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Old 01-15-2018, 1:12 PM
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prcguy prcguy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,950

I do a lot of antenna work and an analyzer is a vital piece of equipment for me. I've owned an MFJ-259B analyzer and it was complete junk, it was plagued with intermittent problems and a band selector switch that failed early on.

I moved on to a Comet CAA-500 analog only version and have been thrilled with it. its one of the few that will do continuous from 1.5 to 512MHz getting the VHF and UHF mil air bands for testing receive antennas.

Then I got a pair of Chinese analyzers that I now use for everything. The AAI N1201SA covers 137MHz to 2.7GHZ with color graphical screen that reads out in SWR, return loss in dB and impedance from .1 to 1000 ohms. Its not a cheap piece of junk but a very accurate and reliable Vector Network Analyzer. This meter costs around $165 and you have to spend several times more $$ to equal the quality and accuracy of this meter.

I supplement the N1201SA with its low frequency brother, the AAI N2021BA which covers 1MHz to 200MHz and is a 2-port device. It not only gives you all the measurements of the of the N1201SA, it also allows you to generate a signal or sweep through a device like a filter or or length of coax or you can even tune a complete duplexer using its generate port and the S21 through loss measurement. This meter ran me about $240 and is worth every penny.

There was a comment about not needing to use an analyzer on receive only antennas. That is true if you dont care about loosing a bunch of receive signal. I used the Comet CAA-500 to do final testing on the very popular Monitoring Times X-Wing UHF satcom antenna and without those final measurements and trimming, the antenna would have never worked as well as it does.
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