How much should you spend on PCB design software? Is free really a good deal? I recently needed to find a package on a budget for my personal work so I set out to see what was available. I’ve used packages like PADS, OrCAD, and Altium Designer for a long time but they were out of my price range. It was apparent after I went through many of my previous projects that most of the designs I’ve done only use a small portion of the features that those packages offered. In fact, I would guess that 90% of those designs could be done with a basic entry level tool so I decided to start there.
It’s been along time since my last update, but I’ve managed to measure the magnetron spectrum output using a Signalhound. I sent an email to Signalhound and this was their reply:
For quick hoppers (FHSS), you will probably need to turn image rejection off to catch the signal. This will speed up the sweep but will also pass the image frequency (21.4 MHz below frequency of interest). If you turn video bandwidth down to 6.5 KHz and RBW to 25 KHz, Power Average mode, then turn on Max Hold, you should be able to capture and measure the signal.
These suggestions pointed me in the right direction to get the Signalhound working the way I wanted. Unfortunately I think the signal is very rapidly changing frequency so the max hold suggestion is the only way to see the signal.