Low-Cost Handheld Spectrum Analyzer (RF Explorer)

Low-Cost Handheld Spectrum Analyzer (RF Explorer)

By Tom Carpenter On 09/27/2017 - 174 Comments

The RF Explorer device is a useful tool for the price point. At under $300 U.S., the price is much easier to accommodate than other, more advanced, handheld spectrum analyzers. The device can be purchased here: http://rfexplorer.com/purchase/

Additional purchase locations can be found here: http://j3.rf-explorer.com/buy-online.


The current model of the RF Explorer offers both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band analysis. Some models may be 2.4 GHz-only, so be careful when selecting your unit. I received a loaner from the WLAN Pros Lending Library (available at https://www.wlanpros.com/product-category/lending-library/) and it was a 2.4 GHz-only model. I purchased the dual-band model from rfexplorer.com for $270 and can perform analysis in both bands with it. The following images show the 2.4 GHz model from the WLAN Pros Lending Library.

RF Explorer Entire View

Figure 1: RF Explorer Entire View

RF Explorer Screen View

Figure 2: RF Explorer Screen View

The spectrum view can show a wider range or narrower range of frequencies depending on your desired view. However, the view shows 112 sweep steps only. Therefore, if you view the entire 2.4 GHz band, for example, you will be viewing it with a much lower resolution. To increase the resolution, change to a lower frequency range. For example, you could view 25 MHz of bandwidth with the center frequency set to 2.437 so that channel 6 is analyzed in higher resolution bandwidth. When you do this, the typical 802.11 spectrum masks begin to show, which are not as easily seen when sweeping the entire 2.4 GHz band. The following figure shows this basic configuration.

RF Explorer on Channel 6

Figure 3: RF Explorer on Channel 6

In the above image, the -29.0 value is a reference to the highest dBm value seen on the center frequency, revealing that the device can be used to measure signal strength at various locations. However, this only shows signal strength and there is no way to see the Wi-Fi AP generating the signal in the Spectrum Analyzer view.

The amplitude resolution of the analyzer is .5 dBm, which indicates that it may detect power level variances in RF energy at ½ decibel. The typical accuracy of this reading is +/- 3 dB in typical devices. The frequency resolution is 1 KHz and the resolution bandwidth (RBW) varies, depending on sweep width (range of frequencies swept) from 58 KHz to 812 KHz. This is very acceptable for quick-and-dirty spectrum analysis tasks like looking for a non-Wi-Fi interferer or evaluating the noise floor in an environment.

In addition to use as a handheld scanner, software is available to use the device as a USB spectrum analysis adapter with Windows. The following image shows the Touchstone software that can be used with the device.

Touchstone Analyzer Software

Figure 4: Touchstone Analyzer Software

In addition to the waterfall view shown in the bottom portion of the above image, the software supports a density map view shown below:

Density View

Figure 5: Touchstone Software Density Map View

Finally, if you acquire the Wi-Fi Spectrum Analyzer & Network Discovery version, you will have internal views like the following that do show Wi-Fi channels and signal strengths for those channels.

Wi-Fi Channel View

Figure 6: RF Explorer Wi-Fi Channels View

NOTE: To charge the battery in RF Explorer, the switch must be set to ON. The wiring to the battery is only active (from the USB port) when the switch is on.

If you want to try out a basic handheld spectrum analyzer. The RF Explorer may be a good choice. If you don't want to risk the purchase, you can always acquire one from the WLAN Pros Lending Library, though you may have to wait a little while to get one, and then make the purchase if you determine it meets your needs.

Tagged with: spectrum analyzer, spectrum analysis, rf explorer, usb

15 Responses to Low-Cost Handheld Spectrum Analyzer (RF Explorer)

Subscribe by Email
Best Writer Says:
09/26/2018 at 08:14am
I am glad to learn about Dynamic frequency selection. Thank you for such an interesting post. We are among the most reliable Article writing sites that you can visit to obtain Article writing services .

juan yelle Says:
09/26/2018 at 07:29am
Thank you so much for sharing this information, it is easy to learn while reading such articles. As, the information you provide is easy to understand and also, gives a detail explanation of the topic.
Quicken support phone number Web Designing Company Digital Marketing Company Digital marketing course in Delhi Digital Marketing Institute in Delhi




Anny Bank Says:
09/26/2018 at 04:03am
Best offers in online assignment help in all subjects. We have 1000 + experts at GotoAssignmentHelpto write your assignment. Book now & assure A+ grade.
conflict Management Assignment Writing
write project management assignment
supply chain management assignment help online
porte's five forces assignment help

Anny Bank Says:
09/26/2018 at 04:00am Attachment: Download 47100f1f725ce96ffc04c63d6d58e4ae.jpg

Get 100% plagiarism free solution within the deadline for online assignment. Best quality Assignment by industry experts. Book now & assure A+ grade.MYOB assignment assistance
online sociology assignment help
help with history assignment online
online strategy management assignment help
online project management assignment help

David Taylor Says:
09/26/2018 at 03:12am
We provide customized assignment help service. We are leading the market for more than a decade
now and have acquired the name of being the best academic help service for our comprehensive
services at pocket-friendly rates.
ONLINE PSYCHOLOGY ASSIGNMENT HELP
hr management assignment help
online assignments help
programming language assignment expert
homework help online
research paper help online

David Taylor Says:
09/26/2018 at 03:11am
I am David Taylor. I am academic content writer and editor, associated with GotoAssignmentHelp.com
since decade. GotoAssignmentHelp.com is leading plagiarism free assignment writing help in Australia.

Java Programming Assignment Help

PHP Programming Assignment Help

Javascript Programming Assignment Help

C++ Programming Assignment Help

C# Programming Assignment Help

write my management assignment

John Nickson Says:
09/26/2018 at 03:05am
Academic writing services team of writers is more than capable of handling your assignments, dissertations, essays, and thesis.

malaysia assignment helper
singapore assignment helper
assignment writing help uae
cdr writing Help

John Nickson Says:
09/26/2018 at 03:03am
Our GotoAssignmentHelp Best Assignment Help Website for Quality Assignment Writing Help. Take advantage of a pocket-friendly assignment writing company service. Visit us now and book an order.
online assignment help australia
assignment writing help usa
assignment writing help uk
online assignment help canada
cheap assignment writing service nz

Ameelia Black Says:
09/26/2018 at 02:48am
Educational Consultant atGotoAssignmentHelp.com, providing assignment help to the student of AUS, UK & USA.
Our Prime Service:
Assignment Help Australia
Nursing Assignment Help
Assignment Help USA
Assignment Help Canada

stephie brown Says:
09/25/2018 at 09:28am
Nuvigil is a smart pill with strong effect that can help us in staying active and awake by promoting our wakefulness. You can buy Nuvigil online from Online Pharmacy Pills to get it at an affordable price.

juan yelle Says:
09/23/2018 at 09:01am
I simply wanted to thank you. I do not know what would have I done, as reading this information made things so easy to understand.
Quicken support phone number
Digital Marketing Company
Web Designing Company
Off Page seo
Digital marketing course in Delhi
Digital Marketing Institute in Delhi
Traditional marketing vs Digital marketing

Best Writer Says:
09/21/2018 at 02:15am
Sharing of information online has greatly revolutionized the way the information reach to people. This is because it has given people the opportunity to get information from different sources. Cheap content writing services

<< prev - comments page 1 of 1 - next >>

Leave a Reply

Please login or sign-up to add your comment.
Success Stories

I literally just came out of the testing centre having taken the CWDP exam. The certification process opened my mind to different techniques and solutions. This knowledge can only broaden your perspective. Great job, CWNP, you have a great thing going on here.

-Darren
Read More

Working through the CWNP coursework and certifications helped not only to deepen my technical knowledge and understanding, but also it boosted my confidence. The hard work it took to earn my CWNE has been rewarding in so many ways.

-Ben
Read More

I want to commend you and all at CWNP for having a great organization. You really 'raise the bar' on knowing Wi-Fi well. I have learned a ton of information that is helping my job experience and personal career goals, because of my CWAP/CWDP/CWSP studies. Kudos to all at CWNP.

-Glenn
Read More