Low cost 4.3" LCD VNA (Vector Network Analizer) under $100? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-25-2020, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Low cost 4.3" LCD VNA (Vector Network Analizer) under $100?

The January issue of TV Technology has an article by long time contributor Doug Lung on low cost VNA's for antenna testing;
https://www.tvtechnology.com/opinion...with-a-130-vna

Long story short after looking into this, the model he recommends is this model and the cheapest I found on ebay and also available shipped from California (no less) is here;
https://www.ebay.com/itm/HF-VHF-UHF-...IAAOSwmbReJWRH

Seller name is 'xspar' and the eBay item number is 283750392195. All the other sellers of this model are from China.

Doug talks about other models, but this has the larger screen 4.3" vs 2.8". It also has a metal case (many are plastic) with better shielding. He does mention that a optional calibration load is necessary, but doesn't mention any source of the one he used.

Software is available from here;
https://github.com/mihtjel/nanovna-saver/releases/

The direct download for the .exe is here;
https://github.com/mihtjel/nanovna-s...r-v0.2.2-1.exe

Searching around I was surprised to find detailed images for this including a photo of the PCB. See the attachments below.
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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??

Last edited by videobruce; 01-25-2020 at 07:14 AM. Reason: typos
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-25-2020, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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The entire set of specs is here taken from xspars eBay ad;
Quote:
HF VHF UHF VNA Vector Network Analyzer Kit 50KHz-1000MHz with 4.3" LCD Display Metal Case NanoVNA-F

Description:
NanoVNA-F Mini Vector Network Analyser is a product based on the Open Source Project of NanoVNA (https://ttrf.tk/kit/nanovna/). The RF part is consistent with the original version (NanoVNA-F uses harmonic spread measurement frequency to 1 GHz).

Hardware Main Functions:
- 4.3-inch IPS TFT LCD display with larger viewing angle. Users can read clearly even in strong outdoor light
- Longer standby time. USB expansion port can be used for charging other items when not in use for measurement
- Larger current 2A charging IC with shorter full charging time
- Larger pulsator with better operational sense
- Larger power switch with a better sense of operation
- Support Chinese and English menu switching
- Upgrade user program through the virtual U disk mode
- Standard aluminum casing protects the SMA head and reduces the interference of external electromagnetic waves on the instrument
- Software open source github.com/flyoob/NanoVNA-F

Basic Parameters:
- Size: 14 x 7.5 x 2cm (L*W*H)
- Measurement Frequency: 50KHz ~ 1000MHz (50KHz~1GHz)
- RF Output: -13dbm (maximum -9dbm)
- Frequency Accuracy: < 0.5ppm
- Port SWR: < 1.1
- Display: 4.3-Inch IPS TFT (800x480)
- USB Interface: USB Type-C communications Mode: CDC (Serial)
- Power Consumption: USB 5V 200mA
- Max. Charging Current: 2A
- Output Capacity: 5V/1A; Support for Android, Apple mobile phone
- Number of Calibration Points: 101
- Number of Scanning Points: 101
- Display Tracking: 4; Marking: 4; Setting Saving: 5
- Scanning Time: about 1.9s/1 times (50kHz ~ 1000MHz full frequency band)
- Application: Measure S parameters, voltage standing wave ratio SWR, phase map, group delay, Smith chart, etc.

Package Included:
- 1 x Vector Network Analyzer
- 2 x 20cm SMA-JJ RG316 Cables
- 1 x 50O Standard Load
- 1 x Open-Circuit Calibration Piece
- 1 x Short-Circuit Calibration Piece
- 1 x SMA-JJ Double-Head Needle
- 1 x SMA L-Shape Connector
- 1 x Type-C Data Cable
- 1 x NanoVNA-F Quick Start Guide

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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-25-2020, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Some important notes;
He does state that calibration is necessary, only mentioning using 50-75 ohm pads and a "home made 75 ohm cal-kit",
The output is low -9 dBm,
Strong signal interference doesn't appear to be able to be eliminated in the software.

Is his "home made 75 cal-kit" a just a 75 ohm terminator??

Question; in the Smith Chart attachment, I saw S11 and S21 listed in the chart. Elsewhere I saw other 'S' numbers on dedicated pro VNA's apparently representing types of measurements. What are those?

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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??

Last edited by videobruce; 01-25-2020 at 07:12 AM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-25-2020, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Well as usual, no documentation from any of those above links. They spend months developing the hardware, months longer writing the firmware/software, but for a owners manual or any documentation, forget it.

BUT, leave it to 3rd parties to come to the rescue;
https://zs1sci.com/blog/nanovnasaver/ (Very detailed, plenty of large screen shots, also how to calibrate. Part one, no link for anything further)

Another source (review & how to) in three parts; (apparently this is a earlier version that didn't have a case)
https://hexandflex.com/2019/08/31/ge...anovna-part-1/
https://hexandflex.com/2019/09/08/ge...anovna-part-2/
https://hexandflex.com/2019/09/15/ge...3-pc-software/

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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??

Last edited by videobruce; 01-25-2020 at 07:51 AM. Reason: added comments
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