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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | VK5JST Aerial Analyzer Help

Reviews Summary for VK5JST Aerial Analyzer
VK5JST Aerial Analyzer Reviews: 40 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $95 +post
Description: This is a design from Australia and put out as a kit by one of the Amateur Clubs there. It covers 1.3 to 31 Mhz
Product is in production.
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KJ6QLD Rating: 4/5 Dec 29, 2011 22:15 Send this review to a friend
Pleased with result  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bear in mind that I am not a seasoned builder of electronic equipment, (this is the first project I've ever build) nor have I ever used a different antenna analyzer, but overall I'm quite happy with this kit. There was nothing missing from the package, every last piece was there. The instructions were clear and accurate, although I would have certainly appreciated a bit more detail. This is my primary gripe, I had to rely heavily on google and youtube at a few points. Likely, somebody with more expertise can breeze through this build, but a few photos at different stages and a few more step-by-step comments would have made a big difference for me. The troubleshooting document posted online was excellent and valuable in helping me track down my mistakes. I also added an external power jack and stereo port for programming - the newer programs available online seem to result in a more stable device than the one that came loaded on the chip. Overall, it seems to work very well. One point of interest: I mounted an SO-239 fitting directly to the enclosure, in parallel with the banana sockets (contrary to the instructions). This seemed to cause some erratic readings, so I gave up on the enclosure-mounted SO-239 and instead made an external SO-239 adapter as the instructions suggested, which mitigated this problem.
K6JBG Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2011 22:16 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Contrivance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Ingenuity was required to build the unit. I taped the face plate to the case cover and cut out the display window going back and forth with a large needle clamped with vice grips. I added a 10 turn 10k linear pot for frequency trim. I extended the Polyvaricon shaft with an M2.6x0.45x25 screw and a #4IDx.25ODx7/8" spacer & carefully hand drilling a .3125 hole through the panel and cover. Looking to add a planetary reduction drive perhaps. Although as large a knob as you can fit [1-1/8" dia.] acts as a reduction. Occasionally had to move a soldered in component. Used an old trick -> heat up solder; pull out; use a numbered drill in a pin vice to drill out the solder; hole ready to go at it again. On occasion I made my own holes to make a few mods. Upgraded to the latest PICAXE 28X2 chip with 4 memory banks. Jim Tregellas, the principle designer, has been a tremendous help with technical issues. Frequencies are very accurate against my KENWOOD TS-570DG w/TXO installed and a 0 to 50MHz freq meter. Buy one and have someone who has built one be your mentor. Over 5,000 units in the field -> that says a lot.
ZS1JHG Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2011 06:36 Send this review to a friend
A great piece of test equipment  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still very happy with my VK5JST Aerial analyser.
The build instructions are clear and include a detailed component overlay,the assembly sequence is detailed in the instructions and additional help is available from a number of posters websites.
You need a temperature controlled soldering iron with suitable tips to make a neat job. I am still on my first set of batteries - Lithium - as I use a power supply for all indoor testing.This is an excellent piece of test equipment that works first time if you read and follow the instructions.
W3SEH Rating: 0/5 Jan 20, 2011 18:31 Send this review to a friend
Unsuccessful Experience  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I don't get it. Based on all those glowing reviews I expected a successful experience with this device, but no, quite the opposite. The instructions are really poor and do not correctly sequence your component installation which leads you to have to uninstall things to get others in. There is no solder mask on the board which causes unwanted bridges. The instructions cite that as an advantage - not! I've built literally dozens of HeathKits and my own designs over the years - I'm not at all new to building. The device didn't work when finally assembled and no way to discover why due to poor component placement. I can't recommend this to any one. I trashed it.
G0VAX Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2010 15:04 Send this review to a friend
Works a treat!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This Analyser is a blessing in disguise!!!
Well documented, quality components, easy to build, what more could you ask!
I had been looking about for an analyser, and had a rather blinkered approach thinking that the one to go for was the MFJ unit, as it is very well publicised.
If you want a rather expensive model, well go for it, but if you want one that is more in the average ham's price range, this is the one to go for. You get a sense of "I built it myself" pride with this unit.
The whole package, if assembled with care, will give you a professional looking , rugged piece of test equipment.
ON3PCO Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2010 14:46 Send this review to a friend
Perfect Analyser  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I built this aerial/antenna analyser from 'Down Under' succesfully ! Because of the perfect 'building plans', it was not that difficult to get all the components on the right place on the PCB, though you've got to have some soldering experience. The biggest challenge for me was to complete the instrument case without ruining it because I'm not a pro in mechanical stuff :-)

You can see parts of my 'operation analyser' via then click the 'Project'-button and then select the upper project.

73, Paul - ON3PCO
a Dutchman in Belgium
STAYVERTICAL Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2010 01:49 Send this review to a friend
Great instrument  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Feeling the need for an antenna analyser but not wishing to pay big bucks or suffer poor quality, I decided to try this analyser kit. The kit arrived promptly and contained everything except one small nut for one of the binding posts. I had plenty of spares so this was not an issue. It took me a week to construct this kit, as I checked each resistor, diode and transistor before and after inserting it into the pcb.
I also took the advice in the build instructions to lift several components 1 to 2 millimeters off the pcb to reduce stray capacitance.
The frequency switch gave me the same problems as others with orientation, but I did not drill another locator pin, and I also just modified the knob with a spot of paint, so that it aligned with the flat of the switch.
Also, when it comes to bolting the "hot" red binding post to the pcb, use a thin insulating spacer, otherwise the bolt is too large and will short to the ground plane.
The electronics went together well, but I would not say this was a beginners kit. I also put the frequency switch stop to give six positions, and wound a 16 turn coil around a nail, then removed it and fitted it to the sixth position. This ended up giving a frequency range from 24Mhz to 60Mhz on the last position. Checking, with various resistors, it seemed accurate up to at least 58Mhz and was only a few ohms off at 60Mhz. Perhaps this good result was due to lifting the bridge components off the ground plane. I used a chisel to gently remove the card guides in the lower box, which gave enough room to put my own 10 AA cell battery holder in the bottom. You can use either 10 NIMH cells (each has 1.25V) or 8 Dry Cells (each has 1.5V) with two dummy cells. After the alignment procedure, the kit worked perfectly first time.
I found the most daunting task was drilling the box, cutting out the LCD panel hole and so on. So a great experience with an inexpensive and useful kit, and I know the build quality is good. In addition, the software is freely available, editable and downloadable into the PIC chip, and the alignment procedure is ridiculously simple.
So if you are a beginning kit builder, get an experienced ham to help, otherwise it should present no difficulty.
Also, there are some very good resources on the web outlining construction, and a series of youtube videos (if they still exist) created by user "byronlocal" who shows the construction of his vk5jst analyser.

Now, for the antenna fun.
LA4UOA Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2010 14:35 Send this review to a friend
super  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got the analyzer today,David VK2SSH bouhgt the kit and made it for me,it work very very well,and so easy to use,compared to other analyzers,thanks to good friend David i am a happy owner of a super analyzer.If you looking for a good analyzer,i think this is what you looking for.
KE5DYY Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2010 09:36 Send this review to a friend
Good kit!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The kit was appropriately challenging to put together and seemed to work quite well. I have been very pleased.
I have been able to use the analyzer in the lower range of the 50 MHz band as well as HF frequencies.
The kit that I had required some modifications of the PCB because the rotary switch did not have the lug in the correct place. That was a bit difficult but did go together with a little modification of the board.
There are other sources on the internet that suggest that the voltage settings for the trimmer potentiometers be set differently than what the instructions in the kit suggest. Using those slightly lower voltages seemed to help that stability of the frequency quite at bit.
Another drawback to the kit is that you have to remove the entire front of the case and the PCB in order to change out the batteries.
Overall I was very pleased with how it performs and excited by what I learned in building it.
G3XDH Rating: 4/5 Dec 8, 2009 03:51 Send this review to a friend
Nice piece of kit  Time owned: more than 12 months
Finally got round to building it after buying the kit 12 months ago .. (got scared when I examined the package)

Not too difficult a build .. (my first project harder than dead easy) ..

Also used as a guide to building .. glad I put the recommended fuse/diode combination in!!!!!!!! ..

Only thing to say is because was my first time with I/Cs wasn't aware that the sockets were marked to coincide with the mark on the I/C .. 3 of mine are the wrong way round so have had to mark them with a spot of paint for the possible future event of removing and replacing

get it .. build it ..
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