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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | RigExpert AA-55 Zoom Help


Reviews Summary for RigExpert AA-55 Zoom
RigExpert AA-55 Zoom Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $$399
Description: Graphic antenna and cable analyzer. The analyzer is
designed for measuring SWR (standing wave ratio), return
loss, cable loss, as well as other parameters of cable
and antenna systems in the range of 60 kHz to 55 MHz.
Color display and USB interface to AntScope software.
Product is in production.
More info: http://https://www.rigexpert.com/index?s=aa55zoom
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N3XKB Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2017 09:36 Send this review to a friend
Pretty okay for the money  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this over a MiniVNA because I didn't want to haul around a laptop to take measurements, it was in my toy budget, I needed it NOW, and I didn't need to go above 6 meters on that project.

The unit is limited to 100 data points collection. This results in a very low resolution graph if you're scanning the whole band. This can present a very misleading view of your antenna.

The work around is to limit the scan to the bands, perhaps with a little bit of the spectrum on either side of the band you're scanning.

The original firmware lets you choose the number of points collected and happily ignores your setting. I talked to the company and they got me a firmware patch yesterday. I am very impressed that they listen to customers. This is why I'm rating them a 4 instead of a 3. The firmware update simply removed the choice of resolution. It really is limited to 100 points.

This only matters if you're saving data for later use, which is what I was doing at a remote antenna site. Got home and wasn't happy with the graphs on the screen. It's not a huge deal, but if I had known this before the purchase, I would've definitely gotten the MiniVNA that goes to 3GHz and either dragged a laptop along or interfaced it with my cellphone (yep, you can do that).

This is the 2nd RigExpert hand held I've used and both feel about the same in the hand. Not hefty. Light weight. They don't convey that quality feel, but they sure as heck work and are great for the money and beat dragging around a rack mount Agilent for some work.

The company is very responsive to bug reports. Major bonus points to them for this.

If you need more than 100 points for a scan, bring your laptop with you. You can set this up over 1000 points without any problem. The software running on the laptop/computer must be dividing up the portion of the spectrum and scanning each, none exceeding 100 points, then concatenating the data into a seamless set.

Overall I'm happy with the unit and extremely happy with the customer service.
 
W9AC Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2017 18:46 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The AA-55 Zoom and AA-230 Zoom are outstanding complex impedance analyzers. For several years, I had been using the Array 2180 and N2PK VNAs for antenna and network measurements. These are both excellent devices, but I wanted an analyzer that could be easily dragged out into the field and not bring a tablet PC and battery supply. For outdoor field measurements, it's rare that a 2-port VNA is ever needed.

Both Zoom units have a deep color display, with the 55 Zoom's display being slightly larger. These analyzers fit comfortably and can be controlled with one hand.

Some of the Zoom attributes I like:

- Color LCD Display readable in sunlight
- OSL calibration (you must purchase your own OSL loads)
- Very intuitive menu without a lot of layers
- PC interface and companion software for greater measurement detail that can be saved and/or printed once you bring the unit inside and attach to a PC
- Multiple memories
- TDR, cable length, and stub tune testing
- Smith chart mode
- Multiple parameter mode to simultaneously view all complex Z, SWR and return loss
- Long battery life

The 55 Zoom has a reasonably high output level near +10 dBm and is great for taking measurements in the presence of strong AM broadcast stations when sweeping 160m systems. That and an extremely narrowband detector allow for accurate sweeps through the broadcast band with little detection of the broadcast station's carrier in the sweep.

If you're analyzing only HF systems through 6m, the 55 Zoom is THE handheld analyzer for the job. If you need measurements through 220 MHz, then the 230 Zoom is an excellent choice.

Paul, W9AC


 
N3HEE Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2016 05:34 Send this review to a friend
Very Good !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got one of these for Christmas. It is a new analyzer for Rig Expert with improvements over the AA-230 Zoom. I did not need the extended frequency range of the 230 so this was perfect for me. It has a beautiful large crisp and clear color display. Very intuitive to operate. The one button stub tuning tool makes tuning coax stubs a breeze ! Time will tell how durable and reliable this analyzer is.
 
KA9EAK Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2016 05:20 Send this review to a friend
Another great product from RigExpert!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For many years I've used an old but reliable MFJ-259B. It's served me well but it was time for an update. I'd been considering the RigExpert line of devices for some time and a recent experience tuning a Hustler 4-BTV clearly illustrated that it was time for an upgrade.

1) With the 259B you need to change the frequency selector and sweep through the frequencies with the "tune" ten turn pot while recording (on paper) readings at various frequencies. Do you realize how long it takes to turn a ten turn pot through its range!? : ) Multiplied by the fact that you'll need to do this for each band and re-check each band for each change.

2) With the AA-55 Zoom you press F-Multi and "OK" and the SWR for each band is instantly displayed. Or setup the frequency ranges (3/fq.Range), select "All" and then "SWR" and a graph of SWR over the frequency ranges is displayed.

The AA-55 Zoom is a pleasure to operate. It has numerous analysis features and a USB port to interface with your PC and their AntSmith software. Plus you'll save countless seconds as there aren't any ten turn pots whose range needs traversing! : )

Antenna analyzers aren't inexpensive devices but they certainly are very useful and provide valuable insight into your antenna and transmission line installations. RigExpert has a complete line of devices with each step in the line offering more features. The AA-55 Zoom was right in the sweet spot for me in terms of features\dollar. It has been very useful thus far and will be a valued tool in further antenna experimentation.
 


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