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Author Topic: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser  (Read 3011 times)

TJ (Tom) Cornish

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UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« on: July 12, 2016, 09:11:55 am »

Most of the time I work in venues where there are a small enough number of frequencies in use that I can manually handle them, but I foresee needing a scanner eventually.  Looking in my crystal ball, I'm guessing a couple channels of VHF ULX-D are in my future, so I'm interested in both UHF and VHF bands.

What's out there now that's low cost, can put data into Wireless Workbench, and supports UHF and VHF?  My budget is $$$, so looking for things like the Airspy or RF Explorer-level products, probably.

Thanks
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 09:32:33 am »

the RF explorer is a great little utility scanner, and would seem to fit the bill for you perfectly.

It gives you more than enough data to do basic coordination, and its small size and cheap nature means you can chuck it around, use it outdoors even if its a bit rainy, etc... and not worry about it.

You need to attach it to a laptop for best results, but thats easy to do. I often use it velcro-ed to the back of my Surface for a pretty cool mobile low cost scanning/coordination platform
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 09:52:16 pm »

I use an RF Explorer (15-2700MHz version) for most of my frequency planning. I don't have the money, resources, or actual need to buy/rent a more advanced analyzer at this time.

Paired with the Apple-only Vantage program, I can scan a range of frequencies and export it to a .csv file that Shure's WWB6 can understand.

It's nice to be able to add specific frequencies into Vantage to "monitor" relative signal strength, but it's a little clunky for batch adding freqs. as of this version.

I recommend getting adapters to interface it with BNC, and any other connection types you might run into - that way, you can see what the antennas you're using are seeing (unless they're active, then maybe not).


- Jordan Wolf
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brian maddox

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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 11:41:40 pm »

I use an RF Explorer (15-2700MHz version) for most of my frequency planning. I don't have the money, resources, or actual need to buy/rent a more advanced analyzer at this time.

Paired with the Apple-only Vantage program, I can scan a range of frequencies and export it to a .csv file that Shure's WWB6 can understand.

It's nice to be able to add specific frequencies into Vantage to "monitor" relative signal strength, but it's a little clunky for batch adding freqs. as of this version.

I recommend getting adapters to interface it with BNC, and any other connection types you might run into - that way, you can see what the antennas you're using are seeing (unless they're active, then maybe not).


- Jordan Wolf

Second all of this.

I also have a inline pad that I use to plug the RFExplorer directly into IEM transmitters to check for signal strength and frequency stability.  Very handy.
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Brad Harris

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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2016, 12:07:24 am »

RFExplorer with Vantage for background monitoring over here. Used to use a WinRadio unit, but the sweep times were painfully slow.

Anything more serious, my FSH comes out to play ... i.e., the RFE BOUNCES around in my everyday toolbox, where the FSH comes out when needed.


BRad
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Andrew Outlaw

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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 01:57:43 pm »

I use an RF Explorer (15-2700MHz version) for most of my frequency planning. I don't have the money, resources, or actual need to buy/rent a more advanced analyzer at this time.

Paired with the Apple-only Vantage program, I can scan a range of frequencies and export it to a .csv file that Shure's WWB6 can understand.

It's nice to be able to add specific frequencies into Vantage to "monitor" relative signal strength, but it's a little clunky for batch adding freqs. as of this version.

I second all of that. Got the RF explorer because I can't afford a nice scanner, but I love it. Use it with Vantage (by rf venue) which scans in 25khz increments regardless of bandwidth (a handy feature, some other programs the resolution is dependent on the bandwidth). Great for monitoring, though as Jordan said, adding a bunch of frequencies at one time to the monitoring section sucks atm.

The rf explorer can't be beat at that price range imho, and the noise floor is surprisingly low. The only drawback I see to it is how slowly it scans. Fine for figuring out which TV channels are occupied and what other w/l mics might be in use around you, but the slow scan speed means you don't really pick up the transient spurious emissions from fhss systems and video walls. But for what I do that is not always necessary. And with vantage I can work around that by selecting a really small bandwidth for faster scans (still not as good as a tti though).

The model that I have has a radio that can scan 15-2700mhz, and another radio for 240-960. So I use the 240-960 for UHF stuff so that it has a lower noise floor, and the other radio for everything else.

For your money I would recommend the rf explorer.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 06:03:33 pm »

The only drawback I see to it is how slowly it scans. Fine for figuring out which TV channels are occupied and what other w/l mics might be in use around you, but the slow scan speed means you don't really pick up the transient spurious emissions from fhss systems and video walls.

I kind of get around this by scanning using max hold to see peaks.

Quote
The model that I have has a radio that can scan 15-2700mhz, and another radio for 240-960. So I use the 240-960 for UHF stuff so that it has a lower noise floor, and the other radio for everything else.

For your money I would recommend the rf explorer.
Exactly my same setup and definitely my sentiments (again).



- Jordan Wolf
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Re: UHF/VHF spectrum analyser
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 06:03:33 pm »


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