The latest arrival is a Tektronix 492BP spectrum analyser. This guy runs from 10kHz to 21GHz and has a waveguide mixer (WM490K) which goes up to 26.5GHz. Apparently there are mixers available up to 325GHz.
The upside, well, this covers all the amateur bands. I mean, all of them, if I can get the mixers. But anyway it does everything I am likely to need for a very long time. The downside… space. it’s big. Mind you, so is the 5342A frequency counter. I need a bigger table. And I must say that describing this as portable is like describing a B40 receiver the same way. (well, ok, it’s half the weight of a B40)
I have written myself a mental note. First, do not use it until I get a decent DC block. Second, actually learn how to use it before I need to use it!
I’ve been looking for some time for an affordable (i.e. used) and useful ranged (i.e. not cheap!) spectrum analyser. Obviously I want DC to light but don’t need it and don’t want to sell the house for a bit of test gear. I have a TinySA which is good to 960MHz but I will need a higher frequency range as I fiddle more with microwaves.
The ultimate, e.g. a Rigol or Siglent LCD type device is just far too expensive. Nice to have yes but something one would need to be using all the time in order to justify it. Then I came across Satsagen – http://www.albfer.com/en/2020/02/21/satsagen-2/
Satsagen runs under Windows and by default uses an Adalm Pluto as its interface to the real world. The software even does the necessary to upgrade the Pluto to the ‘full’ range of 70MHz to 6GHz (you can do this easily by hand but it’s nice of the software to do it anyway). The software has three basic function too – spectrum analyser, spectrum analyser with tracking, and generator. So, one PC, one Pluto, Satsagen and you get a pretty decent 70MHz to 6GHz spectrum analyser, tracking generator and signal generator.
I have not yet delved into all the functionality and only carried out a couple of quick tests on a handheld and on my 70MHz transverter, plus a very quick test of a FPV transmitter (TS832) up at 5.6GHz.
It will work with other devices such as the HackRF and the RTL dongle but it seems so useful I purchased a Pluto just for it (yeah, ok, I can use it for other stuff too but hey)