- Buyers Guide
Test Equipment Plus announced the Signal Hound BB60A, a real-time spectrum analyzer and RF recorder designed to capture and display RF events as short as 1 µs. The BB60A is a small, lightweight, and affordable USB-based real-time RF spectrum analyzer that operates from 9 kHz to 6 GHz and can go anywhere. It can also be customized to perform complex, remote, and/or automated functions.
“The proliferation of wireless devices has led to unsustainable growth in the way we use the RF spectrum. Interference problems occur with increasing regularity. Interference hunting and real time spectrum monitoring tools have become a necessity. The problem is finding a real-time spectrum analyzer that is adequate for the task and isn’t cost prohibitive. Also, adding RF recording capability to a traditional spectrum analyzer is avoided due to added cost. Advances in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, coupled with superb engineering, made it possible for us to offer the Signal Hound BB60A. It provides a high value/low price real-time RF spectrum analyzer with RF recorder capability,” said Bruce Devine, CEO, Test Equipment Plus.
The BB60A real-time RF spectrum analyzer is the first to market with an RF recorder that uses the USB 3.0 data pipe. USB 3.0 streams at twice the data rate of a 1GiE connection. In order to achieve this functionality, three things were necessary. First, computer processors and video card performance had to advance to the point where GPU acceleration of the spectrum analyzer graphics became inexpensive to implement. Second, the availability of inexpensive high performance SSDs (Solid State Drives) was required so that broadband RF recording to the PC could be achieved without a costly and bulky RAID-0 or RAID-5 hard drive configuration. And third, the Cypress FX3 chip, which was the first USB 3.0 device controller to market, was needed for Signal Hound to cost-effectively create the large 140 MB/s data pipe from the BB60A to the PC.
The BB60A streams 80 million samples per second of RF data to a PC via USB 3.0, enabling real-time spectrum analysis of any 20 MHz segment of spectrum. Users are able to visualize spectral events as short as 1 µs with 100% POI (probability of intercept) within a 20 MHz instantaneous bandwidth.
This BB60A comes with a compiled API (Application Programming Interface) for writing custom software. The open source spectrum analyzer software provides excellent examples of techniques for interfacing the API when writing customized applications.
The Signal Hound BB60A is in stock, ready for immediate shipment. The BB60A sells for $2,479 USD. Price will vary outside USA due to distributor cost of shipping, import taxes, and currency fluctuations.
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