Meet the Handheld Spectrum Analyzer

It’s been more than half a year we help with this handheld spectrum analyzer with Arocholl. The process is much more complicate for a nearly complete product. We learned a lot from Arocholl’s detail oriented attitude and professional engineering efforts. It’s an honor to present “RF Explore” beta batch to community:

As wireless communication devices grows in use everywhere, so it does the need to monitor, test and diagnose them.

RF Explorer is an extremely affordable Handheld Spectrum Analyzer designed from scratch to be a sort of Swiss Army Knife for the specific needs of ISM band digital communication. (from Arocholl’s introduction)

RF Explorer currently supported workflows

  • Monitor continuous wave (CW) and temporary transmissions in specific ISM band.
  • Detect whether a device is transmitting in the expected frequency and with expected power
  • Check whether an antenna or amplifier change makes a difference in power, orientation and noise
  • Detect band occupancy to move your gadget to a different channel
  • Works as RF Generator to transmit pure RF tone from 0dB to +20dB so you can test your RF link in seconds
  • Works completely automatic so you do not need to be an expert to use it. It will resolve RBW, Sweep time, for you.
  • Offer spectrum data in Normal, Average, Peak Maximum calculator modes
  • Open source PC client software, unlimited capture and post-processing storage
  • Optimized for worldwide ISM bands: 433Mhz, 868Mhz or 915Mhz.

RF Explorer future extensions

  • Transmission test tones in OOK and FSK
  • Digital transmission decoding and packet sniffing for OOK and FSK, including Manchester code support
  • Logging features for multi-hour transmission monitoring
  • Frequency counter
  • Automatic peak detection
  • Storage for up to 5 screenshots in internal memory
  • Expansion modules for additional ISM band support, including popular 2.4Ghz

For an example of how easy and powerful RF Explorer is in a real use case, check this tutorial.

Application: RFBee monitored by RF Explorer

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7 thoughts on “Meet the Handheld Spectrum Analyzer

  1. Hi Jan,

    That is correct. The baseline module will be either 433M, 868M or 915M but you can add a second frequency band to work on that one as well, based on a configuration menu. More details will come later.

    Thanks for your interest.

  2. Does it mean that with new expansion module it will work at both bands together (with sw switch)? Is it possible to have 433 and 868 modules in one?

    For some usage it could be better to have just 2.4 GHz Explorer so you don’t have to pay for the base module if you don’t need it.

  3. I certainly agree on 2.4Ghz being very useful for many uses, and thus we are working on an expansion module which will fit within the existing unit in an internal expansion module already allocated for that purpose. The 2.4Ghz will exhibit a separated RP-SMA connector and antenna, compatible with commercial 2.4Ghz antennae, cables and amplifiers. It will also expand internal memory for additional functions not available in the baseline unit.

    There will be no need to get a second unit for that, just expand your current RF Explorer. All current and future RF Explorer units will be compatible with that: just take apart a few screws, the back cover, plug the new module and the new band is in place.

  4. 2.4 and 5 GHz and you have a winner. I need that right now. We3 have an environment with well over 100 AP’s, deciding which band to use is an issue.

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March 2011