Arduino Powered 2.4 GHz Spectrum Analyzer

[Fred] dropped a note in our tip line to let us know about arduino forum user [bilbo]’s latest project: A 3-in-one spectrum analyzer, oscilloscope, volt-meter combo. The build consists of an Arduino, radio board and Nokia 5110 LCD breakout board.  The (thin) video after the jump shows the rig in action. Though soldered to a full sized perf-board we can see later, smaller, battery powered versions prove useful in rooting out wayward bluetooth signals, or just finding that lost microwave oven. Although [bilbo] uses the same radio board as similar builds  his creation boasts several different display modes, as well as doubling as a volt meter and miniature-oscilloscope. There is no shortage of previous spectrum analyzer builds, but this one is the first one we have seen running on an Arduino.

Thanks for the tip [Fred]! If you feel like wedging some frequency scanning capabilities into your next project don’t forget to check out [bilbo]’s forum posts for source code!

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DsPIC-based Spectrum Analyzer


[Debraj] wrote to us describing a project he recently completed – a  simple, compact spectrum analyzer using a 16-bit dsPIC microcontroller.

The analyzer is fed an analog signal, which is passed through a large resistor followed by an opamp. A DC offset is then applied to the signal, after which it is passed through a software-programmable gain amplifier before being fed into the dsPIC’s analog input. A Fast Fourier Transform calculation is done using code provided by the PIC’s manufacturer once 128 samples have been collected. The results are then displayed on the attached LCD in real-time.

If you get a chance, take a look at the video embedded below for a walkthrough and demonstration of his analyzer. [Debraj] says that the analyzer was built to measure harmonics in his home power lines, but for demonstration purposes, he has used a simple function generator instead.

If you’re interested in seeing some other spectrum analyzers, be sure to check out these items we featured in the past.

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