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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | Rigexpert AA-600 antenna analyzer Help


Reviews Summary for Rigexpert AA-600 antenna analyzer
Rigexpert AA-600 antenna analyzer Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $850
Description: Portable handheld analyzer will cover HF through 600Mhz, will integrate with computer and also do time-domain testing.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.rigexpert.com/index?s=aa1000
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KI4WCA Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2017 10:20 Send this review to a friend
Excellent test equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was very happy with my MFJ 259C...then I bought a couple of 70cm/2meter rigs and needed something for 70cm. After looking at the options out there I bought the AA-600. Wow...what an excellent tool! I had already read the manual and use AA Eneloop pro cells extensively so I popped fresh cells in and began using it. I found it very, very easy to use and was soon absorbed in looking at feedlines and antennas with a degree of detail that in retrospect makes me wish I bought it sooner!!!
I like to homebrew antennas and this test gear makes that easy in the extreme. I have all software loaded on the PC direct from their website but I have only used it handheld so far.

Expensive but after using it for a short time I concluded it is worth every penny. Better get a spare set of cells...a quick measurement is almost certain to devolve into a major measurement fest...this thing is addictive and FUN to use.

Highly recommended...just buy a unit that will go high enough. I never plan to go over 70cm so I am set.

Buy one...don't put it off...it is that good.
 
K1VCT Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2017 17:14 Send this review to a friend
Great in all respects  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased two AA-600's for work, having used the AA-54 extensively at home. Build quality is a cut above the AA-54, which is already fairly nicely built.

The AA-600 has removable rechargeable batteries, and the cover is well done. The bootup time is very very short compared to the AA-54, but the button presses are a little different. The AA-54 responds faster, while the AA-600 takes just a bit more "press" on the buttons.

The graphic screens are faster than, clearer than, and more readable than the AA-54

One little snag... one of the units came with a 200v pin connector to 120v blade connector adapter. The adapter wasn't made well, and fits very loose. No big deal, as I'll just snip off the Euro plug, and solder on a permanent blade type power plug. Its a non issue really, and the part was included with the off-the-shelf charger they include with the unit.

I'll also say that my first test of the AA-600, at work, revealed our shop antenna had a cable issue! Good grief.

On my Hustler 4BTV, the AA-600 and AA-54 read identically, but the AA-600 also reveals some usable bands in the UHF ranges with the 4BTV, where the SWR drops down below 2:1. Interesting, and that deserves further investigation.

All in all, a great little unit
 
KK4YEL Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2017 11:11 Send this review to a friend
great analyzer but why no Smith Chart for USA model?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really enjoy the use of this rigexpert. But I do have a bit of a sore spot with it - why does the USA model not feature the Smith Chart, but rather a Polar Chart?

To be honest, it is not that big of an issue, but to be told by Rig Expert that a company in the USA can modify the USA model to then do the Smith Chart leaves me a bit upset. Why not just sell the models the same?
Apparently some export / import issue with the algorithms or hardware.

But even if this is one area that disappoints me, I still recommend this tool. It is a great deal, and lightyears ahead of anything I have seen on the amateur circuit.
 
UR7FM Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2016 09:30 Send this review to a friend
Exellent tools!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I sold my old AA230 and upgraded to AA600. Analyzer made very quality and I'm not found any problem from negative reviews below.TDR function very useful for testing cables. 73!
 
ZL3SV Rating: 5/5 Sep 20, 2016 02:02 Send this review to a friend
Nice unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have used this unit on my PC and as a hand held device. It does everything I want fine. My only issue is having to remove the batteries for charging in the separate charger. Battery cover is difficult to remove.
I am installing a regulator and plug to charge the batteries in the unit. I won't be able to use it whilst charging as I don't want the unit subjected to the higher charging voltages. It will save removing the batteries so then it gets a 5/5 rating from me.
 
N0FQN Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2016 20:17 Send this review to a friend
My mistake  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After figuring out how the computer hookup worked it was doing what is was supposed to. I thought that the screen on the unit would be on as well as the computer readout. Learned a lesson. Does what it should and then more. I like the TDR function. I found several bad cable using this function. Saved me a bunch of time. Batteries are easy to get to but, strange they cannot be charged inside the unit. No bad connector here.
 
VA3MW Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2016 17:20 Send this review to a friend
Amazing tool  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is my 3rd Rigexpert Analyzer. Each one keeps getting better. I'm not sure what G8WRB is concerned about. I have never had an issue with any N connector on the devices I have had from Rigexpert.

I just finished using the 600 to help build the end fire 2 Element 40M verticals. It was very easy to build the phasing lines thanks to the options on the AA-600.

Every ham should have a TDR device to sweep their feedlines, something you can do with the antenna connected or disconnected. Pretty sweet stuff.

I would not hesitate to recommend this device for any ham or even commercial work. Next to my multi-meter, this is one of my favourite RF tools.
 
G8WRB Rating: 1/5 Apr 17, 2016 08:33 Send this review to a friend
Out of spec N connector can damage other N connectors.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this for my amateur radio club, as members wanted it - personally it would not have been my choice.

My first impression was the battery compartment seemed hard to open. I was concerned I was going to break the unit as I tried to work out how to get the batteries in. I don't think it is flimsy as others have said, but it is certainly not easy to open. Anyone without strong hands might struggle.

After a brief look at the manual and a play with the menus, I decided to check the female N connector fitted onto this, BEFORE I tried to measure anything. I did this by measuring the depth of the female centre conductor using a "connector guage", which is a tool designed for this. A photo of the AA-600 with the connector guage attached can be seen here

http://www.dhars.org.uk/RigExpert-AA-600/Rig-Expert-AA-600s-N-connector-is-well-out-of-specification.jpg

For a close up view of the guage, see the picture here. Each minor division is 0.0001".

http://www.dhars.org.uk/RigExpert-AA-600/RigExpert-AA-600-N-connector-fails-to-meet-spec-for-an-N-connector.jpg

The connector guage shows that the centre conductor of this particular AA-600 is 0.00325" further FORWARD than permitted by the specification of the N connector. This might not sound a lot, but it means that the analyzer can damage a decent quality N plug that is screwed into the analyzer.

The manual says:

"Although the RigExpert AA-600. AA-1000 and AA-1400 are designed for high performance without any calibration, an open-short-load may be applied for better precision. The standards used for the calibration should be of high quality. This requirement is especially important for high frequencies (100 MHz and upper)".

I would not even consider putting my good quality open, short and load calibration standards on this piece of junk, as the AA-600 would ruin my standards!

Despite concluding that quality control of the RigExpert AA-600 is very poor, I did a quick comparison between the AA-600 and an HP 8753ES vector network analyzer. I just measured the SWR of a UHF antenna. I had to take steps to ensure I did not damage anything else. The AA-600 and 8753ES agreed pretty well on SWR. That is the limit of testing I have performed, and no not intend wasting any more time on it.

I do not expect results as good as an expensive laboratory instrument on a portable analyzer aimed at the amateur radio market. But it does not seem unreasonable that an analyzer is fitted with a connector that actually meets the specification of an N connector, rather than a connector that can damage male N plugs.

There are a lot of other antenna analyzers around. Personally I'd chose the VNWA, which is a 1.3 GHz two port vector network analyzer with tons more functionality for a little less money. The VNWA even works as a basic spectrum analyzer. The VNWA needs a PC to control it, but that could be a tablet. It would be fairly easy to put a VNWA in a box with a tablet computer and have a much more versatile tool,

If you must have a fully self-contained unit, then the SARK-110 antenna analyzer looks better, although it has an upper frequency limit of 230 MHz, so is no use for the 70 cm amateur band.

There are plenty of choices of analyzers aimed at the amateur market, but personally I would avoid a RigExpert.

Dr. David Kirkby G8WRB
 
RADIO_RANDY Rating: 5/5 Sep 24, 2015 16:31 Send this review to a friend
Good value for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the AA-600 after recommending it to a communications trailer owner. I was so impressed with the unit, I got one for myself.

It's certainly not my Bird SA-6000EX, but the Bird only goes down to 25MHz and cost $6K more. My AEA analyzer lacks the frequency range,requires 8 AA batteries which are difficult to change out and doesn't have the TDR function.
I enjoy the capabilities of my Autek Research analyzer, but wanted a graphical display to see the BIG picture on my antennas.

The Rigexpert AA-600:
Covers HF, 6/2 Meters and 440 which is perfect for my Yaesu FT-897D transceiver.
Runs on readily available AA batteries that operate for a LONG time and are easily replaced.
Has an accurate TDR function for locating transmission line defects (the main reason for my recommendation to the trailer owner).
Is extremely light.
Has an attractive display.
Is very easy to use.

Sure, it costs a penny or two, but you will get what you pay for, I'm pretty sure. Unless it seriously disappoints me, in the future, you're unlikely to hear anything else from me, on this unit.
 
KA3YAN Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2015 06:28 Send this review to a friend
Updated review after two years of service  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an update to my initial review of the AA-600 analyzer by RigExpert. Now that I've had a bit more time to evaluate the analyzer, I think I have a better feel for its strengths and weaknesses.

- Durability: One of my first impressions was that the device was not well protected in its rigid plastic case and flimsy battery compartment door. I still believe that a thin rubberized cover would be practical in absorbing shock and vibration, but I haven't experienced any failures due to the quality of the enclosure. I also haven't dropped it. My recommendation is to NOT drop it and be gentle with the battery compartment cover.

- Software: This is probably the best advice I can give. Only use the RigExpert AntScope software to capture the data. Any analysis should be done using AC6LA's fantastic Zplots application for Excel. All of your wishes and dreams will be fulfilled using this application. Forget asking the RigExpert folks for help because you'll never get it. Trust me, export your data using the Touchstone export function in AntScope and import it into Zplots. http://www.ac6la.com/zplots1.html

- Data points: It's true that you can only capture a very finite number of data points when the AA-600 is stand-alone; however, when connected to your PC using AntScope, you can collect many more data points. I would highly recommend that if you plan on using the AA-600 as a lab instrument, you should connect it to your PC. If you plan on using it as a field instrument, don't expect lab instrument results.

- Customer service from RigExpert: This isn't an American company and you won't be getting it your way. Sorry, but that's how it is. They don't care what you think. They don't want your recommendations. They will hurt your feelings. Suck it up and move on.
 
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