Spectrum Analyzer Datasheet

H500 SA2500 Spectrum Analyzer Datasheet
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The H500 and SA2500 will quickly scan the RF environment, classify the known signals, and help you locate the unknown signals with their field-proven signal hunting tools. Featuring real-time DPX™ Live RF spectrum display technology, the H500 and SA2500 offer practical solutions for discovering transient events that slip past conventional spectrum analyzers. The H500 and SA2500 are a great choice for general-purpose spectrum measurements and ideal signal-hunting tools.

Key features
  • Scan
    • Revolutionary DPX™ Live RF spectrum display technology with DPX Spectrum Mask provides intuitive understanding of live RF signals using colors based on frequency of occurrence, processing up to 10,000 spectrums/sec with a 100% Probability of Intercept (POI) to capture pulsed signals, radar emissions, hopping signals, and any other intermittent signals with a minimum duration as brief as 125 μs
    • Benchtop spectrum analyzer performance in a ruggedized handheld battery-operated field unit offers better than 70 dB spurious free dynamic range (SFDR), guaranteed ≤ -95 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset phase noise specifications from 10 kHz to 6.2 GHz
    • Excellent sensitivity for detecting very low-level signals with -153 dBm DANL at 10 Hz RBW (equivalent to -163 dBm/Hz) such as RF bugs and unauthorized transmitters
    • LAN interface for remote control and unattended monitoring stations for spectrum awareness
  • Classify
    • Built-in classification capability for WLAN, GSM, W-CDMA, CDMA, ATSC signals makes quick and simple identification of legitimate signals
    • Flexibility to edit, upgrade, and share signal databases and signal classification database using CSV file formats
    • Ability to export I/Q data into CSV, MATLAB®, and IQT format for additional post-analysis
  • Locate
    • Rapid targeting of signals with field-proven signal hunting, mapping, and documentation tools
    • Hunt outdoor signals with built-in GPS receiver by plotting measurements directly into GPS geo-referenced maps such as Pitney Bowes Mapinfo, Google™ Earth, Microsoft® MapPoint®, Bitmap, and many others
    • Improved spectrum awareness with high-accuracy measurement synchronization and time stamping
    • Hunt in-building signals with a single-touch Tap-and-Walk-and-Tap interface
    • Backlit display, viewable in direct sunlight, and extended battery performance with hot-swappable dual batteries
    • Rugged design per MIL-PRF-28800F
  • Spectrum management
  • Spectrum monitoring and surveillance
  • Interference detection and troubleshooting
  • Signal hunting
  • Signal identification
  • Signal intelligence (SIGINT)
  • Homeland Security

Interference troubleshooting has never been so easy

Evolving digital RF communication standards pose an unprecedented challenge to the surveillance and security community. Identification of unknown signals and determining their precise location has traditionally been accomplished using a combination of lab-grade spectrum analyzers, handheld spectrum analyzers, oscilloscopes, and offline analysis capabilities using PCs. When lab equipment is used in the field, several limitations appear. Such instruments are not meant for field use, can be easily damaged, are not portable, and require AC power. Signal classification using these systems often requires a lot of prior knowledge about these signals, particularly when they are digital. With such systems the unknown signals can be difficult or impossible to identify.

With field-ready, rugged hardware featuring DPX Live technology, outstanding displayed average noise level (DANL), spurious free dynamic range (SFDR), phase noise, and easy LAN networking capability in a handheld unit, the H500 and SA2500 are a great choice for general-purpose spectrum measurements and ideal signal-hunting tools.


By scanning the RF spectrum users can spot which signal emitters are in the area. Signals with significant power are usually candidates for further analysis, as are signals that are present infrequently. By color-coding events based on the rate of occurrence, the DPX™ Live RF spectrum display provides unparalleled insight into the behavior of signals. Performing 10,000 spectrum updates per second, transients as brief as 125 μs can be “frozen” in the frequency domain. This offers tremendous improvement over swept analysis techniques.


DPX Spectrum Mask captures and logs spectrum violations with options of warning alarm, pausing test, export screen, and result save

Signals that are present in the spectrum today but were not there yesterday are of particular interest. Reference signals can be stored and deviations from this reference can be quickly identified using the trace math feature. The H500 and SA2500 make analysis easier by quickly logging signals that are weak, bursting, hopping, time multiplexed, or intentionally random. It takes advantage of the FFT-based spectrum analysis capability to allow users to see the true shape of the signal, even when it is bursting. Masks can be automatically created from traces captured earlier. You can compare this mask to the current trace and if a mask violation occurs, the trace is logged. Finally, when the spectrogram is paused, you can scroll through the spectrogram’s time axis and view the results.


Once signals of interest are found, it becomes necessary to identify and classify each of them. Are they authorized, legal signals, or are they illegitimate, malicious signals? Digital signal classification can be a particularly difficult part of the signal hunter’s job requiring extensive knowledge of signal characteristics. The signal may be weak, subject to fading or intermittent conditions. In addition antenna position may be suboptimal. All of this makes classification of signals more challenging when using traditional signal identification tools.

The H500 and SA2500 with Option EP2 offer expert systems guidance to aid the user in classifying signals. It provides graphical tools that allow users to quickly create a spectral region of interest, enabling users to identify and sort signals efficiently. The spectral profile mask, when overlaid on top of a trace, provides signal shape guidance while frequency, bandwidth, channel number, and location are displayed allowing for quick checks.


Color-coded signal classification database can be saved, recalled, imported, exported, and shared to keep track of spectrum activities at different locations


Once the signal has been identified as a threat, the H500 and SA2500 provide various field-proven signal hunting tools to locate the offending signals. For the easier-to-find signals, the signal strength meter produces tones that vary with pitch as a function of the strength of this signal. This allows the operator to look for signals while watching their surroundings, not the screen.


Use Direction Finding display - use compatible antennas and field strength measurements to find the likely directions to signals of interest. Results can be sent to the Mapping application for further geolocation analysis.

For signals that are harder to find, such as signals influenced by multipath, fading, low signal strength, etc, the H500 and SA2500 provide several signal mapping tools to facilitate hunting for these signals. Analyzing mapped signals is a quick way to find signals that can be difficult to find otherwise. The mapping capability is also a way to document what you have found. Traces can be recorded on a map either manually or automatically. Built-in GPS can automatically record signal position and time data as the operator moves. For indoor use, a unique tap-and-walk interface provides signal mapping capability. Color-coded icons automatically record the relevant measurements based on preset thresholds for acceptability.

Most importantly, new capabilities enable the H500 and SA2500 to use a 'smart' antenna with electronic compass bearing output to automatically add the antenna direction to measurement results. This includes compatibility with the Poynting DF-A0047 Direction Finding antenna through a USB connection.


Locate interference with integrated mapping solution and triangulate multiple measurements with resulting areas of uncertainty

The integrated iMap software in the SA2500 and H500 provides triangulation capability from 2 or more measurements. This includes automatically drawing a circle on all intersections from 2 or more measurements that are within a specified radius. Additionally, an azimuth measurement is included for the signal of interest. This can help easily locate interfering signals in the field.

Performance you can count on

Depend on Tektronix to provide you with performance you can count on. In addition to industry-leading service and support, this product comes backed by a one-year warranty as standard.


All specifications apply to all models unless noted otherwise.

Model overview
Model Real-time bandwidth Frequency range Minimum event duration for 100% POI SFDR (typical)
SA2500 20 MHz 10 kHz - 6.2 GHz 125 μs 1 - 500 μs
H500 20 MHz 10 kHz - 6.2 GHz 125 μs

1 With option EP1 installed

General performance characteristics
RF input
Operating frequency range
10 kHz - 6.2 GHz
Maximum operating input level
+20 dBm peak envelope power

This is the maximum input level at which the instrument will meet its performance specifications. For a signal without any amplitude variation, peak envelope power = rms.

Maximum Input Power without Damage
50 Wrms below 3.2 GHz

15 Wrms between 3.2 GHz and 6.2 GHz

IF output
Output impedence
50 Ω
IF center frequency
140 MHz
IF 3 dB bandwidth
24 MHz
IF Output Level (nominal performance at 0 dBm input)
Input frequency IF output level
1 GHz -12 dBm
1.6 GHz -12 dBm
3.6 GHz -10 dBm
4.35 GHz -11 dBm
5 GHz -16 dBm
5.75 GHz -22 dBm
Internal timebase
Frequency error (factory calibration corrected)
±0.5 PPM from 0 °C to 50 °C

±1.0 PPM aging/year

Twenty-minute warm-up period required to meet accuracy specification

Frequency error (GPS corrected)
±0.01 ppm (typical)
Frequency error (after GPS lock loss)
±0.03 ppm, 10 minute interval after lock loss (unit operated for >20 minutes before lock loss and
External reference input
1500 Ω
Frequencey range
1 MHz up to 20 MHz ± 1 PPM, in 1 MHz steps
Input level range
-15 dBm to +15 dBm, 1 MHz to 15 MHz

-10 dBm to +15 dBm, 16 MHz to 20 MHz

dBm levels assume 50 ohm source

Integrated GPS receiver
Position Accuracy (typical)
Horizontal: R Altitude: H
Position Update Rate (nominal)
1 update/sec (Latitude/Longitude/Altitude)
Spectrum analyzer characteristics
10 kHz to 6.2 GHz (preamp off)

10 MHz to 6.2 GHz (preamp on)

Center frequency setting resolution
1 Hz
Swept spans (wide scanning)
Span Range
20 MHz to 6.2 GHz
Spectrums per second
61 (typical)
Scan Speed
1240 MHz per second (typical)
Resolution Bandwidth (RBW)
RBW Range
10 Hz to 3 MHz (Manual)

10 Hz to 1 MHz (Auto)

RBW setting resolution
1 Hz
Spectral purity
Displayed average noise level, preamp On
-153 dBm, 10 MHz to 2 GHz, 10 Hz RBW

-152 dBm, 2 GHz to 4 GHz, 10 Hz RBW

-151 dBm, 4 to 5 GHz, 10 Hz RBW

-145 dBm, 5 to 6.2 GHz, 10 Hz RBW

Phase noise (entire operating frequency range)
≤ -95 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset

≤ -95 dBc/Hz at 20 kHz offset

≤ -95 dBc/Hz at 30 kHz offset

≤ -97 dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset

≤ -110 dBc/Hz at 1 MHz offset

Residual spurious, preamp Off
≤ -90 dBm, 0 dBm attenuator setting

Exception Frequencies:

9 MHz to 19 MHz center frequency

3464 MHz center frequency

4592 MHz center frequency

5374 MHz to 5378 MHz center frequency

6160 MHz center frequency

Residual spurious, preamp On
≤ -105 dBm, 0 dBm attenuator setting

Exception Frequencies:

9 MHz to 19 MHz center frequency

5374 MHz to 5378 MHz center frequency

Third order IMD
≤ -70 dBc for two tones at or below the reference level, preamp Off, all gain settings auto-coupled
Second harmonic
≤ -60 dBc for a single tone at or below the reference level, preamp Off, all gain settings auto-coupled
Input-related spurious
≤ -70 dBc except for Fin= 2.282 GHz ± 20 MHz

The dBc reference for this specification is the total power of all signals at the input of the instrument regardless of the current span

Input-related spurious, exception frequencies, typical
≤ -55 dBc at Fin= 2.282 GHz ± 20 MHz

The dBc reference for this specification is the total power of all signals at the input of the instrument regardless of the current span

Third order intercept
≥ +7 dBm, 0 dB input attenuation, preamp Off
Spectral display amplitude
Reference level range
+20 dBm to -160 dBm
Marker power accuracy
±1.75 dB, -50 dBm ≤ input ≤ +20 dBm, preamp off

±3.0 dB, -80 dBm ≤ input

±3.75 dB, -120 dBm ≤ input

Use peak detector for CW-like signals; use average detector for wideband (signal >> RBW)

Accuracy guaranteed for CW signals and span set to 20 MHz or less

Display modes
Display modes
Normal – Updates display with each new result

Max Hold – Updates displayed point only if new point > old

Min Hold – Updates displayed point only if new point

Max/Min Hold – Displays a vertical bar between Max Hold and Min Hold

Average – Displays average of N (specified by user) acquisitions

Average is calculated as follows:

Last N values are saved in memory; when a new result is available, the earliest result of the N stored values is discarded, the new result is added to the stored values, and a new average is calculated from the stored values. If the number of results is less than N, then all of the results are averaged together

Number of averages
1 ≤ N ≤ 200 
General purpose RF measurement characteristics
RF channel power measurement
Bandwidth range
1 kHz - 20 MHz
≤1.2 dB; +20 dBm to -60 dBm; 1 MHz to 3.2 GHz, preamp off, Ref Level > -35 dBm

≤2.4 dB; -40 dBmto -75 dBm; 10MHz to 3.2 GHz, preamp on, Ref Level ≤ -35 dBm

≤1.8 dB; +20 dBm to -50 dBm; 3.2 GHz to 6.2 GHz, preamp off, Ref Level > -35 dBm

≤3 dB; -40 dBm to -75 dBm; Resolution BW

Specifications apply for default control settings (Auto RBW, Auto Level)

Occupied bandwidth measurement
Percent Power Inclusion Range
RF field strength
Channel bandwidth range
Same as RF channel power
Same as RF channel power
Scan, classify, and locate characteristics
DPX™ Live RF spectrum display
Spectrum processing rate, nominal
10,000 spectrums per second, span independent (H500 standard and SA2500 with Option EP1)

2,500 spectrums per second (SA2500 standard)

Minimum signal duration for 100% probability of intercept (POI), typical
125 μs (H500 standard and SA2500 with Option EP1)

500 μs (SA2500 standard)

Span Range
5 kHz to 20 MHz
Spectrogram (rising raster)
Spectrum processing rate, nominal
20 spectrums per second
Minimum signal duration for time measurement
20 milliseconds (typical)
Span range
5 kHz to 20 MHz
Single or continuous, free run or triggered
Event source
IF level, external input, or internal timebase
Rising edge, falling edge, level above threshold, level below threshold
0 to 60 s with 1 μs resolution
Settable from 0-100%
IF level trigger
Threshold range
-160 dBm to +20 dBm
Bandwidth range
5 kHz to 20 MHz
External trigger
Maximum input level without damage
±5 Vpeak continuous
Minimum high threshold
2.0 V
Maximum low threshold
0.8 V
Minimum High/Low time
10 ns
10 kΩ
Internal timebase trigger
Single trigger on time, repeat trigger at interval, or both
1 μs
Measurement result time stamps
Resolution (nominal)
1 ms before GPS lock obtained; 1 ns after GPS lock obtained.
Accuracy - relative (typical)
±500 ns time-stamp error between multiple measurement results. Internal GPS reference lock required.
Accuracy - GPS reference (typical)
±1 μs, all measurements except DPX spectrum; ±1 ms DPX spectrum.

Time-stamp error relative to GPS system absolute time reference. Internal GPS reference lock required, identical acquisition bandwidth setting required.

IQ acquisition time

(available in amplitude vs. time measurement)

Span Sample rate Maximum acquisition length
20 MHz 28 msps 36 ms
10 MHz 14 msps 73 ms
5 MHz 7 msps 146 ms
2 MHz 2.8 msps 365 ms
1 MHz 1.4 msps 731 ms
500 kHz 700 ksps 1.4 sec
200 kHz 280 ksps 3.6 sec
100 kHz 140 ksps 7.3 sec
50 kHz 72.9 ksps 14 sec
20 kHz 27.3 ksps 37 sec
10 kHz 13.7 ksps 74 sec
5 kHz 6.8 ksps 149 sec
AM demodulation
Measurement frequency
As selected
Minimum input signal level, typical
-100 dBm
Audio measurement bandwidth
8 kHz
FM demodulation
Measurement frequency
As selected
Minimum input signal level, typical
-100 dBm
Maximum signal deviation
Up to 100 kHz
Audio measurement bandwidth
8 kHz, 15 kHz, 75 kHz, or 200 kHz
Maximum audio output bandwidth
15 kHz
Signal strength indicator
Input signal level
-120 dBm, minimum
Measurement frequency
As selected
Measurement bandwidth
Up to 20 MHz, dependant upon span and RBW setting
Tone type
Variable beep rate or variable frequency
Update rate, typical
10 per second
Native map type
Graticule (.gsf)
Map types directly supported
Pitney Bowes MapInfo (*.mif), Bitmap (*.bmp), MPS (collection of GSF maps derived from Open Street Map mapping tiles) 1
Other map types accepted using PC application iMap converter
Google™ earth

Microsoft® MapPoint®

USGS DLG (*.opt)

ESRI ArcInfo Shape (*.shp)

Other raster formats (*.gif, *.jpg, *.png, *.tif)

1 Maps derived from Open Street Map tiles are © OpenStreetMap contributors. For more information see http://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright.

Battery life
5 hours of continuous Spectrum mode (with optional second battery). Actual life can be higher depending on usage.
Physical characteristics
0 °C to +50 °C specified performance, -10 °C to +50 °C, typical
-40 °C to +60 °C
With batteries installed
While charging: 0 °C to +45 °C

Storage (nonoperating): -20 °C to +60 °C

Operating and nonoperating
5% to 95% relative humidity (RH) at up to +30 °C, noncondensing

5% to 45% RH above +30 °C up to +50 °C, noncondensing

Up to 4,600 meters (15,092 feet)
Up to 12,192 meters (40,000 feet)
25.5 cm. (10.0 in.)
33 cm. (13 in.)
12.5 cm.
5.56 kg (12.27 lb.)
Color display
10.4 in. (diagonal), transflective LCD, color
640×480 (VGA)
EMC environment and safety
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) compliance
EN61326-1:2006 and EN61326-2:2006 Product Family Standard for Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use – EMC Requirements.
European Union
CISPR11, group 1, class a

EN 61000-3-2 

EN 61000-3-3 

IEC 61000-4-2 

IEC 61000-4-3 

IEC 61000-4-4 

IEC 61000-4-5 

IEC 61000-4-6 

IEC 61000-4-11 

Australia/New Zealand
EMC compliance in accordance with the ACMA
FCC, CFR Title 47, Part 15, Subpart B, Class A.
Safety compliance

Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use

CSA C22.2 No. 61010.1:2004 

Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use

EN 610101:2001 

Safety Compliance Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use


Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use

ISA 82.02.01 

Electrical Equipment for Measurement, Control, and Laboratory Use

Warranty and calibration
1 year on parts and labor
Recommended instrument calibration interval
2 years
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