Cheapest worth-while Spectrum analyzer ?

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
184
I'm getting a Siglent scope w/FFT, and then a siglent function generator. So I'll probably start looking for the cheapest non-toy-like SA, are there any new under $800USD ? I have no reason to go spending 1000-1500 at this point, just not worth it to me.

I'll probably get a cheap 2nd hand one if there's non under $800 new, hopeful I could get a used 1 for that.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
12,770
Considering the cost of an actual instrument as a function of bandwidth you might find one for the audio range. For say a 10 GHz unit, check the cost of a used rental instrument. That will probably be your best value.
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
6,098
I was surprised to find that my old Tektronix scope with FFT was good enough as a spectrum analyzer that I stopped my home brew spectrum analyzer project. It worked up and the past Nyquist limit though with loss in amplitude calibration,and even beyond that beyond the scope's bandwidth spec. Consider whether your existing scope with FFT is enough or not.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,503
I second DickCappels. Are you sure you need it? What will you do with it? Awhile back, I was working on some filters, and my Rigol oscilloscope with FFT was all I needed plus by frequency generator. It is amazing what you can do with your Siglent scope and a frequency generator with sweep.
 

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
184
Yeah I don't even know the spec's of the SDS1104x-e, most stuff I'm doing is few dozen MHz. But this is science at home, so I just watched Dave's review of the Siglent $1000 scope vs the cheaper Rigol. So maybe I should start a savings account and go all out and get in 1-2 years.

This is next year, just wondering.

I'd LOVE to try making a home made 1, if I had a good schematic. I can try copying some 1970/1980's schematic's I guess. I have bunch of copper clad and nice JFETs and an LCR meter for making coils, and nice DVD player or stereo case to shield it in.
 

tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
45
Yeah I don't even know the spec's of the SDS1104x-e, most stuff I'm doing is few dozen MHz. But this is science at home, so I just watched Dave's review of the Siglent $1000 scope vs the cheaper Rigol. So maybe I should start a savings account and go all out and get in 1-2 years.

This is next year, just wondering.

I'd LOVE to try making a home made 1, if I had a good schematic. I can try copying some 1970/1980's schematic's I guess. I have bunch of copper clad and nice JFETs and an LCR meter for making coils, and nice DVD player or stereo case to shield it in.
SDS1104X-E has an excellent 1 Mpts FFT and as a real basic low frequency SA it will do heaps of tasks although it doesn't have the feature set and sensitivity of a proper SA. Along with this scopes Bode plot/FRA feature you can assess filters and RF stuff to the max frequency of the AWG you're to pair it with. It's a powerful little package.

To get a SA from the same stable there's SSA3021X Plus, the bit older and not as well featured SSA3021X starting @ $1400 and then if feeling flush their SVA1015X SA/VNA combo units for $2k that excel for antenna and general SA work.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,930
What frequency range are you interested in analyzing? Audio or RF?
You could get a new or used DSO with FFT.
If you wish to build your own you can do it with an STM32F746GDiscovery MCU board.
 

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
184
Well I'm not into HAM radio or all that, but at some point I assume I'll try making wireless bluetooth type devices. So maybe then I'd want a a 2GHz SA.

For now I'd be happy with a SA under 10MHz, so yeah I'll look into a SDR type . I have tons of projects/labs I should be working on that don't need it, I'm just planning ahead.

A popular youtuber put up plans for a homebrew 2-3GHz, and you can download the PCB layout's etc and order them anywhere.

I started making a basic SA with a 7555 and some other stuff, for around 500kHz or so, but I quit because I don't have the right inductor cores, and I want to learn JFET's 1st. Soon I'll have another go.
 
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