Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 Spectrum Analyzer Review and Experiments

In this episode Shahriar extensively reviews the Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 Spectrum Analyzer. A wide variety of experiments are performed using the Rigol spectrum analyzer to serve both as a tutorial to use the instrument and to demonstrate its capabilities. Some measurement results are also performed using other calibrated instruments to verify the accuracy of the spectrum analyzer. The Rigol DSA1030A-TG3 can be purchased directly from Rigol Inc.



The following experiments are performed:

1) Signal amplitude, frequency and phase-noise measurements.
2) Low amplitude signal measurements (< -130dBm).
3) Low frequency measurement capabilities (< 9kHz).
4) PRBS length calculations and characterization.
5) Wireless 2.5GHz FM signal transmission and demodulation.
6) Attenuator and band-pass filter response measurements.
7) Amplifier bandwidth and output compression measurements.
8) Calibration and measurements of VSWR using the tracking generator.
9) Characterization of the tracking generator signal quality. 



  1. Christopher Bietz says:

    Thanks a lot for the interesting video!
    I watched it gladly through to the end and loved the depth of detail.

  2. Sal Cornacchia says:

    Outstanding video as always, Shahriar. Thanks very much.
    Sal C. Cornacchia
    Electronic RF Engineer (RET.)
    Toronto Canada

  3. Walter Robert Hopf says:

    Hello Shahriar,
    Your video contribution to the Rigol DSA1030A-TG3, I found better and more informative than the advertising of 100 commercial vendors. You actually feel like you know the strengths and weaknesses of the product. This often leads to a better buying decision. I thank you!

    Further, it would be delighted if you could make some videos for simulation software “LTSpice”. It would be interesting if you could show whether the simulation and reality coincide. I find it fascinating that you have there intergriert a Sektrumanalyse.

    It is always inspiring to see your videos a pleasure.

    Your fan and friend

    Walter Hopf

  4. Russ Ramirez says:

    What brand are those power leads you used to feed DC to the OCXO, right near the 11:00 mark? I haven’t found anything like them from Pomona or EZ-Grab. Thanks, very helpful videos…


  5. Bruce says:

    Man, he must have $50k worth of equipment!

    regarding this SA, for $6k, I feel there are better choices, namely LP Tech LP-3000 for the same price (including TG).

  6. Daniel says:

    Great video! Is it possible to use the DSA1030A to measure the performance of a Bluetooth antenna? I mean the bandwidth is enough for 2.4 GHz but do I need to consider harmonics above the 3GHz bandwidth of this spectrum analyzer?

    • Shahriar says:

      You will not be able to see any frequency content above 3GHz using this spectrum analyzer alone. However, if you use an external mixer, you can down-convert the frequencies of interest down to below 3GHz.

  7. Ed says:

    Very nice exposition. Thank you.

    If possible, might you explain and demostrat how the power sweep function on the tracking generator might be useful? I am guessing that it has some advantage over just using the normalize function.

    • Shahriar says:

      The power sweet can be used to compensate for the losses of your cables, connectors, etc. By applying a power sweep as a function of frequency you can ensure that your DUT receives constant power across all frequencies.

  8. Outstanding video as always, Shahriar. Thanks very much.

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