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 Post subject: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Tue 03, 2019 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3680
Location: Monterey California USA
ARF Member Steve, “ZARCO,” is having trouble getting into the site with dial-up Internet today so he reminded me to post a message about the latest gadget coming out of China that is of use and interest to those of us who are test equipment junkies. This is the “Nano VNA,” a $ 50 cigarette-pack sized vector network analyzer with color display that covers from 50 kHz to 900 MHz with somewhat reduced dynamic range above 300 MHz due to the use of harmonics. It wasn’t long ago that an equivalent instrument took up a bench top and cost $ 38,000. These would be suitable for ham antenna work as well as stagger tuning and characterizing IF stages in radio gear, and characterizing assorted components. Discussion is growing on other forums but there has been nothing on this one that I have seen.

There is a user group forming for these at
https://groups.io/g/nanovna-users

The construction quality is, well, somewhat shabby to be honest, but for a price of just $ 50 it is worth the trouble to upgrade that. One of the members over on the AM Fone forums is 3D printing a plastic housing for them for $ 12, and you will really need one. The screen is a bit small and will wash out in bright sunlight.

These are not going to be an instant gratification item for most of us. There is a learning curve and these are complex instruments, more suited to those of us with a technical background. They don’t come with a manual but it is available on the web. The operating and function steps are more or less the same as the recent Keysight VNA firmware designs.

These can be found on eBay and Amazon by searching for “Nano VNA.” Tough to beat for the price!

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Tue 03, 2019 8:56 pm 
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Joined: May Wed 23, 2018 6:28 am
Posts: 525
Both the device and the interest in it are phenomenal. It seems even the missing TDR function has been tacked on. It has been available for awhile but I was skeptical. I hope this leads to a more finished version 2.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Tue 03, 2019 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sun 15, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 6748
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Not a bad little machine, well worth the fifty bucks I paid for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Tue 03, 2019 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sun 02, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1732
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
There are a number of videos on Youtube on this piece of equipment. I ordered one for $20 on ebay several days ago from China. Hope it wasn't a scam. I got a tracking number and the current status says "origin post is preparing shipment" The seller had good feedback except recently and currently has no items for sale (not a good sign!).


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 04, 2019 12:19 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 822
More info on the $20 one? Most are over $40.


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 04, 2019 1:25 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 02, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1732
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
bob91343 wrote:
More info on the $20 one? Most are over $40.



I think I have been scammed. The ebay item number is 183925940096. The seller is now getting a lot of negative feedback. Oh well.... reinforces the saying " If it is too good to be true....."


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 04, 2019 2:20 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 11819
Location: Powell River BC Canada
I ordered one for around $65 Canadian. It is small and uses a touchscreen.
I already have two antenna analyzers from MFJ. Those set me back about $1200
with some accessories.

I do have a swack of tnc connectors.

New toy
Attachment:
Mister Smith Chart goes on my bench.JPG
Mister Smith Chart goes on my bench.JPG [ 45.38 KiB | Viewed 970 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 04, 2019 3:51 am 
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Joined: Oct Sun 15, 2006 12:57 pm
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Location: Liberty, Missouri
Hi Steve,

That's the same one I got on Aliexpress. Took a bit longer than normal for it to get here but arrived safe and sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 04, 2019 7:35 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 822
I have two VNAs and love them. They are both monsters but lots of fun to use.

However, after reading all the above, I succumbed to the temptation and ordered one of the nano jobs. I downloaded and printed the manual.

It'll be a month or so before it arrives. Apparently you use USB to charge the battery, or even just a 5V power supply such as one uses for a cell phone charger.

I am a bit put off by the SMA connectors; I will have to get some adapters to use with my BNC system.

I don't know about software; how does one offload the test results to a computer?


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 04, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sat 22, 2014 1:40 am
Posts: 204
There's a lot of info and software discussion on the EEV forum.
Seems some software development since the thread started.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/rf-microw ... -software/

Mikek


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 18, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 1486
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks for posting this Geoff. Gus, this is a fantastic tool and very suprised
there is not more chatter about it here. Some of the uses for a two port
vector network analyzer include;

tuning or stagger tuning IF's and getting an accurate, graphical
plot of freq response and loss/gain

same for RF front ends

this will do the same thing as the far more expensive antenna analyzers

you can characterize just about any filter including crystal and mechanical
filters

using the Smith chart you can determine values for a conjugate match,
very useful when designing amps or tuning antennas.

others have implemented things like TDR, using a PC as the display
and more

As Geoff mentioned its nearly impossible now to get into this site
due to spurious down loads via the 'bots' that have been allowed in
so if any questions, contact me directly at zarco@sonic.net
Steve W6SSP

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 18, 2019 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 23, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 11819
Location: Powell River BC Canada
My Nanovna arrived last week, but without the battery. There is something about
that battery that is blocked by international shipping. I run the unit from a lithium
power pack.

Does anyone know if software for it can run on a raspberry pi? To view the screen,
I can set up a camera for now.

It is limited to small TNC work because if you adapt to BNC and up the adapters
become part of the picture.

What is the size designation of the usb connector it uses ?

I am hoping to sniff some tubes with it, like you would do with the
ancient GR Rx meters.

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VE7ASO VE7ZSO
Amateur Radio Literacy Club. May we help you read better.
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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Wed 25, 2019 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Feb Sat 22, 2014 1:40 am
Posts: 204
radiotechnician wrote:

It is limited to small TNC work because if you adapt to BNC and up the adapters
become part of the picture.



I'm no software guy, but I'm sure the adapter parasitics could be removed in software and, would be a very logical thing to do, as most would want to start with bnc. Although a line for each adapter, UHF, N, bnc would be helpful.
Just my 2 cents to get a programmer thinking,
Mikek


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Thu 26, 2019 2:00 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5391
Location: Rochester NY USA
Just run the "cal" routine with the adapters in place - you'll need an open, short, and (very good!) 50 Ohm load and F-F coupler, the first two of the same electrical length, all of course mating with your test connectors. The coupler assumes you're using male test connectors; not needed if your test ports are M-F - can mate directly.

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Sep Thu 26, 2019 5:46 am 
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Joined: Jan Tue 10, 2012 8:39 am
Posts: 822
I got mine but it's not right. It's different from the videos also. I filed an ebay complaint and we shall see what transpires.

I learned the hard way not to ask for a replacement. By the time the replacement arrives, the ebay warranty has expired. So I try to get a refund and then buy another.

Be all that as it may, it's an incredible device. I could operate from computer as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 12:54 am 
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Posts: 1338
Location: South New Jersey 08077
This did not get answered two months ago ...
radiotechnician wrote:
My Nanovna arrived last week,....

What is the size designation of the usb connector it uses ?

It uses a USB-C connector, for both 5vdc power and data interface. Mine came with a usb cable that fits, and the cal kit cables and terminators; SOLT. (On Amazon from RONSHIN, $46 + tax)
It is supposed to have a version of the host software for file capture etc that runs on RPi, but i have not explored that yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Nano VNA
PostPosted: Nov Thu 14, 2019 8:36 pm 
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Location: South New Jersey 08077
Now, today, i see there is a $125 version with a 4.8 inch size display. Also claims frequency up to 1000 MHz.

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