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Author Topic: UHF spectrum analyzer  (Read 13380 times)

Clark Johnson

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UHF spectrum analyzer
« on: November 29, 2011, 05:00:38 pm »

I'm thinking about investing in a UHF spectrum analyzer.  Does anyone have recommendations?  I don't need any bells or whistles, I just would like to see what's there.
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Paul Tucci

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 05:14:36 pm »

I'm thinking about investing in a UHF spectrum analyzer.  Does anyone have recommendations?  I don't need any bells or whistles, I just would like to see what's there.

http://www.winradio.com/home/g33wsm.htm

That in addition to

http://www.professionalwireless.com/ias/

has made me more valuable to the market.

PT
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Mac Kerr

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 05:31:12 pm »

I'm thinking about investing in a UHF spectrum analyzer.  Does anyone have recommendations?  I don't need any bells or whistles, I just would like to see what's there.

As Paul pointed out, software that lets you do a real coordination is even more important that the analyzer for most situations. The analyzer will tell you what's there, but in most cases that is going to be digital TV stations, which you can be notified about by the software, and other show elements of your show, which you can find out about without the analyzer.

A good option in an inexpensive portable analyzer is the TTi PSA-T series. It is easy to use, and easy to read, as opposed to some of its competitors.

The analyzer alone however will not solve all your RF issues, it is frequency coordination that solves the problems, the analyzer just helps you spot unexpected frequencies.

Mac
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Alfredo Prada

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 10:35:25 am »

I'm thinking about investing in a UHF spectrum analyzer.  Does anyone have recommendations?  I don't need any bells or whistles, I just would like to see what's there.

http://www.kaltmancreationsllc.com/invisibleWaves.html

Invisible waves have both handheld and PC based systems, I have not used them yet.
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Clark Johnson

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 10:51:08 am »

Thanks, this is good stuff!
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Mac Kerr

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 03:06:59 pm »

http://www.kaltmancreationsllc.com/invisibleWaves.html

Invisible waves have both handheld and PC based systems, I have not used them yet.

Get back to us when you have used them. I have, and they were not on my recommend list.

Mac
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Preston Soper

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 11:27:42 pm »

The Win Radio allows us to have a really good idea of our RF environment on tour.
I used to use the Icom radio w/ Spectrum commander for scanning
but Win Radio is a better product for live audio RF scanning.

The IAS software is invaluable for preplanning your event.
Both operate on Windows, no mac versions to date.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 11:30:18 pm by Preston Soper »
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Mac Kerr

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 02:46:09 pm »

Get back to us when you have used them. I have, and they were not on my recommend list.

I used the Invisible Waves software this week, and can say it is far better than the old handheld.

If you want a portable unit that is quick and easy to use I still recommend the TTi over the Invisible Waves, but if you do the kind of work that calls for logging or long term analysis the Invisible Waves software with their WinRadio box is pretty good.

Neither of these products should be confused with real RF RTAs, they are both scanners, and being relatively slow, will likely miss short intermittent RF hits. If you have visions of being an RF tech on a tour, or on big TV events, you probably want to think about something like the Rohde&Schwarz FS4 or better.

Mac
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 09:04:45 am »

I don't do RF anymore, but when I did the TTI handheld was fast and indispensible. You learn a lot about the local RF environment quickly. TTI has plenty of spares going forward. Also keep in mind that - used as a stand alone RF tool - you will never scratch the surface of the designed-in lifespan of the Palminterface.
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Phil Hornung

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Re: UHF spectrum analyzer
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2011, 05:11:17 pm »

I have the Kaltman Invisible Waves unit and IAS pro. Purchased them a couple years back before going out on a theater tour as the RF tech. Had a great tour experience with them. Those tools, combined with using decent gear (that particular rig used medium priced TX and RX units with very expensive antennae/distros/cabling - which is the way to go if on a budget) and we never had a dropout in a show. 38ch RF, about 55 shows all over US.

As mentioned, the Kaltman (winradio) unit won't catch short burst stuff, and it isn't FAST to use, but if you have the time, it does perform as specified and yields good and accurate results. Also, the battery pack that it ships with does mean you can start scanning even before you have power setup on site assuming you have a laptop with a functional battery in it.

A couple recommendations about that particular unit and ones like it...
- Get rid of the AC adapter it comes  with (or keep it as a backup) and get one that is 100-240V range. The one it ships with won't work in Europe or anywhere not 120V 60Hz.
- Good idea to get an antenna adapter to BNC so you can use one of YOUR receiving antenna as the input source. It comes with a small omni wide band, but if you're using directional antenna and placed far away from you work area for your receivers, it's good to see whats coming in there. The one it comes with is actually very good for getting an idea of IEM frequencies though as it's similar to what is on a pack.
- be mindful of the environment you set up in. Certain types of non-RF gear can put out a lot of interference, but may be localized. One day I put the scanning unit on top of one of the many racks in monitor world. It had an 8ch octo-pre in the very top of it. I was reading a kind of wide-band RF interference in every UHF band we were using. First assumption - especially on tour - is that this new city/venue you're in is just in a problem area. Moved the scanner 3 feet over to the next rack, and problems went away. Similar to making sure an FFT rig is set up correctly before you start believing everything you see on the screen.
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