Rohde & Schwarz: FPC entry-level spectrum analyzer combines three key RF test instruments

Rohde & Schwarz has extended its R&S FPC spectrum analyzer family, adding the R&S FPC1500. The R&S FPC1500 is the world’s first spectrum analyzer to include a one-port vector network analyzer with internal VSWR bridge, an independent CW signal generator and a tracking generator. Outstanding quality and innovation do not have to come with a high price tag. Despite its budget-friendly concept, the R&S FPC1500 is designed to the same quality standards as high-end Rohde & Schwarz instruments, providing solid RF performance and a comprehensive future-ready feature set.

The base model of the R&S FPC1500 has a frequency range of 5 kHz to 1 GHz. Keycode options unlock higher frequency ranges up to 3 GHz or enable other measurement application features when required. Upgrades are activated immediately when the keycodes are entered, and there is no need for upgrade calibration.

For applications requiring a high sensitivity to characterize extremely weak signals, the R&S FPC1500 offers a low noise floor level of -150 dBm (typ.), which can be further extended to -165 dBm (typ.) through an optional, keycode-activated preamplifier. Its high maximum input power allows users to measure RF signals up to +30 dBm (1 W). This combination of high sensitivity and high input power level gives the R&S FPC1500 an exceptionally wide measurement dynamic range.

In addition, the R&S FPC1500 offers the best measurement and display resolution in its class: 1 Hz RBW and 10.1” (1366x768 pixels). It displays signals in razor-sharp detail.

Thanks to the internal VSWR bridge, the R&S FPC1500 can perform reflection measurements. This allows users to measure impedance on antennas or RF circuits with the Smith chart display or use distance-to-fault measurements to detect faulty locations on a long RF cable. There is no need to mount and dismount an external VSWR bridge when switching between the spectrum analyzer and network analyzer modes.

The tracking generator integrated into the R&S FPC1500 enables scalar transmission measurements on passive and active RF components that do not produce their own RF signal, e.g. amplifiers, filters and even RF cables.

Another first is the ability of the R&S FPC1500 to act as an independent continuous wave (CW) signal generator. Example applications include using the CW signal source as a LO signal for mixer measurements or as an input signal for amplifier gain measurements. Further, the R&S FPC1500 offers a coupled CW mode that couples the generated CW signal to the displayed center frequency of the R&S FPC1500. Whenever a measurement requires a CW signal to follow the R&S FPC1500 center frequency, these operations now can be conveniently set in a single step.

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