RANGERNeo spectrum analyser tricks

May 4, 2016.

Most professionals using field strength meters value the spectrum analyser function as one of the basic tools to locate interfering signals in their installations.

Indeed, the RANGERNeo field strength meters have a high spec spectrum analyzer far beyond a basic tool, thanks to its great scan speed and resolution as well as its many advanced characteristics.

Reference traces

This feature freezes the spectrum graph and compares it with the running trace which allows checking the impact of a filter, amplifier, interference, etc,... at a glance. This function can be conveniently accessed by a short press on the screen shot key.

Reference trace on a running spectrum graph
Reference trace on a running spectrum graph

The reference trace disappears if the screenshot key is short pressed again.

Tutorial: Locating satellite beacons

The beacons are small and narrow band carriers that can only be properly seen using high performance spectrum analysers. Even knowing its carrier frequency these beacon signals are often hidden in masking noise.

The RANGERNeo spectrum analyser incorporates advanced tools, averaging and persistence, to smooth satellite signal trace making it easier for beacons to be identified as shown in this tutorial video:

Utilising the triple split display to speed up work

The RANGERNeo can be configured to display spectrum, measurements and video demodulation in up to nine different combinations. What is the most appropriate and efficient? It all goes down to user preferences and type of work in progress.

SPECTRUM 2/3 combination for example is a good compromise between amount of data displayed and clarity of information, spectrum analyzer, measurements and the video demodulation.

Spectrum 2/3

Using the touch screen in spectrum analyser mode

When working with the RANGERNeo 2, you can place the marker on any channel just by touching the corresponding point in the touch screen. You can as well move the spectrum trace left or right simply by dragging your finger over the screen accordingly.

Control of the spectrum analyser using the touch screen
Control of the spectrum analyser using the touch screen

Minimum and maximum hold

Maximum hold and minimum hold traces can be displayed separately or simultaneously along with the current spectrum trace. MAX hold will allow the user to identify random sporadic interferences affecting the TV reception network, while MIN hold will reveal the industrial noise floor.

Simultaneous maximum and minimum hold traces
Simultaneous minimum (“curtain” mode) and maximum hold (“permanent” mode) traces

User preferences offer the possibility of displaying the max/min hold traces permanently or in “curtain” mode, the latter holding the respective traces only for a certain time.

Aligning antennas using the max/min hold trace in curtain mode and a marker

The MAX hold feature is especially useful when you are aligning an antenna. When installing repeaters, the MIN hold feature helps to align the transmitting antenna optimally so as to shield it from the signals received by the repeater receiving antenna.

Retention of the maximum values for the orientation of an antenna with a marker on one of the terrestrial channels
Retention of the maximum values for the orientation of an antenna with a marker on one of the terrestrial channels

In these cases you can activate a marker on the maximum or minimum signal that serves as a precise reference for the best level of reception.

Adjust RF devices using high resolution filters and markers

It is especially useful to use markers to finely adjust RF devices such as amplifiers, filters, etc.

Measurements shown on the top of the screen along with the usage of markers, allow to define the RF device behaviour and adjust these devices at ease.

Locked DTT channel being interferried by a carrier and a marker on it
Joint use of markers and optimal selection of the resolution bandwidth swiftly helps to identify channel interferences.

As a reminder the RANGERNeo 2 can have resolution filters of up to 2 kHz (satellite band) and 10 kHz (terrestrial band) and vertical sensitivity of 1 dB/DIV.

10 kHz resolution bandwidth
Previous figure interfering signal zoomed in using 2 MHz SPAN and a 10 kHz resolution bandwidth so that it is possible to see every detail.