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FAQ

RF Explorer Application Data folder

RF Explorer for Windows application uses a local folder in your computer to store important runtime information and files.

You may be required to look into this folder for certain actions, such as loading the latest available firmware, or location the <report log> files.

Different versions of Windows may locate this folder in different places, but it is easy to find it just typing the next path into Windows File Explorer or a Command Line:

%appdata%\rfexplorer

This will expand by the Windows OS into the actual folder location. For instance by entering this in the Windows File Explorer:

will expand into the actual folder when you hit enter:

You can achieve the same result if you open a command line and go with CD into that folder:

How to submit RF Explorer report log file

The RF Explorer for Windows application creates a <report log> session file with detailed information. This information is kept local in your computer and never send anywhere or used by the application for anything other than track all important actions and parameters in case they are required later for diagnosis or support.

In some cases you may need to provide <report log> files email them to RF Explorer Team for support or help.

The first step is locating the <report log> files in your computer. The location is displayed in the first line of the "Report" tab in RF Explorer for Windows.

For instance a typical display will be:

Welcome to RFExplorer Client - report being saved to: 
C:\Users\TestUser\AppData\Roaming\RFExplorer\RFExplorerClient_report_20150108.log
 
Therefore this is the file being used by RF Explorer for Windows to report all activity done that particular day (in this example 2015-01-08). Note the folder path in this example is C:\Users\TestUser\AppData\Roaming\RFExplorer\. In this same folder you can find <report log> files of previous days. If you are requested to send files from multiple days, please add them to a zip file (e.g. using free 7zip tool or equivalent) and submit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

Introducing RF Explorer 6GHz units

Question: What is the new 6G model exactly and what frequency covers?

There are two models available for 6GHz support:

  • RF Explorer 6G: This is a standard main unit, one-port RF Explorer with 4850-6100MHz (4.85-6.1GHz) support, covering the most demanding 5.8GHz with excellent sensitivity. This model accepts any expansion board (such as RFEMWSUB3G or RFEM24G) for extra frequency coverage. Detailed specifications here.
  • RF Explorer WiFi Combo: This is the same as a RF Explorer 6G + RFEM24G, being a two port RF Explorer with 2350-2550MHz + 4850-6100MHz coverage, making it the ideal device for dual band 2.4 + 5GHz WiFi diagnosis and tuning. Detailed specifications here.
  • RF Explorer 6G Combo: This is a RF Explorer 6G + RFEMWSUB3G, being a two port RF Explorer with 15-2700MHz + 4850-6100MHz coverage. This is the most advanced RF Explorer yet. Detailed specifications here.

You can get more details on specifications at www.rf-explorer.com/models

Question: I own a RF Explorer 3G Combo already.

How can I upgrade my RF Explorer 3G Combo into a RF Explorer 6G Combo?

The RF Explorer 3G Combo is a combined model with a RF Explorer WSUB1G (240-960MHz) in the main unit, and a RFEMWSUB3G (15-2700MHz) expansion board plugged in the expansion port.

In order to get a RF Explorer 6G Combo, you should order a RF Explorer 6G (15% discount for a limited time), remove the RFEMWSUB3G from your 3G Combo and plug it in the RF Explorer 6G model to become a RF Explorer 6G Combo. This helps you to save cost by reusing the expensive RFEMWSUB3G in your unit and get the most powerful RF Explorer Combo available.

This will leave you with an extra RF Explorer WSUB1G main unit you can use separately, or sell as a second hand device for a reasonable price and thus make an RF Explorer available to someone else.

Question: I own a RF Explorer already (any model). Can I upgrade it?

If you have a Combo model of any kind, with two SMA connectors, then Yes!. You can unplug the expansion card you have in your current RF Explorer model and plug it in the RF Explorer 6G.

If you have a main unit with no expansion board in place (i.e. only one SMA connector), the 6G will be a second unit. They cannot be upgraded or assembled together in one single unit.

RF Explorer has a modular design, so there are multiple possible combinations. If you have any specific question about the best upgrade path for your current model, contact us at www.rf-explorer.com/contact with a description of the exact model you have and we will help you to select the best possible combination at the lowest cost.

Question: Can I get just a expansion board for 6G upgrade?

There is no 6G expansion board available. Technical reasons, such as power consumption levels, and digital speed requirements are beyond the capabilities of an expansion board. The only option we can offer for 6GHz coverage is in the main board. So there is no way to plug a 6G expansion board into another main unit to expand it to 6GHz, the only way to get 6GHz coverage is in the main unit itself.

We have done a significant effort on cost reduction so can offer you a 15% discount for a limited time ($35 discount for a RF Explorer 6G), so you can upgrade your existing model for the same price a expansion board would cost.

There is no other 6GHz spectrum analyzer in the market at this price tag, not even close. Even USB-like spectrum analyzers for 6GHz, with no display screen, are much higher cost than RF Explorer 6G so no matter how you look at it, offering a full product at this price tag is an opportunity for everybody to work at 6GHz with no huge investment.

Question: What was that pre-order period?

We thank all our customers who joined the pre-ordering period.

We opened a period you could pre-order your unit from mid-December 2014 to January 20th, 2015. In this period, there was a discount of $35 on each unit.

  • RF Explorer 6G: Regular Price $225 - Discount $35 = Price $190 (15% discount)
  • RF Explorer 6G Combo: Regular Price $365 - Discount $35 = Price $330 (9.6% discount)

This discount was available from SeeedStudio - other distributors may offer an equivalent discount, please check the nearest one to you at our worldwide distributor list.

Question: I am new to this 6GHz range.

Any important thing I should know?

This is very high frequency and, despite being used in new generation WiFi and HDTV, you should be aware of some precautions. Being the working frequency this high, minor details become critical when compared to lower frequencies.

One example could be quality cables. A normal RF cable, typically designed for up to 2.4GHz, will have a much higher attenuation at 5.8GHz and, in some cases, it may invalidate the measurement. You should use cables properly designed to work at this frequency range with minimal attenuation and distortion. SeeedStudio and many of our distributors carry on 6GHz capable cables and attenuators (click on image to get additional details)

In addition to that, please make sure the SMA connectors are tightly coupled as lousy RF connections will significantly impact the accuracy and repeatability of a measurement. If you want the best quality connection, you should use a specifically designed SMA torque wrench (see for instance this one from Pasternack) A torque wrench will guarantee the exact torque is applied to the connector everytime.

 

And last but not least, make sure to keep your SMA connectors clean and protected from dust, humidity and scratches. It is suggested to use a SMA port saver on your RF Explorer, tightly secured to keep the original SMA port intact with use.

Question: Is the RF Explorer 6G compatible with RF Explorer for Windows software?

Yes, it is fully supported by RF Explorer for Windows version 1.12.xxxx, please visit the download area.

Question: What does the package exactly includes?

Based on the different models:

  • RF Explorer 6G: Main Unit and rubber duck 5.8GHz antenna.
  • RF Explorer WiFi Combo: Main Unit, black EVA case, and 2 antennas including Nagoya NA.773 telescopic, Whip 2.4GHz and rubber duck 5.8GHz.
  • RF Explorer 6G Combo: Main Unit, black EVA case, and 3 antennas including Nagoya NA.773 telescopic, Whip 2.4GHz and rubber duck 5.8GHz.

Question: Does RF Explorer 6G work with RF Explorer Signal Generator RFE6GEN?

Absolutely, you can use both together, including Signal Tracking SNA up to 6GHz. This is working  since day 1 you get your RF Explorer 6G.

Question: Any additional model for 6GHz coverage?

At some point in Q2 2015 we will offer RF Explorer WiFi Combo as well. This model will cover 2350-2550MHz and 4850-6100MHz, using a RF Explorer 6G + RFEM24G combination. You can get the same capabilities by ordering a RF Explorer 6G and a RFEM24G separately and assembling it yourself.

Question: Do you have any video of the new 6G version?

Yes, please check this video online - we will be adding more over time, please subscribe to our Youtube channel to receive notifications of any news.

(best viewed with HD Full Screen) 

Adjusting Sweep time

RF Explorer handles sweep time refresh and RBW selection automatically, as described in the User Manual.

There are some situations where a manual tuning of the sweep time is required, and can be easily achieved in RF Explorer using the Iterations option in the Attenuator Menu.

There are two typical scenarios where this is required:

  • Detecting fast signals: Many modern transmission protocols use frequency hopping techniques (LTE, Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc) that prove difficult to detect in one single sweep. By selecting Calculator:Max mode, you can easily select how many consecutive sweeps will be accumulated by selecting Iterations value. For instance, an Iterations:002 value means 2 consecutive sweeps will accumulate on screen, effectively duplicating the sweep time. The RF Explorer unit allows for up to 28 consecutive sweeps to be accumulated, being that the equivalent to a sweep 28 times slower than realtime. If 28 sweeps is not enough for certain signals, you can use the Calculator:Max Hold which effectively uses an infinite accumulator, which can be reset anytime in the Spectrum Analyzer screen with the RETURN screen. By using the Max Hold mode you effectively control how long the sweep accumulates, some site surveys have the Max Hold mode accumulating for hours to detect sporadic intrusive signals.
  • Averaging noise: Noise is random by nature and can be easily removed from measurement by averaging sweep samples. Some spectrum analyzers define this as “video average”. By selecting Calculator:Average mode, you can easily average samples from consecutive sweeps so the random nature of noise cancels itself. Selecting a correct Iterations value for the Average mode is a compromise between sweep speed and noise cancellation. In most cases, 4-6 accumulated sweeps is enough and still shows a good refresh rate, but every environment is different so start with Iterations:005 and increase it if noise is still visible.

Due to internal memory constrains, the RF Explorer device is limited to 28 internal accumulative iterations max. With a standard sweep time of 100-200ms, 28 iterations mean tuning capabilities for up to 2.8-6 seconds accumulated sweep time.

However, this limitation is not such when connected to a PC: the RF Explorer for Windows software allows for 10 million iterations to be used, with the advantage of saving the realtime capture on file disk and allowing post-processing using different Iteration values in order to easily isolate the signal of interest.