[time-nuts] OT: HP 8590A

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Sat Feb 20 22:18:40 UTC 2010

And make sure the CRT has life left.  On a lot of older units, either the
faceplate is burned with the graticule and noise floor, or they're so dim
that you have a hard time reading it.  I suspect that replacement CRTs cost
more than the whole used analyzer.

On 2/20/10 11:27 AM, "life speed" <life_speed at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 17:38:50 -0700
> Subject: [time-nuts] OT: HP 8590A
> Since the list members are familiar with lots of test equipment, I'd
> like to ask what the folks here think about the HP 8590A Spectrum
> Analyzer. Is this model ok? Are there any particular failures I should
> be aware of in this 20+ year old equipment?
> I have a chance to buy one locally. The only option is has is GPIB. I
> took a preliminary look at it and it passes the simple test/cal
> procedure from chapter 1 of the Ops manual. This model only goes to
> 1.5GHz, but would still be useful for Amateur use. I do wish it would
> go up to 3GHz, however. I have never owned a spec an, but am somewhat
> familiar with their usage.
> Thanks for the input.
> Joe
> I personally do not like these low-end spectrum analyzers.  They have poor
> dynamic range and phase noise performance.  However, I design microwave
> circuits for a living and can be a test equipment snob.
> If you think it is adequate for your purposes, I would at least connect it to
> a calibrated signal generator and verify amplitude accuracy is within 3 dB. 
> Most old spec ans I have seen are way off, even broken.  Still show a signal
> on the display, but not very helpful.  Also check for spurious across many
> frequencies.
> Clay
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