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Agilent E4406A

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The Agilent E4406A is a Vector Signal Analyzer that can be used as a Spectrum Analyzer with some constraints. It's a real bargain for RF hobbyist, it can be found around 1000$ everywhere on eBay. It was mainly a GSM transmitter tester for production line (this explains the low cost and the huge availability on the used market).

Be aware that it exists at least 2 differents versions of this VSA. A 12 bits one and a 14 bits one, usually seller are not aware of the differences. If possible try to have a 14 bits version (1).

An other option is often missing on this model, the Digital IQ board with input on the Left side of the front panel. If someone has pictures (or even has one to sell) please let a message.

UPDATE: Internal reference of this board is E440660158



  1. The range goes from 7MHz to 4GHz.
  2. You can only acquire 10MHz band at once and there is no sweep system. So you need to know where is the signal you're looking for.
  3. At some harmonic of the VCO there are pretty big artifact.


  1. Since it's a transmitter tester the power measure and phase noise are excellent.
  2. It works with the Agilent VSA 12 application and so can be used as a digital/analog front end.
  3. It has a support in the great toolsuite from KE5FX.
  4. Really low price for used ones.


External View

Internal Slot View

Opened Rack Assembly instructions

Assembly Instructions printed on the Rack. The two cards on the left are mandatory. Analog Front End seems to be the same for each version of E4406A. The digital IF card is either 12 or 14 bits version.

Front Analog IF board Back Analog IF Board

Detailed view of the Analog Front End Board.

Front Digital IF Board Back Digital IF Board

Detailed view of the 14 bits version Digital Board.

We are missing the IQ dedicated board. If you have it or any pictures of it, please leave a message.


Registry modification for VSA software

wiki/hardware_porn/agilent_e4406a.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/29 14:11 by

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