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PSR-500 - Super Slow Spectrum Sweeper

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eorange

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I turned on Spectrum Sweeper on the 400 MHz ham band and it was zipping along. I had my HT in my hand and keyed up on that band. Output power was set for 0.5 watts.

Immediately, the Spectrum Sweeper slowed down to a crawl. It took almost 10 seconds for the frequency to roll around to my output freq, and then it found it. As soon as I ended the transmission, Spectrum Sweeper once again went zipping along.

Was I overloading the PSR-500? (My BR330T doesn't behave this way with Close Call.)
 

DaveIN

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How far from the 500 were you? What antenna were you using? Did you try five watts or something between? Was the 330 able to capture it at the time you were testing the 500?
 

eorange

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I was about 2 feet from the PSR-500. I only used 0.5 watts (not wanting to overload), and used a rat-tail whip on my HT. I think I used the RS 800 MHz on the PSR-500.

I didn't test the BR330 at the same time, but I have done this test in the past with the BR330, with success (i.e. it found the signal immediately).

It was no coincidence - as soon as I keyed up, the PSR-500 S.S. speed went down to a very slow pace.

Maybe I'll try it again from across the room.

In general - the Spectrum Sweeper seems to be working fine under other circumstances, i.e. pulling whatever signals out of the air.
 

DaveIN

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The only other thing I can think of is that the radio may be trying to lock onto a frequency above or below the target frequency and the sensitivity is too great. Did you try it with the attenuator at all?
 

diskmonger

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Usually when the signal stalker slows down like that it is trying to lock onto a frequency.
 

eorange

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I turned on the Global Attenuator, but that made no difference. I noticed SS slowed down as it approached the output frequency, but it still took 5-9 seconds to lock on. No difference if I was a few feet away or across the room.

I also tried a cheap FRS radio, and got the same results.

Also tried my HT through my outside discone, same results.

The BR330 was on this whole time and locked onto the signal instantly.

Hmmm...no idea.
 

mancow

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It's supposed to work that way. They mention it in the manual if I recall correctly. It scans along in large chunks of spectrum until it senses something. It then switches to finer steps and zeroes in on the frequency.
 

Viper43

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lol, if you want a speedy spectrum sweeper buy a spectrum analyzer....

Seriously it's slow for a reason. it isn't a high $$ spectrum analyzer, it's an inexpensive take off, simply a reciever thats trying to narrow down the exact frequency, where as Singnal Stalker and the likes get you close but no cigar so to speak.

V
 

eorange

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mancow said:
It's supposed to work that way. They mention it in the manual if I recall correctly. It scans along in large chunks of spectrum until it senses something. It then switches to finer steps and zeroes in on the frequency.
Thanks, I read the manual and gleaned this from the "Special" option on SWPR. Made no difference if it was on or off, though. I'm not disputing that maybe this is just the way it works...

captaincraig44 said:
Have you tried it with Zeromatic turned off? Seems like such a 70's term . . .
lol, I know what you mean. I did try that, and made no difference. Except, with Zeromatic off, the captured freq was 448.99, not 449.0! :lol:

Viper43 said:
Seriously it's slow for a reason. it isn't a high $$ spectrum analyzer, it's an inexpensive take off
My only other experience with "signal stalking" is Close Call on my BR330T. It captures the freq nearly instantly. Not knowing anything else, I expected the PSR-500 to behave the same way - instant capture.

Maybe the tradeoff is speed of capture (BR330) vs sensitivity/range (PSR-500), but I'd like some confirmation so I know how the thing should operate.
 

kikito

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eorange said:
Maybe the tradeoff is speed of capture (BR330) vs sensitivity/range (PSR-500), but I'd like some confirmation so I know how the thing should operate.
Without getting technical, mine takes 2 to 3 seconds to lock on to most signals that are miles away. I may have seen what you're seeing every once in a while but it will depend on many factors like overloading, nearby interference, power used, etc. to determine why is it doing that.

As far as know, the Uniden method is different and works more like a spectrum analyzer with the trade-off of shorter range like you mentioned.
 

DaveIN

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I've captured nearby frequencies mobile and from hotel rooms when traveling with spectrum sweeper without any trouble. At home hooked up to the discone I hear aircraft and local repeaters easily without the 2 to 3 second search that you mention.
 

eorange

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See, that's the thing. I guess I should be more clear:

- When hooked up to my discone, it seems to work as expected. I hear local police dispatch (& other transmissions) nearly instantly, i.e. I hear the transmission just as if I were scanning it - no cutoff.

- When keying up my HT in close proximity - that's where the delay happens.

Maybe it's just an overload issue - too much localized RF for the SWPR to handle?
 
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