Spectrum analysis is vital to both circuit design and system performance verification. While high-quality spectrum analyzers are usually associated with high price tags, the model DSA815 analyzer from Rigol Technologies breaks with that tradition by providing frequency coverage from 9 kHz to 1.5 GHz for about $1300 (USD). It comes in a compact housing measuring just 14.2 x 7.0 x 5.0 in. and shows results on a bright, 8-in. diagonal thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal-display (LCD) screen with 800 x 480 pixel resolution. The versatile spectrum analyzer handles inputs to typically +30 dBm (1 W) and has a low-level limit set by the displayed average noise level (DANL), which is typically −110 dBm from 100 kHz to 1 MHz and −115 dBm from 1 MHz to 1.5 GHz. It is even better with an optional preamplifier. The DSA815 is also available with an optional tracking generator. Standard units are equipped with Ethernet and Universal-Serial-Bus (USB) ports for connection to an external computer. To learn more, click here.