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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | mRS MiniVNA Pro Extender Help


Reviews Summary for mRS MiniVNA Pro Extender
mRS MiniVNA Pro Extender Reviews: 3 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Frequency Extender that connects to the MiniVNA Pro and permits operation over the 200 mc to 1500 mc range of frequencies
Product is in production.
More info: http://miniradiosolutions.com/
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N7MSD Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2013 22:27 Send this review to a friend
Worked Perfectly for me  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I'm embarrassed to say I haven't used my Pro+Extender a whole lot since I got it, but I did a lot of testing and everything seemed to work out of the box for me. I had previously upgraded the Pro's firmware prior to getting the Extender, so maybe that fixed it before I even saw a problem in the first place. I have always, to date, powered the the pair on fully connected to each other, BTW, and also haven't had any problem dis/re-connecting the Cat-5 while the Pro remains powered up. With the exception of when I first got the Pro, I have always used the BT connection exclusively.

I don't have any test equipment to compare to, but as a computer guy and commercial driver license holder (yeah, weird combo, I know) I'm used to kicking the tires and performing sanity checks whenever I get a new toy like this--and it seems to check out. I bought this from W4RT (*GREAT GUYS*, BTW) and they included a couple of short cables because they said they were seriously worried about busting one or both circuit boards at the connector mount points when using the barrel connectors (i.e., G's from bumps and such would be taken full-force by the connectors rather than the cases). Anyway, while calibrating I can see the phase difference between using the barrel connectors and the cables, so the Extender IS working that way. Further, I connected my Diamond SRH-999 quad-band "duck" (that's in quotes because can you call a 2 foot semi-rigid antenna a duck any longer?) made for my old IC-T81A HT and successfully measured its resonance points all the way up to the 1,500 MHz specified, and confirmed they were where they were supposed to be--although perhaps not as deep (Return Loss) as I'd like on the upper bands. Finally, there is an internal resonance at around 600 MHz (going from memory from months past, so this number may not be correct) which is VERY obvious, VERY narrow--like a clean oscillator--but with no harmonics. However, unless you're working in the new 600-700 MHz LTE bands or in TV, I doubt it'll be a problem.

One last thing: as I said, I bought this from W4RT, and I can't help but wonder if they tested it before shipping out; otherwise, maybe this is just your typical Chinese QC issue (out of the factory, 25%-50% of electronics don't work right, which is one reason why you pay far more once it gets to Western shores and gets a proper QC) and they're not checking them over in Europe before shipping them to customers. I can only speak of my own experience.

73, Mike N7MSD
 
AE5I Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2012 00:13 Send this review to a friend
Follow up...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is just a follow-up of my earlier review.

My extender is still working just like it should.

I have had multiple UHF antenna design projects going since getting my unit back in June of 2012 and it has been extremely useful on all of them. I'm currently using VNAJ 2.8.5 and I like it a lot (great work Dietmar!). I understand that there is a totally new version of the Windows based program in the works that will support the extender as well.

So far, I have found excellent agreement between my Rohde & Schwarz network analyzer and the MiniVNA Pro/Extender.

The fact that screenshots/etc can be exported so quickly and easily to various documents and then stored in various forms on the computer is extremely handy, particularly when compiling a test report or spec sheet for a product. It's a real trip to think of going back to doing UHF measurements on a General Radio 1602 and manually plotting Smith Charts.....wait, I don't want to think about that!

The long and short of it is that I still consider the Extender to be a fine product that I would buy again without hesitation. Matter of fact, if I ever see a really good deal on a good used one, I will probably buy it as a spare.
 
RFEXPERT Rating: 0/5 Sep 29, 2012 17:53 Send this review to a friend
Avoid  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The MiniVNAPro works as standard and is good instrument. No complaints.

The EXTENDER was faulty from the very 1st day I received it. I sent several emails of complaint both to the company and the distributor and got no replies. The unit never worked from day 1 out of the box.

The main problem is that the unit wont calibrate and if it does calibrate the reading are all crazy. I used a 15000 dollar VNA calibration kit from work so I am 200% sure that the extender is a piece of crap that wont read a 50 ohm load correctly.

The Yahoo group is totally useless because the group is censored and moderated by the owners of the company. You will never get the truth on this group. All you will get on this Yahoo group is the attitude that you are a idiot and you dont know what you doing.

I work with 100,000 plus dollar VNA's at work so I think I am qualified to know when something is a POS or broken. Blaming cables and poor
calibrations is poor excuses for something that does not work. I would be happy to accept the argument if it was 1 faulty unit and I got the one manufactured on Friday afternoon. But when several units do exactly the same thing you can only conclude that the units are not working correctly


I am not the only users with this problem. Several members in the club bought this unit and EVERY UNIT in the club with the exception of 1 user had problems getting the unit to work correctly. If you cant read a 50 ohm load and report correct reading you have a piece of junk
that does not work! We checked all our cables and settings the results were all the same. Useless readings and calibrations that are totally useless.

Since I cant get my money back I threw it in the garbage can. The suppliers are not interested in supporting their faulty products.

My plans are now to buy a VNWA which everyone seems happy with.

 


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