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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | AEA VIA-HF Help


Reviews Summary for AEA VIA-HF
AEA VIA-HF Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $650
Description: HF Antenna Analyzer
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.aea-wireless.com/via.htm
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VE7EPP Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2014 13:28 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Tool  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got this meter and it took me 10 minutes to figure out all of the features without looking at the manual. It did take some patience to push the buttons over and over to see what they did but now I know.

I tried it on a number of antennas including at the antenna run and between connections to the power meter, switches, and the rig and found that one of my coax connectors was not screwed in properly. I used it to confirm frequency settings on my SteppIR and didn't have to turn the frequency dial a hundred times like my MFJ meter. It is very light weight and very.

There are only two things that I don't like so far. 1 is that it does not appear to have a battery charging circuit in it so I will have to take it out of the case occasionally to charge the batteries. The second thing is that it is only HF and since I take my meter with me everywhere and use it to help with mobile VHF/UHF and HF installations, this meter only does HF.

I have not yet tried the signal generator, L & C tester, or the Signal Strength meter but that will happen very soon.

I really like this meter. I may get a more expensive version with the expanded frequency range.
 
K6KV Rating: 2/5 Nov 29, 2010 08:51 Send this review to a friend
Klunky  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm surprised at the high ratings this product gets. Yes, it will perform some nice measurements, but the human interface is awkward and impossible to remember, the buttons are anti-tactile, and the case looks like something from Rubbermold Kitchenware.
 
W4RUO Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2006 13:07 Send this review to a friend
good box  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used this to tune several antennas with great success. It helps a great deal to know a bit about antennas first. But it will show you what you need to know and more. It is a tough box. Accidentally ran over it with my truck and it still worked except for the LCD. Ordered a new LCD, installed it myself, and it works like new. It seems to be very accurate and repeatable. The software for it works and gives some real neat printouts and in color too I have had this one for about 4 years now and will not part with it.
 
WY3X Rating: 4/5 Jan 26, 2005 19:15 Send this review to a friend
Very nice, but somewhat complex  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine about two years. It let me down only once, but it was an embarrassment that I will not soon forget. We were trying to check the resonant frequency on an antenna at Field Day, and I accidentally pressed an incorrect button. It went off into la-la land. Nothing I could do could get it back. Eventually, someone brought over an MFJ analyzer and showed me up. It needs a "DEFAULT" button for people like me who get into trouble. The software updates in between major revisions should be free, but they're not. I can see paying an "upgrade" fee of perhaps $25 to $50 to go from Rev. 1 to Rev. 2 (if a Rev. 2 ever comes out) but to charge full price to go from Rev. 1.06 to 1.09 is nothing short of rediculous, especially considering what the software costs to start with. I see they're up to Rev. 1.1 now, and the README.1st file tells you to call them for a serial number after you install the new version. It's not until AFTER you call them that they tell you that you must pay to get it! By this time you've already gone through the trouble of uninstalling the old version and installing the new version, so if you choose not to pay, you have to hunt up the old CD, find the serial number, and delete the new version, re-install the old version, etc. As much as the meter costs, it ought to come with free software upgrades for life after you buy the first copy! All in all, an exceptional product for a patient, rich person who has to have the best all the time.

-KR4WM
 
W6VY Rating: 3/5 Oct 18, 2004 08:48 Send this review to a friend
Good if it Works  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased the Via in June 2003 based on reviews here and the specs. It is a good analyzer and although a bit expexsive for the average ham it does make antenna tunig easier. In September (out of the warranty period by two months) it developed a mind of its own and started turning itself on and off. A call to AEA determined that it had to be returned for service but the tech thought he knew about the problem and the cost would be minimal. As it turned out the cost was $175.00 and quite extensive. This unit was only used a few times and was always taken care of. I have used the MFJ analyzers over the years and althouth not as accurate they were always reliable and much more affordable. Bottom line - expensive to buy and maintain.
 
VE7AOP Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2003 01:36 Send this review to a friend
Worth the Money  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had the VIA-Analyzer now for 8 months. If you are serious about antenna building over the long term, this unit is worth the money. It is not a vector network analyzer (kilo bucks).. But as far as RF impedance bridges go, it is professional grade - well built, accurate and extremely versatile. I bought my unit directly from AEA. It included carry case, N/PL adapter and VIA Director software. I highly recommend getting the software. If I don't have to use the unit in the field, I control it in the shack with the software. Measure, plot, trim and prune and measure and plot again.. very nice. Ability to frequency sweep is great. I also use it to check out coax cables. Can also be used as 'grid' dip meter, capacitance and inductance bridge. No problem with ordering, delivery and tech support. AEA answered pre-sales and post sales technical questions promptly and patiently. There is a bit of a learning curve to initially master the unit. Software helps a great deal in this respect as it is more intuitive. Reasonably good user manual. The LED display is good as far as LED displays go, but here again the software makes reading, storing and printing the results far easier for tired eyes like mine. I chose the VIA over the CIA for the added speed, memory and resolution - otherwise the CIA and VIA seem to have similar functionality.
 
K6IOU Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2003 14:46 Send this review to a friend
What a GREAT tool!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just finished installing a new Gap Titon antenna. The VIA-HF made the job a breeze . . . showing every nuance of the antenna on each band.

Anyone who has ever installed a Titon will know what I mean about subtle changes in the way the coax leaves the antenna, the way it lays on the ground, the height of the antenna above ground . . . everything makes a difference in the bandwidth and center frequency of the antenna.

And the 'scope display' . . . WOW! Shows what is happening clear across a band . . . not at just specific frequencies [although it does this also].

One of the best purchases I've ever made!

DON
K6IOU
 
K9FTB Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2003 22:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Lifetime Purchase  Time owned: more than 12 months
After lots of looking and comparison and the thought that this was a very useful and versatile instrument that can be used in the field and at home, I decided to spend the extra money. I know the price is high, but that price tag provides you with software, a carry case, and a superb and rugged instrument. If you like to experiment and want accurate data, this is it. Comes with ac adapter and has room for batteries.

The documentation is good, and the support is excellent (I had questions not problems with the product).

I would buy again, but I'd say you must be up for the extra cost vs. the VIA's little brother the CIA. If you opt for the VIA you'll be rewarded with a fast display refresh, software, and carry case. Some might argue the CIA has all that, and I guess it does, minus the fast display refresh.

In any case I would highly recommend this unit - it's in the Bird class of instruments - a professional device, and a lifetime purchase.
 
PA3CEV Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2002 11:26 Send this review to a friend
The Ultimate Gadget!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Looks professional, feels professional. Measures SWR, impedance, resistance, reactance vs. frequency and relative fieldstrength. Displays graphical and numerical data on a supertwist LCD. Makes measuring your antenna easy. Found out that 4C6 look-alike ferrite cores from a fleamarket were unusable. You can measure a lot of things with the VIA, the handbook is only basic.
I like the VIA Director software showing graphs on my PC.

Good literature on this subject:
Gerd Janzen, RF Measurements with an Active Standing Wave Ratio Meter, publisher:DARC-Verlag, Baunatal, Germany 1995 ISBN 3-88692-023-2 (out of print but maybe you can find it used) a german version is still available from the author AFAIK.
 


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