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Handheld Users Group

Handheld Users Group

Delivering leading solutions for today's field and maintenance challenges

Interference hunter

With over 20 years leading the way in handheld testing Anritsu has a well earned reputation for superior measurements in not so superior conditions. learn more about the very latest handheld testing technology.

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Simplifying LTE Downlink Coverage Mapping

Technicians responsible for installing and maintaining LTE eNodeBs are frequently expected to report on dead spots and/or dropped calls. Diagnosing the problem requires the technician to take signal strength and sometimes modulation quality estimates at numerous locations.
The drive test systems used for such large scale coverage mapping during the implementation phase are usually too expensive, bulky and complicated for use as a practical troubleshooting tool. That’s why Anritsu developed LTE measurement options for its BTS Master™ and other handheld instruments that make it easy to perform LTE coverage mapping.
Technicians or RF engineers simply connect the receive and GPS antennas to the instrument, tune to the LTE signal, switch to the OTA measurement, and push the Autosave button. The analyzer automatically stores the IDs of the cell, group, and sector of every received signal. It also records the time and location of the measurement and sync signal power for each signal.

For more detail, the user can enable saving measurements on the dominant signal, including the rms and peak Error Vector Magnitude (EVM), and the carrier frequency and frequency error in both Hz and parts per million. The instrument makes and saves measurements approximately every 5 seconds with modulation measurements disabled, and every 10 seconds with modulation enabled.
Sync signal power is the best single metric for coverage of an area, and capturing just this measurement optimizes instrument speed. Modulation quality measurements, while slowing the measurement time, help determine whether or not the signal is receivable. Users can transfer data to a computer and open the file using the Anritsu Master Software Tools, which is then used to export the measurement data to a Google Earth KML file.
Technicians can use Google Earth to see a satellite view of the mapped coverage area. The coverage map color codes each data point based on the sync signal power. This view helps identify patterns – such as a dead spot – that might be caused because a large building or other obstruction is blocking the signal.

Questions and Answers

Question: What is a one-port cable loss test?

Answer: Traditionally, measuring the insertion loss of an installed coaxial cable is a one-port reflection measurement since it is virtually impossible to connect both ends of the cable to test equipment. The measurement is made by placing a short on one end of the cable and measuring the return loss at the other end. The desired value – cable loss – is return loss divided by two, since the signal travels through the cable in both directions.

Question: Can I sweep antennas close to another RF source?

Answer:Yes, but you need to be very careful that the RF from another source is not going to exceed the 23 dBm max on the RF port. Power in excess of 23 dBm can result in damage to the instrument.

Question: How do I reduce the side lobes in a DTF on a Site Master™?

Answer: Windowing will reduce the lobes depending upon their severity. It is similar to an averaging or smoothing technique. Four windowing options are available:

  • Rectangular windowing – Normal mode of operation

  • Nominal side lobe – Some smoothing
  • Low side Lobe – More smoothing
  • Minimum side lobe – Maximum smoothing

Question: What is the maximum cable loss I should measure using the one-port method on my Site Master?

Answer:To have an accurate measurement, the maximum cable loss is 10 dB or less. A two-port cable loss measurement technique should be used for measurements that exceed 10 dB.


Test Tip

For best calibration results, ensure that the calibration component is connected at the end of the test port or optional extension cable. If you require a Test Port Extension cable, use a phase stable cable. Cables that are not phase stable cause unacceptable measurement errors that are more pronounced as the test frequency increases.

Backhaul Testing Need Satisfied with Optical Test Capability


A new SONET/SDH optical analysis capability that satisfies a major need for testing cell site backhauls using fiber rather than copper has been developed by Anritsu for its BTS Master™ MT8221B high-performance handheld base station analyzer. When the BTS Master MT8221B is equipped with the optical analyzer options, field technicians and engineers can conduct highly accurate transport measurements on SONET OC-3c and SDH STM-1 fiber cables.
The BTS Master MT8221B is the first handheld base station analyzer with the ability to conduct measurements on 2G/3G/4G signals as well as optical transmissions. Rx measurements on optical power and frequency can be made when the options are installed in the BTS Master MT8221B.

For SONET OC-3c applications, the analyzer can measure Far End Block Error (FEBE) and Bit Interleaved Parity (BIP) errors. With the options installed, the BTS Master MT8221B can also conduct BIP error and Remote Error Indication (REI) error measurements in SDH STM-1 environments.
OC-3c and STM-1 errors and alarms can be injected using the BTS Master MT8221B, when it is equipped with the optical analyzers. Users can easily discover a problem with the SONET or SDH carrier under test due to easy-to-read status indicator lights.

Anritsu Aids in Ecuadorian Digital Television Conversation

Like most countries, Ecuador is undergoing a digital broadcast transition, converting from outdated analog to more robust digital signals. After years of research and analysis, the country is beginning its switch to ISDB-TB/SBTVD, thanks in part to measurement results acquired using an Anritsu Spectrum Master handheld spectrum analyzer.
For two weeks last year, officials of Ecuador’s Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (SUPERTEL) tested the technical performance of the ISDB-TB/SBTVD and DVB-T digital terrestrial television systems at different sites throughout Ecuador’s capital city of Quito. In addition to the ISDB-TB/SBTVD and DVB-T standards, SUPERTEL had previously evaluated DTMB.
All the standards were tested under similar parameters. To evaluate the performance of each digital terrestrial television standard, the channels were operated adjacent to existing analog television systems. This was done so the evaluators could ensure the digital standard adopted could coexist with the existing analog signals during the migration period.
Signal transmission and reception were tested, based on Recommendation ITU-R BT.2035-11. The team determined the quality and availability of those signals in five scenarios – fixed, portable, pedestrian, mobile and personal. They then identified the strengths and weaknesses of the various standards and determined the level of coverage and efficiency of each.
The analysis was performed by a team of SUPERTEL representatives who traveled throughout Quito in a van. All the field trials were conducted while the vehicle was moving and under similar conditions. The assessment focused on propagation, coverage, service availability and robustness.
An Anritsu handheld analyzer was used to conduct the measurements. Leveraging the Spectrum Master™ platform, the analyzer was perfect for the needs of the SUPERTEL representatives. Its small size and durability fit the conditions, and it was designed specifically for Latin American digital television installations, such as that underway in Ecuador. It also has excellent spectrum analysis characteristics to ensure accurate measurements are made. Another benefit was the ability of the analyzer to be used in almost any environment. It is well suited for onsite investigations in buildings, shopping malls, and mountainous areas, all of which describe Quito.


Signals were monitored for an average of three minutes by the team. Based upon the measurement results acquired with the handheld analyzer, the evaluators assigned rates for each signal using on a subjective scorecard that they had developed.
Based on these results, SUPERTEL recommended to the Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CONATEL) that Ecuador should select ISDB-TB/SBTVD as its standard for digital terrestrial broadcasting. CONATEL agreed with the recommendation and the digital transition is under way in the South American country, thanks in part to Anritsu.
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