Equipment question, Do I need an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer?

Thread Starter

dwalto

Joined Dec 14, 2021
4
Do I need an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer?

I need a device to test a 100 mhz - 400 mhz am/fm transciever. I want to verify power across this range. What equipment do i need?
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
18,102
Do I need an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer?

I need a device to test a 100 mhz - 400 mhz am/fm transciever. I want to verify power across this range. What equipment do i need?
Neither.
To measure output power, you need a Bird Wattmeter.
or you need a VNA(Vector Network Analyzer) if you want to measure forward and reflected power.
The spectrum analyzer will be useful if you want to see the power in the harmonics.
The oscilloscope will be nearly useless for this purpose.

mhz stands for milli-hertz a very very low frequency. I think you meant
MHz which stands for Mega-hertz a VHF (Very High Frequency) encompassing the upper part of the FM broadcast band and the former VHF television channels.
 

Thread Starter

dwalto

Joined Dec 14, 2021
4
Neither.
To measure output power, you need a Bird Wattmeter.
or you need a VNA(Vector Network Analyzer) if you want to measure forward and reflected power.
The spectrum analyzer will be useful if you want to see the power in the harmonics.
The oscilloscope will be nearly useless for this purpose.

mhz stands for milli-hertz a very very low frequency. I think you meant
MHz which stands for Mega-hertz a VHF (Very High Frequency) encompassing the upper part of the FM broadcast band and the former VHF television channels.
Can a RFExplorer spectrum analyzer and RFExplorer signal generator be used as a vna?
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
18,102
Can a RFExplorer spectrum analyzer and RFExplorer signal generator be used as a vna?
I'm not familiar with either of those two instruments. Does the manual that comes with the spectrum analyzer suggest that it has that capability? You said in your original post that you wanted to "verify" power. I took that to mean that you wanted to measure the output power of the transmitter into a known load. I did not think the receiver was involved. Could you clarify that point?
 

tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
236
Do I need an oscilloscope or spectrum analyzer?

I need a device to test a 100 mhz - 400 mhz am/fm transciever. I want to verify power across this range. What equipment do i need?
Either would do but with limited experience a DSO will be the safer to use as there is much less chance of damaging the inputs.
FFT mode could let you do level checks at various frequencies which might be enough to satisfy your immediate needs.
 

tautech

Joined Oct 8, 2019
236
There are combo units like the Siglent SVA1000X series that are single port VNA's and well featured spectrum analyzers with inbuilt tracking generators. However to properly utilize these there are good # of accessories required which have the potential to bump up the price some along with the learning curve required to have it perform to its potential.
Without guidance or experience other instruments can more safely make the OP's measurements however comparative power measurements can be made with RF probes without the need for a physical connection.

We had an old and awfully dicky garage door remote that we could tune non-contact to bang on frequency but the darn thing would never stay there for more than a few days and after countless tunes with the spectrum analyzer mode of my SVA1032X we biffed away the remote and got a generic replacement.....darn ceramic resonators !
 
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