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Offline usagi

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Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« on: February 16, 2017, 04:58:33 am »
Lots of spectrum analzyers can be found on the used market for great prices, especially if you know what to look for! A lot of test equipment such as "communication tester", "transmitter tester", "base station test set", "vector signal analyzer", or other similar description have quite decent basic spectrum analyzer functionality. This guide is intended for hobbyists looking for spectrum analzyers that can be found on the used market for around US$1000 or less.

Use "undesirable" options such as 75ohm input impedance as leverage for negotiating price.

Make/ModelFreq RangeSpanRBWAvg PriceNotes
Advantest R3131A9khz-3GhzZero,50khz-Full300hz-1Mhz$700-$1600TG is option 74
Advantest R3261A9khz-2.6GhzZero,1khz-Full30hz-1Mhz$900-$2000
Advantest R3361A9khz-2.6GhzZero,1khz-Full30hz-1Mhz$900-$2000
Advantest R34659khz-8Ghz300hz-5mhz$1000-$2000
Advantest R4131A10khz-3.5GhzZero,100khz-Full1khz-1Mhz$900-$2000
Agilent E4406A10Mhz-4Ghz10hz-10Mhz0.1hz-1Mhz$400-$1000100M span with W-CDMA option.
Pay attention to ser# for 12bit vs 14bit models
Agilent E4411B9khz-1.5Ghz1khz-5Mhz0.1hz-1Mhz$600-$1200"undesirable" Option 1DP 75ohm input impedance.
Option 1DR adds 100hz, 300hz RBW
Agilent E6380E400khz-1Ghz,1.4-2Ghz300hz,1khz,3khz,30khz,300khzFull Span$800-$1300
Agilent E7495A10Mhz-2.5Ghz
(usable to 500khz)
1khz-Full10hz-1Mhz$400-$1000Portable, 18650 battery pack
Agilent E7495B10Mhz-2.7Ghz
(usable to 500khz)
1khz-Full10hz-1Mhz$400-$1000Portable, 18650 battery pack
Agilent E8285A800Mhz-1Ghz,1.7-2Ghz300hz,1khz,3khz,30khz,300khzFull Span$350-$700Option 102 required for Spectrum Analyzer
Anritsu MS2711D100khz-3ghzZero,10hz-Full100hz-1Mhz$900-$1600Up to +43dbm input
Anritsu MS8604A100hz-8.5GhzZero,100hz-Full10hz-3Mhz$500-$1000
Anritsu MS8608A9khz-7.8GhzZero,1khz-Full300hz-20Mhz$1000-$1200Option 02 adds 1hz-1khz RBW
Option 04 adds 10hz-1Mhz RBW
Anritsu MT8802A10Mhz-3GhzZero-Full300hz$600-$800ISTR option 7 required for spectrum analyzer
GW Instek GSP-810150khz-1GhzZero,2khz-100mhz3khz,30khz,220khz,4Mhz$300-$700Unimpressive specs, probably best for classrooms.
RBW limitations would hamper HF use.
HP/Keysight 8562A1khz-22GhzZero,2.5khz-Full100hz-1Mhz$100-$2000
HP/Keysight 8566B100hz-22GhzZero,100hz-Full10hz-3Mhz$700-$1400140lbs!
HP/Keysight 8568B100hz-1.5GhzZero,100hz-Full10hz-3Mhz$700-$1400140lbs!
HP/Keysight 8590A10khz-1.5GhzZero,50khz-Full1khz-3Mhz$800-$1200Portable. Be wary of Option 001 (75ohm)
HP/Keysight 8591A9khz-1.8GhzZero,10khz-Full1khz-3Mhz$800-$1200Option 130 adds 30,100,300hz RBW
HP/Keysight 8594E9khz-2.9GhzZero,10khz-Full1khz-3Mhz$1000-$1200Portable. Option 130 and 140 adds 30,100,300hz RBW.
Option 140 also adds internal OCXO.
Nex1 NS-309khz-3Ghz100Hz/div-Full300,1k,3k,10k,30k,100k,300k,1M,3M$UNKNOWN
Rodhe & Schwarz CMU20010Mhz-2.7GhzZero-Full10hz-1Mhz$800-$1200Up to +47dbm (50W) on RF1 input.
Options CMU-B95 and CMU-B96 reduce this to 2W
Rodhe & Schwarz FSH310khz-3GhzZero-Full1khz-1Mhz$1000-$1800Portable. RBW 100hz, 300hz with option

See also: Used multimeter buyer's guide

Offline usagi

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Agilent E4406A notes
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2017, 05:13:14 am »
Keysight Product page: E4406A VSA Transmitter Tester, 7 MHz to 4 GHz

image courtesy of sglabs.it


Models with 14-bit IF appear to have better performance

Does my E4406A VSA Series Analyzer have a 14-bit digital IF or a 12-bit digital IF? (archive.is)
Quote
All instruments that were manufactured in Malaysia were originally built with 14-bit Digital IF assemblies. Instruments manufactured in the US that have Serial numbers US41513009 and later were also originally built with 14-bit Digital IF assemblies. Also, U.S. instruments that have serial numbers that start with US4136 and have the following suffixes were also originally built with 14-bit Digital IF assemblies: 2964, 2977, 2982, 2986, 2987, 2988, 2989, 2990, 2991, 2992, 2993, 2998, 3000, 3003, 3004, 3005, 3006, 3007. All other instruments with serial numbers US41362959 and prior were originally built with 12-bit digital IF assemblies. The date at which instruments started to be manufactured with the 14-bit Digital IF was approximately January 15, 2002.

You can also determine which digital IF assembly you have by looking at the Show System menu which is accessible by pressing the following key sequence on your instrument: . The part numbers of the major assemblies in the instrument will be given shown under this menu. The part numbers of the two revisions of the 14 bit Digital IF assembly are E4440-60025 and E4440-60195. The 12-bit Digital IF assembly is part number E4406-60006.


Option B7C IQ baseband option is highly desirable but rare.
Option BAF W-CDMA option allows for span up to 100mhz

agilent e4406a span concatenator
http://ve2zaz.net/InstrCtl/InstrCtl.htm

HP E4406A remote control

Topic: Agilent E4406A Vector Signal Analyser
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 08:54:18 am by usagi »
 
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Offline usagi

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Rodhe & Schwarz CMU200 Notes
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 05:15:26 am »
Product Page: R&S®CMU200 Universal Radio Communication Tester


Be aware of the following options. If installed, they reduce the max input power on RF 1, which may be undesirable:
if R&S CMU-B95 is installed, RF 1 continuous input power = max 2 W
if R&S CMU-B96 is installed, RF 1 continuous input power = max 2 W

Topic: Enabling options for R&S test equipment

Topic: Rohde & Schwarz CMU200

Topic: CMU200 almost tracking generator



Controller is a standard PC architecture running MS-DOS. CPU upgrades and SSD conversions are possible.

FMR5 motherboard uses AMD K6-2/300 CPU (Socket 7).
FMR6 motherboard uses Celeron Mobile CPU
FMR6Plus motherboard uses Celeron Mobile CPU (socket 495), BIOS 1.00 supports Pentium III 933
« Last Edit: October 04, 2018, 09:13:35 pm by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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Anritsu MT8802A Notes
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2017, 05:19:03 am »
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 05:10:21 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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HP/Keysight 8566B / 8568B Notes
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 05:20:11 am »
True spectrum analyzer. Vector display. Introduced in 1980!

Huge and heavy - 140lbs. Shipping can easily run several hundred $ even in the US.

Keysight Product Page: 8566B Spectrum Analyzer, 100 Hz to 22 GHz

Keysight Product Page: 8568B Spectrum Analyzer, 100 Hz to 1500 MHz

image courtesy of sglabs.it


HP 8568 Resources (also covers HP 8566B) @ hpmemoryproject.org

HP 8566B User's Manual

HP 8568B User's Manual

EB5AGV's Workbench: HP-8566A repair

« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:16:21 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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Agilent E7495 Notes
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 05:27:16 am »
Keysight Product Page: E7495B Base Station Test Set



Topic: Agilent E7495 linux root account

Service manual and firmware

Battery pack rebuild

Hidden Tetris and Snake games on your Agilent  ;D

Replace background screen image

Battery drain while "standby" or "off" can be significant. Agilent recommends removing batteries when not in use for extended periods.

Noise floor below 375mhz is significantly higher is a known issue due to preamp design (archive.is)

Rubber gasket MP29 (P/N E7495-40023) coming loose from screen bezel appears to be a common issue.

Quite a sturdy beast, case is magnesium. Designed for field use at cellular transmitter towers.

At 20lbs (9.1kg), it is "portable" in exactly the same way the Osborne 1 was "portable".
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 02:30:46 am by usagi »
 
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Offline razberik

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 08:14:10 am »
There are few Advantest R3261, R3361, R4131 out there. These are quite simple, made of generic components and all schematics available.
I repaired my R3361A, topic here.
And the amber CRT is incredible, so perfectly fits with yellowed plastic and so good and comfortable to read.
 

Offline usagi

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« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 05:15:36 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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Advantest R4131A Notes
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 08:52:38 am »
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:17:21 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 09:25:04 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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Anritsu MS8604A Notes
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2017, 09:52:09 am »

Offline usagi

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Anritsu MS8608A
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2017, 02:27:31 pm »
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:19:04 am by usagi »
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 03:00:52 pm »
excellent :)
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2017, 10:49:39 pm »
I'm missing the Advantest R3131 (320x240 monochrome display) and R3132 (640x480 color display) from the list. They are both not terribly expensive and not very heavy. Also an Advantest R3477 Signal Analyser may turn up on Ebay every now and then which is a PC based spectrum analyser with 1Hz RBW, 15.4GHz range and good performance at the price of being big and noisy.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 11:01:44 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 01:13:41 am »
I'm missing the Advantest R3131 (320x240 monochrome display) and R3132 (640x480 color display) from the list. They are both not terribly expensive and not very heavy. Also an Advantest R3477 Signal Analyser may turn up on Ebay every now and then which is a PC based spectrum analyser with 1Hz RBW, 15.4GHz range and good performance at the price of being big and noisy.

is the average ebay price for working R3131, R3132, and R3477 under $1000? i was unable to find any. i am sure they can be had for bargain price compared to original MSRP but once you go north of $1200 you might as well start looking at a brand new siglent ssa3021x.

Offline innkeeper

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 02:51:40 am »
HP 8560A 50hz-2.9ghz can be had very often in the $400 dollar range without the tracking generator.

(corrected model number mistakenly said 8650a)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 05:26:36 am by innkeeper »
Hobbyist and a retired engineer and possibly a test equipment addict, though, searching for the equipment to test for that.
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2017, 02:56:18 am »
HP 8650A 50hz-2.9ghz can be had very often in the $400 dollar range without the tracking generator.

i dont see any ebay auctions for hp 8650a. can you find any? if any are sold anymore, it looks extremely rare.

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 05:40:02 am »
Are you including portable versions in your list?

The Anritsu Sitemaster 331 variants (and occasionally 332) could be worth listing as they come up around this pricepoint.  Maybe also the BK Precision 2650 series could also show up (though not the newer A variants).  The R&S FSH3 series handheld units occasionally go for under $1000 US, but it's not super common.  I don't think the R&S FSEA/FSIQ series benchtop analyzers typically sell under $1000, but you can find some under that needing repair or occasionally a working base model for not too much more.
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2017, 06:20:59 am »
Are you including portable versions in your list?

yes, see the agilent e7945a/b.

The Anritsu Sitemaster 331 variants (and occasionally 332) could be worth listing as they come up around this pricepoint.  Maybe also the BK Precision 2650 series could also show up (though not the newer A variants).  The R&S FSH3 series handheld units occasionally go for under $1000 US, but it's not super common.  I don't think the R&S FSEA/FSIQ series benchtop analyzers typically sell under $1000, but you can find some under that needing repair or occasionally a working base model for not too much more.

the sitemaster 331 prices seem to be all over the place. $700 - $3000. what's up with that? there seem to be like 41,000 variants of the 331.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:24:49 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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Rodhe & Scwharz FSH3 Notes
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2017, 06:37:22 am »
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 06:42:58 am by usagi »
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2017, 05:58:54 pm »
the sitemaster 331 prices seem to be all over the place. $700 - $3000. what's up with that? there seem to be like 41,000 variants of the 331.

Yeah, I would focus on the 331D variant, it seems to be around that $1000 pricepoint pretty commonly and is usually sold with a color screen (which is actually an option on most 331 models... oddly).  The pricing variation is probably partly due to the number of variants and options for them, but just the confusion around all of the versions - I think it's been in production in one model or another for quite some time.

Maybe the Anritsu MS2711 is worth adding too, seems to be sold around the same price.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2017, 06:09:39 pm »
I'm missing the Advantest R3131 (320x240 monochrome display) and R3132 (640x480 color display) from the list. They are both not terribly expensive and not very heavy. Also an Advantest R3477 Signal Analyser may turn up on Ebay every now and then which is a PC based spectrum analyser with 1Hz RBW, 15.4GHz range and good performance at the price of being big and noisy.
is the average ebay price for working R3131, R3132, and R3477 under $1000? i was unable to find any. i am sure they can be had for bargain price compared to original MSRP but once you go north of $1200 you might as well start looking at a brand new siglent ssa3021x.
AFAIK you should be able to get an R3131 for much less than $1000 all day long. R3132 will take some haggling and the R3477 is probably closer to $2000. All these SAs work to at least 3GHz where with the Siglent SSA3021X you have to see if they remain hackable or not (and the firmware doesn't seem to be finished yet anyway). Still the Siglent SSA3021X is mighty tempting when spending around $1500 on a spectrum analyser.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2017, 07:08:47 pm »
I'm missing the Advantest R3131 (320x240 monochrome display) and R3132 (640x480 color display) from the list. They are both not terribly expensive and not very heavy. Also an Advantest R3477 Signal Analyser may turn up on Ebay every now and then which is a PC based spectrum analyser with 1Hz RBW, 15.4GHz range and good performance at the price of being big and noisy.
is the average ebay price for working R3131, R3132, and R3477 under $1000? i was unable to find any. i am sure they can be had for bargain price compared to original MSRP but once you go north of $1200 you might as well start looking at a brand new siglent ssa3021x.
AFAIK you should be able to get an R3131 for much less than $1000 all day long. R3132 will take some haggling and the R3477 is probably closer to $2000. All these SAs work to at least 3GHz where with the Siglent SSA3021X you have to see if they remain hackable or not (and the firmware doesn't seem to be finished yet anyway). Still the Siglent SSA3021X is mighty tempting when spending around $1500 on a spectrum analyser.
Qualify this remark please.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2017, 07:50:00 pm »
I'm missing the Advantest R3131 (320x240 monochrome display) and R3132 (640x480 color display) from the list. They are both not terribly expensive and not very heavy. Also an Advantest R3477 Signal Analyser may turn up on Ebay every now and then which is a PC based spectrum analyser with 1Hz RBW, 15.4GHz range and good performance at the price of being big and noisy.
is the average ebay price for working R3131, R3132, and R3477 under $1000? i was unable to find any. i am sure they can be had for bargain price compared to original MSRP but once you go north of $1200 you might as well start looking at a brand new siglent ssa3021x.
AFAIK you should be able to get an R3131 for much less than $1000 all day long. R3132 will take some haggling and the R3477 is probably closer to $2000. All these SAs work to at least 3GHz where with the Siglent SSA3021X you have to see if they remain hackable or not (and the firmware doesn't seem to be finished yet anyway). Still the Siglent SSA3021X is mighty tempting when spending around $1500 on a spectrum analyser.
Qualify this remark please.
AFAIK the last firmware update fixed the wonky results some people got from using the tracking generator but that also made the sweeps a lot slower (see: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-ssa3000x-spectrum-analyzers/msg1071366/#msg1071366 ). This is at least one issue that needs attention.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2017, 08:51:18 pm »
the sitemaster 331 prices seem to be all over the place. $700 - $3000. what's up with that? there seem to be like 41,000 variants of the 331.

Yeah, I would focus on the 331D variant, it seems to be around that $1000 pricepoint pretty commonly and is usually sold with a color screen (which is actually an option on most 331 models... oddly).  The pricing variation is probably partly due to the number of variants and options for them, but just the confusion around all of the versions - I think it's been in production in one model or another for quite some time.

Maybe the Anritsu MS2711 is worth adding too, seems to be sold around the same price.

looks like the S331D is an antenna analzyer only - only SWR, cable loss, TDR, etc. there is no spectrum analyzer feature in the documentation and there does not appear to be an SA option for the S331D.


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