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 Use Utilite as ISM Band RF Spectrum Analyzer 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Use Utilite as ISM Band RF Spectrum Analyzer

With the proliferation of RF consumer devices, the Industrial - Scientific - Medical (ISM) bands are becoming quite crowded. Devices including microwave ovens, cordless telephones, toys, wireless routers, and so on all have a presence in the ISM bands. Although many new devices are spread spectrum as opposed to narrow band and some use frequency hopping, there can still be interference issues due to the crowded nature of ISM.

When there is a problem, it is handy to have the ability to view the spectrum. For this you need a RF spectrum analyzer.Unfortunately, RF Spectrum Analyzers, such as those manufactured by Anritsu, are prohibitively expensive and beyond the means of many. However, there are low cost solutions available. This project uses Utilite in conjunction with the Ubiquiti Airview Series of Spectrum Analyzer USB Dongles to form a budget priced ISM band spectrum analyzer. The Ubiquity devices give Utilite capabilities in the 900 MHz and 2400 MHz bands.

Anritsu = $$$$$ = €€€€€
ANR_MS2721A.jpg [ 13.41 KiB | Viewed 5310 times ]


1. Utilite
2. Ubiquiti Airview9 900 MHz USB Dongle
3. Ubiquitu Airview2 2400 MHz USB Dongle

Combined.jpeg [ 255.72 KiB | Viewed 5268 times ]


For Linux, you will need a copy of Ubiquiti's AirView-Spectrum-Analyzer-v1.0.12.tar.gz package. Unfortunately, Ubiquiti no longer offers this software, and I was unable to locate it on the www. Fortunately, Robert Penz, the author of most of the steps which follow, graciously provided me with a copy of the software. Thanks Robert.

If you need a copy of the software, PM me in this forum and I will send it to you.

Update: Since this project was posted, I discovered the following website which has the the required software available for download. ... /downloads


Install all the required software as follows:


Use the following commands:

1. $sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
2. $java - version (if this returns java version "1.6.......", you will need to change to version 1.7 - use command 3, other wise if version is 1.7, skip command 3)
3. $sudo update-alternatives --config java

There are 2 choices for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

Selection Path Priority Status
0 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-armel/jre/bin/java 1057 auto mode
1 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-armel/jre/bin/java 1057 manual mode
* 2 /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-armel/jre/bin/java 1043 manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

Select 2 for Java-7.

Airview Spectrum Analyzer

Use the following commands in the directory of your choice:

1. $tar xzf AirView-Spectrum-Analyzer-v1.0.12.tar.gz
2. $cd AirView-Spectrum-Analyzer-v1.0.12/
3. $dir
airview-3rdpartylibs.jar airview-o.jar log

Here is where things get just a little bit tricky. Make special note of the linux serial device shared library file As installed, it is specific to i.386 architecture, and it will not work with Utilite's ARMv7 architecture. Therefore, you must manually replace with an ARMv7 version. If you don't replace the file, the software endlessly searches for and never finds the Airview dongle. Replace the file as follows:

1. Navigate to: ... n_for_java
2. Locate and download the file: for ARMv7l architecture.
3. Rename to
4. Copy your new into the directory where you extracted/installed AirView-Spectrum-Analyzer (overwrite the existing file).

Now you are ready to run AirView-Spectrum-Analyzer using the following script command:


Last edited by hassellbear on Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:52 am, edited 5 times in total.

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:49 am

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: Use Utilite as ISM Band RF Spectrum Analyzer

Results using the Ubiquity 900 MHz Airview9 USB Dongle
Airview900MHz.png [ 105.6 KiB | Viewed 5268 times ]

Results using the Ubiquity 2400 MHz Airview2 USB Dongle
Airview2400MHz.png [ 124.66 KiB | Viewed 5268 times ]

Notice that while the 900 MHz band is not very crowded, the 2400 MHz band shows significantly more use. This is understandable considering the prevalence of 2.4 GHz devices including bluetooth and wifi.


1. The Airview Spectrum Analyzer hardware and software work quite well with Utilite.
2. The scan rate of the Airview solution is much faster than the RTL-SDR Spectrum Analyzer Project I posted previously. The tuning range isn't nearly so great as the RTL-SDR, but Airview is much quicker.
3. Utilite again shows its versatility by doing what I need it to do.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Robert Penz, a Linux blogger/developer, who provided the required software and most of the instructions. See:

Further Information & Reading ... lyzer.html
http://airview-spectrum-analyzer.softwa ... ... n_for_java

Last edited by hassellbear on Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:03 am

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: Use Utilite as ISM Band RF Spectrum Analyzer
One More Thing - My Microwave Oven

Most microwave ovens operate at 2450 MHz. Here is a test of my microwave oven's emissions when the distance between the oven and detector is 2 meters.

While the microwave oven is off, the Airview2 Spectrum Analyzer Display does not show a peak at 2450. However, once the oven is activated, there is a discernable peak at 2450 MHz. In addition when the oven operates, the middle Power Level Display shows a broad cloud of energy spread across almost the entire band - that was a little bit surprising.

Obviously, the oven's shielding isn't perfect, but I don't think the leakage is excessive.

Microwave Oven Not Operating
Airview2 No Microwave Oven.png
Airview2 No Microwave Oven.png [ 124.43 KiB | Viewed 5263 times ]

Microwave Oven in Operation
Airview2 Microwave Oven.png
Airview2 Microwave Oven.png [ 154.09 KiB | Viewed 5263 times ]

Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:29 am

Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:05 am
Posts: 521
Post Re: Use Utilite as ISM Band RF Spectrum Analyzer
With your money, and my good looks, together we could achieve great things

Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:13 am

Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:16 am
Posts: 351
Post Re: Use Utilite as ISM Band RF Spectrum Analyzer
@ pepedog,

For you and only you, I'll share my "tinkering" system

1. Develop an investment plan to finance your projects. Remember to do what I do with regards to investments and buy - high, sell - low.

2. Buy hardware that's been obsolete for at least 2 generations - it's cheaper that way. It's all new to me, and in my case ignorance is bliss.

3. Rationalize the project. I find it helpful to imagine that whatever I am working on will lead to a new invention, patents, and vast riches.

4. Create a diversion. When the new gizmo arrives, alert others in the household that something dear to them, such as the ability to SMS text message, isn't working. They won't even notice what you are working on.

5. If you are discovered, always reply "No, it's not new. I just pulled that out of an old junk box".

Wow, with my money and your good looks, we can take this "system" on the road. Seminars, speaking engagement, television appearances, infomercials - the sky is the limit.


Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:29 pm
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