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When do I use the RMS detector?
answer

The RMS detector is best for measuring noise or modulated (especially digitally modulated) signals.  This is because the detector averages the power from the RBW output that goes into a display point, which gives a good estimate for these types of signals.  Be careful, however, if the bandwidth of the signal and the RBW are less than one display point; in this case the signal is averaged with points that have no signal, giving results that are too low.

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