Test and Measurement World Terminology Section

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Range vs Span | Difference between Range and Span

This page compares Range vs Span and mentions difference between Range and Span.


The "range" of instrument is specified by lower limit and upper limit in which it is designed to operate to measure, to indicate or to record the measured variable.

Spectrum Analyzer


The algebraic difference between upper range value and lower range value is termed as "span" of the instrument.

Example: Suppose user wants to measure radio frequencies in the 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz using spectrum analyzer, user has following two options to perform such test.
➨Option-1: Set range (start frequency: 3.7 GHz and stop frequency: 4.2 GHz)
➨Option-2: Set center frequency = 3950 MHz { i.e. (3.7+4.2)/2 } and Set Span = 500 MHz { i.e. 4200 - 3700 MHz = 500 MHz }

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