Essential tools for a microwave field engineer

312018 January

When it comes to tools necessary for our daily tasks, a lot depends on the level of precision we aim to achieve, and the environment in which the job is performed. The same applies to one of the must-have tools of a professional microwave field engineer – a spectrum analyzer. Link installation and troubleshooting must be efficient and precise even when performed in harsh conditions. The question is – what are the optimal set of parameters and features of such tool.

Compact and lightweight

If it’s required to climb a 100-meter (300 feet) tower, hands must be free to hold onto rails and every kilogram/pound of extra weight counts. SAF’s handheld spectrum analyzer with its aluminum body, palm-size dimensions and weight of around 0.5kg/1.1lbs can be easily placed in a small leather bag and attached to the belt of climber. This allows freedom of movement and is not even close to the weight and dimensions of similar devices on the market.

Easy to use

While working in the field, every tool used should be as easy to operate as possible. Spectrum analyzers are usually perceived as complicated pieces of equipment, which is typically true – lab grade analyzers have dozens of buttons, sub menus, and myriad configuration options. These feature packed instruments are essential for device design and characterization. The trade-offs come in the forms of complexity and weight. That’s why SAF created a simple and robust handheld device that packs only the most essential features necessary for field use:

  • instant-on functionality
  • high sensitivity and several trace functions
  • saving and recording of spectrum scans,
  • long battery life.
  • simple and intuitive graphic user interface with a field optimized touchscreen.


Ease of use doesn’t mean the tool should lack in functionality. Spectrum Compact has multiple purposes – it serves as an antenna alignment tool, power meter and spectrum analyzer. It is designed for use throughout the full lifecycle of a radio link – starting with site survey, link deployment, maintenance, and troubleshooting. This gives the field engineer the flexibility to perform multiple tasks while having to maintain and carry fewer devices.

Instant ON and quick setup

How much time should be spent on equipment set-up? The less the better, right?! It’s always nice to have a device that boots up and is ready for work instantly. Spectrum Compact does exactly that and even more. Pre-settable profiles allow you to set up measurement parameters prior to going into the field. Once onsite, simply select the profile you want to use and the device is ready to do measurements on pre-set frequency, span, trace mode, etc.

Those properties, combined with an affordable price are crucial for our clients when choosing instruments for field use. With all those features right in your pocket, you can be sure to save a lot of time. Which, as we all know, is the scarcest of all resources.

Want to know more about Spectrum Compact? Write me an email to Sorry, no go without enabled JS, pal. :(, or visit our website

In my next post, I’ll go through some of the most essential features of Spectrum Compact. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it, and subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss any future updates.

prev post
next post
Andrejs Bogdanovs

Aivis Danovskis

SAF Tehnika | Spectrum Compact product manager

view all posts