EK890 | Rohde & Schwarz

Rohde & Schwarz » EK890

High performance double-conversion HF desktop receiver. Analogical configuration, frequency range 0.01-30 MHz all-mode. Ideated in Germany.

Reference market : professional

General :
Frequency coverage 0.0100 ~ 30.0000 MHz
Modulation mode [1] CW / LSB / USB / AM
Tuning step 1 Hz min
Receiver :
Sensitivity CW 0.3 uV (0.1~30 MHz, 10dB S+N/N) [2]
SSB 1.0 uV (0.1~30 MHz, 10dB S+N/N)
AM 2.5 uV (0.1~30 MHz, 10dB S+N/N) [2]
Selectivity [3] SSB 3.1 KHz (-3dB)
AM 8.0 KHz (-3dB)
IP2 (2nd order intercept point) +70 dBm (1.5~30 MHz)
IP3 (3rd order intercept point) +35 dBm (1.5~30 MHz)
AGC Adjustable
Frequency stability ± 0.5ppm with temperature from -10°C to +50°C
± 0.1ppm with OCXO unit [4]
Intermediate frequency 41.44 MHz
1.44 MHz
Features :
Memory 1000 regular memories
Display 1 Hz frequency resolution
24-segments signal meter bar
Antenna BNC 50Ω connector
Power supply 100 ~ 240 VAC
Power consumption 25 W
Audio output Jack 6.35 mm headphone
Connections RS232C
BNC (1 / 5 /10 MHz reference input)
Mechanical and environmental data :
Operating temperature from -25°C to +55°C
Dimensions 211 (W) x 132 (H) x 460 (D) mm
Weight 8kg

[1] FM, FSK and FAX modes are optional
[2] 0.2 KHz bandwidth for CW mode, 6 KHz bandwidth for SSB mode
[3] More filters combination available
[4] Optional high stability oscillator

Description :

The EK890 receiver is a compact device developed for monitoring and identification of VLF / HF emissions for both civil and military users, such as for COMINT (radio intelligence) applications. In the wake of the Rohde & Schwarz production the ambit is clearly professional, this is reflected not only on the characteristics but also on the robustness and repeatability of performance between different units. Suffice it to say that the operation is guaranteed starting from a temperature well below 0°C while the certification includes the passing of MIL-STD-810D environmental tests. The circuit configuration in the signal chain is analogical, internally two slots allow then the insertion of optional modules to meet specific needs of use - those wishing to purchase the EK890 take into account that apparatuses with the same abbreviation may therefore differ in functionality. This model can be controlled by the front commands or even remotely using the serial port with which it is equipped.

Among the aspects worthy of mention we find the excellent value in the IP2 and IP3 intercept parameters, reason for a linear behavior even in the presence of strong antenna signals. A low phase-noise PLL synthesizer with fast lock-time, typically 10 milliseconds. An integrated Built-In-Test (BIT) system display the results on the LCD. Wide range of memories and possibility to program scans on frequency intervals or channel sequences. Adjustable BFO and PBT functions.

The selectivity values, that is the bandwidth for the intermediate frequency filters, are dependent on the personalization of the receiver. Only two are the standard filters present in each version and correspond to 3.1 KHz for CW-SSB and 8 KHz for AM. The choice becomes however much wider considering the different options as indicated below:

Version Bandwidth
Base model (Opz. 02 or 12) 3.1 / 8.0 KHz
DF model (Opz. 53) 0.6 / 3.1 / 8.0 KHz
General model (Opz. 04 or 14) 0.2 / 0.6 / 1.5 / 3.1 / 6.0 / 8.0 KHz

The receiver can also be customized through the internal installation, in the two available slots, of modules that add functions or increase dynamic performance on the signal. Below we list the most relevant modules:

Module Description
FK890H1 RF Preselector. Low-pass 0.5 MHz, band-pass 0.5~1.5 MHz, 8 band-pass filters between 1.5~30 MHz
UX890 IF converter. 455 KHz intermediate frequency auxiliary output
GM893 High-IF adapter. 41.440 MHz auxiliary output within a band of ±500 KHz
GM890 IF Processor. FM, FSK, FAX demodulator via DSP. Module available with sub-options of various features

Performance and practical notes :

Without doubt the EK890 is a receiver with excellent performance, both functional and mechanical, as always the Rohde & Schwarz productions are distinguished. However, it is not a receiver that meets the demands of the average listener. The bandwidths also considering the model with 6 distinct filters are characterized by selectivity that highlight the lack of values of more frequent use, as can be 2.4 KHz for SSB for example. The equipment is excellent for demanding user if the type of traffic monitored is effectively served by the filters supplied. Even the front panel interface differs from what is usual, the ergonomics of the commands remain good but the layout and use requires to familiarize with the logic that led to their organization.

Valuation :

Dynamic range
Spurious response
Signal functions
Control functions
User friendly

Stars: 1=insufficient, 2=just sufficient, 3=mediocre, 4=good, 5=excellent

Review :

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