Tektronix has introduced USB spectrum analyzers at an affordable list price of $3,490. The new RSA306 features 9 kHz to 6.2 GHz frequency range, 40 MHz real time bandwidth and weighs light at 1.2 pounds. Engineers can do advanced analysis by using Tektronix SignalVu-PC software for applications involving budget-conscious research and development, mobile radio network installation, interference hunting and university level lab classes. SignalVu-PC software bundled free with this spectrum analyzer.
"As with nearly all areas of electronics design and test, requirements for RF and microwave test are changing quickly leading to the need for new instrumentation approaches," said Jim McGillivary, general manager of RF and Component Solutions at Tektronix. "As the introduction of RSA306 demonstrates, we're moving aggressively to address these changing requirements across multiple market segments with innovative, industry leading test and measurement solutions."
Tektronix claims the real-time processing capability of RSA306 is atleast 1,000 times faster than spectrum analyzers from other major suppliers. An open API allows customers to use their own custom Windows-based interface such as Matlab or Python to manipulate raw data coming from the instrument.
"It looks to me like Tektronix has hit the nail on the head with the RSA306," said Stuart Nicol, CEO of Aprel. "In our hands-on preview of the product, the RSA306 has plenty of performance for most areas where you would need real-time spectrum analysis such as EMI Diagnostics and Scanning and low level, fast sweeping capabilities to find spurious signals. At this price, it's hard to resist."
Details of applications suitable for this spectrum analyzer suggested by Tektronix includes:
Budget-Conscious RF Design and Development: More and more designs are including RF components such as inexpensive Wi-Fi modules, dramatically increasing the need for spectrum analysis. Now labs working on wireless-enabled designs can afford to give everyone on the design team the RF signal analysis tools they require.
Mobile Radio Network Installation and Maintenance: For field applications, the RSA306 offers the convenience, analysis capabilities and user-friendly operation engineers and technicians need to get a fast handle on network health. Full spectrum analyzer measurement capabilities provide far more versatility than the limited pass/fail of a dedicated tester.
Interference Hunters: With its compact size and light weight, the RSA306 easily fits in a backpack while offering the sensitivity needed to quickly discover signals as short at 100 µs. This is key for Spectrum Managers and Regulatory Agencies who need a basic spectrum analyzer and interference hunter in the field.
University Lab Classes: For a relatively small investment, learning institutions can now help students become better RF and microwave engineers by giving them the hands-on experience with spectrum analyzers like what they will use once they enter the workforce. Vector analysis, frequency and phase trends, and other tools allow educators to teach concepts well beyond basic frequency and amplitude.
The RSA306 is immediately available now.