Spectran User Manual (HF60XX-V4)

Rev 1.24 E
Made in Germany
Please read the following manual
carefully before using your
measurement device. This manual
contains important information on
how to properly operate this unit.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
By purchasing this SPECTRAN high-frequency measurement device you
acquired a professional piece of equipment which allows measurement of
high-frequency fields.
Please note: For measurement of low-frequency fields (high-voltage lines, traction power, various household appliances etc.) you additionally need one of
our NF series SPECTRAN models.
Thus, we recommend to buy one of our cost-effective measurement Bundles.
Bundles can be purchased from Aaronia at any time by paying the corresponding price difference.
Should you wish to upgrade to a more sophisticated SPECTRAN model,
you can do so at any time. All available OPTIONS (like memory expansions
or longer-lasting batteries) can just as well be added at any time, depending on model.
Also be sure to utilize our free-of-charge PC analysis software “MCS“,
which offers far more features than the base unit, including a large amount of
optimised settings for evaluating various signal types, including channel and service provider relationships, PEP measurement and an innovative SIS sweep.
In case of replacement due to an upgrade or exchange, our devices are optimally recycled. In this regard, also check our warranty’s terms and conditions
in the chapter “The Aaronia warranty”.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
Safety precautions
Scope of delivery
LC Display
Key layout
Your first measurement / Modes
Operation mode Spectrum analysis
The HOLD function
The “Panning approach“
Operation mode Exposure limit calculation
Operation mode Audio output (demodulation)
Operation mode broadband detector (Option 20x)
Setting a custom frequency range
The main menu
Center (center frequency)
Span (frequency range width)
fLow & fHigh (start & stop frequency)
RBW (bandwidth)
VBW (video filter)
SpTime (sampletime)
Reflev (reference level)
Range (dynamics)
Atten (attenuator)
PreAmp (internal pre-amplifier)
Demod (demodulator / audio analysis / GSM-Decoder)
AudInd (audio indicator / “bug tracer“, Option 015)
Detect (detector type)
Disp (display mode)
Unit (set unit: dBm, V/m, mA/m, dBµV)
MrkCnt (set number of markers)
MrkLvl (set starting level for markers)
MrkDis (marker display mode)
BackBB (activate Power Meter option, Option 20x)
AntTyp (configure connected antenna)
Cable (configure antenna connection / attenuator)
RefOff (set Offset or select UBBV-Preamplifier, Option 020)
GSMbst (set GSM Burst-Typ)
GSMdst (set GSM Slot distance)
Bright (set display brightness)
Logger (start recording / Data Logger)
RunPrg (execute program)
Setup (organize programs)
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
Correct measurement
Noise floor
Measurement of wireless LAN & cellphones
Attenuator mode “Auto”
Measurement inaccuracy
The cursor and zoom features
Tips and tricks
Exposure limits
Exposure limits for personal safety
Device exposure limits
Limits for ecologically compatible construction
Antenna mounting and handling
Single-handed operation using the OmniLOG antenna
Handling with two hands using the HyperLOG antenna
Single-handed use with attached HyperLOG antenna
External DC input (battery charger / mains operation)
Audio output
Jog Dial / volume control
USB connector
Hardware setup
Spectrum analysis basics
Physical units
Measuring transmission power [dBm; dBµV]
Field strength [V/m; A/m] and power density [W/m²]
Some high-frequency math
Calculating the wavelength in [m]
Calculating the “close-up range” in [m]
Calculating power density [W/m²] from power [dBm]
Conversion tables
Frequency tables
GSM1800 & UMTS
Measurement recommendations
Developer-Net, User Forum and more!
Antenna and Analyzer frequency chart
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
1.0 Safety precautions
Always attach antennas and adapters without excessive force. To attach
and release SMA connections, ONLY use the included plastic SMA tool,
as it offers an over-torque protection.
Never expose the device to water. Never use it outdoors while it is raining.
Otherwise, the sensitive electronics could be damaged.
Avoid excessively high temperatures. Do not leave the device on heatings, in
direct sunlight or in your car.
Due to the high sensitivity, the sensors and display of this device are sensitive
to shock, hence it should be handled with care.
Do not drop the device or antennas, as they could be damaged or destroyed!
We strongly recommend using our carrycase for storage and transport.
Even though the device is well secured through the use of counter-sunk screws,
it should still not be reachable by children as it could easily be diverted from its
intended use! Especially the SMA antenna, even though already protected by a
soft plastic layer, represents a potential thread (eyes, etc.)!
The device is maintenance-free. Only clean it externally with a damp cloth. Do
not use any kind of detergent.
Be careful not to overload the instrument’s input with excessively strong
signals which could permanently damage the highly sensitive circuitry!
The maximum allowable peak power at the input of the SPECTRAN V4 is:
- With activated PreAmplifier: 0dBm maximum (peak)
- HF-6060 V4 & HF-6080 V4 (PreAmplifier OFF): +10dBm maximum (peak)
- HF-60100 V4 (PreAmplifier OFF): +20dBm maximum (peak)
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
2.0 Scope of delivery
Please check the package contents for completeness before first operation.
Reclaim possible missing parts instantly with Aaronia or your Aaronia dealer.
The package should include:
(1) Aluminum carrycase (not shown here)
(2) HyperLOG measurement antenna
(3) SMA cable 1m
(4) Aaronia handle / miniature tripod
(5) Battery charger / power supply with 4 adapters
(6) SMA tool
(7) SPECTRAN HF-6060 V4, HF-6080 V4 or HF-60100 V4 instrument
(8) SMA adapter
- Aaronia 1300mAh Power battery (already fitted)
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
3.0 LC Display
BATTERY display
BARGRAPH (50 segments)
Bargraph scaling (6 number blocks)
STATUS field:
AUDIO Status field
MODE Status field:
MARKER block 1
Graphics display (Pixel display)
MEMORY Status field:
DISPLAY MODE Status field:
INFO display
MAIN display
MARKER block 2
MARKER block 3
Depending on the model, not all display elements may be available!
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
4.0 Key layout
(1) Numeric block (hotkeys)
1 = TETRA (380-400MHz)
2 = ISM434 (433-434,8MHz)
3 = LTE800 (780-862MHz)
4 = ISM868 (868-870MHz)
5 = GSM900 (921,2-959,6MHz; cell towers, no cellphones!)
6 = GSM18k (1800-1880MHz; cell towers, no cellphones!)
7 = UMTS (2110-2170MHz; cell towers, no cellphones!)
8 = WLan (2400-2490MHz)
9 = LTE2.6 (2500-2690MHz)
0 = DECT analyzer (measurement of digital portable DECT phones)
(2) On-/Off button
Turn the instrument on/off
(3) Clear-/Reset button
1.) Reset various sweep parameters to factory defaults
2.) With main menu active: Clear input.
(4) Arrow keys
1.) With main menu active: Selection of menu entries
2.) In Spectrum analysis mode:
Right/Left keys: Move frequency range by one SPAN.
Up/Down keys: Move reference level by 10dB.
3.) In Exposure limit calculation mode:
Right/Left key: Select Exposure limits or W/m² display.
4.) In Audio mode:
Right/Left key: Increase/decrease center frequency by one RBW.
Up/Down key: Increase/decrease RBW (bandwidth).
(5) Dot key
1.) In Spectrum & Exposure limit calculation modes: HOLD on/off.
2.) In Audio mode: Switch between AM / FM.
(6) Shift key
In Spectrum & Exposure limit calculation modes: PULSE on/off.
(7) Enter key
1.) Switches between the modes spectrum analysis, exposure limit
calculation, audio and broadband detector (if installed).
2.) With main menu active: Confirms current input (ENTER key)
(8) Menu key
Call/Dismiss Main menu for changing various settings.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurement / Modes
To explain how to use SPECTRAN, we will perform measurement of a cell
tower. While doing so, you will get to know all the different operation
modes of SPECTRAN, including the important HOLD function and the
“panning approach”: It is really very simple, just follow these instructions
step by step:
Prepare SPECTRAN for operation as follows:
Remove the protective film from the display. Now
attach the triangular HyperLOG-antenna to the
SPECTRAN, using the included 1m SMA cable
(more details on page 45). Should you not yet have
charged the internal battery, you can also operate
SPECTRAN with the included power supply (further
information on page 47).
Now press the On/Off button found at the bottom-left of the device.
SPECTRAN is now powered on and starts a short calibration procedure. To be
able to orient yourself better in the following steps, the most important parts of
the SPECTRAN display are briefly explained here:
BARGRAPH (trend display)
Depending on signal strength, the half-circle will grow or shrink. A very
handy feature for visualizing quickly changing levels.
Even more handy: If the broadband detector is installed, the bargraph
will always show the level measured by the broadband detector.
MODE status field (PEAK & HOLD)
Shows the currently active detector: No display=RMS, PEAK =
Min/Max detector. HOLD = HOLD mode active.
INFO display
Shows the selected preset (frequency range). Using the keys 0-9, further presets (UMTS, DECT, etc.) are available.
DISPLAY-MODE status field
Shows the current operation mode. Possible modes are: SPECTRUM
(spectrum analysis), EXPOS.-LIMITS (exposure limit calculation),
AM/FM (audio output) and RF (power meter, Option 20x).
MAIN display
Displays the level (signal strength) of the strongest signal in dBm.
MARKER block (1 to 3)
Show frequency and signal strength of the strongest signals. Up to 3
markers can be displayed simultaneously.
GRAPHICS display (here: spectrum display)
This flexible display field can display a great variety of information,
both text and graphics (spectrum, exposure limits, menu text, etc.)
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurement / Modes
Now we will perform our measurement as follows: As a basic prerequisite, you
should know that there are three different kinds of cell towers (in Germany):
GSM900, GSM1800 and UMTS.
Optimized measurement parameters are already preprogrammed in SPECTRAN e.g. hotkey 5 (GSM900), 6 (GSM1800). As GSM900 has the highest availability, it is measurable almost everywhere and thus optimally suited for explaining usage of SPECTRAN: Now, simply press the 7 key for setting up optimal
parameters for measurement of GSM900 cell towers. The Status display
should now show “GSM 900”. Now, you only need to choose the correct operation mode:
The SPECTRAN devices offer 4 different OPERATION MODES:
- SPECTRUM analysis
- EXPOSURE LIMIT calculation
- AUDIO output
- Broadband PEAK-Detector (RF detector / Powermeter) (Option)
You can change the operation mode at any time using the Enter-key.
5.1 Operation mode Spectrum analysis:
(The DISPLAY MODE status field shows “SPECTRUM”)
Now press the Enter key until the Display Mode status field reads “SPECTRUM”. Should you have “good
reception” and a properly aligned antenna (this is important!), you should now have results similar to those shown
in the image on the left. However, should the large Main
display show “----” or “-150”, no signal is being received
and you need to change your location or align the antenna differently. During every measurement, a little dot
moves from left to right in the Graphics display. Only
when this dot reaches the right border, the current
measurement is finished and all readings are updated.
The Main display always shows the level of the strongest signal, “-45” in our
example. The higher this figure is (the closer it gets to “0” or a positive value),
the stronger the received signal (for example: “-35” means a much stronger
signal than the “-45“ shown in our example.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurement / Modes
Directly beneath, a max. of 3 so-called “Markers” are being displayed. They
show the frequencies and levels of the strongest signal sources. In our example,
we got two Markers: Marker1 at 930MHz at -75dBm and Marker2 at 950MHz
at -45dBm (-45dBm also being the strongest signal and thus also shown on the
Main display).
Graphics display with
Beneath the Markers, a graphic with several “hills” is shown. It displays the level
distribution over the indicated frequency range. This is the so-called “SPECTRUM DISPLAY”. The higher the “hills”, the stronger the signal at the respective
frequency. The aforementioned markers display the frequency and level at the
peaks of these “hills”.
The indicated frequencies allow exact mapping to origin and provider of the
transmitter. More details on this on page 46 ff., or in the frequency tables on
pages 63 ff.
5.2 The HOLD function
(The MODE status field displays “HOLD”)
As you have probably noticed, the display constantly
changes. This is completely normal, as the signal
strength of the high frequency radiation also constantly
changes. This also depends on the alignment of the
antenna. Moving it only a few cm or a different alignment
can cause abrupt changes in readings. Just try it yourself
by aligning your antenna differently and checking out the
Often, you will only want to evaluate the highest reading.
Though, as the display constantly changes, this can
prove rather difficult. To remedy this, the so-called HOLD
function is used. To activate, press the Dot key. “HOLD”
appears in the Mode status field. From now on, only the
highest value will be displayed. Also, the spectrum display
does not get erased anymore. The complete display now
literally appears “frozen”.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurement / Modes
If you press the dot key for a second time, “HOLD” disappears again from the
MODE status field, and the HOLD mode is deactivated. For finding the absolute maximum, the so-called “panning approach” is used:
5.3 The “panning approach”
When evaluating conformance of exposure limits, usually only the maximum
signal is considered. This value can be found using SPECTRAN and the
HyperLOG antenna using the so-called “panning approach”. The panning
approach is already officially approved in many countries. Application is as follows:
Choose the desired frequency range. In our example, we already did this
(GSM900 using the 5 key) and activate HOLD mode (dot key) as explained
above. Now turn and tilt the antenna slowly in all directions until the value stops
changing completely. You have now determined the signal maximum.
However, should you wish to evaluate the signal maximum in a room, you additionally need to take into account all locations. Walk through the entire room.
Measure especially in corners and near windows as these often produce the highest readings. During measurement, the maximum reading will also quickly
increase until it finally does not change anymore and “freezes” on its highest
level. When measuring a whole room, this may well take a few minutes. The
value displayed now is the highest signal level that could be detected in the entire room.
Mostly, you will be able to find the highest reading by rotating the antenna
to the left or right by 90 degrees, as this corresponds with the alignment
of the transmission antennas.
As this antenna is directional, you can even try to find the location of the transmission tower. However, often, this is only possible outside, as inside
rooms, there are too many reflections which produce an erroneous idea of
the direction.
Now, just try to find the maximum in several rooms to get comfortable with the
“panning approach” and the important HOLD function.
Now, a measurement result is of course not too useful if it cannot be compared
to some kind of reference limit. Until now, this has been extremely complicated,
using complex tables and converting between units. An often exhausting task
even for some professionals, and particularly for the novice. Thus, SPECTRAN
offers a separate, very easy to use mode for exposure limit calculation:
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurements / Modes
5.4 Operation mode Exposure limit calculation:
(The Display status field shows “EXPOS.-LIMITS”)
Now press the Enter key until the Display Mode
status field shows “EXPOS.-LIMITS”.
Firstly, the strongest signals are shown along with their
frequencies and levels using markers, just like in spectrum mode. The large main display shows the level of the
strongest signal, as usual.
In the graphics display below, the strongest signal is
converted to power density [W/m²] and displayed. The
cable and antenna data are already considered in these
handy: the
“Autorange” function: the W/m² display is complemented
with the correct fractional unit automatically:
m = 1/1000 (one thousandth)
µ = 1/1,000,000 (one millionth)
n = 1/1,000,000,000 (one billionth)
p = 1/1,000,000,000,000 (one trillionth)
f = 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillionth)
In our example, the display reads 797.21nW/m², or 797billionth W/m² or in
other words: 0.000,000,797,21 W/m². As this example clearly shows, one would
actually drown in the huge number of “zeros” without the autorange function.
By the way, the practical HOLD feature is also available in this mode for keeping
the display “smoother”.
Better yet: you can even display a percentage relative to
an exposure limit. As vastly different exposure limits for
high frequency fields exist depending on your measurement’s purpose, circumstances and/or professional background, SPECTRAN offers several exposure limits right
away. You can change between exposure limits with
the left/right arrow keys.
Further explanation of exposure limits can be
found in the Exposure limits chapter in this manual.
Just try it for yourself: Select the different limits and compare the results. The
available choices in the current firmware are:
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurements / Modes
ICNIRP = German (and international) exposure limit (a complex formula)
Salz 1 = Old Salzburg precautionary value (1mW/m²)
Salz 2 = Salzburg precautionary value outdoors 2002 (10µW/m²)
Salz 3 = Salzburg precautionary value indoors 2002 (1µW/m²)
In our fictional example, the bargraph display shows approximation to the international ICNIRP limit by 0.06%. As you can see, with this exposure limit, even a
relatively “strong” signal of -45dBm only generates a few hundredth of a percent (namely 0.06%) of “deflection”. However, if you change to one of the
Salzburg limits, the unit will quickly indicate even excess of the exposure limit.
When EXCEEDING a limit, the display shows percentages above 100% (for
example 128.00 = excess of exposure limit by 28%). When the percentage is
greater than 999.99%, “***.**” is displayed. This indicates overflow.
HINT: You can download new and/or updated exposure limits (which are constantly updated due to changed legal situations!) from Aaronia’s homepage and
keep SPECTRAN up-to-date at all times. You should also check out our PC analysis software, which offers a whole range of additional features and exposure
Please note that the values in the graphic display can slightly change even if the
dBm value on the main display is stable, as internally, SPECTRAN also uses the
non-visible fractions of the main display value to calculate the figures related to
exposure limits.
One more alternative for finding the location of a signal source or for identification / further processing of signals is the so-called demodulation. Here, modulation and pulsing of signal sources, if they exist, can be converted to sound and
thus become audible. SPECTRAN offers a special mode for this:
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurements / Modes
5.5 Operation mode audio output (demodulation):
(The DISPLAY MODE status field shows “AM” or “FM”)
is “fr rned off
Disp lay is tu
l disp
All SPECTRAN models offer a so-called demodulator.
The demodulator makes pulsing and modulation of a signal source audible (if it exists).
The frequency-exact, selective acoustic reproduction of a
signal can be very helpful with identifying and finding a
signal source. As demodulation takes place in realtime, it
is also perfectly suited for quickly locating a signal source.
SPECTRAN offers two demodulation modes:
AM (amplitude modulation)
FM (frequency modulation).
To switch between the two modes, use the dot key
(the DISPLAY MODE status field shows “AM” or “FM”).
Volume can be adjusted with the volume control on the
ATTENTION: During audio analysis, the complete display is “frozen” and the pixel display is turned off to
free up enough CPU power for demodulation. Hence,
ONLY an acoustic reproduction takes place!
In contrast to simple broadband detectors, SPECTRAN performs demodulation
only at a certain single frequency (center frequency). Hence, you can selectively “monitor” very narrow, limited frequency ranges. Please note though that in
this mode, filtering is a bit less effective, which might lead to very strong neighboring signals also being audible on the actually selected frequency.
For optimal acoustic reproduction of signals, you can select different filter
bandwidths using the Up/Down arrow keys. The selected filter is displayed in
the large INFO display. All available RBW filters (for example: 3kHz, 1MHz etc.)
are selectable.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurements / Modes
Often, you will not be able to exactly “hit” the center frequency of a signal, and
demodulation is bad or impossible. Thus, you can fine-tune the center frequency using the right/left arrow keys. The step width used is derived from the
selected filter. Should you have chosen, for example, the 1MHz filter, steps
are 1MHz wide etc. When changing the center frequency, it will be shown on the
main INFO display (full MHz).
- Cell towers/cell phones:
A GSM900 / GSM1800 cell tower (keys 5 / 6) emits a “beeping” or “crackling”
noise with many interruptions and morse-like “pulsing”. This is the so-called
“control channel”, which is always active and “beeps” exactly at 1733.33Hz.
When one or more cellphones are active, you can recognize an additional
217Hz “crackling” noise (similar to morse code).
An optimal reproduction can be achieved with the 1MHz or 3MHz filters.
- DECT phones:
An easily recognizable signal source is the base station of a DECT phone (key
0). It produces a 100Hz “humming” sound. You can simply “prove” this by disconnecting the mains from the base station: the hum disappears. When you turn
the power back on, the hum will reappear after a few seconds.
Good reproduction quality is achieved by using the 1MHz filter.
ATTENTION: for optimal reproduction of a signal, its level should be at least
-70dBm, even better stronger than -60dBm.
HINT: Optionally, you can even visualize the demodulation using a LF spectrum
analyser. The SPECTRAN NF series lends itself optimally for this purpose, as
the NF-3020 and above offer the required signal input.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurements / Modes
5.6 Operation mode broadband detector (PEAK power meter):
(The DISPLAY MODE status field displays “RF”)
All SPECTRAN models equipped with the Option 20x
feature an integrated RF detector (power meter) which
can be utilized to acquire BROADBAND power measurements in dBm or dBµV up to 10GHz (12GHz). The smallest detectable signal level is around -50dBm (preamp
activated), depending on frequency. The maximum level
measurable is approximately +10dBm.
Due to technical considerations, frequency display is
NOT possible in this mode, thus only a “0Hz“ marker is
shown. The graphics display is transformed into a Time
Domain display: the variation of signal level in time is visualised. You can
change the update speed by altering the Sampletime (menu “SpTime“).
The large main display and the bargraph show you the measurement result in
dBm or dBµV. The noisefloor is about -50dBm.
In addition, a potentially existing amplitude modulation (AM) will be made available on the audio output (feature in development). In that case, the display
mode status field will display “AM”.
In contrast to the “Spectrum analysis“ mode, SPECTRAN’s broadband detector
allows straightforward and very fast REALTIME display of all “PEAK“ signal
levels in the entire frequency range of the detector. To take advantage of this,
set the SpTime to 1mS using the menu.
By utilizing a high-end, state-of-the-art Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) technology
detector chip, we even provide detection of ultra short pulsings! This opens up
a whole new range of possibilities: For example, measurement of ultra-short
RADAR bursts or other short pulses.
The optional drastically enhanced frequency range of up to 10GHz (12GHz) is
even larger than what the spectrum analysis of SPECTRAN can currently offer
(currently 9.4GHz) and thus allows, among others, “detection“ of PAR airport
radar in the 9 GHz band.
Obviously, the usefulness of this kind of detector “measurement“ is limited in certain ways. For example, no frequency filtering or display takes place (however,
you may of course use your own external filters). So, to be perfectly
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
5.0 Your first measurements / Modes
exact, neither power density nor field strength can be displayed, neither can the
measurement results be corrected for the utilized antenna. This also implies no
useful exposure limit calculations. HOWEVER: Should you already know the frequency of a dominant signal source, you can still calculate the power density in
W/m² or field strength in V/m resp. A/m of this particular signal. Just note the
dBm figure displayed by SPECTRAN and apply the corresponding formula in
chapter 18.3 on page 63 (example included).
These examples also include a table to demonstrate how to achieve a sufficiently exact measurement even with UNKNOWN frequencies.
Of course, broadband measurements have their limitations when evaluating the
ACTUAL emitted signal strength, particularly in the context of modern digital signals. Thus these instructions should be considered with care.
Nonetheless, it’s still a nice technical tool for a “quick assessment“.
To detect a signal maximum, you should definitely use the HOLD function (see
chapter 5.2 on page 11) and the so-called “panning approach“ (chapter 5.3 on
page 12). This suggestion is valid for this mode in particular, due to the extremely fast display updates. This is the only way to accomplish a useful “measurement“!
Still, the intended application for the broadband option is operation as a power
meter. Its high temperature stability guarantees highly reproducible results. The
instrument’s input impedance is “standard“ 50 Ohms, so a broad range of equipment and antennas can be connected without any troubles. The highest accuracy is reached with attenuator = 10dB and PreAmp = Off. Dont forget the maximum levels in this configuration!
HINT: You can upgrade your instrument with the broadband option at any time!
Depending on your model, detectors for up to 10GHz (12GHz) are available. Be
sure to contact us should the need arise.
If the broadband detector is installed, the bargraph can also be activated (use
the BackBB function) to ALWAYS show the “PEAK“ signal strength measured by
the detector. Even in spectrum analysis mode, where normally the frequencyselective measurement result is displayed, the bargraph will then allways show
the broadband “PEAK“ power measured by the broadband detector.
So, you are seeing TWO different measurement results AT THE SAME TIME:
The broadband “PEAK“ power on the bargraph, and the frequency selective
measurement on the main display. A very handy feature.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
6.0 Setting a custom frequency range
So far, we have only used the preset frequencies available on the various hotkeys. However, you can also set a precise frequency range (so-called sweeprange) manually. This way, the frequency range can be configured for one particular application to measure only those signals. Additionally, a smaller frequency range increases sweep speed enormously and improves accuracy. For
setting this frequency range, you only need to know the start- and stop frequencies of the corresponding application and program them in SPECTRAN.
You will also find an excerpt of various radio applications along with their
start and stop frequencies in the frequency tables on pages 66 and 67.
Subsequently, we will illustrate custom configuration using the new mobile communications standard UMTS as an example. In our case, we only want to find
and evaluate UMTS cell towers of the provider “Vodafone”.
For this, proceed as follows:
First of all, check the UMTS frequency list on page 67.
UMTS uses frequencies between 1,900.1 and 2,200.0MHz. As we only want to
measure the cell tower and not the cell phone, we only need the so-called
downlink frequency. This frequency, according to the frequency list, ranges
from 2,019.7 to 2,200.0 MHz. The Vodafone cell towers, according to the list,
only use frequencies between 2,110.3 and 2,120.2MHz. These are the start- and
stop frequencies we were looking for. Program them as follows:
- Press the menu key.
- Navigate to the menu entry labelled fLow using the arrow keys.
- Press the Enter key.
- Now choose the unit to be used for frequency entry. Available choices are
Hz, kHz, MHz and GHz. In this case, we will use MHz.
- Press the ENTER key once again.
- A zero appears on the large main display. Additionally, the big status field reads
START. Now, enter the START frequency, in full MHz, using the number keys.
In this case, we want to start at 2,110.3MHz. So, enter 2110 (rounded) and
correct any typos by pressing the CLR key and repeating the input. When
finished, press Enter again for confirmation.
You are now being returned to the main menu. The next menu entry fHigh has
already been automatically selected.
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6.0 Setting a custom frequency range
- Press the ENTER key once more.
- Once again, choose the unit to be used for frequency entry. Just as for
fLow, we will use MHz.
- Confirm with the ENTER key.
- A zero again appears in the main display. Additionally, the status field reads
STOP. Now, enter the STOP frequency, in full MHz, using the number keys. In
our case, we want to measure up to 2,120.2MHz. So, enter 2121 (rounded
up) and press Enter again for confirmation.
You are now being returned to the main menu. The next menu entry RBW
has already been selected automatically.
- Press the ENTER key once again.
- A list of various filter bandwidths is displayed next. Choose the 1MHz filter
by using the up/down arrow keys, and confirm the new setting by again
pressing the ENTER key.
You are now being returned to the main menu.
- Finally, press the menu key again, and all settings are being confirmed and the
sweep (measurement) starts! The big status field reads CUSTOM, indicating a
custom configuration, and the sweep is initiated automatically.
Now, only the configured frequency range between 2,110 and 2,121MHz is
being sweeped (measured), thus all operation modes (exposure limit calculation, spectrum display) now only refer to this frequency range!
Now, you can precisely evaluate if a Vodafone UMTS cell tower is active and
how strong the signal is.
HINT: If you like, you can save a particular setting as a custom “hotkey“. You can
find more information on this feature on the following pages.
You can find further hints and information about configuring a custom frequency range and further main menu options in the chapter “The main
menu“ on the following pages.
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7.0 The main menu
By pressing the menu key, you get to the heart of
SPECTRAN: the menu system.
From here, you can control the entire device, change
various settings, but also do things like starting the data
logger or save and recall your own programs. By pressing the menu button again, you can exit the menu at
any time.
After pressing the menu key, a convenient menu navigation is at your disposal: the currently selected menu
entry is displayed in inverse (black bar). In this example,
“Center” is selected.
For the currently selected menu entry, the current setting is being displayed in “clear text” in the large info
field at the top. In our example, it is the currently set
center frequency (“940”). This way, there is no need to
manually call up each menu entry to check its value.
The marker blocks 1-3 permanently show the following information, from left
to right:
START, CENTER and STOP frequencies (each in full MHz)
Below, the current values are shown for (from left to right):
Range, MrkLvl and Reflev
This is very convenient: It e.g. allows you to quickly call the menu during a
measurement and check the current frequency range, etc., which is otherwise
hardly visible. After checking the values in question, just press the menu key
again, and the measurement continues without any change of parameters.
To move between menu entries, use the up/down arrow keys or the
Jog Dial.
Use the Enter key to activate the currently selected menu entry, which will
allow you to perform input using the keypad or make a selection using the
up/down arrow keys. Input / selection can be confirmed with the Enter key,
which will return you to the menu. Any changes will only take effect when you
finally leave the menu.
Next, each menu entry will be explained in detail, step by step.
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7.0 The main menu
There are TWO ways to manually set the frequency range:
- Center (center frequency) and Span (frequency range width)
- fLow & fHigh (start and stop frequency)
7.1 Center (center frequency)
Chooses the frequency displayed in the middle of the readout. When changing
the center frequency, the SPAN parameter (see following description) is preserved. Thus, you can quickly evaluate different frequency ranges with identical
SPAN and without tedious re-adjustment of start/stop frequencies.
Center frequency
7.2 Span (frequency range width)
Span adjusts the width of the sweep. Changes are relative to the aforementioned “center frequency” of the display. By changing span, the start/stop frequencies (see following description) are automatically adjusted to be able to
conform to the span. Thus, the span function can be compared to a “magnifying glass”, though only operating in the X axis.
EXAMPLE: Say you have set 945MHz as the center frequency. Now, if you
use 10MHz as the span setting, the sweep will be performed from 940 to
950MHz. If you enter 200kHz for the span setting, the sweep will be performed
from 944.9 to 945.1 MHz, and so forth. In effect, you just increase or decrease
the resolution around the center frequency as a reference.
HINT: By using the right/left arrow keys, you can simply move the sweep range
by exactly one SPAN to the right or left.
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7.0 The main menu
7.3 fLow & fHigh (start & stop frequency)
fLow (start frequency) sets the frequency where the sweep should begin, whereas fHigh (stop frequency) sets its ending frequency. From these two, the complete frequency range which gets sweeped is derived.
Please note that a large frequency range will badly squeeze the display horizontally (in the X axis) and thus significantly reduces measurement accuracy.
Individual signals, especially when close together, will often not be distinguishable anymore. However, if you narrow the frequency range, you will be able to
analyze the sweep range more precisely. You will be able to see far more detail
and higher accuracy. A large frequency span is thus mostly useful for a broad
overview, not for exact measurements.
fLow (Start frequency)
fHigh (Stop frequency)
7.4 RBW (bandwidth)
By adjusting bandwidth, you can adjust detail clarity and sensitivity at once.
When bandwidth is set to a very high value or even to FULL, the sweep will be
very fast, however, the display becomes comparatively inaccurate and sensitivity is low. Hence, very weak signals will not be picked up anymore. The smaller
the bandwidth, the longer the sweep will take, but the display will be more precise and weaker signals can still be displayed. Thus, for example, a single signal initially sweeped with high bandwidth can turn out to be a number of several narrow, close together signals. However, this gain in accuracy has its downside in the far longer sweep times.
RBW (1MHz)
RBW (3MHz)
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7.0 The main menu
7.5 VBW (video filter)
The so-called video filter is intended for visual smoothing of the signal. The
lower the video filter setting, the broader and “smoother” the display of the signal becomes. Using this filter, you can mostly suppress unwanted noise, harmonics or sporadic peaks. However, with a very low video filter setting, the display can become less meaningful. In our example, there might be three separate signals present. However, the low video filter straightens these signals out
to become one single “smooth” signal. The alleged noise band around the signal has also been “smoothed out”. Thus, when dealing with weak signals, the
highest possible video filter setting should be used.
7.6 SpTime (sampletime)
Sets the amount of time per sample. As a measurement consists of several
samples, the time needed to complete an entire measurement cycle will
obviously be higher. In general, the higher the Sampletime setting, the more
precise the measurement, at the cost of being more time-consuming.
A SpTime <=20mS will activate the UNCALL sign.
7.7 Reflev (reference level)
The so-called reference level sets the position of the signal display relative to
the upper display corner, in dBm. The smaller the setting, the closer you get to
the so-called noise floor and the greater the amount of visible interference.
The reference level thus can be used, for example, for visually suppressing
distracting, weak signals. The higher the reference level, the smaller the amount of weak signals and interference that get displayed. Only the “peaks” of the
strongest signals will be shown, the rest is “cut off”. Like this, you can, for example, achieve a clearer display of an interesting, strong signal. Though, if you
would like to measure very weak signals, the reference level should be set as
low as possible.
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7.0 The main menu
HINT: Using the up/down arrow keys, the reference level can be moved up or
down by 10dB at any time.
Reflev (reference level) dBm
7.8 Range (dynamics)
Range sets the “size” of the visible range. Setting Range to 100dB (maximum)
will give you the best possible overview of all signal sources. The vertical bars
of the individual signals are virtually being “squeezed” from top to bottom to fit
all signals into the display. On the other hand, when Range is set to 50, more
details will become visible, though a few signals might now be “cut off” at the top
or bottom (depending on the RefLev setting). In the end, the Range function is
comparable to a “magnifying glass”, though it only works in the Y axis.
Range (Dynamics)
7.9 Atten (attenuator)
The internal attenuator attenuates the signal applied to the input connector by
the corresponding amount in dB to avoid overloading the RF input circuitry.
Experienced users can also set this value manually. However, in the majority of
cases, you should be SURE to LEAVE this setting on the default “Auto“ setting!
WARNING: If “Auto“ is turned off, it is MANDATORY to activate an attenuator when applying signals over -20dBm to avoid mismeasurements.
Signals beyond 0dBm (peak) can even destroy the input circuitry if no corresponding attenuator is configured!
7.10 PreAmp (internal pre-amplifier, Option 020)
The optional internal extremely low-noise PreAmp amplifies the applied signal
by approx. 15dB, significantly enhancing the sensitivity of the device. The Off
setting turns the PreAmp off (default), On activates it.
Attention: Please note that obviously, the preamp gives varying performance
depending on the measured frequency. Its amplification decreases particularly
with very low or very high frequencies. Below 30MHz and above 9GHz, its amplification is almost zero and might even attenuate the signal. Consequently, it
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7.0 The main menu
should then stay turned off to insure the highest possible sensitivity.
WARNING: Only use the PreAmp with very weak signals, as strong signals
over 0dBm (peak) can destroy it!
7.11 Demod (demodulator / audio analysis / GSM-Decoder)
The demodulator turns pulsing and modulation of up to approx. 3.5kHz into
audible signals. SPECTRAN supports three types of demodulation:
AM (amplitude modulation), FM (frequency modulation) and PM (phase modulation). The dot key can be used to switch between AM and FM at any time. The
demodulator can be turned off by choosing Off or by pressing the menu key.
Demodulation takes place around the center frequency, bandwidth is controlled by the RBW setting. This allows custom monitoring of individual, small
frequency ranges. However, note that the filter is slightly less defined in this
mode, meaning that very strong signals on neighbouring frequencies might
audibly “spill“ into the currently selected frequency range as well.
Example: You might be demodulating the signal of a DECT phone (key 0), with
a GSM900 transmitter in proximity as well. Depending on antenna alignment,
you might also hear the modulation of the GSM signal.
With GSM you can activate a powerfull GSM-Decoder mode.
In this mode the spectrum display will be deavtivated. Instead you will see continuos decoded GSM data stream. The follwoing symbols are used:
“*” = Signal cant be decoded (signal is to weak or bad signal. The signal should
offer more then -70dBm. At “high” power signal you must deactivate the preamplifier or select the internal attenuator).
“F” = Found FCCH.
“S” = Found Sync.
“0-7” = Represent the colorcode or TSC (Training Sequence) number.
As demodulation is performed in allmost realtime, it is especially suitable for
very quick location and assessment of signal sources.
7.12 AudInd (Audio Indicator / “bug tracer“, Option 015)
The AudInd feature allows quick audio-aided location of signal sources (especially “bugs“ or “wiretaps“). In this mode, a tone is being emitted whose strength
and duration is proportional to the detected signal strength.
NOTE: The signal-dynamic can be changed at any time by changiging the
Reference Level.
The tone changes only AFTER each sweep completes and corresponds to the
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7.0 The main menu
highest level detected. So, to sensibly utilize this feature, a very fast sweep is
needed. For optimum results, this feature should be used in conjunction with a
fast zero-span sweep (Span=0Hz) or using the Power-Meter mode (Option 20x).
For best results allways use a very short sweep time of 1mS.
“Off“ turns off audio reproduction, “MaxAmp“ enables it.
7.13 Detect (detector type)
The Detect option can be used to choose a detector type. Depending on the signal type and measurement standard, different types of detectors are appropriate, the default being RMS. Currently available types (more are in development)
“RMS” (Root Mean Square)
The square root of the squares of all samples (I²+Q²). This detector type has no
corresponding symbol in the Mode status field. It can be used to determine the
real signal power during sweep time on a certain frequency and is the mandatory detector type for a variety of exposure limit standards, for example, ICNIRP.
This detector type compares the current (I²+Q²) sample against the strongest
formerly acquired sample. The strongest respective sample is being kept and its
Min/Max displayed. The Mode status field shows the “Pulse“ symbol. This detector is particularly suitable for signals with high crest factors (WiMAX, DVB-T etc.)
or frequency hopping (DECT) to determine the crest factor or signal peak. In
MinMax mode, signals are displayed with a hatched fill if the signal’s corresponding graphic is wide enough to accomodate for this (small Span). The “size“ of
the portion of the graphic above the hatched part indicates the signal’s MinMax
After pressing the DECT hotkey (key 0), a DECT phone is being measured (MinMax mode is set automatically). Time Domain mode is being
invoked as well. An actual DECT signal would reveal itself in the spectrum as a number of sporadically appearing, sharp peaks with varying
heights. In contrast, interference from a cellphone would be displayed
as a fence-like, uniform collection of peaks of almost equal height. As
you can see, different signal sources can be easily distinguished.
This distinction is even more appealing when using our PC analysis
software “MCS“, with signals being displayed as 3D graphics in Time
Domain mode.
REMARK: Please note that in MinMax mode, residual noise is always increased
by roughly 10dB due to mathematical reasons.
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7.0 The main menu
HINT: You can always switch between the RMS and MinMax modes with the
Shift key - one case where this is useful is determining the crest factor (the difference between RMS and MinMax).
7.14 Disp (display mode)
The Disp setting is used for switching between a few different display modes:
- “Write“ does not change the display behaviour at all and is the default setting.
- “PkHold“ disables erasure of the spectrum display (the Mode status field
displays “HOLD“). All signals (peaks) ever displayed by the spectrum display
stay visible permanently. Only stronger signals than those previously
measured can overwrite the display - this obviously also includes the markers
as well as the bargraph (except with the Power meter option).
- “Averag“ averages the results of several sequential sweeps. A very handy
feature for suppressing casual interference or to smooth out the noise floor
in order to achieve improved display of very weak signals.
HINT: You can use the PkHold mode to create long-term measurement protocols:
Simply leave this mode on for, say, 24 hours, and see all events that have occured during that period. The instrument can also be used as a so-called “EVENT
RECORDER“ for catching signal emissions that only occur sporadically: Simply
leave the instrument running in this mode until the expected event is “caught“.
PkHold mode is also indispensible for standard-compliant measurements using
the panning approach (see also chapter “Correct measurement“)
Exposure limit calculation is another situation where the PkHold mode is very
helpful: The data acquired with PkHold can be utilized for quick and easy comparison of various exposure limit standards. You do not even need to conduct a
new measurement each time, as even all marker information is saved along.
Simply switch to Exposure limit calculation mode after finishing your measurement, and the corresponding result is immediately available.
A typical result acquired during a 20 minute car ride with active PkHold
mode. Immediately obvious is the exclusive presence of T-Mobile (952
and 942MHz) as well as Vodafone (936MHz) cell towers.
HINT2: You can toggle between PkHold and Write mode at any time by pressing
the doy key.
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7.0 The main menu
7.15 Unit (set unit)
The Unit setting determines the physical unit SPECTRAN utilizes to display
measurement results. The currently available units are:
dBm (DecibelMilliWatts)
dBµV (DecibelMicroVolts)
V/m (Volts/Meter)
mA/m (MilliAmperes/Meter)
Hint: In “EXPOSURE LIMIT analysis“ mode, display always includes the power
density in W/m² (including Autorange) as well. In effect, this mode provides readings in three units AT THE SAME TIME if you also count in the Bargraph in
Hint2: You can also use this feature to convert measurement results between
units. Simply “freeze“ the current reading using “PkHold“ (Disp menu) and then
change to the desired unit - the converted result is displayed immediately.
Hint3: You can enforce display of the currently selected unit in the large info field
by pressing the menu key twice, which will replace the text displayed in the large
info field with the current unit.
7.16 MrkCnt (set number of markers)
The MrkCnt setting determines the number of displayed markers. This can be
quite handy should you wish to focus on a particular signal on a single frequency. By setting MrkCnt to “1“, no constantly “jumping“ markers will distract you
from the actual signal. Possible values are 1, 2 or 3.
7.17 MrkLvl (set starting level for markers)
The MrkLvl setting determines the minimum signal level which will trigger the
creation of markers, exposure limit calculation and display in W/m². The
available range for this setting is -30dBm to -90dBm.
When using the -30dBm setting, markers are only displayed when a very strong
signal of -30dBm is present, while at the -90dBm setting, even the smallest signals, albeit many of them might be interference or noise, will trigger marker display. The default setting (-70dBm) delivers optimum results in the majority of
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7.0 The main menu
7.18 MrkDis (marker display mode)
The marker display mode setting configures marker display itself. As the available fields for marker display vary greatly in size and readability, two different
options are available:
When set to Freq. (frequency), the frequencies of the individual markers are
displayed in a bigger size, while the amplitudes (signal levels in dBm) are indicated in a smaller size below.
When set to Ampl. (amplitude), the marker amplitudes (signal levels in dBm)
are displayed in the bigger size, while the frequencies are indicated in the smaller size below. In most situations, the Freq. mode is the more appropriate choice as the marker frequencies are usually the more important piece of information and thus should be the most readable.
(frequencies in large digits)
(amplitudes in large digits)
7.19 BackBB (change bargraph display mode, Option 20x)
Use BackBB to change the display mode of the bargraph (only if option 20x
Selecting “Spec“ will display the highest value of the spectrum display (default).
Selecting “BBand” will display the Peak-Power of the power meter (Option
The power meter allows extremely fast BROADBAND detection of RF signal
sources in dBm or dBµV, with frequencies of up to 10GHz (12GHz). Detection
sensitivity in this mode is around -50dBm (preamp on), depending on frequency. The maximum allowable signal level is approximately +10dBm. Further information can be found in chapter 5.6 (operation mode broadband detector).
7.20 AntTyp (configure connected antenna)
The AntTyp setting must be configured correctly to reflect the type of antenna
connected, as otherwise, mismeasurements can occur. For example, the
“HL7025“ setting corresponds to the HyperLOG7025 and HyperLOG4025,
“HL7040“ to the HyperLOG7040 and HyperLOG4040 and so forth.
In case no antenna is connected, please use the “None“ (0dBi) option.
You can also create your own custom antenna types using our MCS software.
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7.0 The main menu
7.21 Cable (configure antenna connection cable / attenuator)
The Cable setting must be configured correctly to reflect the type of cable used
to connect the antenna to the SPECTRAN instrument, as otherwise, severe mismeasurements can occur! The “1m Std“ setting corresponds to the 1m SMA
cable included with the device. In case no cable is used, please choose “None“
here. The HF-60100 V4 model provides an additional setting labelled “-20dB“ to
account for the optional external 20dB attenuator. When using the attenuator,
this setting is mandatory for receiving correct field strength and power density
measurements, enhancing the maximum measurable range to up to +40dBm.
You can also create your own custom cable types in our MCS software.
7.22 RefOff (Set Offset or UBBV-Preamplifier)
With RefOff you can set a offset. With “+dB” you can set a positive offset (e.g.
cable or attenuator), with “-dB” you can set a negative offset (e.g. preamplifier
or antenna). You can only set one offset.
With “UBBV12” you can select our optional 40dB preamplifier.
“0dB” (or pressing the CLR key) will set all offsets back to zero (default).
7.23 GSMbst (select GSM Burst-Type)
With GSMbst you can select which bursttype should be used for the main (dBm)
display with activated GSM-Decoder (see 7.11)l.
You can select:
All (All Bursttyps; Default)
FCCH (Shows “F” at the decoder-display)
SYNC (Shows “S” at the decoder-display)
NonDec (Shows “*” at the decoder-display)
Col.0 - Col.7 (Colorcode 0-7; Shows 0-7 at the decoder-display)
7.24 GSMdst (Select GSM Slot-Distance)
With GSMdst you can change the GSM slot distance.
7.25 Bright (set display brightness)
The Bright option allows you to change display brightness. Simply turn the Jog
Dial until the desired brightness level is reached, and confirm the setting by pressing the Enter key. The new setting will be permanently saved.
7.23 Logger (start recording / Data Logger)
With Logger, you can start a long-term recording (Logger) in the current frequency range. Here, the highest reading and the corresponding level and frequency is regularly recorded over and over.
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7.0 The main menu
Using this feature, you can create intraday diagrams, for
example of wireless LANs. After a bit of post-processing
using a PC-based spreadsheet application, the result
might e.g. look like the diagram on the left. After invoking
this mode, the following settings will be queried from you:
“Count” = Number of log events (possible values are 1
to 9999).
“Time” = Length of pauses between individual log
events in seconds.
“FILEId” = Program number to be used for saving the
acquired data. Our PC analysis software can then be utilized to read back the
collected data.
WARNING! Currently, the only supported program number is “1000“!
After setting up the “FILEId“, the memory status field changes to “RECORD“ the logger is now “armed“. Press the menu key again to commence recording.
During recording, the number of log events left is displayed briefly in the pixel
display each time a log is recorded, allowing you to estimate how much time is
left until the recording terminates. Furthermore, a short beep is emitted for each
log event. When recording finishes, “RECORD“ will disappear from the memory
status field, and the acquired data can now be transferred to our “MCS“ PC software. To do this, please invoke the “File manager“ in the “SPECTRAN“ menu of
the MCS software. Next, click the file named “logger data“ in the “Special“ directory. All logger data will immediately appear as a contiguous list or table (first
comes level in dBm, then frequency in MHz). You can use the well-known standard “Copy and Paste“ feature to transfer this data somewhere else for further
(graphical) processing - for example, into a spreadsheet application.
ATTENTION: The logger allways saves the data shown in the highest marker at
the sweep display. Therefore be sure to lower the Marker Level, so that you allways get a marker otherwise you will have no usefull datas recorded..
ATTENTION: Transfering large amounts of data from SPECTRAN to the PC can
take some time - the dBm values are transfered with an accuracy of two decimal
ATTENTION: Please note that the internal 64K memory can quickly be filled up.
Thus, we strongly recommend our 1MB memory expansion (Option 001 for
99,95 Euros) for using the Logger function.
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7.0 The main menu
7.24 RunPrg (execute program)
SPECTRAN features its own file system which stores a variety of programs. You
can even write your own programs and store them to SPECTRAN’s program
memory. SETUPs (see below) are also stored as programs. Each program has
its own specific program number. This menu option allows you to recall and execute a particular program by its number. To do this, simply type the corresponding program number. Numbers 300 to 400 are freely available.
7.25 Setup (organize programs)
With Setup, you can organize individual programs and/or configurations using
the following options:
“Store” saves SPECTRAN’s current settings (frequency range, RBW and so
forth) as a “mini program“. Possible target program numbers are 300 to 400. This
way, you can easily save often needed configurations and recall them at a later
time using the RunPrg option.
Moreover, you can even create your own hot keys: Simply save your program
using a program number between 100 and 109, which will assign your program
to keys 0 to 9, respectively. You can then recall these settings at any time by
simply pressing the corresponding hot key.
In addition, you can use our PC software “MCS“ to configure a multitude of further options for each program, among these a program description of up to 6 characters, which will then be displayed in the info display (just like e.g. “GSM900“
on hot key 5). By editing the program manually, you can also configure frequencies more precisely.
However, if you do not provide a description this way, the info display will not
change nor be cleared!
The following information is currently saved when invoking the “Store“ function
(MCS labels in parentheses):
- Start frequency (kHz, truncated to integer) (STARTFREQ), see 7.3
- Stop frequency (kHz, truncated to integer) (STOPFREQ), see 7.3
- RBW-Filter (RESBANDW), see 7.4
- Video filter (VIDBANDW), see 7.5
- Sweep time (SWEEPTIME), see 7.6
- Attenuator (ATTENFAC), see 7.9
- Reference level (REFLEVEL), see 7.7
- Display range (DISPRANGE), see 7.8
- Detector type (PULSEMODE), see 7.13
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7.0 The main menu
“CalRun” recalibrates the SPECTRAN noise floor on different points within the
full frequency range and stores the results permanently.
ATTENTION: Please make sure that no RF source disturbs this measurement.
Dont connect any antenna, usb cable or power charger. Only start the calibration within a low rf area or room. You get the best results if you use our optional Calibration-Resistor (ArtNo 779) which gets connected to the SPECTRAN sma RF input.
The “Del” option permanently erases a previously saved program. Enter the
number of the program to be erased.
“Factor” resets the entire device to factory defaults. This feature is particularly useful for cleaning up a “messed up“ configuration.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
8.0 Correct measurement
Note that when measuring high frequency radiation, you will encounter
some “strange characteristics” which can be pretty irritating particularly
for novices:
In practice, high frequency radiation rarely constantly fades with distance from
the source: due to reflections, diffusion and diffraction (by houses, trees, walls,
furniture etc.), massive selective concentration (so-called “Hot Spots”) is
often noticeable, especially inside rooms. Here, the difference in measured signal strength can easily vary by a factor of 10 or 100 in a range of just a few cm.
Thus, it is sometimes pretty difficult to find the actual source or the maximum strength of RF radiation.
High-frequency fields are often also measurable on metal objects, as these act
as antennas and cause the corresponding “concentration”, reflection or forwarding of high frequency radiation. Thus, electrical cables are another medium for
high-frequency radiation and can “catch” it and “release” it again at a totally different location. Hence, even well shielded rooms can become “contaminated”
again just due to a trivial mains cable. To avoid this, shielded rooms must be
equipped with so-called mains filters.
Especially, however, the utilization of usual power cables for data transmission
(e.g. Internet, signal, video and audio transmission) is a serious source of interference and radiation.
8.1 Noise floor
The so-called noise floor indicates the limit below which real measurements
become impossible. Here, only interference will be detected. Visually, SPECTRAN would display this as a collection of small “points” or bars which either
stay statically at the same place or change with every sweep (noise). However,
depending on frequency and selected settings, the noise floor can be vastly different and must be determined before starting a measurement.
In the case of SPECTRAN, the noise floor increases with lower frequencies - for
example, the noise floor at 100MHz is significantly higher than it is at 5GHz.
However, skilled users can usually still “tease out“ useful readings and distinguish between noise and even very weak, real signals. Determining the noise
floor is relatively straightforward: Simply conduct a “measurement“ WITHOUT an antenna and/or signal source or by connecting a 50 Ohms terminator. Any signals then possibly shown are the noise floor of your instrument.
Noise floor
(below this imaginary line)
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
8.0 Correct measurement
8.2 Harmonics
A typical effect when working with spectrum analyzers: When dealing with comparatively strong signals, a number of weaker signals with fixed offsets relative
to the actual signal appear, the so-called “harmonics“. These are “phantom“ signals with frequencies that are multiples of that of the actual signal. For example,
a 400MHz signal will also be visible around 800MHz, 1200MHz, 1600MHz etc.,
a 1800MHz signal will also appear at 3600MHz, 5400MHz and so forth. These
are commonly called second harmonic, third harmonic etc..
Thus, when in doubt, one should always consider an additional measurement at
half the center frequency. If a correspondingly stronger signal is found there, the
previously measured one would be a harmonic.
With the current firmware, SPECTRAN already attenuates harmonics by approximately 30-50dB, depending on signal strength.
8.3 Measurement of wireless LAN & cellphones
To accurately measure WLAN and cellphones, their peculiarities need to be considered, as both systems are rarely “really active enough“ to allow sensible measurements:
For measuring cellphones, you need to actively make a call and talk. Just ringing the other party is often insufficient. Also take into account that cellphones
significantly reduce output power as soon as you STOP talking!
When measuring WLAN, you should continuously transfer data. Should the
system be operating in “Pin“-mode only, be sure to use a longer Sampletime
Further optimized configurations can be found in our “MCS” PC software!
8.4 Attenuator mode “Auto“
This innovative option permits optimum, automatic insertion or bypass of the
attenuator. However, a short “test measurement“ has to be performed by the
instrument before each sweep in order to make a correct decision, which will
delay the sweep briefly. The length of this delay depends on the selected
Sampletime according to the following formula: Delay = Sampletime/10.
However, the maximum delay is just 10mS, corresponding to 100mS
Sampletime. For ensuring clean operation in Auto attenuator mode, the
Sampletime must be set to at least 100mS, as otherwise, intermittent erroneous
level readings can occur specifically in the lower frequency ranges. The delay
can be avoided altogether by turning off “Auto“ mode and setting the attenuator
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
8.0 Correct measurement
8.5 Sensitivity
Please note that the noise floor (and therefore sensitivity) in spectrum analysers
can be subject to significant variation depending on frequency. Even a frequency adjustment of just a few MHz can decisively alter the noise floor characteristics. In general, however, SPECTRAN’s noise floor increases with lower
frequencies, while sensitivity decreases. A practical example: Using the same
filter settings, you can measure considerably weaker signals at 5GHz than
at, say, 100MHz.
8.6 Measurement inaccuracy
Aaronia states a typical accuracy for each SPECTRAN model. However, this
means that higher deviations are entirely possible. Especially when you
approach the so-called noise floor or the maximum sensitivity of a spectrum analyser, accuracy decreases by principle.
Even though SPECTRAN instruments offer an impressive accuracy considering
their price, a yet higher measurement inaccuracy than the base instrument itself
has is assumed in practice: The reason behind this are further factors which
can influence measurement inaccuracy: Some of them are: temperature dependence, repeatability, antenna errors, modulation dependence etc.
According to BUWAL (see also www.BUWAL.ch), one should always expect an
extended measurement inaccuracy of at least 35% even with absolutely professional equipment. So, expressed in dB, you should always expect a rounded +/3dB and consider this in every measurement!
Example: You measure a value of -45dBm. So, the actual result could, according
to the mentioned measurement inaccuracy, vary between -42dBm (-45dBm
+3dB) and -48dBm (-45dBm - 3dB). Thus, as you want to measure exposure
due to radiation, you should always assume the highest value, namely -42dBm.
In other words:
Always add another 3dB to the measurement inaccuracy of your SPECTRAN instrument when conducting measurements.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
8.0 Correct measurement
8.6 The cursor and zoom features
Using the Jog dial, you can activate a cursor in spectrum
analysis mode. This cursor allows you to display the
exact frequency and signal level of a certain point on the
display. To activate the cursor, simply turn the Jog dial
and the cursor appears as a line in the spectrum display.
You can deactivate the cursor by pressing the menu key
twice. The portion of the spectrum display under the cursor is drawn in inverse, so its information is preserved.
Frequency and level
at the current cursor position
The spectrum portion under the
cursor is drawn in inverse
By turning the Jog dial, the cursor can be positioned freely on the display. The
readout on the large main display as well as the exposure limit display and
demodulation now correspond ONLY to the current cursor position! The current
frequency and level displays for the cursor are only updated after a complete
sweep and shown in the first (leftmost) marker field. Consequently, the auto marker feature is disabled in this mode.
When you press the Jog dial after positioning the cursor, you can zoom into a
signal. Here, the CENTER frequency will be shifted to the indicated cursor position and frequency, the SPAN is reduced by one half and a new sweep is initiated. So, you have zoomed into the signal by 50%. This function can be utilized
as often as you wish until the desired resolution is reached. An incredibly convenient feature.
Deactivate the cursor again by pressing the menu button twice.
ATTENTION: The cursor does NOT get erased when in HOLD mode!
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
9.0 Tips and tricks
Quick Zero-span sweep (Time Domain Mode)
A quick measurement at a fixed frequency almost in realtime is achievable with
the so-called zero-span. Should you have found a signal on e.g. Hotkey 5
(GSM900), simply set the correct center-frequency using the cursor. Now, set
Span to “0” and SpTime to 1mS. The level at the center frequency is now continuously and quickly being updated incl. time domain display!
Ideally suited for locating signal sources and maximums using the “panning approach”.
“Turbo“ sweep for small frequency ranges
SPECTRAN automatically switches to a special “Turbo“ sweep mode when certain conditions are met. In this mode, the second and all further sweeps are once
again accelerated by roughly 300%, as various sweep parameters of up to 1280
measured samples are being buffered. As such, performance in “Turbo“ sweep
mode depends on the selected RBW filter and the SPAN. The maximum usable
values are as follows:
- 3MHz RBW = Maximum usable SPAN 96MHz
- 1MHz RBW = Maximum usable SPAN 32MHz
- 300kHz RBW = Maximum usable SPAN 9.6MHz
- 100kHz RBW = Maximum usable SPAN 3.2MHz, and so on.
As an example, you can monitor the complete WLAN frequency range (90MHz
span) with an RBW setting of 3MHz in “Turbo sweep“ mode.
“Turbo“ sweep for larger frequency ranges
You can achieve quicker measurements of larger frequency ranges by using the
“FULL“ filter. To do this, set RBW to “FULL“ and SpTime to 1mS. The result is
an extremely fast sweep of even large frequeny ranges.
However, note that due to the extremely high filter bandwidth with this setting,
both the frequency and level readings now are to be interpreted with care!
Furthermore, depending on frequency, signal levels now must exceed -65dBm
(at 5GHz) to be detected.
As this mode is also specifically designed to apply less interference processing,
it is only recommended for experienced users as a “quick assessment tool“.
Nonetheless, it’s still a very handy feature!
Allocating keys with your own measurement settings
The keys 0 to 9 can be allocated with custom configurations (incl. start/stop frequency, RBW etc.), with program numbers 100 to 109 corresponding to the keys
0 to 9. Simply store the current configuration via the Setup & Store menu entries
using one of these program numbers, and they will be available at any time
using the corresponding key. It’s even easier with our free PC analysis software
“MCS”. Here you can even attach info texts. To recall the factory settings, select “Factor” under the “Setup” menu.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
9.0 Tips and tricks
DECT analysis
Using the “0” key, you can call up the DECT analyser to measure active DECT
phones. By pressing the DECT key (0 key) more than once, you can even analyze all 10 channels (display reads: “DECT 0-9”) INDIVIDUALLY according to the
DECT standard. You will quickly be able to see which of the 10 channels is currently occupied and even when channel hopping occurs. This channel separation is particularly practical in Audio mode. Moreover, a very special feature is the
automatically activated after pressing the DECT key for the first time. Here, all
10 channels are CONSTANTLY being measured and displayed one after the
other. Like this, you will never miss a channel hop and can e.g. quickly evaluate the strongest detected level on ANY channel by using PkHold.
See also 7.11
Exposure limit calculation and display in W/m² with “weak” signals
Reduce the “MrkLvl” setting to “-90dB” or even “-110dB”.
“Conversion“ of measurement results to other units
As you know, the PkHold feature can be used to “freeze“ the current readings.
So, to convert between units, simply activate PkHold and then choose a new unit
[V/m, mA/m, dBm, dBµV] in the Unit menu: The previous figure will immediately be converted.
Correct settings for manual input/measurement
For this, it is best to use our PC analysis software “MCS”. Here, dozens of optimized “profiles” ranging from model making to 5GHz WLAN are available at a
mouseclick. Further information like channel number, provider etc. is displayed
as well. You can use the File manager in MCS to simply “copy” these parameters (for example, to a hotkey) and transfer them to SPECTRAN.
Generally, the following rules apply to most signal types:
If possible, only use small frequency ranges (SPAN) below 100 MHz
to eliminate interference and/or harmonics and achieve faster sweeps.
An RBW setting of “3MHz“ and SpTime of “1mS“ are usually ideal
ONLY activate MinMax mode when dealing with pulsed and/or
modulated signals.
Analysis on your PC
We offer the FREE PC analysis software “MCS” for SPECTRAN on our homepage. This really versatile PRO software unleashes SPECTRAN’s full potential.
Whenever possible, you should use this software for getting everything possible
out of your SPECTRAN instrument.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
10.0 Exposure limits
10.1 Exposure limits (for personal safety)
For radio transmitters (including mobile phones/cell towers), internationally
approved exposure limits, but also various precautionary limits and recommendations exist. Depending on the context and country, however, exposure limits
and recommendations differ vastly.
The German limits are defined by the “Regulierungsbehörde für
Telekommunikation und Post (Reg TP)”, a subsidiary of the “Bundesministerium
für Wirtschaft und Arbeit (BMWA)”. They are mainly based on the heat generation caused by high-frequency fields. It is assumed that effects harmful to health
only occur when tissue warms by more than 1°C. These exposure limits are
mostly accepted by all national and international committees. For Germany,
these limits are recorded in the “Verordnung über elektromagnetische Felder
(26. BlmSchV)” and are mostly derived from the international recommendations.
As an approval for the compliance with these exposure limits, radio installations
acquire the “Reg TP Standortbescheinigung” (“installation certificate“).
The German exposure limits are designed for squared averages recorded over
intervals of 6 minutes, and are categorized by frequency ranges. Depending
on the affected target group, different limits apply. As an example, we will use the
limit defined for the general population:
Frequency [MHz]
1 - 10
10 - 400
400 - 2,000
2,000 - 300,000
E field strength[V/m]
87 / f
1.375 * f
M field strength[A/m]
0.73 / f
0.0037 * f
The adjacent diagram shows a
visual representation of aforementioned formulas over a frequency range from 1Hz to
100GHz. The graph clearly
shows that the formerly widespread broadband RF measurement instruments CANNOT
measure and evaluate these
exposure limits correctly as
they are not frequency-dependent!
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
10.0 Exposure limits
Also, the differences between the exposure limits for a certain target reference
group and the corresponding “maximum limits” are well visible.
For D-Net (GSM900) cell towers, this means that the electrical field strength
needs to stay below 1.375 * 935 MHz or approx. 42 V/m.
For E-Net (GSM1800) base stations, this means that the electrical field strength
needs to stay below 1.375 * 1800 MHz or approx. 58 V/m. A huge difference!
The respective allowed absolute maximums are another 32 times higher.
The highest exposure to high-frequency radiation is mostly caused by the high
transmitting powers of TV and radio broadcast towers. Contrary to widespread
belief, however, often it’s not the cell towers that cause the strongest exposure
to radiation in homes - it’s often portable phones (so-called DECT phones) or
microwaves ovens.
10.2 Device exposure limits
Contrary to the personal safety limits, the so-called device exposure limits are
often SIGNIFICANTLY more restrictive and much more frequency-dependent.
For example, a cellphone has a totally different device exposure limit than a TV
broadcast station. Here, the allowed limits can easily vary by a factor of millions!
Still, all device exposure limits also need to adhere to the personal safety
limits and are thus a subset of those. A particularly restrictive example is the
ISM868 band. It offers extreme dynamics inside a very small frequency range:
ERP [mW]
869,2 869,4
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
10.0 Exposure limits
10.3 Limits for ecologically compatible construction
These limits are vastly different to the official personal safety limits: They are
mostly significantly stricter. Well, this would be fine on its own. However, to our
big surprise, in contrast to the highly complex official ICNIRP limits (which are
also authoritative in Germany), they have no “frequency component” at all, meaning that these exposure limits are absolutely identical both at e.g. 900MHz and
Thus, professional technicians and experts in the area alike are mightily surprised by this “curious” manner of handling exposure limits. There is a simple
explanation though:
The “measurement devices” used in the field of ecologically compatible construction are exclusively based on so-called broadband / diode-detector technology. However, with these instruments, frequency-selective, professional measurement is impossible. Thusly, frequency-selective exposure limits would
simply not be feasible for use with these devices. Though, we hope that this will
change quickly with SPECTRAN, as the frequency should definitely not just be
Even though it doesn’t really “feel“ quite adequate to support exposure limits
(“precautionary limits“) as trivial as these in an instrument like SPECTRAN, we
still decided to include the so-called “Salzburger Vorsorgewerte“ (“Salzburg precautionary limits“) as a bare minimum.
All of the following “precautionary limits“ for ecologically compatible construction
can be selected and displayed instantly using SPECTRAN’s “Exposurelimit calculation” mode, by using the right/left arrow keys:
Salzburg precautionary limit (OLD)
ECOLOG recommendation indoors
Salzburg precautionary limit outdoors (2002)
Salzburg precautionary limit indoors (2002)
Citizen forum electrosmog for daytime areas (indoors)
Please take into account that some of these limits are only applicable to certain
types of signal sources or frequency bands. You should consult the original “authors“ of these limits for the exact and most current modes of application.
1mW = 1,000µW = 1,000,000nW
1µW = 0.001mW = 1,000nW
1nW = 0.000,001mW = 0.001µW
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
11.0 Antenna mounting and handling
You can operate SPECTRAN either with the optionally available OmniLOG
antenna or with the professional HyperLOG antenna:
11.1 Single-handed operation using the OmniLOG antenna:
Our OmniLOG® 90200 antenna is available as an
option and has been specifically developed for radially isotropic measurements in the GSM (GSM900,
GSM1800, GSM1900), UMTS and 2.4GHz WLAN
frequency ranges. It is an ideal companion for our
SPECTRAN V4 instruments, with direct support builtin.
Unlike our HyperLOG antennas, the OmniLOG is
suitable for direct radial field strength measurement without any need for alignment. This gives
you an almost instant field strength reading.
Due to its extremely small physical dimensions, it is unlike our HyperLOG antennas - also ideally suited
for unobtrusive or concealed measurements.
Simply attach the OmniLOG antenna to
SPECTRAN’s SMA socket. Do not apply excessive
force when screwing the antenna into position! As
soon as a significant amount of resistance can be felt,
the antenna should be firmly in place. Make sure the
antenna is fitted tightly. You can also rotate it by 45 or
90 degrees as shown on the adjacent picture.
Finally, you could as well screw the included “pistol grip“ handle to the bottom side of your SPECTRAN. This way, you can handle SPECTRAN more easily or place it permanently on e.g. a table (for this, unfold the handle to become
a miniature tripod).
Please bear in mind that unlike our HyperLOG antennas, the OmniLOG is not
directional. Consequently, it cannot be used to pinpoint signal sources.
Furthermore, the HyperLOG antennas have considerably more gain, thus allowing measurement of significantly weaker signals than with our OmniLOG
The following pages contain detailed instructions on the usage of our HyperLOG
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
11.0 Antenna mounting and handling
11.2 Handling with two hands using the HyperLOG antenna:
First, carefully screw the included SMA cable to the
SMA socket on the SPECTRAN. The cable should
be attached carefully. Do not apply excessive
force! As soon as there is resistance, slightly tighten
the plug using the SMA tool. Again, don’t use excessive force. Never trigger the overtorque protection
(the SMA tool has an overtorque protection and
starts slipping as soon as excessive force is
Now, attach the other end of the SMA cable to the HyperLOG antenna. Again,
first screw the plug on the socket, then slightly tighten using the SMA tool.
Finally, screw the included “pistol grip“ to the bottom side of the HyperLOG
antenna, in a way that the HyperLOG antenna points away from yourself (see
You can now handle the SPECTRAN instrument and the HyperLOG antenna
independently, with one hand each.
Being able to move and aim the HyperLOG antenna independently from the
SPECTRAN can be very handy - for example, for finding the signal maximum
using the so-called panning approach.
You can still use your thumb to press the buttons on the SPECTRAN while conducting a measurement.
11.3 Single-handed use with attached HyperLOG antenna:
Using this method, you can directly attach the
HyperLOG antenna to SPECTRAN for both to form a
single, compact unit. This offers a few advantages for
making adjustments during measurement, as keys
can now be pressed all the time using your index finger. However, the HyperLOG antenna cannot be
moved independently of SPECTRAN anymore, which
might create difficulties in reading the display in certain positions.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
11.0 Antenna mounting and handling
First, carefully screw the SMA adapter onto the SMA
socket on the SPECTRAN. Screwing should be possible without much resistance. Do not use excessive force! As soon as you notice a resistance, slightly tighten the connection using the SMA tool. Again,
do not apply excessive force! Never trigger the overtorque protection (the SMA tool features an overtorque protection as soon as excessive force is
Now attach the HyperLOG antenna. For this, the
HyperLOG’s guide rails need to be pushed carefully
and without force into the designated sensor
pickups on the SPECTRAN until the SMA socket of
the HyperLOG antenna snaps and locks into the
SMA adapter. Now manually screw the SMA adapter to the HyperLOG antenna, as described before.
While doing so, slightly and continuously push
the HyperLOG antenna further into the sensor
pickups on the SPECTRAN. As soon as the SMA
adapter is screwed to the HyperLOG antenna, slightly tighten the connection
with the SMA tool, as described above.
Now attach the included pistol-like grip to the bottom side of the HyperLOG antenna such that the
antenna and the SPECTRAN device form a single
unit and can be handled as shown in the image on
the left. The SPECTRAN device itself should be supported by the user’s arm. You now have a single,
compact, easy to handle measurement package.
Using the grip on the HyperLOG antenna, the complete package can easily be adjusted as needed.
After unmounting the grip, the measurement package
can be stowed completely as-is into the Aaronia
carrycase. As such, it is ready-to-use for the next time
without further hassle.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
12.0 Connections
12.1 External DC input (battery charger / mains operation)
All SPECTRAN RF measurement devices contain a
high-performance battery package which is already
installed in the unit. However, this battery is not yet
charged for safety reasons. Hence, you should
charge it with the included charger. For this, connect
the charger to a wall socket and plug the mini phone
plug into the DC input on the SPECTRAN. Now turn
OFF your SPECTRAN and the battery pack will be
automatically charged. Full charge is reached after
about 24 hours for the standard 1300mAh battery,
and about 36 hours for the optional LiPo 3000mAh version.
Operating with an external power supply:
As described above, the DC input is meant for charging the internal battery pack.
However, it can also be used for operating SPECTRAN independently of the
internal battery pack.
You can also connect other DC power sources with an output voltage of 12V,
using a 3.5mm phone jack. Polarity of the jack needs to be as follows:
The inner conductor must be “+”, the outer conductor must be “-”.
Using our optional car power adapter (see price list), you can also operate
SPECTRAN devices in your car.
Should you wish to operate SPECTRAN via the power supply, please note that
the power supply’s circuitry will cause additional interference both due to the
cable connection and by means of RF radiation. This may lead to mismeasurement in extreme cases.
If you wish to use an adequately clean power supply for long-term measurements, it is recommended to operate SPECTRAN on an external, large battery,
which should be able to power SPECTRAN for several weeks. We particularly
recommend one of the commercially available “powerbags”, “battery bags“ or a
comparable product. These often offer a regular 12V car adapter and thus can
be used directly with our car power adapter cable.
All cables/devices used for connection to the external DC input must supply a
DC voltage of 12V via a standard 3.5mm phone jack (inner conductor PLUS,
outer conductor MINUS).
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
12.0 Connections
12.2 Audio output
This is a standard 2.5mm mono phone jack that can be
connected to any device which offers an audio input.
Depending on model and manufacturer, these are labeled
differently: e.g. PHONO, CD, LINE IN, MIC etc.
Depending on the kind of input, you may need an appropriate adapter cable, which you can purchase from any
third party dealer. However, our own accessories (for
example, our mini earphones) can always be connected
12.3 Jog Dial / volume control
The Jog Dial, like on modern cell phones or PDAs, replaces the up/down arrowkeys (“turn” the jog dial) and the
Enter key (briefly “press” the jog dial). Like this, you can
e.g. control the complete menu system just with this
handy little wheel.
However, with the demodulator activated, this jog dial serves as a volume control. As a precaution, before connecting anything to the audio output, you should turn this
volume control all the way down to zero to avoid overload.
12.4 USB connector
The 5-pin USB B mini connector on the SPECTRAN allows fast communication with a computer or notebook. With
this feature, you can e.g. download data from
SPECTRAN’s data logger, perform software (firmware)
updates or establish a real time connection between your
PC and SPECTRAN using our SPECTRAN PC software
to perform advanced signal analysis.
For this connection, you need a high-grade, shielded
USB 2.0 cable with USB A to Mini USB B 5-pin (see
Aaronia accessory list).
We strongly recommend using our own custom-built USB cables as these
incorporate especially developed EMC shielding and thus drastically reduce any possible interference!
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
13.0 Hardware setup
Before taking any measurement, you must tell SPECTRAN WHICH antenna
and/or which cable is connected. Otherwise, SERIOUS mismeasurement can
occur, as every antenna and every cable has totally different characteristics. All
Aaronia antennas and cables have thus been calibrated. You can select these
pre-defined calibration data on SPECTRAN, but also load your own custom calibration settings.
As a factory default (on delivery), the recommended configuration “HyperLOG
antenna” with “1m SMA cable” is selected. Thus, you do not need to make any
changes now if you are using this configuration.
For hardware setup, press the menu key. You will be directed to the main
Now, using the up/down arrow keys or the jog dial, first navigate to the
AntTyp menu entry.
Activate the menu entry by pressing the ENTER key or clicking the jog dial.
You are now being shown a list of antennas. Using the up/down arrow
keys or the jog dial, choose the connected antenna. Here, “HL7025” corresponds to the HyperLOG7025 etc. If you do not have an antenna
connected, choose “None” as antenna type. Confirm your entry by pressing
the ENTER key or clicking the jog dial. You are now being taken back to
the main menu.
Now, again using the up/down arrow keys or the jog dial, navigate to the
menu entry Cable.
Activate the menu entry by pressing the ENTER key or clicking the jog dial.
You are now being presented a list of cables. Choose the connected
cable by using the up/down arrow keys or the jog dial. The “1m Std” entry
corresponds to the 1m SMA cable included with delivery. If there is no cable
connected, choose “None” as cable type.
Confirm your selection by pressing the ENTER key or clicking the jog dial.
You are now being taken back to the main menu.
Press the MENU button once more, and the new values are being confirmed and stored.
ATTENTION! All settings regarding antennas and cables are stored permanently, even after switching the unit off. Hence, each time you use the unit,
you should make sure that the connected antenna and cable really correspond
with the settings made in the hardware setup, as otherwise, severe mismeasurement may occur!
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
14.0 Spectrum analysis basics
What is a frequency range?
Imagine a giant motorway, several kilometers wide, with thousands of lanes. On
this motorway, every imaginable kind of vehicle can be found: motorcycles, cars,
trucks, etc. To not let them get into each other’s way, every lane is reserved for
only a single group of road users: e.g., lane 1 ONLY for cyclists, lane 3 ONLY for
pedestrians, lane 40 ONLY for trucks etc. Depending on the traffic caused by the
individual groups, these lanes also have different widths: For example, the lane
reserved for cyclists is far narrower than that reserved for trucks, etc. High frequency works exactly like this, just that here, the lanes are the so-called frequency ranges, and the road users are applications (for example, a cell
phone, a microwave oven, a radio-controlled car lock, in effect all appliances
that somehow work with radio waves).
So, every application has its own frequency range for EXCLUSIVE use. By
assigning a separate frequency range for each application, conflicts between
different ‘road users’ can be avoided, so that e.g. a cell phone cannot be disrupted by a microwave oven.
Big differences between exposure limits
Back to our motorway: Of course, all road users also have their own specific
speed limits. For our example, a pedestrian may only walk at up to 5 km/h. Cars,
in change, may speed at up to 300 km/h. Exposure limits for radio applications
work similarly: Here, however, the word “speed” is replaced by the transmitting
power: E.g., a broadcast station may have an enormous transmitting power of
1.000.000W or more, in contrast, a radio-controlled car lock only a few mW
(1mW = 0,001W) etc. 3 examples of exposure limits in practice:
Frequency range [MHz]
DECT phones
Amateur radio (11cm)
WLan 802.11a
Power limit [W EIRP]
It is easily visible that each radio application may only use one EXACTLY
DEFINED frequency range. Also, the high differences in admissible transmitting power are noticeable.
Why spectrum analysis?
There are 2 main reasons:
1.) You would like to know WHICH radio applications are active
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14.0 Spectrum analysis basics
2.) You would like to measure the exposure caused by each of the radio applications separately, e.g. for evaluating exceeding of exposure limits.
Regarding 1):
Let’s reconsider our ‘giant motorway’ example:
Remember that every lane was only intended for use by a single kind of vehicle.
Now imagine that a huge bridge crossed this motorway, with you standing on the
bridge and looking down on the motorway. Wow, what a mess!
Now, for example, you would like to know exactly what is happening on the
motorway, and this for every single lane. However, the motorway is incredibly
wide, so you would need rather good binoculars to be able to even look a few
km far. Let’s just imagine that your binoculars have a range of 6km (6000m).
Now you would like to know how much traffic there is on a specific lane and how
fast it is travelling. So, you’ll take a piece of paper and write down the number of
the lane and the data you evaluated. Starting at lane 1, you see: nothing! OK,
let’s go on with lane 2: nothing either! Now lane 3: OK, there is some traffic going
at 18km/h. Continuing with lane 4: Nothing! etc. until you have reached the last
lane. What have you accomplished now? You’ve performed an ANALYSIS of
the entire range of lanes from 0-6km. Or, in other words: You performed a
RANGE ANALYSIS. As you know, to analyze something means breaking it down
into smaller parts which can be evaluated. In this case, the 6km wide motorway
was that big “something” and the smaller parts were the individual lanes. The
word “range” can now be replaced by the word “SPECTRUM” and there we are:
You have performed a SPECTRUM ANALYSIS! Who would have thought that
you are a Spectrum analyser!
Jokes aside: If you now in addition have a lanes plan telling you which lane is
assigned to which kind of vehicle, you can exactly determine what kinds of
vehicles have just been travelling.
Spectrum analysis in high frequency technology works exactly like that:
There are “lanes” here as well. Though, these lanes are called frequency ranges. The width of these frequency ranges is measured in the unit Hz (Hertz).
However, as the frequency ranges are mostly found in high Hz ranges, writing
them in plain Hz would require huge numbers. Thus, the unit Hz is often extended to MHz (1.000.000Hz) and GHz ( Like this, the whole
thing becomes much clearer. So, can also be written as
1.000MHz or 1GHz.
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14.0 Spectrum analysis basics
But let’s go on: The different kinds of vehicles are called radio applications and
have their own abbreviations: e.g. the radio application “UMTS” (the new, digital mobile communications standard) has its own frequency range which spans
1.900 to 2.200MHz (1,9-2.2GHz).
The speed at which the vehicles are travelling can now be replaced by a new
expression: the signal strength or level.
So far, we have now explained the used expressions and units. Now, high-frequency analysis works just as our motorway example:
For example, our measurement device should evaluate all frequency ranges
from 1MHz to 6.000MHz (in pictures, our 6.000m wide motorway). Step by step,
every frequency range is evaluated precisely. First, 0 to 1MHz, then 1MHz to
2MHz etc. until 6.000MHz. Also, the signal strength of every frequency range
is exactly stored. Like this, we also learn what signal strength was present on
which frequency range.
Real-world examples:
Let’s assume that we want to exactly evaluate the frequency range from 1GHz
to 6GHz, and that the following 3 radio applications were active simultaneously with various signal strengths (in practice, though, it will mostly be A LOT
MORE different applications!):
Frequency range [MHz]
DECT portable phone
Amateur radio (11cm)
WLan 802.11a
How can this be visually displayed on a measurement device? Well, first, we will
map the frequency range from 1GHz to 6GHz on a line from left to right (X-axis):
Ok, this was still pretty simple. Now, we tag each of the 3 applications depending on their frequency on the right spot of the X-axis and can thus see where
they can be found:
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14.0 Spectrum analysis basics
32 ,90
0- 0G
45 Hz
Well, this was again pretty simple. And finally, we display the strength of each of
the 3 readings as vertical bars on the Y-axis:
2, -1,9
0- 0G
45 Hz
Additionally, we have also adapted the width of each vertical bar to the width of
the respective frequency range of each radio application (the so-called bandwidth): DECT only has 20MHz (1.880-1.990MHz=20MHz) of bandwidth, a very
small range. Amateur radio, in contrast, already uses a far higher bandwidth
(2.320-2.450=130MHz) and so on.
Well, this wasn’t all that difficult, was it? We can now see ALL information concerning these three signal sources.
In practice, this will look similar on the SPECTRAN display:
In this example, we also have 3 main signal sources (from left to right):
Signal#1=942MHz at -63dBm
Signal#2=2.024MHz at -23dBm
Signal#3=5.823MHz at -42dBm
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14.0 Spectrum analysis basics
These are displayed as vertical bars. The same rule as in our example applies
here, too: The higher the measured signal strength, the higher the bar. Further
information regarding each of the bars is displayed from left to right as markers
in the upper display area. On the left, marker 1 is displayed: (the first bar from
the left) with 942MHz at -63dBm. In the middle, marker 2 (the second bar from
the left) 2.024MHz at -23dBm. On the right, marker 3 (the last, rightmost bar) is
displayed: 5.823MHz at -42dBm.
Notice: The configured frequency range is constantly being scanned. Thus, the
display will also constantly change. This is recognizable because of a small dot
above the graphics display which moves from left to right. This procedure of continuous scanning is called sweeping.
So, what kinds of information have we acquired now?
1.) In the entire frequency range from 0-6GHz, there are 3 main signal sources.
2.) The frequency and signal strength of all 3 sources is exactly known.
So, we have acquired a quick overview of WHAT is active in this frequency
As the exact frequency of the signal sources is now know, it is easy to
determine the exact applications emitting these signals (see also our frequency tables on pages 63-65 or the more extensive frequency tables on
the Aaronia website www.spectran.com).
On the basis of these frequency tables, we can determine for e.g. 942MHz:
937,6 to 944,8MHz = GSM 900 (DL) T-Mobile
meaning that this is a GSM900 celltower (DL=Download) of the provider
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15.0 Physical units
15.1 Measuring transmission power [dBm; dBµV]
Measurements of communications equipment often show extremely big differences between levels. Therefore, it is useful to express signal levels in logarithmic units to avoid “drowning” readings in an endless number of zeros.
Thus, our SPECTRAN HF-2025E e.g. already features a measurable level
range of -80dBm to 0dBm. As amplification increases 10 fold once every 10dB,
“readings” of 0 to 100,000,000! would need to be displayed. Though, these
“numeric giants” would be nearly unreadable and result in steady, drastic changes of the displayed values. So, we use the much easier to handle logarithmic
unit dB:
As logarithms are dimensionless, logarithmic readings are always relative to a
certain reference level, i.e., a relationship between two levels is established. A
common reference level that has become a standard in radio technology is 1mW
or 1µV. So, logarithmic level readings are expressed in dB milliwatts [dBm] or
dB microvolts [dBµV].
15.2 Field strength [V/m; A/m] and power density [W/m²]
If you don’t feed signals directly and instead perform measurements using an
antenna, you will mostly want to measure the so-called field strength or power
density instead of power. In professional measurement technology, mostly only
the “manageable” electric field strength is measured, using the unit V/m. As with
dBm, V/m produces manageable readings without endless rows of zeroes. In
contrast, cheap broadband instruments often only provide readings of power
density (mostly in µW/m²) to confuse the operator with allegedly huge changes
in “electrosmog” strength. This is just as if you measured distances on motorways in mm: Frankfurt to Munich = 400,000,000mm! Certainly “impressive”,
but just pure showiness, as it’s just 400km. Manageability and readability is left
behind, as the display constantly changes in huge steps. Of course, SPECTRAN
can also display power flux density in µW/m² or other “Giga-units”. However, in
contrast to the aforementioned cheap devices, SPECTRAN offers a practical
Autorange feature in W/m²-mode, e.g. instead of displaying an endless number of zeroes, it just displays the corresponding abbreviation f, p, n, µ or m before the unit.
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15.0 Physical units
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
16.0 Some high-frequency math
Operators, various governmental authorities and also scientists themselves
actually have fun jumping around between units wildly in their publications.
Consequently, the casual reader often loses track of the relationships between
units completely. To save you from such problems, SPECTRAN offers functionality to convert between units or directly display measurements in the unit of
your choice. Furthermore, we have collected several tables for simple comparison and, correspondingly, conversion of units and values. For our mathematically adept customers, we also included the most important basics and formulas
dealing with high frequency radiation:
Power density of high-frequency signals is oftentimes measured in W/m² (primarily in Europe) or W/cm² (primarily in the US). Conversion between these
units is simple:
1 µW/cm² = 0.01 W/m² = 0.001 mW/cm², or
10 µW/cm² = 0.1 W/m² = 0.01 mW/cm² and so on. (see table 1 on page 64)
Less frequently, values in dBm/m² and dBW/m² can be found. Conversion is
similarly simple:
1 µW/cm² = 10dBm/m² = -20 dBW/m², or
10 µW/cm² = 20dBm/m² = -10 dBW/m² etc., respectively.
However, the most frequently used unit is V/m (see table 2 on page 64). Here
you should remember that power flux density S (measured in W/m²) really consists of two separate fields: The electric field E (measured in V/m) and the
magnetic field H (measured in A/m). However, as these do not exist separately
anymore at high frequencies, their separate indication is not really interesting for
RF exposure. However, this is only the case outside the so-called close-up
range. How you calculate the close-up range and how the relationship between
the different radiations works is described below.
Power flux density S (also called electromagnetic field or power density) is
calculated as follows:
If H is unknown, the following formula still allows a calculation of S, assuming
377 Ohms as the so-called “field resistance” of air:
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16.0 Some high-frequency math
In contrast, if E is not known, calculation of S is still possible as follows:
Should you wish to calculate the electric field E, the following formula applies:
And the magnetic field H can be calculated like this:
16.1 Calculating the wavelength in [m]
To calculate the wavelength from the frequency, use the following formula:
Here, c corresponds to the speed of light in [m/s] (rounded to 300,000km/s in our
example), f to the frequency of the radiation in [Hz], and
to the wavelength
in [m]. Examples:
(For 900 MHz, the result is 0.33m)
(For 1.8 GHz, the result is 0.17m)
(For 2 GHz, the result is 0.15m)
Further information concerning wavelength is contained in table 4 on page
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16.0 Some high-frequency math
16.2 Calculating the “close-up range” in [m]
If you want to perform a measurement, you need to do this outside of the socalled close-up range of the transmitter. The close-up range depends on the
transmitter frequency. According to the aforementioned formula, the close-up
range can be determined quickly. Here, you simply need to multiply the resulting
wavelength by a factor of 10 (there are some sources which only use a factor of
3). The result is the close-up range, i.e. the minimum distance to the transmitter
in which a realistic and sensible measurement can be achieved.
Example: For a “900MHz cellphone”, the wavelength is:
Hence, the close-up range is 0.33m * 10 = 3.3m.
It is easy to see that e.g. measurements taken directly next to the cellphone will definitely result in WRONG readings!
Notice: Inside the close-up range, E and H fields would need to be measured
separately. However, outside the close-up range, both field types are coupled
tightly to each other, so knowing the strength of one of them will be enough to
derive the other.
16.3 Calculating power density [W/m²] from power [dBm]
ONLY if you know the transmitter’s frequency you can convert from dBm to
W/m². You will also need the antenna gain of the antenna used for measurement. The formula you need looks like this:
S represents the power density [W/m²], p is the measured power [dBm],
is the wavelength of the transmitter
frequency [m] and G the antenna gain [dBi] (dBd-values
can be converted to dBi by adding 2.15).
You can find the dBi antenna gain of the HyperLOG antennas easily by looking
at the “antenna.ini” file supplied with our “MCS” PC-Software.
An example:
Say your instrument indicates -40dBm at 950MHz with a HyperLOG 7025 antenna (which has a gain of 4.9dBi at 950MHz). The result is:
= 0.00000408 W/m² = 4.08µW/m²
Also see the following conversion table!
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17.0 Conversion tables
Table 0 Conversion dBm to W/m² with HyperLOG antenna
Assuming the use of an “idealized“ measurement setup, like our HyperLOG antenna with 5dBi
gain and one of our 1m RG316U cables with 1dB damping, the following conversion table can
be applied to the signal sources below (figures in W/m²):
0.004 5
0.000 45
0.000 045
0.000 004 5
0.000 000 45
0.000 000 045
Lambda X
0.001 3
0.000 13
0.000 013
0.000 001 3
0.000 000 13
0.001 8
0.000 18
0.000 018
0.000 001 8
0.000 000 18
0.000 000 018
0.002 2
0.000 22
0.000 022
0.000 002 2
0.000 000 22
0.000 000 022
0.003 3
0.000 33
0.000 033
0.000 003 3
0.000 000 33
0.000 000 033
We assumed the following center frequencies (f) here:
GSM900 (f = 900MHz), Lambda X (f = 1550MHz), GSM1800/DECT (f = 1800MHz), UMTS (f =
2000MHz) and WLAN / microwave ovens (f = 2450MHz).
The conversion tables demonstrates that per 10dB step, power density decreases by a factor of
10. This applies in a similar manner to the 1dB steps, which also change in a constant manner.
Consequently, this table permits easy and fast conversion of indicated dBm values (for example,
from the optional PEAK detector) into PEAK field strength or, respectively, power density in W/m².
This table can just as well be used with different antennas, attenuators or cables:
For example, should you be using our 20dB attenuator (option), you would extract those rows
from the table whose dBm values are 20dB higher, for example, -10dBm instead of -30dBm.
As a different example, should you be using an antenna with 24dBi gain, you would use those
values 19dB lower than the actual reading (24dBi minus 5dBi [as 5dBi gain is already included in
the calculated table values]). For example, -43dBm instead of -24dBm.
If you were using a cable with 5dB damping, you would need to refer to those values 4dB higher
than the measured value (5dB minus 1dB [as 1dB damping is already included in the calculated
table values]). That is -24dBm in place of -28dBm.
Even in case you do NOT know the frequency of the signal source, you can still achieve a
comparatively exact field strength measurement by simply using the “Lambda X“ column.
This column presents a weighted average of ALL possible frequencies between 900MHz and
2.4GHz, still giving you an accuracy of approximately +/-4dB. That is still significantly better than
the inherent inaccuracy of various rudimentary instruments for field strength measurement available from third parties. The frequency range from 900MHz to 2.4GHz spans a large variety of typically interesting signal sources - for example, ALL cellular phone networks (GSM900, GSM1800,
UMTS) and the respective phones, as well as 2.4GHz WLAN and microwave ovens.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
17.0 Conversion tables
Table 1 Conversion from W/m² to µW/cm² and mW/cm²
0.000,001 W/m²
0.000,1 µW/cm²
0.000,000,1 mW/cm²
0.000,01 W/m²
0.001 µW/cm²
0.000,001 mW/cm²
0.000,1 W/m²
0.01 µW/cm²
0.000,01 mW/cm²
0.001 W/m²
0.1 µW/cm²
0.000,1 mW/cm²
0.01 W/m²
1 µW/cm²
0.001 mW/cm²
0.1 W/m²
10 µW/cm²
0.01 mW/cm²
1 W/m²
100 µW/cm²
0.1 mW/cm²
Table 2 Conversion from µW/cm² to V/m and A/m
0.000,1 µW/cm²
0.019,4 V/m
0.000,051,5 A/m
0.001 µW/cm²
0.061,4 V/m
0.000,162 A/m
0.01 µW/cm²
0.194 V/m
0.000,515 A/m
0.1 µW/cm²
0.614 V/m
0.001,62 A/m
1 µW/cm²
1.94 V/m
0.005,15 A/m
10 µW/cm²
6.14 V/m
0.016,2 A/m
100 µW/cm²
19.4 V/m
0.051,5 A/m
Table 3 dBm to dBW and W (incl. respective fractional units):
0 dBm
dBm = Decibelmilliwatts, dBW = DecibelWatts, W = Watts,
mW = MilliWatts, µW=MicroWatts, nW= NanoWatts, pW=PicoWatts
Table 4 Frequency, wavelength and frequency band denomination
3 Hz-30 Hz
100,000 km - 10,000 km
30 Hz-300 Hz
10,000 km - 1,000 km
300 Hz-3 kHz
1,000 km - 100 km
3 kHz-30 kHz
100 km - 10 km
30 kHz-300 kHz
10 km - 1 km
300 kHz-3 MHz
1 km - 100 m
3 MHz-30 MHz
100 m - 10 m
30 MHz-300 MHz
10 m - 1 m
300 MHz-3 GHz
1 m - 10 cm
3 GHz - 30 GHz
10 cm - 1 cm
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17.0 Conversion tables
Table 5 Power amplification factor and corresponding value in dB:
0 dB
3 dB
4 dB
6 dB
7 dB
9 dB
10 dB
20 dB
1 000
30 dB
10 000
40 dB
100 000
50 dB
1 000 000
60 dB
10 000 000
70 dB
dB = Decibel
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18.0 Frequency tables
Table 6 Cellphone frequencies and providers
Start/Stop frequency Abbreviation
864.1 868.1
885.0 887.0
CT1+ (UL)*
914.0 915.0
CT1 (UL)*
930.0 932.0
CT1+ (DL)*
959.0 960.0
CT1 (DL)*
1,880 1,900
5,725 5,825
(UL) = "Uplink" mostly means “portable device” (mobile transmitter which transmits towards the
base station, e.g. a cellphone).
(DL) = "Downlink" mostly means “base station” (fixed transmitter which transmits towards the
portable device, e.g. a base station).
* License expired
CT1+: Cordless phone (analogue). License expires 1/1/2007. 10mW EIRP
DECT: Base station always transmits even when not handling calls. 250mW EIRP.
DECT2: New generation of cordless phones (“DECT successor”). 25mW EIRP
Significantly more extensive lists available on the Aaronia homepage. To get the full
“luxury”, get our free PC analysis software directly from there!
All frequency values in MHz.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
18.0 Frequency tables
Table 7 German GSM900 frequencies and providers
Start/Stop frequency Abbreviation
876.2 880.0
Deutsche Bahn
880.1 885.1
GSM900 (UL)
E-Plus (NEW)
885.1 890.1
GSM900 (UL)
O2-Germany (NEW)
890.2 892.4
GSM900 (UL)
892.6 899.8
GSM900 (UL)
900.0 906.0
GSM900 (UL)
906.2 910.4
GSM900 (UL)
910.6 914.2
GSM900 (UL)
914.4 914.8
GSM900 (UL)
921.2 925.0
Deutsche Bahn
925.1 930.1
GSM900 (DL)
E-Plus (NEW)
930.1 935.1
GSM900 (DL)
O2-Germany (NEW)
935.2 937.4
GSM900 (DL)
937.6 944.8
GSM900 (DL)
945.0 951.0
GSM900 (DL)
951.2 955.4
GSM900 (DL)
955.6 959.2
GSM900 (DL)
959.4 959.8
GSM900 (DL)
(UL) = "Uplink" mostly means “portable device” (mobile transmitter which transmits towards the
base station, e.g. cellphones). Pulsed at 217Hz. Power variable between 20mW-2W (Peak)
(DL) = "Downlink" mostly means “base station” (fixed transmitter which transmits towards the
portable device, e.g. cell towers). Pulsed at 217Hz. Control channel pulsed at 1,736Hz. Power
variable between 0.5 and 400W ERP. Range of up to 32km.
Significantly more extensive lists available on the Aaronia homepage. To get the full
“luxury”, get our free PC analysis software directly from there!
All frequency values in MHz.
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18.0 Frequency tables
Table 8 German GSM1800 frequencies and providers
Start/Stop frequency Abbreviation
1,710.0 1,725.0
1,725.2 1,730.0
1,730.2 1,752.4
1,752.8 1,758.0
1,758.2 1,780.4
E Plus
1,805.0 1,820.0
1,820.2 1,825.0
1,825.0 1,847.4
1,847.8 1,853.0
1,853.2 1,875.4
E Plus
(UL) = "Uplink" mostly means “portable device” (portable transmitter which transmits towards the
base station, e.g. cellphone). Pulsed at 217Hz. Power variable between 25mW-1W (Peak)
(DL) = "Downlink" mostly means “base station” (fixed transmitter which transmits towards the
portable device, e.g. cell tower). Pulsed at 217Hz. Control channel pulsed at 1,736Hz. Power
variable between 0.5 and 300W ERP. Range of up to 16 km.
Significantly more extensive lists available on the Aaronia homepage. To get the full
“luxury”, get our free PC analysis software directly from there!
All frequency values in MHz.
Table 9 German UMTS frequencies and providers
Start/Stop frequency Abbreviation
1.920,3 1.930,2
1.930,3 1.940,2
Group 3G
1.940,3 1.950,2
1.950,0 1.959,9
1.959,9 1.969,8
1.969,8 1.979,7
T-Mobile D
2.110,3 2.120,2
2.120,2 2.130,1
Group 3G
2.130,1 2.140,0
2.140,0 2.149,9
2.149,9 2.159,8
2.159,8 2.169,7
T-Mobile D
(UL) = "Uplink" mostly means “portable device” (portable transmitter which transmits towards the
base station, e.g. cellphone). Power variable between 2.5mW-250mW (Peak)
(DL) = "Downlink" mostly means “base station” (fixed transmitter which transmits towards the
portable device, e.g. cell tower). Power variable between 0.5-500W ERP. Range of up to 8 km.
Significantly more extensive lists available on the Aaronia homepage. To get the full
“luxury”, get our free PC analysis software directly from there!
All frequency values in MHz.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
19.0 Warranty
The AARONIA warranty
Guaranteed upgrades to “bigger” models
You can exchange your measurement device against a higher-grade model of
the same series at any time by simply paying the price difference.
For example, if you have purchased a SPECTRAN HF-6060 V4 and notice that
you need a higher sensitivity after some time, you could replace it with the
SPECTRAN HF-60100 V4 by just paying the difference to this model.
However, for taking advantage of this service, you need to have purchased the
unit directly from Aaronia Germany!
Guaranteed upgrades to newly developed models
As soon as we present new products, you can replace your model with a new
Aaronia measurement instrument of your choice at any time.
This has been realized for the first time in the year 2000, when we introduced
the new Multidetektor II series. Customers who sent back their Multidetektor 1
only had to pay half the price for the new Multidetektor II series device. The
used, returned units have subsequently been disposed of in an environmentally
friendly fashion by Aaronia.
However, for taking advantage of this service, you need to have purchased the
unit directly from Aaronia Germany!
10 year warranty on all models
We offer 10 years warranty on our measurement equipment. We immediately
and unbureaucratically replace or repair defective units.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
20.0 Measurement recommendations
20.1 Measurement of satellite TV
You can directly connect SPECTRAN to your LNB’s output (or alternatively, to
the attached satellite cable or receiver) in order to perform measurements.
However, please note that the receiver supplies a 13/18V DC voltage to the
LNB, which will consequently also be fed into SPECTRAN’s input. While SPECTRAN can accept DC voltages of up to 50V, it is always possible for the DC voltage to vary significantly and intermittently exceed acceptable levels, leading to
the destruction of SPECTRAN’s input!
We thus strongly recommend you use our optional
DC blocker which can simply be inserted before
SPECTRAN’s input and effectively eliminates any
DC voltages. It does not at all influence your measurement.
To eliminate the still existent risk of excess input
Our DC blocker provides
levels (particularly when utilizing high-gain satellite
protection from potentially
dishes), you should additionally add our optional
damaging DC voltages for
20dB attenuator by simply attaching it to the DC
SPECTRAN’s input.
20.2 Measuring power lines, ISDN, DSL, VDSL etc.
You cannot directly perform measurements on power or
telecommunication lines like DSL, VDSL etc. as this
might either destroy SPECTRAN’s input due to excess
voltage, or distort the signals being measured.
In such a case, you would need to utilize our optional
Active differential probe.
Using this probe, you can conduct measurements safely, even directly on 115/230V AC lines. As an additional
benefit, your measurement will hardly, if at all, interfere
with the signals running through the wire due to the galvanic isolation in the probe.
Measurement of a DSL line
utilizing our Active differential
20.3 Measurements with direct cable connections
Please be careful not to destroy SPECTRAN’s input circuitry when conducting
measurements with direct cable connections to other equipment (especially in
the case of function or RF generators) as such equipment might generate excessively high voltages or power. Even a very short overload can irreversibly
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
20.0 Measurement recommendations
destroy SPECTRAN’s extremely sensitive input.
To prevent damage due to excess input levels, be
sure to always utilize our optional 20dB attenuator
in such applications.
Furthermore, always remember to turn off
SPECTRAN’s internal preamplifier! This will enable you
Our 20dB Attenuator preto apply input levels of up to +10dBm (HF-6060 and
vents damage of the SPECHF-6080 models) or even up to +20dBm (HF-60100)
TREN input from to high
without having to worry about overload. In addition, all
V4 series models can generally accept DC voltages of
up to 50V.
20.4 “Listening” to the radio
Using SPECTRAN V4, you can check the transmissions of local (analog) radio
or TV broadcasters. Though of course, you will need a suitable antenna and a
signal of usable strength. Under favorable conditions, our OmniLOG antenna
might already be more than sufficient.
To listen to a broadcast transmission, proceed as follows: Set the Center frequency of the broadcast station. Switch SPECTRAN to Audio mode and choose
“FM“ demodulation mode. A filter bandwidth (RBW) setting of at least 100kHz
should be chosen in order to achieve optimum results.
Sweep time, Span etc. have no meaning in this mode.
20.5 Noise floor calibration
You should renew the noise floor calibration of your
SPECTRAN from time to time. For this, you will need to
attach our optional calibration resistor to SPECTRAN’s
input. Next, choose the “CalRun“ option in the “Setup“
Our Calibration resistor for
performing noise floor calibration for the SPECTRAN.
ATTENTION: Please be sure not to attach USB or
external DC power cables to your SPECTRAN during
this procedure, as it must be performed in a completely
“RF free“ environment. This is to insure correct noise
floor calibration of the device.
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
21.0 Developer-Net, User Forum and more!
Please visit our support website:
This site offers:
- Free Firmware updates
- Free PC Analyzer-Software (MAC OS, Linux and Windows)
- P-CODE programing samples and SPECTRAN TUNING
- User Forum incl. FAQ
- Latest news on new Aaronia products
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com
Frequencychart HyperLOG and BicoLOG Antennas and Probes
Frequencychart SPECTRAN Spectrum Analyzer
22.0 Antenna and Analyzer frequency chart
HW V4 / FW BETA42 / © 2005-2013 Aaronia AG, DE-54597 Euscheid, www.aaronia.com