Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

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s_mack
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Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by s_mack » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:23 am

We deal in RF, right? And if you're a FPV pilot, in particular, you REALLY care about interference. I'm just getting into FPV so I started searching around for spectrum analyzers. Turns out, as you very well might already know, that a guy from RCGroups invented one - the RF-explorer. From all accounts, it appears to be a great little unit. When I "discovered" it, I had no idea it was born from RC! I saw that he had units covering 433, 900, and 2.4... but nothing in the 1.2/1.3 band - very popular to FPV. So I naively emailed the guy suggesting that I'd partner with him if he was interested in developing something in that band. He quickly replied saying it was already in the works. Anyway, one thing led to another... I'm considering being a distributor for the new product, which covers the whole spectrum below 3G. That still leaves out 5.8, but that's in the works as well as an add-on to the existing unit.

Spectrum analyzers typically cost THOUSANDS of dollars. As he states on his website, his do like 90% of what those can do, at about 5% the price.

Its a pricy buy-in if I do it and I'd feel a LOT more comfortable if I got some indication that there would be support from you guys. In exchange... of course... discounts!

I don't actually get the luxury of dealing direct with the inventor. No, he went ahead and signed a deal with a big production house so I have to deal with them. They make me sign something saying I can't advertise below their retail price. Key word is "advertise" though... there are certainly ways around it. For one, they state that I can offer discounts on shipping, for example. That doesn't mean I can't offer $20 off my $8 flat rate shipping, right?!

The retail price of his single-band units start at about $99. For one that covers most of the low + 2.4 its like $170. The expected price of the new sub3G unit I believe is $270. Even at that, it is an awesome deal for the capability it provides. But we can do better, especially if its a pre-sales scenario. If people want to order early and offset my upfront costs, we can do quite a bit better!

One important note on availability: There are forum posts where the inventor suggests this unit is expected by May 2012, then "Summer"... then "Early September for sure". The factory is telling me "October 1st delivery estimate" but of course, notice the word "estimate". I can only pass on their promises... I've never dealt with them in the past (from a wholesale perspective. I have as a retail customer), so I don't know how accurate their estimates are.

Thoughts?

The site is here: http://rf-explorer.com

- Steven


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Kilrah
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by Kilrah » Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:39 am

I'd be up for one or 2 of the sub3G units for myself (I'd actually prefer one that included the 5.8G band even if more expensive), and who knows - my FPV shop would certainly be able to do with a new product :)

I do have a "real" spectrum analyzer, but as it weighs in at 15kg+, no need to explain why I can't really use it where it would be most useful, let's say at the field when you notice something weird that of course never happens on the bench...

s_mack
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by s_mack » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:34 pm

Exactly!

Yeah, if 5.8 were an option I'd be jumping on it too. He says "its coming" but the sub 3 has been "coming" for a long time. I wouldn't hold my breath for 5.8. It appears that sub3 should be here reasonably soon.

One thing of note: I just got an email back from them clarifying warrant, and I wasn't happy with the response :( Everything looks good other than this. They warranty the product for 90 days... from the day they ship to me, not the day I ship to the customer. That's the first distribution agreement I've ever had that does it like this. Mind you, this is the first formal distribution agreement I've had with a Chinese company. Considering the time it takes to ship here (I presume they probably mean the day it leaves there, not when it arrives here), then the time the unit sits in inventory, then the shipping time to the customer... well, I think what I'll do is check that they are not DOA as they arrive and then offer it without and expressed warranty because that will affectively be the case. QC is reportedly quite good on these though. Reading through customer comments on the rcgroups thread dedicated to them shows there aren't many problems (there are some).


As of this morning, I'm gone for a week. That should be enough time to post their interest here. If there's enough, I'll go ahead and order! Minimum order is 50 units... its a chunk of change so I don't want to do it without at least a fifth of them spoken for.

- Steven

PNaz
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by PNaz » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:45 pm

I would like one of the low + 2.4 units and am interested in the 5.8 add-on

Paul

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akschu
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by akschu » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:27 pm

I would be game for one as long as the pc software was decent. I need to capture information and save it.


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rperkins
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by rperkins » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:13 pm

I like the open source software although it isn't available for linux. ,net ?
Firmware is not open source , but schematic is available.
Like that it also can be an RF generator.
Dont like the 100mhz bandwidth, although that would be dependant on your application.

Seeedstudio , the distributor , sold me an 'open logic sniffer' by dangerous prototypes. I would not be afraid to purchase from them again.

I would wonder:
What value are you planning on adding by reselling this item? You mention undercutting on price, and you may have a shipping timeframe advantage. I guess it just depends on how cheaply they wholesale them to you and if you get the 'a' run units, not the 'b' run reworks. You'd probably have to test each unit when it came in to utilize their warranty. I wonder how many of these things they are currently selling and if you will tap a new market or cannibalize their existing sales.

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Kilrah
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by Kilrah » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:46 pm

s_mack wrote:One thing of note: I just got an email back from them clarifying warrant, and I wasn't happy with the response :( Everything looks good other than this. They warranty the product for 90 days... from the day they ship to me, not the day I ship to the customer. That's the first distribution agreement I've ever had that does it like this. Mind you, this is the first formal distribution agreement I've had with a Chinese company.
For many Chinese companies there's no such thing as a "distributor". They sell you the stuff as if you were an end user whatever the quantity, and that's it. The rest is your problem... which includes eating the loss if the device fails during the timeframe they warranty it to you and the legal warranty period you have to give to your customers under local law. Most of the time for cheap items you also eat the loss of any defective units, as shipping them back for replacement or repair would be more expensive and troublesome, although in your case given the price of the device the balance should be on your side.

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Mechcondrid
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Re: Any interest in inexpensive spectrum analyzers??

Post by Mechcondrid » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:03 pm

i would definitely be interested in a combo 2.4-subGhz model if you are going to do this


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