Test & Measurement

Budget-friendly spectrum analyser combines three instruments

5th April 2018
Mick Elliott

The R&S FPC spectrum analyser family from Rohde & Schwarz has been extended with the R&S FPC1500. This compact instrument combines a spectrum analyser, a one-port vector network analyser and a CW signal generator. It is ideal for education, for applications in service and repair shops and for professional hobbyists.

It integrates the three most commonly used instruments on an RF engineer's workbench in one budget-friendly instrument.

It includes a one-port vector network analyser with internal VSWR bridge, an independent CW signal generator and a tracking generator, and provides solid RF performance and a comprehensive future-ready feature set.

The base model of the R&S FPC1500 has a frequency range of 5kHz to 1GHz.

Keycode options unlock higher frequency ranges up to 3GHz or enable other measurement application features when required.

Upgrades are activated immediately when the keycodes are entered, and there is no need for upgrade calibration.

For applications requiring a high sensitivity to characterise extremely weak signals, the instrument offers a low noise floor level of -150dBm (typ.), which can be further extended to -165dBm (typ.) through an optional, keycode-activated preamplifier.

Its high maximum input power allows users to measure RF signals up to +30dBm (1W). This combination of high sensitivity and high input power level enables an exceptionally wide measurement dynamic range.

In addition, the R&S FPC1500 offers measurement and display resolution of 1Hz RBW and 10.1in. (1366x768 pixels). Razor-sharp detail is the company’s description.

The internal VSWR bridge enables reflection measurements. This allows users to measure impedance on antennas or RF circuits with the Smith chart display or use distance-to-fault measurements to detect faulty locations on a long RF cable.

There is no need to mount and dismount an external VSWR bridge when switching between the spectrum analyser and network analyser modes.

The tracking generator integrated into the R&S FPC1500 enables scalar transmission measurements on passive and active RF components that do not produce their own RF signal, e.g. amplifiers, filters and even RF cables.

The instrument can act as an independent continuous wave (CW) signal generator.

Example applications include using the CW signal source as a LO signal for mixer measurements or as an input signal for amplifier gain measurements.

Further, the R&S FPC1500 offers a coupled CW mode that couples the generated CW signal to the displayed centre frequency of the R&S FPC1500. Whenever a measurement requires a CW signal to follow the R&S FPC1500 centre frequency, these operations now can be conveniently set in a single step.

The R&S FPC1500 spectrum analyser is now available from Rohde & Schwarz and selected distribution channel partners.

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