Author Topic: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.  (Read 1427 times)

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Offline Circlotron

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Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« on: December 22, 2016, 11:32:07 pm »
With the falling prices and increasing features of newer spectrum analysers, would it make sense to use one of these as a general coverage receiver?
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 11:50:17 pm »
I guess not

SA does not handle to much demodulation , will be much better a SDR cheaper and much more usefull as a receiver

For example

HackRF One   Ettus B200   Ettus B210   BladeRF x40   RTL-SDR   LimeSDR

 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 10:25:56 pm »
the signal hound bb60 usb real time spectrum analyser is basically a very capable SDR, and on top of the many demodulation options you get in their software, my understanding is with the api, you can demodulate however you want.

plenty of older standalone analysers have a basic demodulation output. but your choices are basically am (and FM?) audio...
 

Offline cncjerry

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 06:26:45 am »
I've used my 8568b and 8566b SA and they work but you need N/C headphones...  I've been wondering about using my 85685a preselector / preamp as a front end but I am worried about hooking an antenna to either of them.
 

Offline retrolefty

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 06:31:12 am »
With the falling prices and increasing features of newer spectrum analysers, would it make sense to use one of these as a general coverage receiver?

 As it is just added firmware I'm pretty sure some company will start offering something, maybe optional at first, then the rest will start to follow.
 

Offline Robert763

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 02:18:33 am »
One option is to use the SA as a downconverter to a SDR connected to the IF output. Note that the front end perfomance of most SAs is not optimum for receivers, a preamp and filtering may be required. HP made the 85865A RF preselector to enable the 8566/8568 analysers to be used as measurement receivers.
 

Offline kaz911

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 08:01:23 am »
I used my Tektronix RSA306 SA to tune into Heathrow Airport :) airport to amuse my 4yo son who is a plane fanatic. All while watching on FlightRadar24. Huge success. :) over Christmas. It could have been done by a SDR but I did not have one at hand :)

The RSA306 does 8kHz AM and 8-200 KHz FM demodulation - and the RSA306 is actually very capable with 40 MHz realtime analysis bandwidth. You can pick them up on eBay for $1300-$1600 now. That is a bargain for 9kHz - 6.2 GHz SA.

Software is a bit stupid in the UI - but I don't think I can mention a single manufacture of Measurement devices who are any good at writing software. Fluke, Keysight, Extech etc all make crap PC software IMHO - either looking like Windows 3.1 (Fluke) or like nothing (Keysight) or like designed in Asia outskirts (Extech)
 

Offline cncjerry

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Re: Using a spectrum analyser as a receiver.
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 05:09:15 pm »
I've tried the 85685a preselector on AM stations and yes, it seems to make a difference in/out with the bypass enabled.  The problem is it is so loud that I can't tell if it is significant enough to set it up for a more exacting test.  There are a bunch of guys on 80M every night so I guess I could try it out on them.  We have little or no lightening in this area so I guess the risk of damaging the front end of the preselector would be low.  Considering how expensive it was (even more so in its day) it should make a difference. I know it does to block the broadcast bands, both AM and FM.  Without it I have a tough time looking at signals in the 100M range because of the FM broadcast leakage.  Using shielded cables and the preselector calibrated it seems to knock all the out.  The way I am testing it is to take the video output from the 8568B and run it into an iMac set for recording.  I then play it all back.  Sounds good for AM.  Haven't figured out how to demod SSB but I guess I could use a signal generator as a BFO with a mixer.  I can demod FM using what I think is called slope detection.
 


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