Entry-level spectrum analyser combines three key RF test instruments

Rohde & Schwarz has extended its R&S FPC spectrum analyser family with the addition of the R&S FPC1500. The compact instrument combines a spectrum analyser, a one-port vector network analyser and a continuous wave (CW) signal generator. It is designed for used in education, for applications in service and repair shops and for professional hobbyists.

It is, claims Rohde &Schwarz, the first spectrum analyser on the market to integrate the three most commonly used instruments on an RF engineer’s workbench in one instrument.

It is believed to be the first spectrum analyser to include a one-port vector network analyser with internal VSWR bridge, an independent CW signal generator and a tracking generator. 

The base model of the R&S FPC1500 has a frequency range of 5.0kHz to 1.0GHz. Keycode options unlock higher frequency ranges up to 3.0GHz 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 R&S FPC1500 offers a low noise floor level of -150dBm (typical), which can be further extended to -165dBm (typical) through an optional, keycode-activated preamplifier. Its high maximum input power allows users to measure RF signals up to +30dBm (1.0W). This level of sensitivity and high input power gives the R&S FPC1500 a wide measurement dynamic range.

The R&S FPC1500 offers 1.0Hz RBW and 10.1-inch (1366 x 768 pixels). It displays signals in razor-sharp detail, says the company.

The internal VSWR bridge allows the R&S FPC1500 to perform reflection measurements. This allows users to measure impedance on antennae 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.

Another first is the ability of the R&S FPC1500 to act as an independent CW signal generator, says Rohde &Schwarz. Example applications include using the CW signal source as a LO signal for mixer measurements or as an input signal for amplifier gain measurements. 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.


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