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Shopping for an Spectrum Analyzer - RF Explorer


miguell2
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I am currently in the market for an inexpensive spectrum analyzer and I came across RF explorer. 

 

http://micro.arocholl.com

 

It looks like an impressive little device. Is anyone familiar with this particular family of devices and if they are reliable.

 

I am very inclined to buy it but I want to run it by everyone with more experience that me on this.

 

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For $270, that's a great deal

Does anyone has experience with these units? I guess I can take a plunge for $270. But insight would be helpful. It should definitely help hunt down SMR signals. I think it might even help with pointing my TV Antenna :P

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The 15-2700MHz one would be nice for ham radio purposes, though I wish it went lower. It's still a steal though because spectrum analyzers usually go for $1000+ minimum.

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For $270, that's a great deal

The 15-2700MHz one would be nice for ham radio purposes, though I wish it went lower. It's still a steal though because spectrum analyzers usually go for $1000+ minimum.

 

Agreed.  My spectrum analyzer is a far cry from the $20,000 units that the wireless operators use.  Mine does cover up to 6 GHz and includes a high gain, directional antenna, though.  And the total cost, as I recall, was about $1700.

 

AJ

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Actually, some of the ham radio guys are suggesting RTLSDR instead of an actual spectrum analyzer. Hmm.

I have one of those TV tuners hooked up on the Macbook Pro with the software on the Windows bootcamp partition.

Doesn't go high enough to look for 1900 PCS or the 2500 Mhz stuff.  For some reason the one I got tops out at 1800 if I remember right. Was very cheap on ebay. Free opensource software and $20 for the tuner.

 

73 WC0H

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Got mine today, still getting used to it, I'm extremely happy so far! Thanks to Miguell2 for bringing this great device to our attention!

It's interesting to see Verizon's AWS LTE in B block for testing purposes live in some areas of NYC. It's completely invisible under the manual search using commercial UE. :)

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Got mine today, still getting used to it, I'm extremely happy so far! Thanks to Miguell2 for bringing this great device to our attention!

It's interesting to see Verizon's AWS LTE in B block for testing purposes live in some areas of NYC. It's completely invisible under the manual search using commercial UE. :)

Glad to hear. Do post some screenshots if you can of the PC display. From what I see I can use it to point all sorts of directional antennas provided I get the appropriate adapters.

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Glad to hear. Do post some screenshots if you can of the PC display. From what I see I can use it to point all sorts of directional antennas provided I get the appropriate adapters.

I haven't tried directional antennas yet, but in my market I don't really have to worry too much for RF source.

Mac software isn't the greatest, I have yet to try PC version.

 

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Here is another video scanning 2.5Ghz range in Queens, NYC.

Clearly OFDMA activity within 2520Mhz-2540Mhz span. Hoping it's TD-LTE, but it could be WiMax. Don't have UE to connect.

 

 

There was another one in the 2626Mhz - 2636Mhz range, only 10Mhz:

 

Sorry for terrible camera on my GS4 that refuses to stay focused. It's useless, will be using iPhone 5 camera from now on.

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Here is another video scanning 2.5Ghz range in Queens, NYC.

Clearly OFDMA activity within 2520Mhz-2540Mhz span. Hoping it's TD-LTE, but it could be WiMax. Don't have UE to connect.

 

 

 

There was another one in the 2626Mhz - 2636Mhz range, only 10Mhz:

 

 

Sorry for terrible camera on my GS4 that refuses to stay focused. It's useless, will be using iPhone 5 camera from now on.

 

If they're using the Samsung dual mode TD-LTE / Wimax RRU's then it's very likely the 10mhz will be for Wimax and the 20mhz for TD-LTE. The RRU max carrier size for Wimax is 10mhz while TD-LTE goes up to 20mhz. 

 

We've got reports of TD-LTE being detected in NYC and surrounding areas so it wouldn't be that surprising.

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If they're using the Samsung dual mode TD-LTE / Wimax RRU's then the 10mhz will be for Wimax and the 20mhz for TD-LTE. The RRU max carrier size for Wimax is 10mhz while TD-LTE goes up to 20mhz. 

That would make sense, but I didn't expect TD-LTE in 2520Mhz range. Was expecting the same as in Denver in 2619.2Mhz - 2637.2Mhz. Is NYC Clearwire's Samsung market? It's all mixed up now with Sprint using ALU, etc...

 

Luckily I did scan lower, and at this particular location found activity.

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That would make sense, but I didn't expect TD-LTE in 2520Mhz range. Was expecting the same as in Dallas in 2619.2Mhz - 2637.2Mhz

 

They gotta do what they have to do. It's likely that wimax carriers were still dominating the 2500 range in the Dallas area and they had some in the 2600 range to spare. Clearwire appeared to use different slices of BRS/EBS for each wimax sector which can take up huge chunks  of the BRS/EBS spectrum. 

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Clearwire appeared to use different slices of BRS/EBS for each wimax sector which can take up huge chunks  of the BRS/EBS spectrum. 

That's just crazy to me, but it is what it is. I'll keep scanning Manhattan and Brooklyn in the coming days, will need to gather more data from NYC.

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Are you guys using the built-in antennas for scanning, or did you shell out for special antennas that can pick up 2500?

Just built in. I'm guessing you could get directional antennas, but for city environment this is perfect!

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