New Tektronix Tool Helps Locate Interference

Tracking down interference has never been easy, but as communication links trade robustness for data rate, even a short burst of interference can create big problems. Last week Tektronix announced its new Specmon spectrum analyzer. It can discover and capture events as short as 3.7 microseconds with 100 percent probability of intercept. Such an event could be generated by frequency hopping wideband signals.

“The growing use of frequency hopping technologies has made hunting down the resulting transient signals next to impossible in the field with conventional spectrum monitoring receivers and equipment,” said Jim McGillivary, general manager of Tektronix’s spectrum analyzer product line. “With Specmon, we are giving spectrum managers the tool they need to keep interference issues under control with features like broader bandwidth, multiple integrated functions in a single box, and open data format compatibility to industry standards."

The Specmon is available with up to 110 MHz real-time bandwidth. It includes applications for mapping, interferer locator, signal demodulation and automated field measurements. It’s also capable of more conventional measurements such as field strength, channel power, ACPR, and spur searches. Data can be exported into Google Earth, MapInfo or MATLAB for additional analysis.

Specmon prices will start at $51,600. See for additional information. 

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.