Selecting a Spectrum Analyzer on Amazon.com
A spectrum analyzer is an electrical testing device that measures the frequency and amplitude of an electrical signal. It displays the measurements as a waveform, where the vertical (Y) axis represents amplitude, and the horizontal (X) axis represents the frequency of the signal within a range. The ranges representing amplitude and frequency can be adjusted during measurement to analyze the signal.
Designed to monitor interference, harmonics, bandwidth, modulation, and distortion in signals, spectrum analyzers are commonly used to test and develop radio-frequency (RF) applications, telecommunications equipment, and wireless transmitters. Technicians and engineers may use an RF spectrum analyzer or wifi spectrum analyzer to install, maintain, and troubleshoot RF or wireless systems. A spectrum analyzer is also used in the telecommunications industry to plan and implement cellular networks. An audio spectrum analyzer is designed to measure and monitor audio frequencies, and is commonly available as computer software or apps for phones.
Spectrum analyzers are available as benchtop or portable models. Benchtop models are common in laboratory research or manufacturing environments. Some units are designed without a screen and must be connected to a network to display measurements. A handheld spectrum analyzer or portable analyzer can be used in the field to test systems and devices.
One factor to consider when selecting a spectrum analyzer is the frequency range of the signals to be tested. Spectrum analyzers can measure frequency ranges such as 50kHz to 8.5gHz, or 9kHz to 3gHz, with varying accuracy and adjustable resolution. Some analyzers come with a preamplifier, which reduces the displayed average noise level (DANL) to reveal small signals. Another feature available with some spectrum analyzers is called a tracking generator, which generates an electrical signal that matches the input received by the analyzer. It can be used to monitor the response of networks and filters to a particular signal. Many analyzers can store and output data to a computer for storage and further analysis.