Everyone’s first piece of test equipment should be a multimeter. Next is probably a power supply with current limiting. For many engineers, the next step is an oscilloscope. At least those working on digital electronics. Even if you are not working with RF, do not overlook a spectrum analyzer. The Rohde & Schwarz FPC1500 is three instruments in one: a Spectrum Analyzer, RF Signal Source, and a Vector Network Analyzer. In this post, I combine an FPC1500 review with an introduction to these frequency domain tools.
tl;dr; I recommend buying the FPC1500.
When most people say “Arduino” they mean an ATmega328 based board like the Uno. This means a simple 8-bit microcontroller with only 2K of RAM. That’s 2,048 bytes of memory to work with. So when someone asked me if the Arduino could do speech recognition, to be honest, I laughed. Then my jaw dropped when I saw µSpeech. A speech recognition library for the Arduino Uno’s ATmega328.
Mixed Signal Integration has a cool little chip that has 7 built-in bandpass filters. Run an audio signal through it and you have an instant audio spectrum analyzer! This is a simple spectrum analyzer based on an Arduino. Each of the 5 LEDs represent a single section of the chip’s 7 sections of audio spectrum.