Frequency counters are usually used as measuring instruments for RF signal frequency measurement.This note shows how to perform frequency measurement with the Handheld signal analyzer MSA500 series with the same accuracy as the frequency counter.


For accurate frequency measurement in the MSA 500 series, use the marker & peak search function in real time mode.

SAVE/LOAD F6(PRESET)Preset signal analyzer.)

  1. OPERATION MODE Select real time mode.
  2. TRIG F4(SCAN) Select “CONTINUE” to repeat measurement.
  3. OPERATION MODE Return to Real Time Mode Menu.
    Real Time Mode Menu

    F2 Go to SUB-MESUREMENT Mode Menu


    SUB screen

    1. F3 Select SUB screen OFF.
    2. F6 Return to Real Time Mode Menu.
  6. F1 Go to SUB-MESUREMENT Mode Menu. (See (4) for Real Time Mode Menu.)

    MAIN screen

    1. F1 Select MAIN screen ”SPECTRUM”.
    2. F6 Return to Real Time Mode Menu.
  8. SPAN Select the narrowest possible span. HOLD/RUN Measure. MKR Go to Main menu of marker function.

    Main menu of marker function

    1. F1 Select marker ”NORMAL”.
    2. F4 Select ”PEAK SEARCH WHOLE”.

    menu of PEAK SEARCH

    F1 Perform “PEAK SEARCH” and read the frequency of the marker.


Marker accuracy in real time mode is determined by (1) + (2) of the following specifications.

  1. Center frequency Accuracy ±0.5ppm ±1dot
  2. Frequency span Accuracy ±0.1% ±1dot  (1dot : (Frequency span)/(500dots))
Therefore, the narrower the span, the higher the marker accuracy. For example, with a center frequency of 920 MHz and a span of 200 kHz, the marker accuracy is ± 1.6 ppm (± 0.0015 MHz).

System constitution

Handheld signal analyzer[MSA500 series] ×1

Products introduction

Handheld signal analyzer MSA500 series

With Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and conventional sweep systems, each strong point of both systems is usable.

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