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The New Wave of Tektronix Spectrum Analyzers is here!

It is predicted that by 2017, there will be 5 devices/connections for every internet user1. This makes it a priority for the Test and Measurement industry to keep pace with the development of Internet of Things (IoT) testing technology. In amongst all the excitement of having devices “talk” to each other, Tektronix is wary of challenges related to the “Interference of Things”™, and therefore brings to you three new portable USB spectrum analyzers (Fig. 1):

·       The RSA600 series, designed for testing IoT devices in your Wireless Lab / Communications Lab

·       The RSA500 series, a battery powered unit perfect for Signal Hunting in the Field

·       The RSA306B, a lightweight General Purpose RF test instrument  (also a new and improved version of the popular Tektronix RSA306)


Fig. 1: The disruption in RF test continues with the RSA500, RSA600 and RSA306B Spectrum Analyzers

Based on a recent Tektronix survey, RF Engineers stated that the Top 3 features they wished their current spectrum analyzer had were:

a.       A wider frequency range to keep up with evolving technology

b.      Faster spectrum capture speeds (i.e. faster sweep speeds)

c.       A portable form factor

2 of the 3 new portable spectrum analyzers (RSA500 and RSA600) range up to 7.5 GHz in frequency coverage, have a 40 MHz real-time capture bandwidth and are at most 6.6 lbs.  The advantage of real-time signal capture is that a user will see all signals2 over the 40 MHz bandwidth. Typical spectrum analyzers are swept-tuned, which means that is user is at the risk of missing an anomalous signal that might point to a design flaw or adverse EMI effects. Fig. 2, below, shows the identification of a blip in a Bluetooth signal caused by a fast switching transient.


Fig. 2: The benefits of a real-time display are evident as the spectrum mask catches a signal blip (indicated by the thick red line)

The RSA500 and RSA600 series are also equipped with an internal tracking generator, thus enabling cable and antenna tests, VSWR measurements, and distance to fault testing. For signal hunting in the field, mapping software (Fig. 3) enables a user to triangulate to an unwanted source of interference (cable, antenna etc.), and the tracking generator then helps characterize the magnitude of this interference through antenna loss (for example) and verify signal path continuity.



Fig. 3 – Tek RSA Map software enables basic triangulation with a direction finding antenna

Tektronix will now also provide a variety of directional and omni-directional antennas with these spectrum analyzers. In addition, users can purchase calibration kits, phase stabilized cables, and other accessories, as well as a Panasonic Toughpad tablet PC from Tektronix, pre-loaded with signal analysis software (SignalVu-PC) – we are now a one-stop solution house for RF Test in the Lab and Field. Learn more about spectrum analyzers »


2100% Probability of Intercept (POI) for pulse widths >= 100usPage