I am looking for recommendation a special build.
I have an electronics hobby bench where I dabble in audio repair. I have been wanting/needing a spectrum analyzer. I have given up on finding an dedicated bench analog spectrum/distortion analyzer primarily because of the high cost and limitations of units from the 70's and 80's (dynamic range, bandwidth, etc).
I am now looking at a PC based system using one of the available FFT software's such as ARTA
, or RightMark Audio Analyzer
I have already purchased my high performance PCI soundcard: ESI Juli@
. This card is highly recommended by members of a DIY audio forum I frequent.
This system will be a dedicated system used almost exclusively on my bench. It will not be used for email, gaming, and music. I may occasionally visit the web to look for or access repair manauls and other electronic hobby information.
Low noise is the goal of my system build. Measure "Total Harmonic Distortion" and "Signal to Noise" requires test equipment with a noise floor well below the audio equipment under test.
Obviously, the build will require a full size PCI slot for ESI audio card. Ideally, I would like the unit to be a small form build. It should be able to operate on AC or DC battery (Battery to eliminate power supply noise when conducting test).
I would like to use Window Pro 64 bit OS.
I am also interested in using one of the new Solid State drive. I will not need large capacity storage but should be large enough for the OS and software.
I have looked at a Intel Atom Mini-ITX based system. I am not sure if this is the best choice.
The last system I built was a long time ago (Windows 95).
Any recommendation on Motherboard and Case. I thought I would use an External DVD Combo CD-RW Burner Drive. That way I can attached when needed so that it does not drain the battery or introduce noise during measurements.
Side note. I have experimented with my current laptop and one of the better external usb sound cards (E-MU204). Performance was just ok. In this board the ADC gives pretty good results. The DAC is the weak link when generating an audio test signal.
Dennis in Maine