Author Topic: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?  (Read 3605 times)

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Offline pfm

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Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« on: December 06, 2013, 04:03:15 am »
I am considering getting a spectrum analyzer, possibly a used one to save cost. The frequency range I am interested in is from ~100Khz to 5Ghz. I would like to limit the budget to under $1k.
Are there any good used or new ones that fall into this criteria ? Please advise.
Thanks!
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 05:32:48 am »
You wont get a used full-on 5ghz analyser for $1K but you might be able to get a PC based one.

I guess it depends what you need it for, the PC based ones have their limitations.

A 6ghz SPECTRAN PC based analyser is like US$1400
https://www.rtelecom.net/product/102/remote-controlled-usb-spectrum-analyzer-10mhz-6ghz-spectran-hf-6060-v4-x-aaronia.html
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 05:36:38 am by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline RFasic

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 07:27:49 am »
You might be able to find an old Advantest unit (but with a CRT display) if you accept to downgade a bit your requirements to 3.6GHz.
 

Offline Pinkus

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 07:59:13 am »
The frequency range I am interested in is from ~100Khz to 5Ghz. I would like to limit the budget to under $1k.
No way to get a decent analyzer from ~100Khz to 5Ghz for $1K!! Never ever.
Best you tell us whatfor you need it - then we might be able to suggest you one. And you should know: beside your first $$ you will need a lot more $$ for near field probes, adapters, antennas etc. You will not be able to cover the whole frequency area with one antenna (and believe me, below 100 Mhz they are getting LARGE, so you need a lot of space).
For the frequency range you gave us, calculate with $2K at minimum for a crappy used one and >$4k for better ones.

Advise 1: Used analyzers often have hidden problems. You should purchase one only if you have the right to return it.
Advise 2: skip the Aronia crap and stay with decent manufacturers known for medium->good products such as Agilent, Tektronix, Advantest, Rigol.
 

Offline Dawn

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 08:26:20 am »
I'd respectfully disagree. There were plenty of late 70's through 90's non digital SA's that were excellent then and very useful now. Plug ins for tek frames, HP made many geared towards the service trades based on the 180 frame. My bench has still has an old, yig based Systron Donner. Accurate as could be up to 5ghz direct and higher with accessory mixers with the lowest filter at .3khz and stable as a rock. I've seen it and it's sucessor that has a led display for the c.f. sell for around $250USD at hamfests, even cheaper on E-bay. Even companies such as Texscan made some decent lab units.

Then there is a class of junk based on TV tuner-like foundations primarly during the late 80's and 90's that made up a class of low end service SA's I'd stay away from. Good for their intentions for service, but worthless as a lab instrument. I'll keep the Systron Donner until Rigol or someone brings up a digital model with a TG good to 5gig I can afford.

 I already have digital ones with a cf of 1ghz. and TG in my two HP service monitors that may not have the RBW of a stand alone instrument like the little Rigol, but good for my use with lab accuracy. I'd love having a TG function to 5 ghz on the Systron, but don't really need it. 
 

Offline pfm

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 04:42:27 pm »
PC based, handheld, DIY anything is fine.
The reason for the wide frequency range is I would like to be able to use the same analyzer for audio as well as ham radio and tv (vhf/uhf) and then the general use 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands as well.

 

Offline KJDS

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 04:50:49 pm »
There are very few RF spectrum analyzers that will let you look at audio.

Offline Mr Simpleton

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 05:37:05 pm »
I ended up with the Signal Hound SA44B, covers 1Hz to 4.4GHz. It sure have oddities but honestly it is better than I expected! Beeing a NERD I just had to get a proper HP (8560E) too, but I find the size and features of the SA44B to be nice. It is a true spectrum analyzer and the amplitude calibration is stellar.

Draw-backs are mainly it is pretty slow sweep on some settings and you cannot freely choose RBW.

If you do have Q's I'll try to answer... I'll give you the +:es and -:es :D  :-DD
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Used spectrum analyzer suggestions ?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 06:21:32 pm »
I'd respectfully disagree. There were plenty of late 70's through 90's non digital SA's that were excellent then and very useful now. Plug ins for tek frames, HP made many geared towards the service trades based on the 180 frame. 
I'd be careful with buying old equipment. I've got bitten a few times. Sometimes errors are hard to spot quickly and some sellers are trying to cover up problems. My rule of thumb is to buy equipment which is not older than 15 years.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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