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Spectrum Analyzer Packs a Powerful Punch (.PDF Download)

Aug. 29, 2018
Spectrum Analyzer Packs a Powerful Punch (.PDF Download)

Any RF engineer or technician knows that the spectrum analyzer is one of the most essential test instruments—no test lab is complete without one. Today, spectrum analyzers range from more traditional benchtop instruments to portable USB-based versions. In addition, purchasing a spectrum analyzer requires one to have certain knowledge in terms of their characteristics, such as understanding the difference between swept-tuned and real-time spectrum analyzers. It should come as no surprise, then, that a wide variety of spectrum analyzers populate the market today.

One of the latest spectrum analyzers to arrive is Signal Hound’s SM200A, which the company describes as a high-performance 20-GHz spectrum analyzer and monitoring receiver. Since Signal Hound was kind enough to loan me an SM200A, this article takes a hands-on look at the equipment, exploring some of its many features (Fig. 1).

1. The SM200A is a 20-GHz spectrum analyzer and monitoring receiver.

An Introduction to the SM200A

Although the SM200A was released earlier this year, it was actually a few years in the making. In fact, Signal Hound showcased the SM200A at IMS 2017 in anticipation of it being released before the end of last year. Of course, that didn’t happen.

So why was the SM200A delayed? A blog post from Signal Hound, “Adventures in hardware development: the case of our ‘missing’ 20 GHz spectrum analyzer, the SM200A,” provides the answers. It explains some of the challenges that arose along the way, as well as how the engineering team at Signal Hound overcame them. The company officially launched the SM200A in early 2018.



Signal Hound

Oct. 19, 2000