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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | SARK-110 Vector Impedance Antenna Analyzer Help


Reviews Summary for SARK-110 Vector Impedance Antenna Analyzer
SARK-110 Vector Impedance Antenna Analyzer Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $330 (USD)
Description: Pocket size and lightweight
Solid aluminum metal case
Intuitive and easy to use
Four operating modes: sweep mode (antenna test), Smith
chart mode, single frequency, and frequency domain
reflectometer (cable test)
Good accuracy over a broad range of impedances
Resolves the sign of the impedance
Manual and automatic positioning tracking markers
Internal 2MB USB disk for the storage of measurements,
screenshots, configuration and firmware update
Export data in ZPLOTS compatible format for further analysis
on the PC
Lifetime free firmware upgrades available, open to community
requested features
Open source SDK including a device simulator for user
applications development
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.sark110.com/
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VE7SHM Rating: 0/5 Mar 19, 2017 06:23 Send this review to a friend
Update to review   Time owned: more than 12 months
Well update to first review a year later ...First off it took 3 months to get here from Seeed studio the seller....I thought it was the best when i got it but it biggest and common fault be came apparent ...This is apost from the Sark 110 forum (you are not the first one that suffered this type of accident.

What happens normally is that R64 fuses (open or high impedance) and in some cases U4 degrades its performance, or stops working.) Mine was sitting beside my amp one day nothing connected to it but it was on i assume rf from my Amp kill it (R64 Surface mount resister ) Sark was 10 months old at that time manufacturer said to bad no support could not pay to have fixed .....I joined the Sark 110 forum and read up about the flaw and was messaged by i believe the designer for the Sark he offerd to fix it so off it went he sent me a email saying all fix and gave me a tracking # and 69 days later it arrived ? so i gave it a try great working fine used it once put it back in its case on a shelf far from RF two weeks later was showing it to a friend and dead white screen nothing now i am told it dead has a crack or what ever so its dead i am out about 500 $ cad ..My MFJ analyzer is about 15 years old been well used still works fine so which one is fine junk buyer beware

 
KK4OBI Rating: 4/5 Aug 16, 2016 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Small but mighty  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The first reaction when you see it is about the miniature size of the unit, the controls, the words on the screen, and the connection to the antenna. You wonder about using it outside while working on an antenna.

The answer is in the manual
"This equipment is intended for use by radio amateurs in a laboratory environment only". However,
provides "... for a more visible presentation aimed at operation in the field,...". The curve and controls are as large as practical. There is also an option for a maximum contrast white color scheme.

Another indication of the VHF lab orientation is the use of a sub-miniature MXC antenna connector. A MCX to SMA cable and adapter is provided but still you need to get a SMA to SO239 adapter for attaching a coaxial cable.

The reason I bought the Sark 110 is for in-door antenna prototype work in the 130 to 230 mHz range. Here the physical dimensions are conveniently workable yet I still can use the same conventional coax connectors for scale-up.

The depth of capability of the Sark 110 and its PC software are magnificent... somewhere between good and near great. A desirable feature would be to find some way to resume the setting being used at the point where the Sark was last turned off.






 
N5KNG Rating: 3/5 Jun 22, 2016 08:42 Send this review to a friend
A lot of power in a little unit, but it's really, really small!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A convenient, all-in-one tool. But if you have larger hands, or trouble with small print, this is not the unit for you.

First the display. It is about the size of a small cell phone. And that means small - not anything like a phablet - think about the smallest smart phone you've seen, and make it smaller! The text on that display is tiny, and while it is sharp, you must have 20/20 vision at all distances, or reading glasses, to view it. Even then, you will have to focus, and may have to tilt the display back and forth to determine exactly what is being presented.

Second, the menu system. It takes some time using the unit to get used to it. There are just a few buttons, and a toggle switch that are used to reach literally dozens of menu selections. So you have to be patient, and sure-fingered. It is easy to hit the wrong button, or move in the wrong direction, selecting something other than what you wanted.

That said, if you are younger and have nimble fingers, this is a very versatile unit, and incredibly convenient. Otherwise, there are other units out there (e.g., the AIM 4170) that are even more accurate, and usable with a laptop display, which makes it easy to view the output in any number of desired formats, and to select menu items - for about the same money on the used market.
 
MW1CFN Rating: 4/5 Mar 4, 2016 03:54 Send this review to a friend
Impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The technical performance is perhaps best reviewed by QST in late 2015. This concludes the SARK is very accurate, coming into very good agreement with their reference unit.

I find the unit to be very useful, with data clearly layed out.

I have to agree that the size - considerably smaller than a touchscreen mobile phone - is a slight drawback, in that there seems no reason why it ought to be so, especially when the age of hams has a strong older bias. The on/off button is very awkward when connected to a PC.

It isn't really an unit for cold, wet countries where field use is essential, nor is it robust for that purpose. After 2 minutes outside, my fingers are too cold to operate the tiny buttons, and gloves just make the problem worse.

That said, I am impressed with the ease of use and data capture. I haven't had to resort to the manual at all.

I think a SARK-110 in a chunkier, easier-to-punch buttons case, with a fixed rather than a flylead connector, would be a real winner.

One also has to take into account that the designer of the SARK-110 is very responsive to enquiries, and has been for a long time. That, and the continual free firmware and features upgrade is a real bonus that few, if any others offer.

 
K9RX Rating: 4/5 Feb 28, 2016 04:58 Send this review to a friend
Not as accurate as I'd like...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
First it has a great display - the UI is ok... a good deal of button pushing but you get there. The accuracy I'm not so sure of. I've still not gotten an OSL to provide the same information that a calibrated LP100 provides (actually two different ones that both agree with each other). Strangely the center frequency (lowest SWR, not necessarily the resonance point) is the same freq and value but the SWR at band edges is higher on the SARK with it reporting 1.57:1 when the LP100 has 1.30:1.

The biggest complaint is the size - WHY is it so darn small? You have to be careful all the time. Its not a beauty contest guys - it SHOULD be a rugged piece of FIELD equipment - not something just used in a lab. Also - where can one get a case for it? I've not found one yet.
 
EA3HQJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2015 13:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Antenna Analyzer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bougtht it on last March 2014, throught www.seeedstudio.com, China web .It arrived very well packaged ,and I got it very fast , (but in may case, I should pay additional taxes. )
What a nice and wonderful toy! Let me repeat some previous comments, a lot of perfection in a very small package !!!!
Before buying it , I was carefully studying several other equipments . And certanly , that SARK - 110 , really exceeded all my technical expectations . It power ups very quickly , and it is handy , accurate , reasonable battery time, and works excellent, flawlessly.
It has a friendly- usabilty menus and nice instruction manual, that helped me, to start making measurements from the first day.
It has a very nice home SARK 110 web page, with huge of usefull information , and very deep resource suport . And thanks to it , I also made my own calibration terminated reference impedances (50, 75, 100 ohms,Ö) , and I should say that it is really an amazing equipment, specially for the ones radio hams like me, that has not a fixed permanent adjusted stable antenna, and are always installing many multiple portable solutions, and changing bands, and making hand-made antennas,... Mainly I am using the scalar chart with VSWR and Impedance combination , but it is also very usefull the Smith Chart , and the single freq. measurements , cable test, cable length ,... Ö
Beside it , What I really have to highlight is the excellent support from his desginer , Melchor Varela , that is updating the firmware constantly adding very new attractive features , and answering us any eventual technical question.
I think that , in that range price, there is no comparable device on the ham radio market,
Only as small improve comment , I would suggest to make a little more rugged type the MCX connector that Seeeds shipped me , but I think, that it has been already improve it , in the latest shipping versions.
Anyway , very nice portable and light equipment, Now I could not live without my Sark-110 !
 
OK1RR Rating: 4/5 Aug 22, 2015 00:51 Send this review to a friend
Best analyzer I have ever owned   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
What a wonderful toy! A lot of perfection in a very small package. There is no comparable device on the ham radio market, its parameters are rather in the lab gear segment. The bottleneck is the software - Windows only and still needs many improvements, lacks of the possibility to save directly the graphical results in selectable format, there is need to use Windows internal options (print screen or so). A multi-platform software piece like DL2SBA's VNA/J would be a nice addition which would pull the rating to 5. Only small problem is the use of the MCX type connector - more rugged type will be appreciable!
 
K2DCG Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2015 22:18 Send this review to a friend
In A Class By Itself  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received the SARK110 yesterday from www.seeedstudio.com in China and it is in a class by itself. I have an MFJ-259 and a Mini60, which both work well, but the SARK110 is the most accurate and complete antenna analyzer I have ever owned.

You get complex impedance (series and parallel) and reflection coefficient in rectangular and polar form (Smith Chart), VSWR, return loss, cable losses, reflection power percentage, quality factor, equivalent capacitance, and equivalent inductance for USD360.

The specs can be found on the SARK110 website at http://www.sark110.com/specifications.

I have not discovered any "cons" but I do have a wish list:

1) Bluetooth capability
2) UHF range
3) GUI front end for Windows

The folks at Seeed Studio are great to work with and I ordered the SARK110 on Sunday and received it Friday via FedEx....not bad.

Go get one...you will not be disappointed.
 
QRPNEW Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2015 21:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Product  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is an excellent well packaged professional product. It gives me a great amount of joy owning and using this product. When i first received it I was struck by how small it was.

Execution and user interface is superb. Its accuracy is also superb. I cant really fault the product. I am picky about what I buy and how I use and this product delivers in all areas. Highly recommended.

I hope in the future they will release a bigger version with larger a larger screen. My eyes are going and it would be a great instrument if it had a bigger screen. In the future I would also like to own a 2 port version. Another alternative would be a Bluetooth interface for use with a tablet and without a screen. A dedicated Audio range one that goes down to 1 hertz for checking audio transformers etc would be a nice future option.

My old antenna analyzers are junk in comparison and I have just about owned them all. This instrument blows the MFJ, Palstar, Autek and Rigexpert units out of the water.

The signal generator is superb for checking the useless S-meters on most radios these days that just tell lies. Nothing like the feeling knowing how inaccurate your s-meter is and how much you need to correct reports by!

The web page is superb and has a number of application notes on advanced users of this fine instrument. Hopefully they will be expanding the user notes on how to get the best from the instrument.

My Advice is to rush out and buy one. Ordering from SEED Studio in China is safe and reliable and their customer service is excellent.
 
KU3X Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2015 07:50 Send this review to a friend
Best analyzer I have ever used  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Iíve been using the SARK 110 for a few months and just love it. I needed a pocket size accurate antenna analyzer and the SARK 110 fits the bill. I also have an MFJ 259B, MFJ 223 and have used the Rig Expert AA-54. The SARK 110 give you the most information.
Interfacing the SARK with a computer is super easy. Using the SARK with the Zplots sofware on the computer is great. First use your SARK to check the antenna, same the plot to the unit and then you can retrieve the file and use the computer to analyzer you antenna. The only thing the computer does is give you a bigger screen. All of the information you can retrieve with the computer can be read on the SARK as a stand alone unit.
The one neat feature I really liked is, you can put a delay on the time the SARK analyzes the antenna. What I do is, program the SARK for the frequency range and the time delay, 5 minutes delay is plenty. Next I attach the analyzer to the dipole I want tested. Now I put the dipole back in the air, wait for the unit to analyze the antenna and when the time is up, I lower the dipole back to the ground and now I know what the readings are with the antenna in the air. Caution when doing this, make sure you attach the SARK securely to the antenna. Do not depend on the coaxial jumper to secure the SARK to the antenna.
I also purchased a set of terminated calibration loads from G3TJP. I wanted to check how accurate the SARK was. This baby is right on the money. When new firmware comes out, itís posted on the SARK web page and the firmware is super easy to install. I just installed the newest version. Now the SARKís range is extended to 230 MHz.
I bought mine through Ebay. SteppIR now sells them stateside.
The SARK 110 is by far the most accurate and useful antenna analyzer I have even used or owned.
Eham ratings go from 0 to 5, I'd give this bady a 10 if I could.
 
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