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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | mRS MiniVNA Pro Help


Reviews Summary for mRS MiniVNA Pro
mRS MiniVNA Pro Reviews: 9 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $549.99
Description: Vector Network Analyzer - Two port, USB or Bluetooth wireless computer connection - 100 kc - 200 mc
Product is in production.
More info: http://miniradiosolutions.com/
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KD0CAC Rating: 4/5 Jun 26, 2014 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Powerful but finicky   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had other analyzers MFJ-259 , B & 269
Time Wave TZ900 and played with others that friends had .
But this is a VNA which is why I bought it , to test components / systems .
It does do a very good job of being an antenna analyzer , especially with it being a device that uses graphs vs. meters & digital displays - much quicker for multi-band antennas .
I would give this a higher reading , but there seem to be lots of issues with using Blue Tooth , many report connection issues .
Then the computer interface is a off and on again problem .
I may have taken my lack of computers as being at fault , but having read with other users on the Yahoo group having similar issues .
And Yahoo is probably one of the biggest problems , but they were the only game in town for this type of group interaction at the time , hard to move to alternatives sites - but probably worth trying .
With some patients and computer skills this can work better , I am not a fan of computers getting in the way of using gear , maybe an age thing ;)
But once you get use to the stumbling blocks - mostly computer interface being inconsistent , it is a very good & powerful tool , and seems to be comparable some high dollar gear .
A couple of things to do for continued use , I leave extra SMA connectors on the unit , for lots of connecting / disconnecting - when they ware out , just change them .
Next is I leave the calibrating caps on to avoid stray energies from creating issues , same with all my other analyzers - leave small dummy loads on them , I have had damage to some gear getting stray static / etc. ? causing damage .
 
N6HTV Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2014 13:00 Send this review to a friend
Great tool to have around  Time owned: more than 12 months
I sold the Mini VNA to buy the Pro version.
Have had them for over 2 years. They are one of the tools that I use on a regular basis. tuning cans, filters and antennas. keep mine in a case and use it with care. I use 12in cables to go from SMA to whatever I am doing. Using converters directly is a no..no as it tweaks the SMA connectors.Both the Android and windows software is great. just rember not all hardware in the world will work. sorta like every other program out there. My Galaxy phone works wonderfully and now I rarely use the computer. The updates also bring a more polished look and feel to a very informative screen.
 
VA3MW Rating: 4/5 Jan 8, 2014 09:42 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered mine from Gigaparts and they did am great job of shipping it to me in Canada.

I have no problem connecting my device via USB and my Win7 64 bit computer. It works every time. I did notice that I was getting some weird readings while doing some baluns at HF. I found out that it was my USB cable that was contributing to the RF errors. Once I choked the cable with about 8 turns around a type 31 toroid, all those problems went away.

Now, the rest is on me to figure out and that is just how to use a VNA.

For the price, I would recommend the miniVNA Pro.

I plan to add RS232 over RF to it (rather than bluetooth) with a $30 device from Hobbyking.
 
K3NB Rating: 0/5 Nov 9, 2013 06:13 Send this review to a friend
follow up  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
email received from the seller:

Hey Norman!

We tested the VNA, and it's definitely defective. Can't even get it to connect via Bluetooth.

You still need a refund or would you maybe like a replacement unit to try out?

It's up to you, I completely understand if you'd rather just get a refund. However I did want to confirm your suspicions; the unit does not work like it's supposed to.

Let me know! I'll be happy to help you out.

Sincerely, [Southern US retailer]

Fluke? One-time issue? Not so sure, as I've been following the comments on the Yahoo user's group and it would seem I'm not alone in my frustrations and overall experience. There are a LOT of buyers who are struggling with the VNA.

As "polished" a presentation as mRS gives the packaged unit, out of the box, the interface, update, method of operation (primitive, close to DOS line code operating) overall use and - apparent - failure rate makes it not so user-friendly, far from 21st century PNP utility.

If you LIKE debugging, spending your hard-earned money for a device which will require you spend many hours troubleshooting, contacting customer service, reviewing comments and suggestions on an online user's group - often in broken English - then by all means, buy one, have fun, mazel gov, but I would seriously recommend waiting another 6-8 months on this, until they "get the bugs out."
 
K3NB Rating: 0/5 Oct 26, 2013 09:14 Send this review to a friend
Arcane and DOA  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have, in the past 48 hours, spent, literally, about six hours trying to:
1 - upload/install newest software version (done, about two hours)
2 - Calibrate the unit for reflection, transmission, and save the files created.
3 - analyze a simple 2M ground plane antenna and save/print/email the scan results - not working
4 - connect the bluetooth function - still not working.

I have tried this on a 2 week old iMac under OSX 10.8.5, Windows 7 running on VMWARE on the iMac, and a Macbook Air laptop (same OS as the iMac). I couldn't get the iMac to upoad the new software, but it managed to do it on the MBA, then I couldn't get the analyzer to calibrate on the MBA but it will on the iMac.

Neither of the units connects via BT. The BT setup "sees" and "pairs" with the unit, it just won't connect from within the VNA software. The BT light just keeps flashing.

I have contacted the manufacturer, and Davide has been very quick in responding, with the following: "I would try another bluetooth adapter, better an external one with your MAC. The calibration file load only if the connection and the driver is conneted, if you try to connect via BT and the port is not available (BT module not paired) the sw. does not know where and what to connect, run first the USB and switch to BT mode."

And how, I replied, exactly, do I SWITCH to BT mode?

I have read through the manual, all 132 pages, AND the driver manual, AND I'm awaiting permission to join the yahoo! VNA user group to see if anyone else has had similar issues and how they've resolved them.

New ham, but I've been working with computers since my first IBM XT model in 1987, switched to MAC 6years ago and haven't looked back, until now. Macs, for the most part, "just work," and I'd rather be working, than working on my PC, which is what this unit is all about, apparently, as everything about it, from connecting, to setup, to saving files, to loading file, to calibrating, is ALL like owning a recalcitrant PC troubleshooting IRQ conflicts, setting PCI card pins, running plug and play analyzer for hours on end to get to the desired usage of whatever device you've plugged in to your computer. Although the author of the manual, Dietmar Krause says he has tested these units with MAC OSX in both 32 and 64 bit versions (I'm using 64 bit), being told by their tech help to try an EXTERNAL blue tooth adapter is about as far back in the 20th century as I'd like to throw this unit right now, about to 1993 and Windows 3.1.

This unit, the mini VNA Pro, both hardware and software iterations, are NOT plug and play "user friendly." Not yet.

Take a pass on this. I'm going to return it for refund on Monday. It's DOA. And I won't let them charge me a "restocking fee."

 
W3FRG Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2013 16:35 Send this review to a friend
Professional product at a competitive price   Time owned: 3 to 6 months


Unbeatable value for the money, precise and sensitive. It meets all of my needs for antennas, cables, baluns, stubs, filters, etc. Once calibrated, you just need to let the software do the work. Itís the only analyzer, aside from the professional HP, Tek, Anritsu, etc., that plots a Smith Chart correctly.
The Bluetooth interface and the Android App make it a lightweight and complete portable analyzer and well supported.
 
AE5I Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2012 22:30 Send this review to a friend
Follow up...  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I wrote my initial review of the MiniVNA Pro, I did not have an Android device but I now do. I have now used the BlueVNA app (on my Samsung tablet) to operate my MiniVNA Pro and it works really well. This provides a handheld control/display terminal that is much easier to take to the field for on-site measurements than a notebook computer.....particularly if you need to make adjustments with one hand and hold the tablet with the other. The program also supports the Extender.

I also make use of the VNAJ and Windows based programs and the current versions of those two are excellent as well.

I have recently used the MiniVNA Pro in wireless/Bluetooth mode to make feedpoint measurements on an HF antenna that is extremely reactive at lower frequencies and has a very low R value. In spite of the fact that the R & X were nowhere remotely near the 50+j0 area where network analyzers are most accurate, the MiniVNA Pro gave remarkably accurate results. I couldn't be more pleased with the unit.
 
RFEXPERT Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2012 18:04 Send this review to a friend
Good unit  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is is a good unit that works as advertised.

The Bluetooth feature is excellent. I can sit in the car or under the shade and read the PC screen with ease. There is also no need to bend down all day trying to read a normal analyzers screen.

The unit is accurate and tests well with professional equipment over its frequency range.

The documentation is poor and presumes the user has used VNA's before. If you are new to these new generation of amateur VNA's you will have to do a lot of reading to get the most from these instruments.

As a suggestion the company should publish application notes showing hams how to do different kinds of measurements typically required for ham radio testing procedures.
You wont find much of this in the manual.

I WOULD AVOID THE EXTENDER. THESE UNITS ARE FAULTY AND HAVE A DESIGN PROBLEM. THEY DONT WORK AS ADVERTISED AND ARE VERY UNSTABLE.

Other than that you will have a lot of fun with the MINAVNAPRO. The uses are endless and will help you expand your knowledge and understand of how antennas work. I have used it extensively checking and tuning a homebrew amplifier it was very helpful as well. Not having to carry a big VNA home from work was a huge relief for me and my back.

Great instrument.
 
IN3ASW Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2012 07:13 Send this review to a friend
Professional product at a competitive price  Time owned: more than 12 months

Unbeatable value for money. VERY(!) precise and sensitive. I analyzed all my antennas, cables, baluns , stubs etc. Many are complaining abt the reduced manual. No need for more .. once calibrated, you just need to play around with the software. I use Karl Jan Skontorp's application. The Bluetooth interface and the Android App (alpha) makes it a lightweight and complete portable analyzer.


 


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