RF Explorer Touch - User Manual

RF Explorer User manual updated to version 2.6


Operational Modes

This menu enables a specific operational mode from the available ones.

Spectrum Analyzer

Standard configuration to display sweep data Spectrum Analyzer graph.
For more details see:

Spectrum Analyzer screen

The main screen includes standard spectrum analyzer graph with captured data from RF Explorer handheld analyzer or IoT module and the right-side menu with all options to use the application easily.

The data screen is a high speed data representation of Spectrum Analyzer Frequency vs Amplitude.

The X axis represents frequency in MHZ and Y axis display actual received power in dBm, dBuV or Watt (selectable).

Touch Gestures

You can use two finger gestures to zoom and pan frequency or amplitude.

  • Zoom in/out - change Frequency Span: Apply two finger gesture towards the horizontal axis to increase or decrease span.
  • Amplitude pan: Move two fingers up or down to pan amplitude
  • Frequency pan: Move two fingers left or right to pan frequency 

Only supported in Windows platforms with touch gestures capabilities

Navigation and replay sweep control

The navigation bar provides full control to review any past sweep event and also replay sweeps at original captured speed.

This can be used with recently captured data or stored data files.

  • [<<]: Go back multiple sweeps (about 10%)
  • [ < ]: Go back to previous sweep
  • Navigation bar: Point and move to desired sweep. While the scrollbar actuator is being moved, sweep captured date will be updated realtime but spectrum analyzer screen will be updated after releasing the bar.
  • [ > ]: Go forward one sweep
  • [>>]: Go forward multiple sweeps (about 10%)
  • [Play]: Replay captured activity using original captured speed
  • [ || ]: Pause spectrum analyzer activity on screen, but the RF Explorer device continues capturing and storing data
  • [ H ]: Hold - Fully stop spectrum analyzer activity and data capture. This is the only valid state when using data from file

Touch Labels

Some parameters can be easily configured by screen touch or click marked with red areas in picture above.

Press each of these regions to change:

  • Amplitude Top/Bottom - Change with numeric dialog
  • Start/Center/Stop frequency - change with numeric dialog
  • Graph title - Set current preset. Note this is not available for Full Screen mode
  • Amplitude Offset - Change with numeric dialog
  • Amplitude Units - Menu Config -> Display
  • Input Stage - Menu Config -> Device
  • Firmware Version and Device Model - Menu Config -> Device
  • Frequency Offset - Change with numeric dialog
  • Span Frequency - Change with numeric dialog
  • Sweep Resolution - Menu Config -> Device
  • Upgrade Available - Update RF Explorer Touch software and device firmware version to the latest one available online.

WiFi Mode

This special mode in the Spectrum Analyzer screen displays WiFi channels for 2.4Ghz and 5GHz - only available in RF Explorer devices supporting the specific frequency range.

RF Explorer PLUS models

Firmware v3.16 or higher is required

RF Explorer Standard models

Firmware v1.31 or higher is required

WiFi 2.4GHz Band

Display view for channels 1-13 including center channel frequency and channel power.

The higher power channel detected is depicted in a different color.


2.4GHz channels are actually overlapping by definition, but are displayed in this mode as non-overlapping to simplify visualization.

Overlapping channels display can be configured using Radio Standards.

WiFi 5GHz Band

Display view for 28 channels defined for 20MHz width, including center channel frequency and channel power.

On top of 20MHz channels, 40MHz, 80MHz and 160MHz channels are displayed.

  • Red - 20MHz channels
  • Green - 40MHz channels
  • Blue - 80MHz channels
  • Magenta - 160MHz channels

Waterfall Screen

This is a powerful, high performance 2D/3D visualization of historical sweeps, displaying the most recent captured sweep in front, with older sweeps in the background.

It is a very efficient and practical way to display intermittent or time-changing signals that may not be easy to detect any other way.


This screen is only available for Windows computers at the moment.

This view is not supported in WiFi Analyzer mode.


The color map used by the Waterfall screen is defined by the Top and Bottom amplitude signals configured on the spectrum analyzer.

Signal peaks that are close to the top will show red region whereas signals close to the bottom will display blue, with a color gradient in between.

The "heat" of the display color code can be dynamically adjusted by changing the Top and Bottom amplitude settings anytime.


Right click on the waterfall screen anytime to enable a context sensitive menu.

Signal Type

  • Real Time: Show real time captured activity.
  • Max Hold: Show maximum value of all captured samples.


You can choose between 4 different perspectives, including a 2D view that is best suited for accurate signal research.

History Sweeps Time

Determine historical time to be displayed as last 30, 60 or 120 seconds.


Define 3D graphics as transparent when selected, or opaque when unselected.

Visible Floor

Display a gray, opaque grid floor when selected.

Visible Draw Time

Sometimes useful to know the performance of the graphics card representing frames per second (FPS) of the waterfall display.

Save Waterfall Screenshot

Store Waterfall screen to an PNG image file.


Waterfall perspective 2D


Configuration Options


Alphanumeric Keypad

Define preference to use a virtual alphanumeric keyboard, useful in touch capable tablets and laptops.

Numeric Keypad

Define preference to use a virtual numeric keyboard, useful in touch capable tablets and laptops. Note Frequency and Amplitude numeric dialogs are always active.

Fill Trace

Display a filled area in all signal shapes except Realtime signal.


Use soft splines to join data sweep points in order to present a calculated soft curve

Thick Trace

Display trace with extra width

Show Grid

Show grid inside spectrum analyzer graph

Dark Mode

Set a black background skin, closer to desktop instruments and easier to read in certain environments.


Raw data as captured with no post-processing.


Arithmetic media of all the last iterations sampled.

Max Peak

Maximum value of all the last iterations sampled.

Max Hold

Maximum value of all captured samples regardless Iterations value.


Minimum value of all the last iterations sampled.


The number of sweep data iterations to perform calculations on including Average and MaxPeak.

Amplitude Units

Select amplitude units between dBm, dBµV or Watt to display data in analyzer graph.


Enable Remote Max Hold Buffer

Enable this to increase chances of fast changing signal capture, such as WiFi. Disable for extra accurate signal capture.

Automatic LCD Off

Automatically switch the LCD off for faster updates and help increase LCD lifetime. This option only will be enabled for RF Explorer devices with screen (Not supported for RF Explorer IoT).

Automatic Amplitude Update

Use this option to force the RF Explorer device to update amplitude visual range, or disable for fast local updates with no need to remote updates. This option is only available for RF Explorer devices with embedded screen (Not supported for RF Explorer IoT).

Enable RF Connector

  • Left SMA: Use this option to enable remote device port on the left RF connector (Main board).
  • Right SMA: Use this option to enable remote device port on the right RF connector (Expansion board). (Not supported for RF Explorer IoT).

Input Stage

Select input stage to enable Direct, Attenuator or LNA.

RF Explorer PLUS models and IoT

Direct Input

Low loss signal path to standard sensitivity, use for linear measurements up to -25dBm.

The RF Explorer 6G COMBO PLUS model includes a 60dB additional attenuator. This is not currently supported by RF Explorer Touch but can be selected in the device menu.

Reinitialize Data Buffer

Internally re-initialize the MaxHold buffers used for cache data inside the RF Explorer device.

Record Manager

Provides functions to store in computer sweeps stored in internal spectrum analyzer memory. For more details visit:

Sweep Points

Resolution data points for each captured sweep in spectrum analyzer device. This feature is currently supported in PLUS, ProAudio and IoT models only.

Supported values:

  • Windows, Linux and MacOS: 112, 240, 512, 1024, 2048, 3072 and 4096 points
  • Raspberry Pi: 112, 240, 432, 1024, 2048, 3072 and 4096 points


Save RFE Data File on Close

Save a RFE data file every time application is closed. If “Enable Continuous Log” option is enabled, this feature will be enabled automatically.


Enable continuous log to save RFE data or CSV files periodically in seconds as selected in “Auto Save Delay (s)” option. Also this option save a RFE data file in each configuration change in device and when application is closed.

Auto Save RFE Data

If “Enable” option checked, save a RFE data file every number of seconds selected in “Auto Save Delay (s)” option.

Auto Save CSV

If “Enable” option checked, save a CSV data file every number of seconds selected in “Auto Save Delay (s)” option.

Auto Save Delay (s)

Number of second for Auto-Save feature.

Auto Delete (Days)

Number of days for Auto-Delete old and unused files in user folder

Auto Save Folder Path

Directory where .RFE and CSV files will be stored if Auto Save feature is active

CSV File

Field Separator

Delimiter to use for CSV file generation.
Supported separators: Comma, Division, Semicolon, Space or Tabulator.

Decimal Separator

Delimiter to use as decimal separator.
Supported separators: Comma or Dot.

End of Line

End of line to use in for CSV file generation.
Supported end of lines: Line Feed (\n) or Carriage Return and Line Feed (\r\n).

WSM Sennheiser Compatible

When option is checked, CSV files generated can be imported directly in WSM Sennheiser software.

CSV Trace

Selected data trace used to generate the CSV file. There are multiple traces available (such as Real Time or Average) so it is important to select the right one for your needs.

CSV Header

Insert descriptive header inside generated CSV files.

Fields included are: 

  • Receiver
  • Date/Time      
  • RFUnit
  • Owner
  • ScanCountry 
  • CRC


The selected trace must be visible in the Spectrum Analyzer graph, if there are multiple visible the tool will select one by this priority order:

1. Average trace
2. Max Peak trace
3. Real Time trace
4. Max Hold trace
5. Minimum trace

Radio Standards

Feature custom definition of Radio Standard channels. 

You can now import standards or define your own channels to be included in the Spectrum Analyzer graph of RF Explorer Touch.

Each channel in a Radio Standard will display:

Channel name

Visual shape of the actual bandwidth and channel position

Computed individual power channel

All parameters of a Radio Standard can be configured in the menu option Config -> Radio Standards -> [Configure...]

This will open a configuration dialog to setup parameters, select which Radio Standards are visible (up to 10 at any given time), import new Radio Standard definitions, etc.


File format

These files are text files you can edit or create with the tool of your choice (e.g. notepad – although we recommend some better editor such as Notepad++)

How to enable Radio Standard
  1. Go to “Config” menu.
  2. Select “Radio Standard” option.
  3. Click on [Configure…] button.
  4. Check intended Radio Standard on the list.
  5. You can include a suitable description, change color and channel shape, rename it, etc.

 A maximum of 10 Radio Standards can be selected as visible at any given time.

Display Options

To configure Radio Standard display options go to Config -> Radio Standard and click on [Display Options…] button.


“Show Channel Shape” option: Enable/Disable Radio Standard channel shape display.

“Show Background” option: Enable/Disable shadow among channel bandwidth display.

“Line Style” option: Define how channels will be drawn. Values:

  • Solid Line
  • Dashes Line
  • Dotted Line
  • Dash and Dot line

Text Settings

“Text Name Channels” option: Enable/Disable channel name display.

“Text Amplitude Values” option: Enable/Disable channel power values display.

“Size” option: Select channel text font size


Limit Lines

An advanced and powerful tool in the spectrum analyzer mode is the ability to work with Minimum and Maximum Limit Lines.

These are fully configurable, visual and optionally audible alarm feature with multi-data point lines to determine power limits.

Operative Limit Line

Limit Lines are fixed thresholds, and only one pair of Max / Min limit lines can be specified at any given time.

These settings apply to one limit line type at a time: maximum or minimum. Use to define or change parameters of each limit line as required.

Different limit lines can be loaded from file or generated from a signal trace anytime.

Limit line type

  • Max: select to apply changes to maximum limit line.
  • Min: select to apply changes to minimum limit line.

Build from signal

Generate maximum or minimum limit line from a currently selected signal trace specifying a positive offset in dB. This offset will be added or subtracted depending on limit line type selected

Save to file

Save maximum or minimum limit line to a limit line file (.rfl).

Read from file

Load maximum or minimum limit line from a limit line file (.rfl).


Remove maximum or minimum limit line from spectrum analyzer screen.


These settings apply in common to both maximum and minimum limit line

Sound alarm

To enable or disable an audio alarm for as long as the condition is not met

The alarm sound type is preconfigured, but can be easily customized by replacing the file notify.wav from the RF Explorer application data folder (%appdata%\roaming\rfexplorer).

The file can be any valid .wav file. The minimum duration of the audio alarm is the duration of the .wav sound file.


To enable or disable circle gripped in limit line traces. For high resolution mode, circles might make it hard to see how close limit line trace from signal trace is.

Technical Support

Create a compressed ZIP file with activity logs, configuration files and report files in order to diagnose application issues. Only required if requested by RF Explorer Tech Support. 


Show application, Operating System and, if connected, device details

How to change application appearance

In main menu, click on [Config]
Click on [Display] button to see display options
Check or uncheck “Dark Mode” option.
The software will change its appearance with a black theme or white theme including background screen.

In macOS, appearance will change after [Back] button is clicked and returned to main screen.

Power Channel

Show power measured within channel defined by start/stop frequency.

Power Data Mode

Trace from which measurements are performed.

Channel Power

Power received in the frequency band represented in dBm and Watt units.

Channel Power Density

Represents how the signal power is distributed in dBm/Hz unit.

Channel Center

Center frequency of the channel in MHz unit.

Channel Bandwidth

Bandwidth of the channel in MHz unit.


Date and time when sweep was captured.

Frequency and Amplitude configuration

Set frequency and amplitude values for device.

This can be modified if RF Explorer device is connected only.

Change Frequency

Click on [Frequency] and click on desired parameter to set in device.

For more details see:

Change Amplitude

Click on [Amplitude] and click on desired parameter to set in device.

For more details see:


Configuration parameters to display markers in spectrum analyzer graph and markers panel.

Main Marker ID

Marker Identification number. Check “Enable Marker” option to set a marker.

Frequency (MHz)

Marker frequency (Only allowed for markers 2 to 10).

Delta Marker ID

Delta Marker Identification number. Check “Enable Marker” option to set a delta marker.

Offset (MHz)

Frequency difference in MHz between delta marker and its reference marker.

Offset Locked

Enable a dynamic follow-up of the Delta ID to the Marker ID selected. It will follow the reference Marker if it changes position.

Track Marker 1

Define trace that marker 1 follow in visual representation

Marker 1 Peak Text

Show peak frequency and amplitude values for marker 1

Marker Panel

Show or hide markers panel to display visible markers table.


  • Marker 1: It is special marker. It will search for peak trace point on screen and will track automatically. Therefore, frequency point for Marker 1 cannot be defined, will be dynamically updated by the application every sweep.
  • Markers 2 to 10: These markers are defined for a specific frequency point, and will show amplitude values for all enabled traces on that frequency.
  • Delta markers: This markers will be a reference of other marker, that is, it will be linked with a particular marker.

How to set up a peak marker

Go to Marker menu
Select marker ID 1
Check “Enable Marker” option
In “Track Marker 1” options, click on [Real Time] button (Marker 1 will detect peaks in Real Time trace)
Click on [Back] button to apply changes

How to set up a manual marker

Go to Marker menu
Select a marker ID from 2 to 10
Check “Enable Marker” option
Set frequency for selected marker, such as 1250MHz
Click on [Display] button to see display options

How to set up a Delta marker

Go to Marker menu
To define a Marker Delta, you first need a standard marker enabled. As an example, enable Marker 1, we will use it as Delta marker later
Increase “Main Marker ID” to go to Marker 2, enable it at any arbitrary frequency
Set “Delta Marker ID” to 1 and check “Enable Marker”
Define offset in MHz you want Marker 2 to be from Marker 1. For instance, set it to 100 MHz. Changing the offset will redefine position for Marker 2 based on current position of Marker 1
At this point, Marker 2 is linked to Marker 1 and will display Delta calculations automatically
Click on [Back] button to apply changes.


  • Special Marker 1 can be Delta Marker of any other, but it cannot have associated any Delta Marker by Offset. The reason for this is Marker 1 works as auto-peak therefore cannot be defined as reference of any other.
  • Markers defined by Offset use the value at the time of Marker definition, but does not update or keep that offset fixed if the Delta Marker changes frequency. For instance if you define Marker 5 at an offset of 5MHz of Marker 1, and marker 1 is currently at 100MHz, then Marker 5 will be located at 105MHz. If Marker 1 moves to a different frequency later, Marker 5 will remain at 105MHz, you can see the current frequency offset any time in the marker display panel.
  • Future upgrades will allow for optional dynamic markers where offset will be locked so Main Marker absolute frequency value can change accordingly to the Delta Marker.


Presets are predefined configuration stored by name in the application to easily recall commonly used setups.

Parameters persisted are frequency, amplitude, enabled traces and markers.


Action option to load stored preset values into current configuration.


Action option to save current configuration into the selected preset. This option cannot be undone, care should be taken to not overwrite another valid preset.


Remove selected preset configuration. “Default” preset cannot be deleted.


Return to main menu and current visual mode (Such as Spectrum Analyzer).

How to create a new preset

Set device configuration to store as frequency, amplitude, traces and markers
Go to “Presets” menu
Click on edit box and type a name for this preset
Click on [Save]


  • For handheld models, these presets in the application are not the same presets as can be defined inside the device. A future version will include and help to coordinate both kinds: application and device presets.
  • Load Presets only will be effective while device is capturing data, not when a file has been loaded.


Contain different actions for files as Load, Save RFE data and Save CSV.


  • RFE data files are binary, compact data files with multiple sweeps. These files are compatible with RF Explorer for Windows.
  • CSV data files can capture a single trace and can be used to share data to external applications such as WWB, Excel, Matlab or IAS.

Load file

To load RFE file, go to File -> Load… and select desired file navigating through directories.

Click on [Load] button to finish action.

Save file

To save RFE file, go to File -> Save… and select desired directory to store file, typing a name for it.

Click on [Save] button to finish action.

This option is only available if there is a RF Explorer connected device and some data is actually received

Save CSV file

To save single CSV file, go to File -> Save CSV… and select desired directory to store file, typing a name for it. Click on [Save] button to finish action.

To change CSV file configuration parameters, such as field delimiter or end of line type, see:

Instructions to easily export CSV files to external applications

How to generate CSV File compatible with WSM Sennheiser Software

Go to Config -> CSV File and check “WSM Sennheiser Compatible” option

Virtual Touch Keyboards

In order to make it simpler to enter data in environments where a physical keyboard may not be available, these specific, context sensitive virtual touch keyboards are included in the RF Explorer Touch application.


  • In Windows computers where a touch screen is detected, these keyboards will be enabled by default.
  • In Windows computers where no touch capabilities are found, or in Linux and macOS computers, these keyboards will be disabled by default.
  • These settings can be enabled anytime in Config/Display preferences.

Numeric Keyboard

This keyboard will appear when application require numeric data. When available, a physical keyboard can be used to edit numeric value as well.

This keyboard can be shown/hidden based on Config/Display setting, except Amplitude and Frequency which are always available.

  • [X]: Close keyboard ignoring changes.
  • [<DEL]: Delete a left digit from current cursor position.
  • [CLEAR]: Remove all text in edit box.
  • [dBm], [-dBm], [dBµV], [Watt], [µWatt], [pWatt]: Validate inserted data in the specific units. Other configurations may show GHz, MHz, KHz, etc.
  • [W/dB]: Switch amplitude units between dB and Watts
  • Range label: Show current magnitude type used to enter value. For amplitude it may show dBm,.

Validation buttons will change depending on parameter to modify.


Alphanumeric Keyboard

This keyboard will appear when application require text information. When available, a physical keyboard can be used to edit alphanumeric value as well. This keyboard can be shown/hidden based on Config/Display setting.

  • [CLEAR]: Remove all text in edit box.
  • [ESC]: Close keyboard ignoring changes.
  • [CAPS]: Type with capital letters.
  • [<DEL]: Delete a left character from current cursor position.
  • [DONE]: Close keyboard saving typed text.
  • [<]: Move cursor to the left.
  • [>]: Move cursor to the right.

Advanced Configuration

Some advanced configuration settings are available for expert users tune-up.

This should be modified only if you are comfortable changing XML files and understanding XML syntax.

The advanced configuration parameters are stored in file RFETouch.xml. This file can be found in following locations depending on OS:

Windows platforms



Only these parameters described should be modified, other RFETouch.xml configuration parameters should not be modified.

Incorrect file update may damage XML structure or values and may lead to configuration loss.

It is advisable to backup the RFETouch.xml before any modification is made.








Use true for IoT module, or false for Handheld Analyzer. This setting is set by default to true in Raspberry Pi SDCard image files, and false otherwise




Use true to shutdown Linux when RFETouch is closed, other case set to false. This setting is set by default to true in Raspberry Pi SDCard image files, and false otherwise




For Raspberry Pi only: Set serial port name either as /dev/ttyAMA0 or /dev/ttyS0 depending on UART configuration (useful in Raspberry Pi 4B). This parameter is ignored for USB devices, only RF Explorer IoT module is affected by this setting in a Raspberry Pi.

OpenGL support in Windows

OpenGL library and capable driver is needed to display Waterfall mode. You can disable OpenGL support if your driver card reports any problem by adding /o to the application shortcut

RFETouchWin.exe /o

Raspberry Pi: How to disable RFETouch auto-start

In SDCard images provided for Raspberry Pi, the RFETouch application is configured to automatically start after the Raspbian GUI is loaded.

If you want to disable this behavior and load RFETouch manually, locate the autostart configuration file which may be in one of the following locations, depending on Raspberry Pi model:

  • /home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart
  • /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

Edit this file using <sudo nano> or equivalent editor as superuser, and remove this line:

@lxterminal -e sudo /home/pi/RFExplorer/RFETouch

Software and Firmware Online Upgrade

RF Explorer Touch software check every time it is started if a new software version or connected device firmware version is available to upgrade from our online secure server.

If a software or firmware upgrade is available, label “Update Available” will display on Spectrum Analyzer graph or the first time CONFIG menu is entered.

How to upgrade your current software version

Click on “Update Available” label
Information related to software upgrade will display on screen
Click on [Upgrade] button to proceed, or use [Cancel] to delay for a later time
RF Explorer software will close and the new version will download and install

In Windows platforms this is automatic process, whereas in Linux the new version is downloaded at ~/Downloads/RFETouchSetup and requires user to replace manually.

How to upgrade your current firmware version

Click on “Update Available” label
If the software detects an outdated firmware, the "Update Available" action will show information for the new firmware
Follow described instructions in "Firmware Uploader " tool to upgrade device. For more details visit:

This only works when a RF Explorer device is connected to USB and active.