Best Radio Frequency RF Signal Generator 2024

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Welcome to our guide on the best RF signal generators for every application! Whether you’re into Amateur radio, or someone just diving into the world of radio circuit design, finding the right signal generator is important. These tools are essential for creating precise signals, testing circuits, and bringing your electronic projects to life.

In this article, we’ll explore top picks, offering you insights into their features, performance, and how they can fit into your projects.

Here is a list of our top picks:

Join us as we cut through the technical jargon and present our findings in a straightforward, accessible manner. Without further ado, let’s get into the details

Table of Contents

RF Signal Generator 6 GHz

RF signal generators used to cost a small fortune. I bought my 3 GHz sig gen for about $2000 (used). These days with advancements in semiconductor technology, a 6 GHz instrument can be purchased for a small fraction.

And it also fits into your pocket!

Upgraded MAX2870 Rf Signal Generator Source 23~6000Mhz High Precision Frequency 2.8 inch Touching Screen Single Point Sweep Mode Data Cable SMA Female Counter-Control

The MAX2870 Signal generator is a versatile instrument that is built with the user in mind. As the name suggests it is built with the MAX2870 PLL chip that has excellent phase noise performance.

The output of the sig gen is a sine wave. The amplitude and frequency can be specified using the LCD screen. The picture below shows various settings

Upgraded MAX2870 Rf Signal Generator Source 23~6000Mhz High Precision Frequency 2.8 inch Touching Screen Single Point Sweep Mode Data Cable SMA Female Counter-Control

Unlike many older (and pricier) USB signal generators, this one has a screen coupled to the instrument for easy control. Added features like single frequency and sweep modes that can be used for filter and amplifier testing.


  • Large Frequency range of 23 MHz to 6000 MHz – More than adequate for most consumer, manufacturing, amateur radio, R&D applications
  • Compact form factor of 3.1 x 2.1 x 0.6 inch
  • Clock output
  • Single frequency mode and Sweep mode


  • Has the functionality that most users need without the hefty price tag


  • Harmonic content that can be as high as 10 dBc relative to fundamental output

Signal Generator and Spectrum Analyzer in one

The latest model of the TinySA features both spectrum and signal analysis in one small package.

Spectrum Analyzer, 2023 Upgraded TinySA Ultra Spectrum Analyzer with 4.0 Inch Sensitive Touch Screen, Handheld Tiny Frequency Analyzer ith 32Gb Card, 2-in-1 Signal Generator

The small unit will generate a sine wave up to 800 MHz and square wave harmonics up to 4.4 GHz. The only limitation is that you can’t use both functions simultaneously.

Nevertheless a lot of value at a compelling price point!


  • Frequency range of 100 kHz to 800 MHz – Good for most amateur radio bands, HF, VHF applications.
  • Compact form factor of 6.97 x 4.69 x 2.24 inches
  • Calibration output


  • Has basic signal generator functionality in a dual-purpose product


  • Limited frequency range

Used Signal Generators

I have a signal generator purchased off eBay about 7 years ago. While it’s a very old model, it still works reliably to this day.

On eBay you can get benchtop RF signal generators up to 4 GHz in the $1500 price range. This might vary depending on age of the instrument, features, condition, etc.


  • Can get a wide variety of capabilities and brands
  • Benchtop, Handheld, Headless, Portable form factors


  • Instrument is most often used and not covered by manufacturer warranty

What is a RF Signal Generator?

An RF (Radio Frequency) signal generator is an electronic device used to produce radio frequency signals in a wide range of frequencies. These signals are then used in the testing, design, and maintenance of radio frequency equipment and systems. RF signal generators are essential tools in the fields of telecommunications, electronics research, and development, as well as for the manufacturing and servicing of radio frequency devices and systems.

The basic function of an RF signal generator is to generate a precise and stable signal at a specific frequency, which can be adjusted over a wide range. This signal can be modulated (i.e., its amplitude, frequency, or phase can be varied) to simulate various conditions that a device might encounter in real-world applications.

What do we look for in a Signal Generator?

Frequency Range

RF signal generators cover a wide range of frequencies, from a few kHz to several GHz, making them versatile tools for testing a variety of RF components and systems, including antennas, receivers, and transmitters.

Modulation Capabilities

They can produce modulated signals (AM, FM, PM, and more complex digital modulations) to test the response of systems to different types of signals and to simulate real-world scenarios.

Output Power Control

The output power of the signal can be precisely controlled to match the requirements of the system being tested.

Phase Noise

Low phase noise is a desirable feature in an RF signal generator, as it indicates the signal’s purity and stability, which is critical for many high-performance applications.


Modern RF signal generators come with digital interfaces, allowing them to be controlled remotely and integrated into automated test systems. They can be programmed to generate specific sequences of frequencies and modulations to automate testing processes.


RF signal generators are used in a wide array of applications, including but not limited to testing and calibration of RF circuits and equipment, radar and satellite communications systems, wireless networking devices, and broadcasting equipment.


The signal generators we presented in this article satisfy many of the above criteria. The lower cost instruments will not have modulation capabilities, output filtering or interfaces that help integrate them into other applications. If this is important for your application we recommend getting a used signal generator from eBay.

Here is a list of our top picks:

GOOZEEZOO Upgraded TinySA Ultra Spectrum Analyzer 4inch 100kHz-5.3GHz Frequency Analyzer | 2-in-1 Signal Generator 100kHz to 800MHz MF/HF/VHF UHF Input | 3000mAh Battery & 32GB SD Card V0.