How-to

How to: Installing USB drivers

RF Explorer handheld devices, including Spectrum Analyzers and Signal Generators can be connected to a computer using Windows, MacOS or Linux. The only requirement is to previously install USB drivers from Silicon Labs CP210x.

Below drivers are direct downloads from Silicon Labs website, you can also visit the full page on this link.

Microsoft Windows

For troubleshooting, visit this article.

Apple MacOS

For additional details and instructions, please visit this article.

For troubleshooting, visit this article.

Linux

Note most recent Kernel distros already include Silabs CP210x drivers. Use below drivers only if actually required.

How To: Create Linux custom Raspberry Pi setup for RF Explorer IoT

RPI 5b

We recommend using our ready-to-go Raspbian images for your Raspberry Pi (supporting models 1, 2 and 3). We did all the hard work to have them correctly configured for RF Explorer IoT.

If you prefer or need to implement a customized OS image for Raspberry Pi, please follow below indications:

  • For Raspberry Pi models with embedded Wifi or Bluetooth (such as model 3), it is strongly recommended to disable both WiFi and Bluetooth. Otherwise they may create significant RF noise and interference with sensitive RF circuit inside the RF Explorer IoT module. Search for official documentation or see this link.
  • Raspberry Pi native UART requires some modifications to be usable by RF Explorer IoT module:
    • First, make UART available for external use. See this link.
    • Second, Increase UART clock to enable 500Kbps: modify /boot/config.txt to include a init_uart_clock=8000000 (see link)
  • If you are using the Raspberry Pi as headless device (no digital Video or Sound output) then is recommended to switch off HDMI and Sound ports. See this link and this link.
  • Install mono if you plan to use .NET libraries and examples. We recommend mono 4.0.5, this is a tested version. Depending on the distro and Raspberry version you use, you may need to build mono in the Raspberry from git sources, which takes several hours. See mono-project.com for more details.
  • Install python 3.5.x if you plan to use Python libraries and examples. See link

How to: FM modulation with RF Explorer Signal Generator

RF Explorer Signal Generator RFE6GEN does not directly create FM or AM modulation signals, but can be easily used to produce low rate modulation including SINAD signals using Frequency Sweep.

For a FM modulation of 1KHz tone typically used for SINAD, proceed as follows:

  • Select the Start Frequency the value you need (e.g. 2.000000GHz)
  • Select the Stop Frequency the FM deviation you need. For instance for a 5KHz deviation, set exactly 5KHz above (e.g. 2.000005Ghz)
  • Select the Frequency Step same value as FM deviation (e.g. 5KHz)
  • Select the Step Delay. For a 1KHz tone, you need 1ms delay, therefore define Step Delay:00.001
  • Select RF power you need and start transmission using Frequency Sweep operational mode.

With this technique the highest rate tone generated is 1KHz (which correspond to 1ms step delay). With a 2ms step delay, frequency tone is 500Hz, etc.