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Touchstone-Pro for Mac OS

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Bill McKelvey:
For those of you witha Mac and an RF Explorer, Touchstone-Pro is now available.
http://shop.nutsaboutnets.com/collections/rf-explorer-handheld-spectrum-analyzers/products/touchstone-pro-macos

Patrick Riley:

--- Quote from: Bill McKelvey on October 23, 2016, 03:25:40 pm ---For those of you witha Mac and an RF Explorer, Touchstone-Pro is now available.
http://shop.nutsaboutnets.com/collections/rf-explorer-handheld-spectrum-analyzers/products/touchstone-pro-macos

--- End quote ---

If anyone is using this software, how well does it work for you? Can it export scan data in csv format into ias? I'm on a pc, obviously.

Diogo Nunes Pereira:

--- Quote from: Patrick Riley on October 27, 2016, 02:45:52 pm ---If anyone is using this software, how well does it work for you? Can it export scan data in csv format into ias? I'm on a pc, obviously.

--- End quote ---

Hi. I've been using Touchstone-Pro por Windows for some months now. It can export traces from RFExplorer (and RTL-SDR dongles) with WWB6 and IAS compatible format. I only use WWB, they import fine. You shouldn't have problems with IAS, I assume.

The ability to select step size (RBW) is neat, but requires some playing with it: low resolutions (large RBW) are obviosly poor in detail, but small steps (small RBW values) give way to many spikes that make it hard to differentiate a TV Channel from the noise floor sometimes. Here's some screenshots of the TV Band in Barcelona (470-790) with different RBW values in Touchstone-Pro.


1MHz step size


250kHz step size


25kHz step size; Took about 50 seconds to finish the sweep with this span and resolution.

The RF Explorer for Windows client software handles this way better, since it can average the traces, but it's a pain to export a dozen files with a 28MHz span, concatenate them, replace the commas and what-not to make it compatible with WWB. Still, I've been doing it for a couple of years now.

I hope Nuts About Nets implement averaging of traces in Touchstone soon. As of now, all you can export is Current or Maximum traces (the red one).


Traces from Touchstone(blue) and RFE Client(yellow) compared -notice the averaging; same step size: 250kHz. Green trace Touchstone step size: 25kHz.

RTL-SDR scans are not allowed to change RBW, but the resolution is good enough and it even has better differentiation than the Explorer in may occasion.s

A very annoying feature (or bug) is that in the Scan Settings number boxes you can't use the keyboard to enter (or delete) data; have to open a screen keyboard to type frequencies. Very annoying.

In the Control section on the right there's a dropdown box with some presets; I haven't found a way to add to those presets in the software. There's a XML file you can edit, but that's not exactly user friendly.

If your RF Explorer has two modules (mine is a 3G combo) you have to choose the module you want to use in the unit before opening Touchstone; There's no way to change it in the software.

I've tried contacting Nuts About Nets by email a couple of times with questions regarding features (like the above described) and did not get an answer on both occasions, so I can't say I'm happy with their support.

Just my two cents. Cheers,

Diogo


EDIT: PS. Here's a link to the dropbox folder with the actual csv files and other screenshots.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nmhltzto5my59pp/AADlZ9dtR3FpGrGPy_Rgs4Rxa?dl=0



alidav:

--- Quote from: Diogo Nunes Pereira on October 27, 2016, 05:39:41 pm ---Hi. I've been using Touchstone-Pro por Windows for some months now. It can export traces from RFExplorer (and RTL-SDR dongles) with WWB6 and IAS compatible format. I only use WWB, they import fine. You shouldn't have problems with IAS, I assume.

The ability to select step size (RBW) is neat, but requires some playing with it: low resolutions (large RBW) are obviosly poor in detail, but small steps (small RBW values) give way to many spikes that make it hard to differentiate a TV Channel from the noise floor sometimes. Here's some screenshots of the TV Band in Barcelona (470-790) with different RBW values in Touchstone-Pro.


1MHz step size


250kHz step size


25kHz step size; Took about 50 seconds to finish the sweep with this span and resolution.

The RF Explorer for Windows client software handles this way better, since it can average the traces, but it's a pain to export a dozen files with a 28MHz span, concatenate them, replace the commas and what-not to make it compatible with WWB. Still, I've been doing it for a couple of years now.

I hope Nuts About Nets implement averaging of traces in Touchstone soon. As of now, all you can export is Current or Maximum traces (the red one).


Traces from Touchstone(blue) and RFE Client(yellow) compared -notice the averaging; same step size: 250kHz. Green trace Touchstone step size: 25kHz.

RTL-SDR scans are not allowed to change RBW, but the resolution is good enough and it even has better differentiation than the Explorer in may occasion.s

A very annoying feature (or bug) is that in the Scan Settings number boxes you can't use the keyboard to enter (or delete) data; have to open a screen keyboard to type frequencies. Very annoying.

In the Control section on the right there's a dropdown box with some presets; I haven't found a way to add to those presets in the software. There's a XML file you can edit, but that's not exactly user friendly.

If your RF Explorer has two modules (mine is a 3G combo) you have to choose the module you want to use in the unit before opening Touchstone; There's no way to change it in the software.

I've tried contacting Nuts About Nets by email a couple of times with questions regarding features (like the above described) and did not get an answer on both occasions, so I can't say I'm happy with their support.

Just my two cents. Cheers,

Diogo


EDIT: PS. Here's a link to the dropbox folder with the actual csv files and other screenshots.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nmhltzto5my59pp/AADlZ9dtR3FpGrGPy_Rgs4Rxa?dl=0

--- End quote ---

Does touchstone pro works with an sdr dongle? and what freq range can be visualized?

Mac Kerr:

--- Quote from: alidav on November 11, 2019, 01:35:45 pm ---Does touchstone pro works with an sdr dongle? and what freq range can be visualized?

--- End quote ---

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