An economical USB RF tool that plugs into the USB port of a PC and is controlled with the provided PC application software has been announced by Saelig. The Triarchy Techologies VSA6G2A Vector Spectrum Analyser offers almost all of the functionality of a benchtop spectrum analyser. Its frequency range of operation is from 100Hz to 6.2GHz, with an amplitude measurement range of -140 to 24dBm. The RBW (resolution bandwidth) range is from 0.2Hz to 10MHz and the noise level (DANL) is as low as -140dBm.
The VSA6G2A is compact (4x1x1") and easy to use. The software user interface has been designed to resemble the front panel of a standard desktop spectrum analyser, allowing users to use the application intuitively without a steep learning curve. Touch screen support is also provided, making the VSA6G2A quick to operate.
The VSA6G2A's demodulation capabilities allow it to measure analogue and digitally modulated signals, such as AM, FM, PM, MSK, and QPSK. Additionally, the VSA6G2A has I and Q signal ports, enabling it to work as a wide-band I/Q receiver platform. Visualising pulse modulated signals is usually not very easy, but with the VSA6G2A's trigger input it is straightforward to view these waveforms.
The analyser's operation is divided into two bands to cover the complete operating range: a low band (100Hz to 2MHz) and a high band (1MHz to 6.2GHz). The VSA6G2A offers an N (female) RF signal input connector and a mini-B USB connector for interfacing with the PC. Four MMCX connectors provide I/Q port access.
Signal spectra are clearly displayed on the attached PC, as well as density, waterfall images, and demodulated waveforms and eye diagrams. The waterfall display helps in showing signals like frequency hopping Bluetooth. The VSA channel power function makes it simple to measure signal power automatically. Production testing is also facilitated when using preselected Pass/Fail criteria.
Weighing 3.5oz (99g) and powered from a PC's USB port, the VSA6G2A is suitable for field test and installation since it can be easily slipped into a laptop bag and used for monitoring RF signals in temperatures from -10 to 50°C. It is also suitable for use in benchtop EMC testing with near-field antennas.