|I have owned the Siglent SSA3021X for half a year and overall I am very pleased with it. |
Although by no means cheap, it is a modern and affordable bench/transportable instrument covering 9KHz up to 2.1GHz out of the box with 1Hz RBW! The unit can be easily 'software upgraded' to enable all on-board functionality (e.g. Tracking Generator) including extending the usable range up to 3.2 GHz.
There is an extensive thread over on Eevblog discussing this subject. I chose the Siglent over the Rigol DSA815 for its better noice floor (-161 dBbm/Hz), phase noise, slightly larger screen (10.1 inch) and higher resolution (1024x600).
For as far as I can determine this, the firmware of the device seems to be mature, I have not yet come across any major bugs or flaws and the layout of the menu structure is well thought through. Siglent provides firmware updates which are a breeze to apply.
I hooked it up to my LAN and external 10Mhz GPSDO reference.
There are plenty of use cases such as testing filters, coax cables, connectors and lots of other stuff in the shack. For fun, I measured the loss of all my cables in the shack and quickly identified at least one that had issues. I personally also use it to verify/tune the cavities of the 144MHz and 433MHz analog repeater setup of the local HAM radio club.
Operation of the unit is very easy, the layout of the front panel is intuitive and the large color display is really a big asset. I have added a screen protector (better safe than sorry), a mini usb key to store measurement screenshots and bought a weatherproof carrying box (B&W type 6000) for safe transportation.
I also added some adapters to adapt from N to BNC or SMA.
The build in FM/AM demodulator allows monitoring of the local broadcast stations, just plug in some earbuds or external speakers :-)
Using a directional coupler (e.g. Mini Circuits ZFDC-20-5) allows for very accurate antenna measurements, there are excellent videos about this on Youtube.
Bear in mind the SA is an extremely sensitive RF measuring device, therefore the use of a good set of attenuators is highly recommended to protect the front end from overloading (it can handle 30dBm - 1W/50V DC), you will have to do your math especially when counting on paring it directly with a high output RF device (e.g transceiver IMD measurement).
On a closing note, the only minor nuisance I have found so far is that the device does not completely power off when the power on/off button is engaged, it remains in sleep mode continuing to consume some power. This minor thing is easily solved though, I measured the cold booting time to be about 23 seconds.
For those looking at a real life comparison between the Rigol and the Siglent see here: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/siglent-ssa3000x-spectrum-analyzers/150/