Some AOR receivers (SR2000, and the recently announced AR-Alpha) are now featuring the spectrum analysis feature. I didn't consider much this option on the basis of sheer prejudice. I'm under the (probably wrong) impression that the SR2000 may be an AR8600 and an SDU5600 put in the same box. If that is the case, I don't like much the idea in the same way I don't like a VCR (or DVD) and TV combo. Separate components can be upgraded separatley and better tuned to need/taste. Not to mention that in case of faults you loose two devices and not just one. List price for the SR2000 is around € 2300.
PRICE is the most important, but several other factors will influence choosing the right instrument for
you, given a pretty wide range of options.
|AOR AR3000, AR5000||10 MHz|
|AOR AR8600||4 MHz||requires modification to enable IF out in all modes|
|Icom R7000, R7100, R8500||10 MHz|
|Yaesu VR5000||150 kHz||limited use if you are looking at V/UHF AM/FM transmissions, where channels are mostly spaced at 12.5 kHz around here|
From various readings I understand that prices for such instruments is now much lower than in the past when
sticking to basic requirements.
Nevertheless they don't come cheap at all and I decided to focus mostly on second hand gear, as extensive searches
on the internet draw this picture (feb-mar '06):
approximated prices taken from eBay and several surplus/used equipment stores
|test equipment||second hand HP and Tektronix boat anchors||from
|new Far-East made equipment, Atten in first place||from € 500|
|oscilloscope adapters||Homemade, such as the "Poor man's spectrum analyzer"||€ 600 full options|
|commercial||€ 500 used|
|personal computer adapters||test equipment, such as Velleman's||€ 400 new|
|software defined radios||€ 900 for top notch|
|TV level meters||designed for testing and tuning of TV/sat aerials. Promax products quite common.||€ 250/300||field test|
|spectrum display monitors||purposedly designed units such as the AOR SDU5xxx.||€ 350|
Up to date professional stuff is still on a different planet. Have a look at this old page for a taste.
Last update: 24Jul06