NanoVNA antenna analyzers

K2KOH

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Caught KJ4YZI playing with one of these on his YouTube. Anyone else have one and what do you think?
 

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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I bought one a year or so ago.
I have mixed feelings. It does work, I'll give it that.
The user interface is clunky and it's small size makes using it difficult. For the price, I don't really complain, though.

I prefer to use my equipment from work, but if I forget to bring it home, or just need to quickly check something, they are good enough. And again, considering how much they cost, they are a great option.

Only trouble I had was finding a good user tutorial on the Youtubes. There's a lot of videos, but only a few decent ones.
 

vagrant

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I have used this no brand N2061SA model for over two years and I use it quite often. I purchased it based on the advice of another member with professional experience. It works well for many things. The additional S21 port allows for sweeping/tuning filters within the frequency coverage of the device. I have cut/tuned a mono band antenna, swept and tuned filters, the obligatory VSWR sweep of antennas and I have even tuned a notch duplexer with it. I later connected a costly Agilent 8935 to double check the duplexer and it was dead on. Still, it will not handle a regular BpBr duplexer where the 8935 would.

While this device does not offer a Smith chart, nor directly connect to a computer, the various screens it offers are crazy easy to configure. That is why I often use it. One could spend $1300+ on a Rigol or something better, but for under $300 it works well. If it blew up I would probably try a Nanovna, but then buy another one of these N2061SA models.

 

merlin

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Jul 3, 2003
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South East Idaho
I have the H4 version and not a bad little analyzer. I compared it with my Agilent and tells me the same thing.
Ergo, it is accurate enough.
My only gripe is recalibrating after bandspread changes.
Self contained,rechargeable, shirt pocket.
It is worth the investment.
 

AK9R

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IMSAI Guy has done several videos about the NanoVNA and how he uses it for various tasks.

Also, Alan, w2aew, has done a few NanoVNA videos.

Both of them have engineering backgrounds and examine the NanoVNA from an engineer's perspective. Alan is an application engineer for Tektronix and has extensive experience with test equipment.
 

alexgeo

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Nov 3, 2015
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Northern CA
I just bought one the other day. The device itself is almost unusable without serious compromises. Display resolution sucks, menu sucks, and the UI is completely wonky.

However, when connected to a computer and used with a program like NanoVNASaver, it instantly becomes an incredibly intuitive and useful tool. The computer-based program makes calibration and plotting very easy. I say go for it if you plan on using it attached to a PC.
 

krokus

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I just bought one the other day. The device itself is almost unusable without serious compromises. Display resolution sucks, menu sucks, and the UI is completely wonky.

However, when connected to a computer and used with a program like NanoVNASaver, it instantly becomes an incredibly intuitive and useful tool. The computer-based program makes calibration and plotting very easy. I say go for it if you plan on using it attached to a PC.
It is meant to be a small, but useful tool. Similar to using a smart watch to read your text messages, it is not a full-blown replacement for the larger device.
 

k9wkj

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where they make the cheese
just like when using a real VNA, calibrate the setup!
i use mine several times a week
I take mine to repeater sites using my 8" or 10" tablet and the NanoVNA web app
or use it on the bench using the lappy and NanoVNAsaver
I use this cal kit Short Load Open BNC/SMA Calibration Kit RF Tester Open Short load | eBay
putting the SMA>female BNC adapters on the VNA saves the connectors from wearing out
and makes getting hooked up a breeze
 

alexgeo

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Nov 3, 2015
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Northern CA
It is meant to be a small, but useful tool. Similar to using a smart watch to read your text messages, it is not a full-blown replacement for the larger device.
True, but I almost wish they would make a version where they ditch the screen and make it into a computer dongle only. Would serve my needs a lot better. Otherwise you can’t beat it for 50$!
 

needairtime

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Apr 9, 2018
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CO, USA
I have a cheap clone of the NanoVNA-H (2.8"). After hearing about a long time radio engineer talk about it over the radio, I ended up getting one as I needed an antenna analyzer anyway. After I started playing with it, I concluded it's a pivotal piece of equipment on my tool bench along with my scopes and multimeters, and I think it's even more useful than the spectrum analyzer I'd like to get at some point. I'd even go as far to say I'm happy with the crap clone, but mainly because I know I'll never afford a laboratory VNA (and spectrum analyzer as well).

I suspect a lot of people end up using these as 1-ported analyzers (i.e. antenna analyzer) which makes a lot of the UI "more buttons than absolutely needed" potentially making it more difficult to use than needed. But after playing with it a bit, I think I can get at all the features I need after understanding the menu system.

BTW the UI likely is a ripoff of some other UI, anyone who had HP or Tek or some other equipment and could say what the UI is a ripoff of, or perhaps it really is its own? Chances of me getting access to a laboratory VNA is quite low...
 
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