening to the strongest FM channel and possibly streaming it to your system for play back later if you so desired.

     

     

    While the Spectrum Display is okay for viewing, I and from what I can tell, many others prefer the DPX display.  Depending on your system and its resources you may see a reduced sound quality if trying to operate the demodulation in DPX compared to Spectrum.

     

    1. 1.    Click on the Presets tab to get the drop down.
    2. 2.    Click DPX to bring up the DPX view while pushing the Spectrum view to the right.

     

    1. 1.    Here we have the DPX display.  I prefer this over the standard Spectrum display for the easier viewing of what is happening.
    2. 2.    Here we have the standard Spectrum display.  I would use this only if my system is having trouble with the DPX display.
    3. 3.    Here you can click Clear and have the DPX display take all of the screen instead of side by side.

     

     

    Here is another example of trying to use the RSA306B in my basement without an Antenna.  No viable audio was heard. 

     

     

     

    Here is a video of the Blue Dude listening to the RSA306B.

     

     

    Industrial/Scientific/Medical (ISM) Test:

    The 2.4 GHz frequency band can be quite a mess at times with so many devices using it.  While I do not use this in my office aside from some Bluetooth rarely, we do have WiFi running in the house.  Mainly it seems for our Direct TV since to download movies it requires access to our separate Internet connection instead of streaming through their satellite.

    Tektronix has some good resources if you want to delve deeper into WiFi workings.

     

     

    This WiFi Standards Poster would be great on my wall, need to find a large format printer!  http://info.tek.com/www-wi-fi-standards-poster-wc.html

     

    http://www.tek.com/application/wlan-testing-and-analysis-ieee-80211-testing-and-analysis offers some Feature Content of interest.  Wi-Fi: Overview of the 802.11 Physical Layer and Transmitter Measurements, & How to Select to Your Wi-Fi Module, Regulatory Pre-compliance Testing for Wireless LAN transmitter.

     

    As previously mentioned and demonstrated, make sure your antenna is connected to the RSA306B and the RSA306B to your computer.

     

     

    1. 1.    Click on the blue Preset to go to a base setup.
    2. 2.    Click on the Select Displays icon.
    3. 3.    Double click the DPX icon to bring it down into the Selected displays. Alternately you can single click the icon and then click on add, but why?
    4. 4.    Double click the Spectrum icon to remove it from the Selected displays. Alternately here you can also single click the icon then click on remove.
    5. 5.    Click on OK.
    6. 6.    In my example I still had the Audio Demod panel up, clicking on the X would clear this and open up more room.

     

     

    1. 1.    Change CF to 2.41200 GHz.
    2. 2.    Change Span to 40.00 MHz.
    3. 3.    Change Spectrum to Split view.
    4. 4.    Change Ref Lev to -40.00 dBm.
    5. 5. Click on the Settings icon for “Show Settings Control Panel”  This will pop up the DPX Settings Control Panel on the lower part of the screen.
    6. 6. Under the Bitmap Scale tab change Max: to 3.00%

     

     


    1.  Under the Ampl Scale tab change Max: to -40.00 dBm.

     

     

    1. 1.    Under Traces tab Change Dot Persistence to Infinite.

     

     

    Here is a basic view here before I turned on WiFi for my Insignia Made in China tablet.

     

     

    Here is my WiFi on for my Insignia tablet.  It seems a little loud.  And it kept putting out those bursts as long as WiFi was enabled. Glad I use it as an E-Reader and usually have networking off to save battery!

     

     

    Checking out Channel 6, 2.43 GHz range.

     

     

    Here is Channel 11, 2.46 GHz range, looks like some of my neighbors are playing in this range.

     

     

     

    EMI Spurious Test:

     

    Reading about the how the RSA306B has a Spurious RF Measurement built in made me want to see how it would report back on what was seen down in my basement.

     

    Here is the Test with Results:

     

     

    1. 1.    Click the blue Preset button to reset.
    2. 2.    Click on the Select Displays icon.
    3. 3.    Click on the RF Measurements to bring up the correct Available Displays.
    4. 4.    Double click the Spurious icon to bring it down into the Selected displays. Alternately you can single click the icon and then click on add.
    5. 5.    Double click the Spectrum icon to remove it from the Selected displays. Alternately here you can also single click the icon then click on remove.
    6. 6.    Click on OK.

     

     

    1. 1. Click on the Settings icon for “Show Settings Control Panel”  This will pop up the Spurious Settings Control Panel on the lower part of the screen.
    2. 2. If the Scale tab is not selected, click on this.
    3. 3. Check the box next to Log.  This will reset the display, showing the frequency axis in a logarithmic scale.

     

     

    1. 1.    Click on the Ranges and Limits tab.
    2. 2.    Click on the Load button.
    3. 3.    Find and select the FCC Part 15, Rad, Class A (10m).csv on your USB memory stick.
    4. 4.    Click the Open button.

     

     

    It was interesting to see just how many signals were being observed by the RSA306B down in my humble basement.

     

     

    By using the Expand button on the Spurious Settings control panel you can have a better view to edit ranges and options.

     

     

    I like how this gives me a “big view” of signals that I can then go deeper into if so desired.

     

     

     

    What are those 3 Big Towers with the flashing lights blocking my view?

     

     

    3 Towers

     

     

     

    One of the tasks I wanted to try the RSA306B was seeing if I could figure out what exactly these 3 large towers are for off down the valley.

     

     

    Considering each tower is 105.5 meters tall they can be a prominent land mark, especially since there are 3 of them side by side and they flash at night.

     

    Continuing the Spurious testing above I went outside and used a modified directional antenna to point over there and see what could be “heard”.

     

     

    Interesting.  After a little observation, I was seeing a LOT of FM Radio Stations constantly being in the top.

     

    Going to internet research I found that all 3 antennas are owned by MBC Grand Broadcasting, Inc.

     

     

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    Further research shows they have control of the majority of the local Radio Stations.

     

     

    Darn, there goes my idea of some type of atmospheric control array.  For whatever odd reason, there seems to be two types of weather in this area and those antennas are the line that separates it all.  Rain, snow it all seems to not be able to pass those towers.

     

    At least now I know where ever I am outside working I can get radio stations without any problems!

     

     

     

    Let’s see what is happening at 2 Miles above Sea Level:

     

    Being on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains I get the opportunity usually at least once a month to head up and through those majestic monuments as I travel over to Denver.

     

    On top of Vail Pass (Elevation 10,622 ft / 3,237.5 m) is a nice little Rest Area that during the winter months I avoid due to its incredible popularity for snow mobile riders and other avid snow adventurers seeking access to free snow.

     

    On my last trip over though I decided that would make an interesting area to try out the RSA306B.  Here are some screen captures:

     

     

    Continuing our Spurious Display views here is what could be seen up on Vail Pass.

     

     

    I was interested in seeing if the Rest Area had any WiFi so I switched over to ISM view:

     

     

    When I first pulled in and set up the ISM view I was surprised to see it pretty quiet.  But quickly another vehicle pulled in next to me and parked and I started seeing some activity.

     

    I had actually chosen a spot on the farthest lot away from the rest rooms to avoid any vehicles interrupting my scans but this gentleman seemed to think I was lonely.

     

    It was interesting that you could see the activity and then as he turned his car off the wifi dropped and then as he was exiting his vehicle Bluetooth also dropped. 

     

     

    Here it is showing it quiet since his vehicle is turned off and he is making the trek over the snow to the rest rooms.

     

     

    Then, BAMN, a semi truck pulled up and parked a little to my rear.  The amount of noise he was putting out was enough I just took a break and went for a walk.

     

     

    Here the Semi truck has left the area but another passenger vehicle has moved into this lot.

     

     

    Here we have a new Semi Truck pulling in behind me.

     

     

    Trucks are all turned off but a little Nissan has pulled in.

     

     

     

    At this point there were three Semi trucks parked, I thought they were all turned off but something is still sending.

     

    Finally I needed to hit the road again but this was interesting enough I think the next trip I take I will include a charger for my laptop and see what signals are bouncing around in the Eisenhower Tunnel.

     

     

    For those of you that do not know about this tunnel, it is the main pathway on I70 that crosses through the Rocky Mountains at an average elevation of 11,112 ft.  I have read that it is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world.  The eastbound tunnel is 1.697 miles long inside the mountains and I think could provide an interesting scan or two while I am in there. Of course I need to coordinate with another person to be the driver since there is no stopping in the tunnel.

     

     

     

     

    Thoughts on the RSA306B and software:

    While I could continue to do more tests and add more information to this review I think I have probably went overlong as it is so I would like to end this RoadTest on my thoughts in regards to the Tektronix RSA306B Spectrum Analyzer.

     

    Overall I really like this equipment!

     

    I recognize that there are other makes and models out there that do more and have some interesting options that make people with very large budgets very loyal to them.  But I think for the price that the RSA306B is being offered and the focus they are shooting for it is an excellent piece of test equipment that is a great addition for anyone to have on their tool list.

     

    I accidentally had a chance to test their Mil-Spec rating in the fact that while travelling with it in my passenger front seat I had to hit my brakes rather sharply to avoid another driver.  The RSA306B travelled aka flew/teleported off the seat and into the floor area pretty quickly and no issues were seen when I used it later.  Aside from some dust/scuffing on the corner pads, no physical damage at all.

     

     

    The fact that previous reviewers had made comments in regards to issues with the original RSA306 and those issues were worked on with the RSA306B tells me that Tektronix is willing to listen to the users of the product and make improvements.

     

    Its size, sturdiness and price seems ideal for many educational labs and test facilities that normally would not be able to afford a piece of equipment like this or would be too concerned on it being damaged to offer use of such.

     

    The Tektronix website is a great resource for not only learning specifically about their software but in addition about RF and issues found in general.

     

    I will be including some more interesting links and information at the end of this RoadTest for those still wanting more.

     

    To summarize, I find this a very nice piece of test equipment that I would recommend to others.

     

     

     

    Thanks:

     

    Once again I would like to thank Element 14 and Tektronix for allowing me the opportunity to RoadTest/Review the RSA306B Spectrum Analyzer.

     

     

    This piece of equipment has firmly acquired my interest and I look forward to continuing to try out features that I am reading about. I am currently looking at what it will take to connect a GPS and try some of the Mapping and Interference Hunting I have seen mention of.  If I ever get access to the Demo board that the others video blogged about I will definitely have to work with the listed tests and see how they all perform!

     

     

    Further Information:

     

    For those of you like myself who really enjoy reading as much as possible about a device and the technology it supports I have added some links, information and of course the Specifications.  For the rest of you, I hope you have enjoyed this RoadTest and will look further into the RSA306B.  If you do and have anything you might want to share please feel free to contact me at the Element 14 forums.  It is a great place to get information on various technology and the members there are always interested in sharing knowledge.

     

     

    In Pursuit of Further Knowledge:

     

    Tektronix has a great webpage that provides some pretty interesting reading materials if you want to delve deeper into Spectrum Analyzers.

     

    SPECTRUM ANALYZER LITERATURE

    Title

    Product Series or Application

    Level

    Primer: Fundamentals of Real-Time Spectrum Analysis
    This primer describes how real-time spectrum analyzers work and provides a basic understanding of how it can be used to solve many measurement problems associated with modern RF signals.

    Spectrum Analyzers

    Beginner's Guide

    NEW! Poster: Spectrum Allocation
    See all the International Frequency Allocations at a glance on this wall chart, updated for 2017.

    Spectrum Allocation

    Beginner's Guide

    Primer: Fundamentals of Radar Measurements
    This 48-page primer comes packed with the all the basics about radar measurements - including the needs for pulse generation and measurements, the automated measurements that are available, how the automated measurements are made, and how pulses are generated.

    Spectrum Analyzers, Radar

    Beginner's Guide

    E-guide to RF Signals
    The eGuide to RF Signals answers your questions as well as visually shows you the various signals you can test for and analyze. This easy to use guide will give you what you need to quickly identify the signals you're looking for, whether it's a spectrum display, a spectrogram display or the 101 of Signal Classifications.

    Spectrum Analyzers

    Intermediate

    Primer: Fundamentals of Signal Integrity
    The purpose of this primer is to provide some insight into signal integrity-related problems in digital systems, and to describe their causes, characteristics, effects, and solutions.

    Signal Integrity

    Beginner's Guide

    Poster: 802.11 Wi-Fi Testing Made Easy
    This poster provides a comprehensive overview of channel allocation, spectral shape, packet information, data rates, modulation types and transmitter measurements for each of the 802.11 standards.

    Spectrum Analyzers

    Intermediate

    Primer: Overview of the 802.11 Physical Layer and Transmitter Measurements
    Get a general overview of each of the 802.11 standards, including physical layer characteristics and testing requirements.

    Spectrum Analyzers

    Intermediate

    Application Note: How to Select Your Wi-Fi Module
    When you search for a Wi-Fi module for your application, there are many different kinds of solutions to choose from. Read this guide on best practices for selecting the optimal Wi-Fi chipset or module for integration.

    Spectrum Analyzers

    Beginner's Guide

    I find that the USB memory stick is a great place to copy these to.

     

    TEK NORDIC has a youtube channel that goes into some details about RSA306 and SignalVu-PC software.  Well worth looking at.  His Signal hunting and Mapping video made me very interested in the additional addons available from Tektronix.

     

     

    SignalVu-PC software addons:

     

    Perfect segway over to the addons available for the SignalVu-PC software package.

     

    Scrolling down their page a little gives you an interface with 4 side tabs.

     

     

    The Additional Options tab lists out all 15 advanced measurement addons.  They are available for a 30 day free trial use.

     

    The Configurations tab is a nice feature since it lists combinations of those above 15 addons and a specific task to use them for.

     

    For example, Field Interface Hunting looks very interesting and is something I have on my list to try next:

     

    Field Interference Hunting

     

    RSA306 + MAPxx-SVPC, SVMxx-SVPC, SV54xx-SVPC, SV56xx-SVPC

    • MAPxx-SVPC provides integration with GPS linked map and measurements from SignalVu-PC
    • SVMxx-SVPC provides signal analysis capabilities to demodulate signals of interest
    • SV54xx-SVPC enables signal classification and survey capabilities
    • SV56xx-SVPC provides playback capability: with a SSD equipped PC, the RSA306 and PC can be used to record and play back signals of interest over the 40 MHz real time bandwidth

     

    As you can see they list all of the needed addons and explain their uses for the project.

     

    Specifications:

     

    These were taken from the Tektronix RSA306b datasheet and are provided only to satisfy the curiosity of those seriously interested people who need hard core numbers in front of them.  You know who you are!

    Specifications

    All specifications are guaranteed unless noted otherwise.

    Frequency

    RF input frequency range

    9 kHz to 6.2 GHz

    Frequency reference accuracy

    Initial

    ±3 ppm + aging (18 °C to 28 °C ambient, after 20 minute warm up)

    ±20 ppm + aging (-10 °C to 55 °C ambient, after 20 minute warm up), typical

    Aging (typical)

    ±3 ppm (1st year), ±1 ppm/year thereafter

    External frequency reference input

    Input frequency range

    10 MHz ±10 Hz

    Input level range

    -10 dBm to +10 dBm sinusoid

    Impedance

    50 Ω

    Center frequency resolution

    Block IQ samples

    1 Hz

    Streamed ADC samples

    500 kHz

    Amplitude

    RF input impedance

    50 Ω

    RF input VSWR (typical)

    ≤ 1.8:1 (10 MHz to 6200 MHz, reference level ≥ +10 dBm)

    Maximum RF input level without damage

    DC voltage

    ±40 VDC

    Reference level ≥ –10 dBm

    +23 dBm (continuous or peak)

    Reference level < –10 dBm

    +15 dBm (continuous or peak)

    Maximum RF input operating level

    The maximum level at the RF input for which the instrument will meet its measurement specifications.

    Center frequency < 22 MHz (low-frequency path)

    +15 dBm

    Center frequency ≥22 MHz (RF path)

    +20 dBm

    Amplitude accuracy at all center frequencies

    Center frequency

    Warranted (18 °C to 28 °C)

    Typical (95% confidence) (18 °C to 28 °C)

    Typical (-10 °C to 55 °C)

    9 kHz - < 3 GHz

    ±1.2 dB

    ±0.8 dB

    ±1.0 dB

    ≥ 3 GHz - 6.2 GHz

    ±1.65 dB

    ±1.0 dB

    ±1.5 dB

    Reference level +20 dBm to -30 dBm, alignment run prior to testing.

    Applies to corrected IQ data, with signal to noise ratios > 40 dB.

    The above specifications apply when operated and stored at the average factory calibration absolute humidity conditions (8 grams of water per cubic meter of air). Additional humidity specifications are provided in the Specifications and Performance Verification Technical Reference.

    Intermediate frequency and acquisition system

    IF bandwidth

    40 MHz

    ADC sample rate and bit width

    112 Ms/s, 14 bits

    Real-time IF acquisition data (uncorrected)

    112 Ms/s, 16-bit integer real samples

    40 MHz BW, 28 ±0.25 MHz Digital IF, uncorrected. Corrected values are stored with saved files

    Block streaming data at an average rate of 224 MB/s

    Block baseband acquisition data (corrected)

    Maximum acquisition time

    1 second

    Bandwidths

    ≤ 40 /( 2N) MHz, 0 Hz Digital IF, N ≥ 0

    Sample rates

    ≤ 56 / (2N) Msps, 32-bit float complex samples, N ≥ 0

    Channel amplitude flatness

    Reference level +20 dBm to -30 dBm, alignment run before testing. Applies to corrected IQ data, with signal to noise ratios >40 dB.

    Center frequency range

    Warranted

    Typical

     

    18 ⁰C to 28 ⁰C

     

    24 MHz to 6.2 GHz

    ±1.0 dB

    ±0.4 dB

    22 MHz to 24 MHz

    ±1.2 dB

    ±1.0 dB

     

    -10 ⁰C to 55 ⁰C

     

    24 MHz to 6.2 GHz

    ---

    ±0.5 dB

    22 MHz to 24 MHz

    ---

    ±2.5 dB

    Trigger

    Trigger/sync input

    Voltage range

    TTL, 0.0 V – 5.0 V

    Trigger level, positive-going threshold voltage

    1. 1.6 V minimum; 2.1 V maximum

    Trigger level, negative-going threshold voltage

    1. 1.0 V minimum; 1.35 V maximum

    Impedance

    10 kΩ

    IF power trigger

    Threshold range

    0 dB to -50 dB from reference level, for trigger levels > 30 dB above the noise floor

    Type

    Rising or falling edge

    Trigger re-arm time

    ≤100 μs

    Noise and distortion

    Displayed Average Noise Level (DANL)

    Reference level = -50 dBm, input terminated with 50 Ω load, log-average detection (10 averages). SignalVu-PC Spectrum measurements with Span > 40 MHz may use LF or RF path in the first segment of the spectrum sweep.

    Center frequency

    Frequency range

    DANL (dBm/Hz)

    DANL (dBm/Hz), typical

    < 22 MHz (LF path)

    100 kHz - 42 MHz

    -130

    -133

    ≥ 22 MHz (RF path)

    2 MHz - 5 MHz

    -145

    -148

    > 5 MHz - 1.0 GHz

    -161

    -163

    > 1.0 GHz - 1.5 GHz

    -160

    -162

    > 1.5 GHz - 2.5 GHz

    -157

    -159

    > 2.5 GHz - 3.5 GHz

    -154

    -156

    > 3.5 GHz - 4.5 GHz

    -152

    -155

    > 4.5 GHz - 6.2 GHz

    -149

    -151

    Phase noise

    Phase noise measured with 1 GHz CW signal at 0 dBm

    The following table entries are in dBc/Hz units

     

    Center frequency

    Offset

    1 GHz

    10 MHz (typical)

    1 GHz (typical)

    1. 2.5 GHz (typical)

    6 GHz (typical)

    1 kHz

    -84

    -115

    -89

    -78

    -83

    10 kHz

    -84

    -122

    -87

    -84

    -85

    100 kHz

    -88

    -126

    -93

    -92

    -95

    1 MHz

    -118

    -127

    -120

    -114

    -110

    Residual spurious response

    (Reference level ≤ -50 dBm, RF input terminated with 50 Ω load)

    CF range 9 kHz - < 1 GHz

    < -100 dBm

    CF range 1 GHz - < 3 GHz

    < -95 dBm

    CF range 3 GHz - 6.2 GHz

    < -90 dBm

    With these exceptions for LO related spurs

    < -80 dBm: 2080-2120 MHz

    < -80 dBm: 3895-3945 MHz

    < -85 dBm: 4780-4810 MHz

    Residual FM

    < 10 HzP-P (95% confidence)

    3RD order IM distortion

    Two CW signals, 1 MHz separation, each input signal level 5 dB below the reference level setting at the RF input

    Reference level at-15 dBm disables Preamp; reference level at -30 dBm enables Preamp

    Center frequency 2130 MHz

    ≤ -63 dBc at reference level -15 dBm, 18 ⁰C to 28 ⁰C

    ≤ -63 dBc, at reference level -15 dBm, -10 ⁰C to 55 ⁰C, typical

    ≤ -63 dBc, at reference level -30 dBm, typical

    40 MHz to 6.2 GHz, typical

    < -58 dBc at reference level = -10 dBm

    < -50 dBc at reference level = -50 dBm

    3RD order intercept (TOI)

    Center frequency 2130 MHz

    ≥ +13 dBm at reference level -15 dBm, 18 ⁰C to 28 ⁰C

    ≥ +13 dBm, at reference level -15 dBm, -10 ⁰C to 55 ⁰C, typical

    ≥ -2 dBm, at reference level -30 dBm, typical

    40 MHz to 6.2 GHz, typical

    +14 dBm at reference level -10 dBm

    -30 dBm at reference level -50 dBm

    2ND harmonic distortion, typical

    < -55 dBc, 10 MHz to 300 MHz, reference level = 0 dBm

    < -60 dBc, 300 MHz to 3.1 GHz, reference level = 0 dBm

    < -50 dBc, 10 MHz to 3.1 GHz, reference level = -40 dBm

    Exception: < -45 dBc in the range 1850-2330 MHz

    2ND harmonic intercept (SHI)

    +55 dBm, 10 MHz to 300 MHz, reference level = 0 dBm

    +60 dBm, 300 MHz to 3.1 GHz, reference level = 0 dBm

    +10 dBm, 10 MHz to 3.1 GHz, reference level = -40 dBm

    Exception: < +5 dBm in the range 1850-2330 MHz

    Input related spurious response (SFDR)

    Input frequencies at ≤ 6.2 GHz and 18 - 28 ºC

    Level

    Center frequency range

    Spurious responses due to the following mechanisms: RFx2*LO1, 2RFx2*LO1, RFx3LO1, RFx5LO1, RF to IF feedthrough, IF2 image

    ≤ -60 dBc

    ≤ 6200 MHz

    Spurious responses due to 1st IF images (RFxLO1)

    ≤ -60 dBc

    < 2700 MHz

    ≤ -50 dBc

    2700 - 6200 MHz

    With these exceptions at ≤ 6.2 GHz and 18 - 28 ºC, typical

    Type

    Level

    Center frequency range

    IF feedthrough

    ≤ -45 dBc

    1850 - 2700 MHz

    1st IF image

    ≤ -55 dBc

    1850 - 1870 MHz

    ≤ -35 dBc

    3700 - 3882 MHz

    ≤ -35 dBc

    5400 - 5700 MHz

    RFx2LO

    ≤ -50 dBc

    4750 - 4810 MHz

    2RFx2LO

    ≤ -50 dBc

    3900 - 3840 MHz

    RFx3LO

    ≤ -45 dBc

    4175 - 4225 MHz

    Spurious responses due to ADC images at 18 - 28 ºC

    Level

    Center frequency range

    ≤ -60 dBc

    Offset from center frequency > 56 MHz

    ≤ -50 dBc

    56 MHz ≥ offset from center frequency ≥ 36 MHz

    Local oscillator feedthrough to input connector

    < -75 dBm at reference level = -30 dBm

    Audio output

    Audio output (from SignalVu-PC or application programming interface)

    Types

    AM, FM

    IF bandwidth range

    Five selections, 8 kHz – 200 kHz

    Audio output frequency range

    50 Hz – 10 kHz

    PC audio output

    16 bits at 32 ks/s

    Audio file output format

    .wav format, 16 bit, 32 ks/s

    SignalVu-PC base performance summary

    SignalVu-PC/RSA306B key characteristics

    Maximum span

    40 MHz real-time

    9 kHz - 6.2 GHz swept

    Maximum acquisition time

    1. 1.0 s

    Minimum IQ resolution

    1. 17.9 ns (acquisition BW = 40 MHz)

    Tuning Tables

    Tables that present frequency selection in the form of standards-based channels are available for the following.

    Cellular standards families: AMPS, NADC, NMT-450, PDC, GSM, CDMA, CDMA-2000, 1xEV-DO WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, LTE, WiMax

    Unlicensed short range: 802.11a/b/j/g/p/n/ac, Bluetooth

    Cordless phone: DECT, PHS

    Broadcast: AM, FM, ATSC, DVBT/H, NTSC

    Mobile radio, pagers, other: GMRS/FRS, iDEN, FLEX, P25, PWT, SMR, WiMax

    Signal Strength display

    Signal strength indicator

    Located at right side of display

    Measurement bandwidth

    Up to 40 MHz, dependent on span and RBW setting

    Tone type

    Variable frequency based on received signal strength

    Spectrum display

    Traces

    Three traces + 1 math trace + 1 trace from spectrogram for spectrum display

    Trace functions

    Normal, Average (VRMS), Max Hold, Min Hold, Average of Logs

    Detector

    Average (VRMS), Average, CISPR peak, +Peak, -Peak, Sample

    Spectrum trace length

    801, 2401, 4001, 8001,10401, 16001, 32001, and 64001 points

    RBW range

    10 Hz to 8 MHz

    DPX spectrum display

    Spectrum processing rate (RBW = auto, trace length 801)

    ≤10,000/s

    DPX bitmap resolution

    201x801

    Marker information

    Amplitude, frequency, signal density

    Minimum signal duration for 100% probability of detection

    100 μs

    Span: 40 MHz, RBW = 300 kHz (Auto)

    Due to the non-deterministic execution time of programs running under the Microsoft Windows OS, this specification may not be met when the host PC is heavily loaded with other processing tasks

    Span range (continuous processing)

    1 kHz to 40 MHz

    Span range (swept)

    Up to maximum frequency range of instrument

    Dwell time per step

    50 ms to 100 s

    Trace processing

    Color-graded bitmap, +Peak, -Peak, average

    Trace length

    801, 2401, 4001, 10401

    RBW range

    1 kHz to 4.99 MHz

    Sweep time, RBW

    1 MHz

    1300 MHz/sec

    100 kHz

    1230 MHz/sec

    10 kHz

    1090 MHz/sec

    1 kHz

    360 MHz/sec

    DPX spectrogram display

    Trace detection

    +Peak, -Peak, Average(VRMS)

    Trace length, memory depth

    801 (60,000 traces)

    2401 (20,000 traces)

    4001 (12,000 traces)

    Time resolution per line

    1 ms to 6400 s, user selectable

    Analog modulation analysis (standard)

    AM demodulation accuracy, typical

    ±2%

    0 dBm input at center, carrier frequency 1 GHz, 1 kHz/5 kHz input/modulated frequency, 10% to 60% modulation depth

    0 dBm input power level, reference level = 10 dBm

    FM demodulation accuracy, typical

    ±3%

    0 dBm input at center, carrier frequency 1 GHz, 400 Hz/1 kHz input/modulated frequency

    0 dBm input power level, reference level = 10 dBm

    PM demodulation accuracy, typical

    ±1% of measurement bandwidth

    0 dBm input at center, carrier frequency 1 GHz, 1 kHz/5 kHz input/modulated frequency

    0 dBm input power level, reference level = 10 dBm

    SignalVu-PC application licenses

    AM/FM/PM and direct audio measurement (SVAxx-SVPC)

    Carrier frequency range (for modulation and audio measurements)

    (1/2 × audio analysis bandwidth) to maximum input frequency

    Maximum audio frequency span

    10 MHz

    FM measurements (Mod. index >0.1)

    Carrier Power, Carrier Frequency Error, Audio Frequency, Deviation (+Peak, -Peak, Peak-Peak/2, RMS), SINAD, Modulation Distortion, S/N, Total Harmonic Distortion, Total Non-harmonic Distortion, Hum and Noise

    AM measurements

    Carrier Power, Audio Frequency, Modulation Depth (+Peak, -Peak, Peak-Peak/2, RMS), SINAD, Modulation Distortion, S/N, Total Harmonic Distortion, Total Non-harmonic Distortion, Hum and Noise

    PM measurements

    Carrier Power, Carrier Frequency Error, Audio Frequency, Deviation (+Peak, -Peak, Peak-Peak/2, RMS), SINAD, Modulation Distortion, S/N, Total Harmonic Distortion, Total Non-harmonic Distortion, Hum and Noise

    Direct audio measurements

    Signal power, Audio frequency (+Peak, -Peak, Peak-Peak/2, RMS), SINAD, Modulation distortion, S/N, Total harmonic distortion, Total non-harmonic distortion, Hum and Noise (Direct audio measurements are limited to >9 kHz by input frequency)

    Audio filters

    Low pass, kHz: 0.3, 3, 15, 30, 80, 300, and user-entered up to 0.9 × audio bandwidth

    High pass, Hz: 20, 50, 300, 400, and user-entered up to 0.9 × audio bandwidth

    Standard: CCITT, C-Message

    De-emphasis (μs): 25, 50, 75, 750, and user-entered

    File: User-supplied .TXT or .CSV file of amplitude/frequency pairs. Maximum 1000 pairs

    Performance characteristics, typical

    Conditions: Unless otherwise stated, performance is given for:

    Modulation rate = 5 kHz

    AM depth: 50%

    PM deviation 0.628 Radians

     

    FM

    AM

    PM

    Conditions

    Carrier Power accuracy

    Refer to instrument amplitude accuracy

     

    Carrier Frequency accuracy

    ± 7 Hz + (transmitter frequency × ref. freq. error)

    Refer to instrument frequency accuracy

    ± 2 Hz + (transmitter frequency × ref. freq. error)

     

    Depth of Modulation accuracy

    NA

    ± 0.5%

    NA

     

    Deviation accuracy

    ± (2% × (rate + deviation))

    NA

    ± 3%

     

    Rate accuracy

    ± 0.2 Hz

    ± 0.2 Hz

    ± 0.2 Hz

     

    Residual THD

    1. 0.5%
    2. 0.5%

    NA

     

    Residual SINAD

    49 dB
    40 dB

    56 dB

    42 dB

     

    Pulse measurements (SVPxx-SVPC)

    Measurements (nominal)

    Pulse-Ogram™ waterfall display of multiple segmented captures, with amplitude vs time and spectrum of each pulse. Pulse frequency, Delta Frequency, Average on power, Peak power, Average transmitted power, Pulse width, Rise time, Fall time, Repetition interval (seconds), Repetition interval (Hz), Duty factor (%), Duty factor (ratio), Ripple (dB), Ripple (%), Droop (dB), Droop (%), Overshoot (dB), Overshoot (%), Pulse- Ref Pulse frequency difference, Pulse- Ref Pulsephase difference, Pulse- Pulse frequency difference, Pulse- Pulse phase difference, RMS frequency error, Max frequency error, RMS phase error,Max phase error, Frequency deviation, Phase deviation, Impulse response (dB),Impulse response (time), Time stamp.

    Minimum pulse width for detection

    150 ns

    Average ON power at 18 °C to 28 °C, typical

    ±1.0 dB + absolute amplitude accuracy

    For pulses of 300 ns width or greater, duty cycles of .5 to .001, and S/N ratio ≥ 30 dB

    Duty factor, typical

    ±0.2% of reading

    For pulses of 450 ns width or greater, duty cycles of .5 to .001, and S/N ratio ≥ 30 dB

    Average transmitted power, typical

    ±1.0 dB + absolute amplitude accuracy

    For pulses of 300 ns width or greater, duty cycles of .5 to .001, and S/N ratio ≥ 30 dB

    Peak pulse power, typical

    ±1.5 dB + absolute amplitude accuracy

    For pulses of 300 ns width or greater, duty cycles of .5 to .001, and S/N ratio ≥ 30 dB

    Pulse width, typical

    ±0.25% of reading

    For pulses of 450 ns width or greater, duty cycles of .5 to .001, and S/N ratio ≥ 30 dB

    General purpose digital modulation analysis (SVMxx-SVPC)

    Modulation formats

    BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK, 16QAM, 32QAM, 64QAM, 128QAM, 256QAM, PI/2DBPSK, DQPSK, PI/4DQPSK, D8PSK, D16PSK, SBPSK, OQPSK, SOQPSK, 16-APSK, 32-APSK, MSK, GFSK, CPM, 2FSK, 4FSK, 8FSK, 16FSK, C4FM

    Analysis period

    Up to 81,000 samples

    Measurement filter

    Root Raised Cosine, Raised Cosine, Gaussian, Rectangular, IS-95 TX_MEA, IS-95 Base TXEQ_MEA, None

    Reference Filter

    Gaussian, Raised Cosine, Rectangular, IS-95 REF, None

    Filter rolloff factor

    α0.001 to 1, in 0.001 steps

    Measurements

    Constellation, Demod I&Q vs. Time, Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) vs. Time, Eye Diagram, Frequency Deviation vs. Time, Magnitude Error vs. Time, Phase Error vs. Time, Signal Quality, Symbol Table, Trellis Diagram

    Symbol rate range

    1 k symbols/s to 40 M symbols/s

    Modulated signal must be contained entirely within the acquisition bandwidth

    Adaptive equalizer

    Linear, Decision-Directed, Feed-Forward (FIR) equalizer with coefficient adaptation and adjustable convergence rate. Supports modulation types BPSK, QPSK, OQPSK, π/2-DBPSK, π/4-DQPSK, 8-PSK, 8-DSPK, 16-DPSK, 16/32/64/128/256-QAM,16/32-APSK

    QPSK Residual EVM (center frequency = 2 GHz), typical

    1. 1.1 % (100 kHz symbol rate)
    2. 1.1 % (1 MHz symbol rate)
    3. 1.2 % (10 MHz symbol rate)
    4. 2.5 % (30 MHz symbol rate)

    400 symbols measurement length, 20 Averages, normalization reference = maximum symbol magnitude

    256 QAM Residual EVM (center frequency = 2 GHz), typical

    1. 0.8 % (10 MHz symbol rate)
    2. 1.5 % (30 MHz symbol rate)

    400 symbols measurement length, 20 Averages, normalization reference = maximum symbol magnitude

    WLAN Measurements, 802.11a/b/g/j/p (SV23xx-SVPC)

    Measurements

    WLAN power vs. time; WLAN symbol table; WLAN constellation; spectrum emission mask; error vector magnitude (EVM) vs. symbol (or time), vs subcarrier (or frequency); mag error vs symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); phase error vs symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); channel frequency response vs. symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); spectral flatness vs. symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency)

    Residual EVM - 802.11a/g/j /p (OFDM), 64-QAM, typical

    1. 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz BW: -38 dB
    2. 5.8 GHz, 20 MHz BW: -38 dB

    Input signal level optimized for best EVM, average of 20 bursts, ≥16 symbols each

    Residual EVM - 802.11b, CCK-11, typical

    1. 2.4 GHz, 11 Mbps: 2.0 %

    Input signal level optimized for best EVM, average of 1,000 chips, BT = .61

    WLAN Measurements 802.11n (SV24xx-SVPC)

    Measurements

    WLAN power vs. time; WLAN symbol table; WLAN constellation; spectrum emission mask; error vector magnitude (EVM) vs. symbol (or time), vs subcarrier (or frequency); mag error vs symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); phase error vs symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); channel frequency response vs. symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); spectral flatness vs. symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency)

    EVM performance - 802.11n, 64-QAM, typical

    1. 2.4 GHz, 40 MHz BW: -35 dB
    2. 5.8 GHz, 40 MHz BW: -35 dB

    Input signal level optimized for best EVM, average of 20 bursts, ≥16 symbols each

    WLAN Measurements 802.11ac (SV25xx-SVPC)

    Measurements

    WLAN power vs. time; WLAN symbol table; WLAN constellation; spectrum emission mask; error vector magnitude (EVM) vs. symbol (or time), vs subcarrier (or frequency); mag error vs symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); phase error vs symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); channel frequency response vs. symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency); spectral flatness vs. symbol (or time), vs. subcarrier (or frequency)

    EVM performance - 802.11ac, 256-QAM, typical

    1. 5.8 GHz, 40 MHz BW : -35 dB

    Input signal level optimized for best EVM, average of 20 bursts, ≥16 symbols each

    APCO P25 Measurements (SV26xx-SVPC)

    Measurements

    RF output power, operating frequency accuracy, modulation emission spectrum, unwanted emissions spurious, adjacent channel power ratio, frequency deviation, modulation fidelity, frequency error, eye diagram, symbol table, symbol rate accuracy, transmitter power and encoder attack time, transmitter throughput delay, frequency deviation vs. time, power vs. time, transient frequency behavior, HCPM transmitter logical channel peak adjacent channel power ratio, HCPM transmitter logical channel off slot power, HCPM transmitter logical channel power envelope, HCPM transmitter logical channel time alignment, cross-correlated markers

    Modulation fidelity, typical

    C4FM = 1.3%

    HCPM = 0.8%

    HDQPSK = 2.5%

    Input signal level is optimized for best modulation fidelity.

    Bluetooth Measurements (SV27xx-SVPC)

    Modulation formats

    Basic Rate, Bluetooth Low Energy, Enhanced Data Rate - Revision 4.1.1

    Packet types: DH1, DH3, DH5 (BR), Reference (LE)

     

    Measurements

    Peak Power, Average Power, Adjacent Channel Power or InBand Emission mask, -20 dB Bandwidth, Frequency Error, Modulation Characteristics including ΔF1avg (11110000), ΔF2avg (10101010), ΔF2 > 115 kHz, ΔF2/ΔF1 ratio, frequency deviation vs. time with packet and octet level measurement information, Carrier Frequency f0, Frequency Offset (Preamble and Payload), Max Frequency Offset, Frequency Drift f1-f0, Max Drift Rate fn-f0 and fn-fn-5, Center Frequency Offset Table and Frequency Drift table, color-coded Symbol table, Packet header decoding information, eye diagram, constellation diagram

     

    Output power, In-band emissions and ACP

    Level uncertainty: refer to instrument amplitude and flatness specification

    Measurement range: signal level > –70 dBm

     

    Modulation characteristics

    Deviation range: ±280 kHz

    Deviation uncertainty (at 0 dBm)

        2 kHz + instrument frequency uncertainty (basic rate)

        3 kHz + instrument frequency uncertainty (low energy)

    Measurement range: Nominal channel frequency ±100 kHz

       

    Initial Carrier Frequency Tolerance (ICFT)

    Measurement uncertainty (at 0 dBm): <1 kHz + instrument frequency uncertainty

    Measurement range: Nominal channel frequency ±100 kHz

       

    Carrier Frequency Drift

    Measurement uncertainty: <2 kHz + instrument frequency uncertainty

    Measurement range: Nominal channel frequency ±100 kHz

    LTE Downlink RF measurements (SV28xx-SVPC)

    Standard Supported

    3GPP TS 36.141 Version 12.5

    Frame Format supported

    FDD and TDD

    Measurements and Displays Supported

    Adjacent Channel Leakage Ratio (ACLR), Spectrum Emission Mask (SEM), Channel Power, Occupied Bandwidth, Power vs. Time showing Transmitter OFF power for TDD signals and LTE constellation diagram for Primary Synchronization Signal, Secondary Synchronization Signal with Cell ID, Group ID, Sector ID and Frequency Error.

    ACLR with E-UTRA bands (typical, with noise correction)

    1st Adjacent Channel 65 dB

    2nd Adjacent Channel 66 dB

    Mapping (MAPxx-SVPC)

    Supported map types

    Pitney Bowes MapInfo (*.mif), Bitmap (*.bmp), Open Street Maps (.osm)

    Saved measurement results

    Measurement data files (exported results)

    Map file used for the measurements

    Google Earth KMZ file

    Recallable results files (trace and setup files)

    MapInfo-compatible MIF/MID files

    Playback of recorded signals (SV56)

    Playback file type

    R3F recorded by RSA306, RSA500, or RSA600

    Recorded file bandwidth

    40 MHz

    File playback controls

    General: Play, stop, exit playback

    Location: Begin/end points of playback settable from 0-100%

    Skip: Defined skip size from 73 μs up to 99% of file size

    Live rate: Plays back at 1:1 rate to recording time

    Loop control: Play once, or loop continuously

    Memory requirement

    Recording of signals requires storage with write rates of 300 MB/sec. Playback of recorded files at live rates requires storage with read rates of 300 MB/sec.

    Inputs, outputs, inferfaces, power consumption

    RF input

    Type N, female

    External frequency reference input

    SMA, female

    Trigger/sync input

    SMA, female

    Status indicator

    LED, dual color red/green

    USB device port

    USB 3.0 - Micro-B, can mate with locking thumbscrews

    Power consumption

    Per USB 3.0 SuperSpeed requirements: 5.0 V, ≤ 900 mA (nominal)

    Physical characteristics

    Dimensions

    Height

    1. 31.9 mm (1.25 in)

    Width

    1. 190.5 mm (7.5 in)

    Depth

    1. 139.7 mm (5.5 in)

    Weight

    1. 0.75 kg (1.65 lbs)

    Regulatory

    Safety

    UL61010-1, CAN/CSA-22.2 No.61010-1, EN61010-1, IEC61010-1

    Regional certifications

    Europe: EN61326

    Australia/New Zealand: AS/NZS 2064

    EMC emissions

    EN61000-3-2, EN61000-3-3, EN61326-2-1

    EMC immunity

    EN61326–1/2, IEC61000-4-2/3/4/5/6/8/11

    Environmental performance

    Temperature

    Operating

    -10 °C to +55 °C (+14 °F to +131 °F)

    Nonoperating

    -51 °C to +71 °C (-60 °F to +160 °F)

    Humidity (operating)

    5% to 75% ±5% relative humidity (RH) from +30 °C to +40 °C (+86 °F to 104 °F)

    5% to 45% RH above +40 °C to +55 °C (+86 °F to +131 °F)

    Altitude

    Operating

    Up to 9,144 meters (30,000 feet)

    Nonoperating

    15,240 meters (50,000 feet)

    Dynamics

    Mechanical shock, operating

    Half-sine mechanical shocks, 30 g peak amplitude, 11 μs duration, three drops in each direction of each axis (18 total)

    Random vibration, nonoperating

    1. 0.030 g2/Hz, 10-500 Hz, 30 minutes per axis, three axes (90 minutes total)

    Handling and transit

    Bench handling, operating

    Per MIL-PRF-28800F Class 2 operating: Rotational-edge-drops of appropriate edges on appropriate sides of the equipment

    Transit drop, nonoperating

    Per MIL-PRF-28800F Class 2 nonoperating: Transit drops onto six faces and four corners of the equipment, from a height of 30 cm (11.8 in.) for a total of 10 impacts


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