Buying 0~10MHz Spectrum analyzer, solutions and advice - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Design & Build > Equipment & Tools

Equipment & Tools From test equipment to hand tools

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 26th April 2010, 06:43 PM   #1
Frex is offline Frex  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Post Buying 0~10MHz Spectrum analyzer, solutions and advice

Hello,

For all my audio measurements, i use my external ADC unit. Like a soundcard, it's an audio ADC chip, supporting sampling rate only up to 192kHz.
With a good software tool (like Spectraplus or others), make accurate measurements of many parameters is very easy.

But, unfortunately, as soon frequency is above some tens of kHz, the Nyquist limit is reached and sometime a part of the signal is not displayed...
(for example all the out of band noise of oversampling DAC).
Sometime, it can be very useful to know the spectrum shape above the 100kHz limit of soundcard.

Therefore, i look since many weeks what would be the better choice to satisfy my need.
First, i list below my preliminary need for this spectrum analyzer ;

0 to about 10MHz bandwidth (or more)
High sensitivity (V range)
User friendly interface
Small from factor (i don't have much space !)


With just these parameters, i have selected few devices after many long time using our preferred web search engine,
and the result is listed below.

SignalHoud USB SA44 (750)
RIGOL DSA1020 (3000)
Picotech Picoscope 4224 (750)
Handyscope HS3 ()
Cleverscope CS320 ( )
Bitscope BS325 (560+shipping)
Agilent HP8568B 100Hz-1.5GHz Spectrum analyser USED (1500+shipping)

Unless otherwise noted, all prices include VAT and shipping to my country (France).
(For more info about each device, you can click to go on it's main web page.)





SignalHoud USB SA44 (800)
The SA44 is a new device, i'ts a small box connected to a PC, with a specific software to control it.
It can perform spectral analysis in the range of 1Hz to 4GHz.

It seem to be a very interesting device, above all with that price.
Unfortunately, we have no background for tis device and i find only official info about this unit.
Many real example of use of this unit is missing on the mfg web site, and it's hard to really know if the SA44 work well in the bandwidth of 0-10MHz.

pro:
wide bandwidth.
reasonable price.
small.

cons:
no background of how it work and it LF performance.
50 Ohms inputs not convenient for LF use.
computer needed.


RIGOL DSA1020 (3000)
The Rigol DSA1020 is also a new product only available since some months.
Unlike the SA44, it's a real stand-alone tool, similar to an digital Oscilloscope.
The DSA1020 is a 9kHz to 2GHz spectrum analyzer, with many advanced functions. It's also the more costly solution...

pro:
performance
stand-alone , easy to use.
high dynamic range
very versatile
Large color screen,USB, Ethernet

cons:
Frequency start to 9kHz
Resolution bandwidth limited to 100Hz.
50 Ohms inputs not convenient for LF use.
Price


Picotech Picoscope 4224 (750)

The picoscope is not mainly a spectrum analyzer, but the 4224 is a 12 bits 40Ms/s USB DSO. The software supplied with the 4224 is very powerful and allow to display spectrum (using FFT) between 0 to Fs/2. The 4224 offer all advanced 2 channels DSO functions. An averaging mode allow to push the ENOB from 12 to up to 16 bits, improving significantly the noise floor of the spectral analysis.
Demo software is downloadable on picotech web site.

pro:
Good performance
DSO channels functions 80Ms/s.
1Mpts FFT
versatile
reasonable price.
1M input impedance

cons:
Not a real spectrum analyzer
computer needed.



Handyscope HS3-25 (900)

Like the Picoscope, the Handyscope HS3 is a USB DSO.It also allow spectrum analysis using FFT.
Price depend on the sampling rate you choose, but for 10MHz bandwidth, the HS3-25 (25Ms/s) is sufficient.
It's a 12bits ADC, but effective resolution depend on the sampling rate.
The biggest issue with this device, is the software...(only my opinion).
Demo software can be downloaded on the mfg web site.

pro:
Several auto measurement
Small
Reasonnable cost.

cons:
Very poor software interface (only my own opinion)
Resolution is dependent of sampling rate (8bits at 100Ms/s)
FFT only 32kpts



Cleverscope CS320 (1500)
Another USB DSO, with FFT spectrum analysis.
High sampling rate, 12 bits.

pro:
Poor software

cons:
computer needed.



BitScope BS325 ()

It seem to be a great product with good support and evolute software.
The demo software is convincing, easy to use.
It include a signal generator, 2 channels DSO, spectrum analyzer, logic analyzer
(8 digital inputs) and more.
It's a 40Ms/s ADC with
The interface can be USB or Ethernet.

pro:
very good software
generator and logic analyzer
signal generator, digital inputs
small

cons:
Not a real SA
low resolution (8 bits)
computer needed.


Agilent HP8568B 100Hz-1.5GHz Spectrum analyzer USED (1500+shipping)

My first way to search a spectrum analyzer had to buy a HP8568, because it seems to be a logic choice.
Unfortunately, the selling price of this older unit is high (1500 or more aften without any warranty!),
and it's very high weight (75kg i think) to make shipping extremely costly (often more than the price of the unit !).
The all these reason, i prefer to buy other thing.





It would be interesting if anybody have an experience with these units.
At this time, the DSA1020 have my favor, but i'm not yet decided i think that i'm probably not the only one which look for
this type of instrument.
Thank you.


Frex.
  Reply With Quote
Old 26th April 2010, 07:17 PM   #2
jcx is offline jcx  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: ..
packaged products are nice but lag behind available monolithic ADC chips, 18 bit @ 2MHz, 16 bit @ >80 MHz are available with ~US$200-400 demo boards

may need fpga or dsp companion hardware to collect/buffer at full speed so system cost will be higher

Last edited by jcx; 26th April 2010 at 07:21 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 26th April 2010, 07:46 PM   #3
bocka is offline bocka  Germany
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Hannover
Hi Frex,

sorry to say but it's better to save your money than buying anything of this crap. A spectrum analyzer ist still very costly. Although the Rigol looks still decent on paper (but this is a RF spectrum analyzer as well as the used HP item and the SignalHoud) you have to check out it on your lab. You'll see that any of them have some inacceptable weaknesses. A spec is still a $$$$$ part.

I wouldn't buy a used spec until it comes directly from Agilent, R&S, Tek or some other first class Mfr. If a used one fails you can throw it away in most cases.
  Reply With Quote
Old 26th April 2010, 07:56 PM   #4
Pano is offline Pano  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
Pano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Milliways
Blog Entries: 4
I've used the picoscope (several years ago) and it's not bad. I know that a lot of folks don't find it "serious" enough. But it did what it was advertised to do and was easy to use. I found the spectrum analysis function very useful.
__________________
Take the Speaker Voltage Test!
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2010, 04:08 PM   #5
Frex is offline Frex  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Hello,

Jcx,
do you know and had you try on of this EVM ?
I know some, but the provided software don't allow many option, and is it slower...
(i have try the evm software of TI and AD).


bocka,

I understand that 1000~3000 device can't be so good as a Tektronix or Agilent devices ten times more costly. Nevertheless, it can be also a very good compromise.
Like my DS1022CD Rigol DSO, 5x lower priced than a Tektronix DSO and fitting very well to my hobbyist need !

panomaniac,
Thank you for your opinion, but did you have yet a Picoscope ?



Frex
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2010, 05:02 PM   #6
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Blog Entries: 2
You have a Rigol DS1022CD? Does this not have FFT built in?

w
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2010, 06:21 PM   #7
Frex is offline Frex  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Yes wakibi.
It's not very usable as most DSO, vertical resolution is too low ( 8 bits).
It is why i look for high resolution DSO (12-16bits), like Pico and others.

Frex.
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2010, 07:21 PM   #8
bocka is offline bocka  Germany
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Hannover
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frex View Post
Hello,
I understand that 1000€~3000€ device can't be so good as a Tektronix or
I ordered a Hameg HMS3000 some month ago as the price (about EUR 3,000) seems very promising for 3GHz spectrum analyzer. But when tested that part what a disappointment. I thought this was a bargin for the money but that part was that faulty, noisy, slow and so on that only after 2 days I sent the part back. Better to buy a used R&S (or similar) for about EUR 6,000 or just forget it. Not worth the money.

Last edited by bocka; 27th April 2010 at 07:23 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 27th April 2010, 08:41 PM   #9
ChrisA is offline ChrisA  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frex View Post
...
But, unfortunately, as soon frequency is above some tens of kHz, the Nyquist limit is reached and sometime a part of the signal is not displayed...
(for example all the out of band noise of oversampling DAC).
Sometime, it can be very useful to know the spectrum shape above the 100kHz limit of soundcard.

You CAN see any frequency you want using only the typical 192K sample per second audio interface. The trick is to "heterodyne" the signal down to the audio range. Using this you can measure signals well up into the MHz range but you are limited to the same 100Khz bandwidth by Nyquist. But by tuning the frequency of a local oscillator you get to select which 100K bit of bandwidth you can see at one time. Basically you place a primitive kind of AM radio receiver in front of the audio interface.

Actually you can see up to 192Khz of bandwidth at a time by taking advantage of the fact that your audio interface has two channels and quadrature sampling but that is not so easy and requires different software
  Reply With Quote
Old 28th April 2010, 04:19 PM   #10
ghg is offline ghg  Austria
diyAudio Member
 
ghg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Vienna
24bit/ 625ksps, $199 + shipping
http://focus.ti.com/lit/ug/sbau147/sbau147.pdf
Got one, works perfect.


24bit/ 4Msps, $400 + shipping
http://www.ti.com/litv/pdf/sbau162
__________________
I hate "sounding amps", except these are Marshalls, driven by Eric C. or Jeff B., period.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spectrum Analyzer Overd0se Parts 3 3rd June 2011 04:27 PM
Audio spectrum analyzer CASTEL Equipment & Tools 0 16th February 2010 07:50 AM
Possible Spectrum Analyzer Project? Xlrator Digital Source 7 25th April 2006 05:30 AM
audio spectrum analyzer norvbul Solid State 6 6th March 2006 12:06 AM
Spectrum Analyzer opinions tortello Equipment & Tools 9 14th April 2002 03:06 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:03 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2