A CW (continuous wave) signal is accessed and displayed in the Tektronix PC-based spectrum analyzer.
Hello and welcome again. This is our 70th Test and Measurement Video. We’re continuing our demonstration of the new Tektronix RSA306B PC-based spectrum analyzer. This instrument represents a real price breakthrough because, assuming that you already own or have access to a PC, together with the SignalVu-PC software that can be downloaded free of charge from the Tektronix website, it is easy to put together a full-featured spectrum analyzer for a small fraction of the price of a stand-alone instrument. A spectrum analyzer generally costs much more than an oscilloscope with comparable specifications, so the PC-based module is the obvious answer for students and shops that do not have the operating budget of a full-scale electronics lab.
To demonstrate the Tektronix RSA306B, we need a signal or actually an array of frequencies to apply at the input. Some possibilities are the output from an arbitrary function generator and ambient electromagnetic energy as received by a whip antenna connected to the module’s RF input. We have demonstrated these signals in previous Test and Measurement videos. A third source we’ll access in today’s video is the Tektronix RTSA V3 demo board, which is designed to provide a wide selection of test signals that can be viewed in the RSA306B PC-based spectrum analyzer as well as in other instruments.
Cabling is simple. The Tektronix module is connected to a PC laptop with SignalVu-PC software installed in the usual manner, making use of the supplied USB3 power and data cable. Additionally, the module is connected to the demo board RF output and to the RSA306B RF input, where an adapter is needed.
To power the demo board, a specialized USB Y cable is run from the USB power port to two USB ports in the PC. The purpose of this cable with dual inputs is to satisfy the current requirement of the demo board, which would be too much for a single PC port.
So now the PC-based spectrum analyzer is connected to the demo board and signals generated therein can be displayed in the PC. To display a sample signal, follow this procedure:
1. Press the On button in the demo board. LED’s throughout light up and indicate that the board is prepared to output signals to the connected RSA306B spectrum analyzer and through it to the PC.
2. Set the reference to Internal.
3. Set the Run Mode to Free Run.
4. Click the Row and Column buttons to select CW to determine the demo board output. This completes the procedure for configuring the demo board. Now we will turn to the RSA306B.
5. Double click the SignalVu-PC icon on the desktop.
6. Click Connect to Instrument.
7. Click OK in the Connect Status Box.
8. Click on the gear graphic to display the Settings Control Panel
9. Click Max Span to extend the spectrum range to its maximum possible extent. Start and Stop frequencies will align themselves.
10. Set Resolution Bandwidth to 1.0 kHz. This determines the Fast Fourier Transform bin size, which is the smallest frequency that can be resolved. This improves selectivity at the expense of sweep speed and update rate.
11. An interesting side issue is, under Options in the Tools menu, Preferences, one of three color schemes can be selected. What the application calls Blizzard is black on white, the ink saver mode, in case you want to print the screenshot. Other color schemes are Thunderstorm and Classic.
Thanks for watching. New videos are added periodically, so check back frequently.