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Categories | Antenna Analyzers | SDR Kits VNWA 3 Help

Show all reviews of the SDR Kits VNWA 3

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SP4SKR  Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2013 03:28  Send this review to a friend!
Great tool for amateur. Reaching into professional grade level  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First thing to mention is that by occupation I am electronic hardware design consultant and I am also doing RF design from time to time. So I am used to use big and expensive VNAs from HP, Agilent and R&S. Also it means that I am subconsciously comparing NVWA against them, which may give a bias not applicable to average ham experience.

The first thing worth mentioning is that the VNWA is not a truly professional equipment in terms of dynamic range (it has more than 90dB in 1kHz-500MHz range and more than 50dB in 500MHz-1.3GHz range). This is basically the only thing I can complain about. However please note that this dynamic range is still lot more than actually required by a ham.

The rest of the stuff is absolutely brilliant. Especially software capabilities in terms of measurement results calibration and post-processing are really comparable with truly professional equipment. Some of the features are in my opinion even better. I particularly like built in calculator which allows one to define and calculate in real time very complicated custom traces. Professional VNAs tend to export measurement results to external programs like Matlab to do the calculation. True, Matlab and others are lot more capable that VNWA calculator, but most of the time one doesn't need such a power. Another great things are:

1) 3 port measurement facility allowing to analyze baluns easily
2) matching tool allowing testing how changing impedance on measured circuit input and output changes circuit characteristic. It also allows to automatically calculate simple matching networks.

NVWA comes with really useful help files containing a lot of real life examples. Also Yahoo support forum is very responsive and helpful. Another thing to mention is that VNWA is not only vector network analyzer, but also a signal generator with AM/FM capability, basic spectrum analyzer, frequency counter and far field antenna radiation characteristic analyzer. So actually having VNWA, power supply, dummy load and oscilloscope would make up a basic ham shack laboratory suitable for I would say 99% of projects that a ham will encounter in his/her life.

All in all I can only say it is a great tool for an amateur and it is also reaching in the professional level range. Buy it and you won't regret! 
Product is in production.
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