Review: Rohde & Schwarz FPH spectrum analyser

December 21, 2015 // By Kenneth Wyatt, EDN
Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) recently released its new affordable handheld spectrum analyser, the model FPH “Spectrum Rider”. The basic unit tunes from 5 kHz to 2 GHz, but may be user-upgraded to a top end of 3 or 4 GHz as budgets or analysis needs change. The review unit tuned from 5 kHz to 4 GHz.


While termed "handheld", the unit is more than a handful (Figure 1). While it matches the form factor of many of its competitors, such as Keysight and Anritsu, it still weighs in at a hefty 5.5 pounds. The hand strap on the side does help steady it using a single hand, but I’d not want to carry it one-handed for very long. R&S does provide an optional neck strap and carry case that will support it at a usable angle. The side handle is also convenient for carrying. There’s also a handy rear foldout support that’s a bit finicky to unsnap as there’s little to grasp, but once deployed, props up the unit safely. Underneath the support leg, you’ll find the replaceable lithum-ion battery and micro SD card slot for storing data and screen shots. The plastic enclosure is covered with a rubberised protective boot. There are no vents or fans and all ports are covered with rubberised plugs, so the instrument is rated to MIL-PRF-28800F class 2 and against dust and drip water (rain, typically) to the IP51 spec. Boot-up time is about 17 seconds. For more information on specifications, click on the link in the References section.

The colour touch screen is impressively clear and sharp and is easily readable in direct sunlight. It includes gesture control, so the frequency, span, reference level and markers may all be controlled by finger control (either scrolling or two-finger pinching, etc.).

Figure 1 – The Rohde & Schwarz model FPH handheld spectrum analyser with collapsible stand deployed.