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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | FunkAmateur Vector Antenna Analyzer FA-VA4 Help


Reviews Summary for FunkAmateur Vector Antenna Analyzer FA-VA4
FunkAmateur Vector Antenna Analyzer FA-VA4 Reviews: 9 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $139
Description: A vector antenna analyzer for single port measurements from 100 kHz to 100 MHz. Based DG5MK's article in May/June 2017 QEX. Easy to build "semi-kit" with all SMD parts pre-assembled.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.box73.com/product/5
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N5FRY Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2018 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Impressed with quality of design at low price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having never owned any antenna analyzer, I thought what could I loose by trying this kit. I was super impressed with the quality of this kit. My only issues were it took almost a month to get, but I did order it around the holidays. Secondly, my soldering skills and lack of a smaller tip for my iron, brought me undesired results. After testing it and it did not work, I tried using my 63 year old eyes and a small cheap magnifying glass to look for bad soldering joints. I finally took it to work, where we have a lab with all the needed irons and magnifying glass, and quickly found my bad soldering joints. It immediately came on and now I need to learn how to use it. Very satisfied!!
 
KF6KXG Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2017 14:12 Send this review to a friend
Nice kit, great bargain  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The kit arrived in a well designed package. It took 17 days to get to CA. Easy to assemble but use an iron with a small tip. Be careful not to use too much solder on the LCD board or it will interfere with insertion of the pins in the sockets. It worked the first time but the instructions for use need to be better arranged and more detailed. I wanted to grade it down because of this but is it such a nice kit, I gave it a 5. I ended up figuring out some of functions by trial and error. Once you get some practice, it is easy to use and accurate. It self calibrates with the supplied BNC loads.
Overall, a great tool to have in your shack.
 
K7TTI Rating: 5/5 Dec 1, 2017 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Great analyzer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This kit raises the bar for kits in this price range. And it works accurately.
 
AE5X Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2017 14:55 Send this review to a friend
This should be replacing all those old MFJ analyzers every ham   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had the opportunity to put this analyzer up against a much more expensive model from another manufacturer and am more than pleased with the results (details on my website). At $140, the decision to buy one of these came easily and the results more than justify the purchase.

I am now active on the new 630m band and the antenna building process was greatly eased with this device. Unlike my old MFJ, it sips battery juice rather than gulps it and is lightweight and small enough to go from shack to feedpoint with nary an afterthought.

As a kit, this thing is simple enough even for a 1st-time builder and requires no test equipment or alignment although it comes with 3 termination loads if you do want to perform an alignment. This is simply a matter of scrolling through a menu and selecting the appropriate commands to initiate the process.

If you can find one of these analyzers to borrow, I'd bet a majority of folks would immediately buy their own after the borrowing ended. It's that good.
 
WA6YSY Rating: 5/5 Oct 24, 2017 23:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Fast shipping. Good emails.Well packaged. Shipped Registered Mail included in the piece!

Easy kit to “finish” as only a few components need to be added.

Analyzer is accurate (after a simple Calibration run with supplied Short Open Load (SOL) parts), easy to use and displays a graphical view of SWR or Impedance over a range of frequencies (+/- 6400 KHz of center frequency max down to +/- just a few KHz min). Menus are self explanatory.

Only negative is max freq of 100 MHz. 2 Meters sure would have been nice
73, John WA6YSY
 
NO9E Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2017 18:27 Send this review to a friend
Extra accurate without computer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There are many antenna analyzers on the market. Heavy and obsolete like MFJ-259. Easy to use like RigExpert, with accurate SWR but lower impedance accuracy. Very accurate and wideband, like VNWA 3E, that require a computer.

FA-VA4 is a bit harder to use because of only 3 buttons. But after calibration, without a computer and with included loads, it is very accurate for impedance measurements. This means you can measure coils, toroids or baluns for losses, something that is impossible with less accurate devices. Also for accurate selection of coils/caps/transformers in antenna matching. All without a computer.

The device is pretty small and takes 2 AA batteries. For a low price it has a unique place.
 
VA3VF Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2017 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Nice tool at a good price.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Kit arrived in 10 days. Good packaging.

This brief review is to say that assembling the kit was quick and easy. Most of the components are pre-soldered.

Follow the youtube video on the manufacturers page, if you don't want to read the instructions.

First power up was perfect. Calibration took less than 15 minutes.

Now to explore all the functions and 'treat' the antennas.
 
KZ1X Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2017 06:42 Send this review to a friend
nice value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Kit arrived in 15 days after order was placed. Came USPS First Class for 5.8 Euro (about US$6.80) shipping charge from Germany.

The case is very nicely designed and fabricated, far better than average.

I was able to assemble the unit in about 25 minutes. It worked perfectly on first power up.

The kit includes the calibration elements: short, open, and 50 ohms. There is an automated function to calibrate the unit over its whole range. Takes a few minutes but very simple.

The frequency coverage range goes way low, so as to allow use on new allocations. And it covers past 6 meters (and 4 meters for the Europeans allowed there), but not 2 meters.

Power is from a pair of internal AA cells. I don't have enough time on the unit yet to say how long these will last. You have to open the case shell to change these cells and this requires removing 4 screws.

The ultra high quality color manual is a nice surprise. The English language use is perfect.
 
VE3GLA Rating: 5/5 Aug 17, 2017 13:44 Send this review to a friend
great addition to my shack  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For years, I'd been using my trusty and beloved old MFJ-259B antenna analyzer. But it was bulky, heavy, used up batteries quickly, didn't show graphical information, and only showed the magnitude of the impedance, not the sign. When I learned about the FA-VA4, it seemed ideal for what I wanted --and the price was very attractive -- so I ordered one. I was not disappointed.

It is a kit, but the hard parts were pre-assembled. All I had to do was read the manual and then solder a few connectors and switches, plus turn a few screws. The device came with a quality printed color assembly and user manual --something rare these days! It worked first try.

It is a big step up from my old MFJ. The menus are pretty much self-explanatory and I was able to use it productively right away. Frequencies are entered by push button switches which is a bit less convenient than turning a knob, but for this low price that's OK with me. The antenna connector is a bnc type, so I needed to use a bnc-to-uhf adapter, but I had a bunch lying around my shack so that was not a problem for me.

I really like the small size, light weight and graphical display. The ability to read the actual complex impedance including sign is very useful. It even shows the equivalent capacitance or inductance value for the imaginary part of the impedance which is very handy. I liked the price, too. Excellent value, IMHO.
 


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