Low-cost real-time spectrum analyzer covers 9 kHz to 6 GHz

May 28, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Signal Hound has announced the The Signal Hound BB60C, successor to the popular Signal Hound BB60A, is a real-time spectrum analyzer and RF recorder.

It has significantly enhanced performance compared to the BB60A. The BB60C has a frequency range of 9 kHz to 6 GHz, an instantaneous bandwidth (IBW) of 27 MHz, and the ability to sweep the RF spectrum at 24 GHz per second. It costs just $2,879.

The Signal Hound BB60C has improved SFDR (Spurious-Free Dynamic Range) by typically 20 dB; the noise floor has been flattened by reducing frequency band transitions more than 8 dB; operating temperatures have been extended down to -40°C and up to +65°C; and streaming I/Q (In-phase Quadrature) bandwidth is now selectable from 250 kHz to 27 MHz.

"The Signal Hound BB60C is perfect for a wide range of applications. It embodies the 80-20 rule by being able to accomplish more than 80 percent of the work for less than 20 percent of the cost.

"Now the BB60C makes it hard for companies to justify buying a high-end spectrum analyzer. There are other competitors but they lack one or more of our key features—spectral purity, wide temperature range operation, broadband I/Q streaming capability, open source code spectrum analysis software, and an application programming interface (API)," said Bruce Devine, CEO, Signal Hound.

By adding custom software and a low-cost Intel i5 NUC vPro-enabled computer, model DC53427HYE, the user can also remotely perform spectrum analysis, manage system recovery, turn on and off the BB60C, and update software, all over the Ethernet.

The Signal Hound BB60C ships with a fully documented API written in C++. The open source spectrum analyzer software provides excellent examples of efficient techniques for creating new functions and interfacing the API when writing customized applications.