Broadband detectors like the REI CPM-700 can be used to physically sweep a room to locate the source of a radio frequency (RF) transmission. One of the benefits of a broadband detector is the displayed response to a nearby transmitter is almost instantaneous. When the antenna comes within range of a transmitter, an immediate response is displayed if it is the strongest signal present.

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Signal List Generated Using the OSCOR Green Spectrum Analyze Masking Function
Screenshot of the Masking function in use on the OSCOR Green. Here we can see a list of suspect signals in the middle with detailed information providing a better understanding of unusual signals in the area.

When extended capture and analysis of RF traffic is required, it can be tedious to analyze large volumes of resulting data. The Spectrogram Waterfall function on the OSCOR is an effective tool for visually inspecting RF energy over time. However, the Masking function may be an alternative starting point to help perform signal data analysis more efficiently.

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RF Detection Equipment Comparison Cartoon

Software Defined Radios (SDR) are becoming more common to use when looking for rogue RF transmissions in certain environments. They may appear to be less expensive simply because there are many tuner modules on the market that provide Spectrum Analyzer capability for very low cost, and there are various suppliers of software and hardware to mix and match all sorts of system combinations. However, total cost of software, antennas probes, cables, software defined receivers, a laptop, etc., can get expensive.

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