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Author Topic: Good antenna analyzer for under $500  (Read 2995 times)
WALTERB
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Posts: 528




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« on: June 27, 2013, 01:12:38 PM »

I saved enough in my budget for a good antenna analyzer. 

I would like to get one that gives an actual antenna pattern plot graphically, but that maybe way too much to ask for the price range I'm after.

I would also like to avoid MFJ products unless someone believes I'm being overly snobbish about it..  Grin

Rig Expert antenna analyzers look pretty good.  Is their much difference between their AA-30 and AA-54, and other more expensive models?

thanks.
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WA2ONH
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Posts: 250




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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 03:01:09 PM »

Here's a link to ARRL's YouTube video showing 4-Analyzers...

(See QST March 2013 issue for detail review specs)

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHEHqRazv-g&feature=youtu.be

I myself would like the AA-30 one as don't operate 6-mtrs (AA-54 model)

Good Luck!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 03:06:36 PM by WA2ONH » Logged

73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
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"No time is ever wasted that is spent LEARNING something!"
K6AER
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Posts: 3489




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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 03:12:54 PM »

I have been very happy with the operation and quality of the MFJ-266.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13045




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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 03:23:23 PM »

Quote from: WALTERB

I would like to get one that gives an actual antenna pattern plot graphically,



This is NOT what a typical analyzer does:  some can generate plots of impedance
over frequency, but to measure an antenna pattern you need some sort of remote
receiver and the ability to rotate the antenna while taking measurements.

That's not to say that you can't come up with a system that will generate azimuth
plots, because you can, but the boxes currently sold as "Antenna Analyzers" don't
do that.

The two easiest ways to create antenna radiation patterns are either to model it
in software (I find EZNEC fairly easy to use, while 4NEC2 is free) or to use one of
the plotting software packages connected to your receiver with a remote transmitter
of some sort as a signal source.  The software then records the relative signal
strength as the antenna is rotated and plots it.

I use the EZNEC plots of my antennas when I'm designing them, then (particularly for DF
antennas where the pattern makes a difference) I set out a transmitter and rotate
them to check for unexpected lobes or nulls.  I have plotted the actual pattern, using
either a step attenuator or a calibrated signal strength meter, but the quick check of
S-meter vs. direction is sufficient for detecting problems in construction.
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W4TRJ
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 08:50:12 PM »

I'll leave it to you to determine all the differences between the rigexpert aa-30 and 54. Mainly it's a frequency range thing but I believe the 54 does a few things the 30 wont do.

But I will say this, the aa-54 is a sharp piece of gear. Very helpful, quite easy to learn if you pay attention to the book and see how it works. Well made. Well worth it, a true piece of test equipment.

As the other poster pointed out, it wont give you the radiation pattern for your antenna.

But it will do a lot that is very useful, and do so in a much better way than the mjf 259 or similar.

ArraySolutions is a good place to get it. No affiliation, just very happy with their service. They answer the phone, no recorded crap, and you deal with live people who want your business, which to me is important.

dc.
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G8JNJ
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Posts: 473


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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 12:15:44 AM »

Hi,

Here's a link to some free antenna polar plot software.

http://www.g4hfq.co.uk/plphelp/plphelp.htm

The notes make interesting reading if you wish to attempt this sort of thing.

Regards,

Martin - G8JNJ

www.g8jnj.webs.com
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