Handheld Spectrum Analyzer Scans 100 kHz To 3 GHz

Oct. 11, 2007
This compact spectrum analyzer provides all the functionality of a benchtop instrument, but in a battery-powered package measuring a mere 318 3 207 3 69 mm.

Portable measurement capability serves a growing number of wireless and wireline communications applications. For site surveys, checking breaks in cables, or evaluating tower-mounted antennas and amplifiers, it is usually easier to bring an analyzer to the problem than the other way around. For that reason, Agilent Technologies (www.agilent.com) has developed the company's first portable, handheld spectrum analyzer for such in-field measurement applications. The Agilent N9340A features frequency coverage of 100 kHz to 3 GHz and is ideal for a wide range of broadcast, commercial, industrial, and military in-field test applications.

The small size of the Agilent N9340A (see figure) belies its performance. It offers a full range of 3-dB resolutionbandwidth filters from 30 Hz to 1 MHz (1-3-10 sequence) as well as video-bandwidth filters from 3 Hz to 1 MHz to isolate frequency events of interest. The analyzer performs full span sweeps in less than 120 ms and zero-span sweeps in only 10 ms. Sweeps can be set from 10 ms to 1000 s.

For displaying even low-level signals, the Agilent N9340A features a low-noise local oscillator (LO) with phase noise of -87 dBc/Hz offset 30 kHz from the carrier and -120 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from the carrier. The displayed average noise level (DANL) is -124 dBm, dropping to -144 dBm when using the optional, 20-dB-gain preamplifier. At the other end of the dynamic range, the Agilent N9340A allows operators to set the reference level from -100 to +20 dBm. It incorporates a step attenuation with 0-to-51-dB range adjustable in 1-dB steps for those "hot" signals, and can handle input levels as high as +33 dBm.

The handheld analyzer has a variety of built-in measurement functions to simplify testing in the field, including occupied bandwidth, channel power, and adjacent- channel-power-ratio (ACPR) measurements. It shows results on a crisp, 7.2-in. (18.3-cm) transflective color liquid- crystal-display (LCD) screen that holds up well even under bright sunlight. The portable analyzer features long battery life of about 4 hours on one charge, and the user-replaceable battery can be recharged from a vehicle's cigarette lighter. The analyzer offers a choice of 11 on-screen languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

Although the portable analyzer will see most of its action in commercial and industrial on-site communications testing, it is tough enough for military applications with its rubberized enclosure. It also boasts a sealed keypad and screen that are moisture resistant and dust proof. With the battery, the Agilent N9340A weighs just 3.5 kg and measures 318 x 207 x 69 mm. P&A: $8200; stock.

Agilent Technologies, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd.,
Santa Clara, CA 95051;
(877) 424- 4536,
FAX: (408) 345-8474,
Internet: www.agilent.com.

See associated figure.

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