Spectrum analyzers can cost $50,000 and more for coverage into the microwave range. Because not every test lab or production facility can afford such luxury, Anritsu's (Morgan Hill, CA) engineers designed the MS2717A as an Economy Spectrum Analyzeran instrument for the masses. Although costing less than $12,000 (USD), it delivers performance that will have many users rechecking that price tag. The MS2717A features a frequency range covering most wireless applications, from 100 kHz to 7.1 GHz.

The MS2717A Economy Spectrum Analyzer (see figure) shows test results on a vivid 8.4-in. SVGA TFT display and offers menus and on-screen information in a choice of eight languages. The size of the analyzer is unique, at 242 372 339 mm, to occupy less space on the workbench. Its whisper-quiet operation makes it unobtrusive. The MS2717A offers 3-dB resolution-bandwidth filters from 10 Hz to 3 MHz and video-bandwidth filters from 1 Hz to 3 MHz. The analyzer also has an 8-MHz wide instantaneous (demodulation) bandwidth, which works in support of several options that simplify WCDMA/HSDPA measurements. The instrument features frequency resolution of 1 Hz.

The spectrum analyzer features a typical dynamic range of 100 dB, boasting a third-order intercept point of +29 dBm. The typical phase noise is -110 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz for carriers to 6 GHz. Without the integral preamplifier, the displayed average noise level (DANL) is -126 dBm when measured with a 10-Hz resolution-bandwidth filter. With it, the DANL is -150 dBm for the same filter. The analyzer can measure amplitude levels from the DANL to a maximum input level of +30 dBm. To assist with measuring high-level signals, the MS2717A provides built-in attenuation, adjustable from 0 to 65 dB in 5-dB steps. The amplitude accuracy is 0.6 dB to 3 GHz.

The MS2717A performs measurements over frequency spans as narrow as 10 Hz and as wide as the full range of the analyzer (7.1 GHz), as well as making zero-span measurements. The tuning resolution is 1 Hz. It achieves sweeps as fast as 200 ms, or a mere 10 s for zero-span measurements.

While it is a powerful manual instrument, the MS2717A also provides a host of optional automatic or "smart" measurements in which programmable test routines can be activated with a single keystroke. Automatic WCDMA/HSDPA measurements allow operators to quickly test for such parameters as RF channel power, occupied bandwidth, ACLR accuracy, residual ACLR, and frequency error across frequency ranges of 824 to 894 MHz, 1710 to 2170 MHz, and 2300 to 2400 MHz. Automatic WCDMA demodulation measurements for characterizing the performance of Node B transmitter components include one-button routines for code-domain power, error vector magnitude (EVM), ad EVM accuracy over the same three frequency ranges.

The MS2717A weighs only 5.6 kg (12 lbs.) but packs a lot of test power. It includes six measurement markers, Ethernet and USB connectivity, and the capability to store as many as 1000 measurement traces on a Compact Flash (CF) card. P&A: under $12,000; 8 to 10 wks. Anritsu Co., 490 Jarvis Dr., Morgan Hill, CA 95037; (972) 644-1777, (800) ANRITSU, FAX: (972) 671-1877, Internet: www.us.anritsu.com.