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Release the Hounds!

Signal Hound spectrum analyzer is on the sound

With a name like Signal Hound, how can anyone resist?

The Signal Hound BB60A from Test Equipment Plus is a real-time spectrum analyzer (9 kHz–6 GHz) and RF recorder “designed to capture and display RF events as short as 1 µs.” It is packed into a small in-line-style metal box.

It requires Windows 7 or 8 along with an admittedly up-to-date and fast computer with a USB 3.0 connection. The company says that “up to 1.2 million FFTs [are performed] every second, delivering real-time spectrum data to our open-source Graphical User Interface (GUI), or to your own software application. Because of these immense processing requirements, we recommend a desktop PC with an Intel quad-core i7-2600 or better, or a laptop with an i7-3612QM or better.”

One of the most useful features for broadcast engineers, besides the spectrum analyzer is the band recorder. The company says, “Open source code FM recording demo software is included, which allows the user to record and play back the whole FM radio band, listening to audio from any of the FM radio stations selected from the spectrum analyzer display.”

It also says, “Our open-source spectrum analyzer software features a 2-D waterfall or 3-D topographical view, as well as a GPU-accelerated color persistence mode.”

The company is making use of as much open source APIs and software as possible and is encouraging developers to build applications around the Signal Hound.