Giving The Rigol DS1052E ‘scope A Spectrum Analyzer

Like a lot of hardware tinkerers, [dexter2048] has a Rigol DS1052E oscilloscope sitting on his bench. One day when trying to coax some information out of the FFT setting, [dexter] threw his hands up in frustration and decided to write a file viewer with FFT spectrum analysis. The resulting viewer gives this very capable and inexpensive oscilloscope a spectrum analyzer.

[dexter2048]’s app is able to capture signals from 0 Hz to 500 MHz and demonstrated this fact by sticking a piece of wire into one of the Rigol’s inputs. The resulting waveform is then sent to a computer where [dexter] got a nice picture of the radio spectrum between 82MHz and 114MHz. In his graph, you can clearly see the FM radio stations that can be picked up in [dexter]’s lab.

This small modification to the Rigol DS1052E oscilloscope it the latest in a long line of hacks that give this wonderful, inexpensive scope double the bandwidth, data collection via Python, and even a homebrew version of Pong. Anything that provides new functionality for old gear is great news to us, and we look forward to many, many more 1052E hacks in the future.

Tip ‘o the hat to [Murlidhar] for sending this in.

16 thoughts on “Giving The Rigol DS1052E ‘scope A Spectrum Analyzer

  1. Might want to read more carefully. Dexter’s post talks about *sampling* at 500 MHz. That’s a 250 MHz Nyquist. But hey, it’s only a factor of 2 error.

    As for the fft function on the Rigol, I haven’t quite figured out what it’s doing. My guess is that it’s windowing based on the sweep rate and averaging. Whatever it’s doing, it’s hard to see how it’s of much use.

  2. Nice plot of the FM band, but I take it that this is a snapshot not realtime? Is the biggest spike your home “pirate” radio station? It is with me.
    I made a spectrum analyzer out of a car radio and a sweep ckt and o’scope. The sweep freq could be varied and in realtime would show details like powerline noise visibly separate from carrier signals. The tuner could sweep above FM and show the brief aviation traffic.

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