eHam

eHam Forums => Antennas and Towers and more => Topic started by: KD0RMM on October 01, 2012, 10:44:43 AM



Title: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: KD0RMM on October 01, 2012, 10:44:43 AM
I wonder how well this product will work?
Has anybody seen this yet?

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/preorder-sark110-antenna-analyzer-p-1270.html?cPath=174 (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/preorder-sark110-antenna-analyzer-p-1270.html?cPath=174)

Frequency range: 0.1 to 200 MHz with 1 Hz resolution
Measured parameters: VSWR, |Z|, impedance angle, reflection coefficient, series and parallel resistance, series and parallel reactance, return loss, phase, % reflection power, quality factor, equivalent capacitance, equivalent inductance
Sweep mode (antenna test): graphical plot of two user selected parameters; adjustable center frequency and frequency span; presets for radio amateur bands; display detailed parameters for center frequency or any of the two marker positions; three available scale options; save to disk and recall functions
Smith chart mode: plots complex reflection coefficient; adjustable center frequency and frequency span; presets for radio amateur bands; display detailed parameters for center frequency or any of the two marker positions; save to disk and recall functions
Single frequency mode: display all parameters for a single frequency; presets for radio amateur bands; graphical representation of series and parallel impedance equivalent; usable as a precise RF signal generator with 1 Hz resolution
Cable test mode: measurement for 25, 50, 75 and 100 ohm systems; max. distance: about 250 m; velocity factors presets for popular coaxial cables
Automatic tracking modes: peak min, peak max, absolute min, absolute max, value cross any, value cross up, value cross down
Adjustable reference impedance: 25, 50, 75, and 100-ohm
OSL Calibration: automated open Open/Short/Load calibration; 256 calibration points
Frequency calibration
Display: 3” TFT LCD with 400 x 240 resolution
Power: Lithium-Polymer battery rechargeable from USB; battery charge status indicator; automatic power-off mode
RF output: connector type MCX, output power -10dBm (50-ohm load)
Storage: internal 2MB USB compatible disk
USB: Mini-B receptacle; mass storage class
Processor: 72 MHz STM32 MCU, 256 KB Flash, 48KB SRAM
Measurement architecture: single conversion superheterodine; two independent and synchronized measurement channels with 12-bit analog-to-digital converters for simultaneous voltage and current measurement
Dimensions: 98 * 60 * 14.5 (mm)
Weight: 300g


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: WB8VLC on October 01, 2012, 01:14:37 PM
 Ouch 330 dollars,

 The MFJ's are pricey, the AEA's are pricey, the Autex is overpriced, even the little You kits analyzer is pricey they are all overpriced.

 I can't believe I'm saying this but I sure wish a Chinese Co. would come out with a good antenna analyzer with smith chart display and all the other features that the others on the market have.

 I'd figure it would cost them around 20 dollars in parts and it would sell for around 50 to 75 dollars, if they can make a 50 dollar dual band Ht then an antenna analyzer shouldn't be to hard to manufacturer for a similar price.

 Again I can't believe I am even suggesting this, but this crappy economy is really turning me into a cheap skate.


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: WB6BYU on October 01, 2012, 01:48:48 PM
I'd like to see the specification for the range of impedances over which it works accurately.


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: WB6DGN on October 02, 2012, 12:51:18 AM
Quote
The MFJ's are pricey, the AEA's are pricey, the Autex is overpriced, even the little You kits analyzer is pricey they are all overpriced.
 I can't believe I'm saying this but I sure wish a Chinese Co. would come out with a good antenna analyzer with smith chart display and all the other features that the others on the market have.

I can't believe you're saying that either!
You forgot the Anritsu SiteMaster at a little over $8000; may as well include them all to justify that shiny new chinese import toy.  Heck yea, why not send more of our dwindling resources to china; after all, hams gotta have their toys!  What I'm wondering, though, is where are all those hams gonna be when the bills come due; and they will, don't you worry!  Maybe all those hams will offer to sell all their toys to help pay the bills???
Tom


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: WA2ONH on October 02, 2012, 09:13:58 AM
Well, looking around for other items offered at this site, one can't go wrong with the ...

NOSE LED Kit!
This nose LED is definitely a bold way to show your geek attitude! Imagine your nostril glows every time you exhale. Weird but fun? Then buy one to surprise your friends!

LINK: http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/nose-led-kit-p-1274.html?cPath=202

And offered at only $7.50!


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: NR9R on October 12, 2012, 08:36:32 AM
This looks like a great product.  I think the complaint about the price is out of touch with reality because I view the various analyzers marketed to hams (MFJ, Autek, Palstar, etc.) as cheap measurement gear.  The user interface and color graphics alone put it ahead of these similar priced analyzers.

The original link posted brings you to the catalog link, but if you do some exploring you can find a dedicated site for the product with an impressive amount of info:
http://sark110.ea4frb.eu/home

If you follow the Test Results link it shows a comparison between the SARK-110 and many other analyzers measuring an impedance standard.

The analyzer was designed by a ham, EA4FRB.

If it holds up to the specs on the site I think it will be a hit.  I just wonder if they will be able to maintain the inventory.

BTW, this looks like an interesting store with many unique goodies.  Thanks for sharing


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W6AKB on December 21, 2012, 02:03:38 PM
The SARK 110's have started shipping. I received one a few days ago. I have not done much with it yet, but it seems to be a good unit.

The folks who complain that these instruments are too expensive should go through a product design, development, production and support cycle. These are complicated products made in relatively small quantity that use a lot of parts many of which are quite costly. Even in quantity the parts cost is far higher than $20.


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: KH6DC on December 21, 2012, 03:25:53 PM
I bought a Rig Expert AA-230 Pro several years ago after my 15 year old MFJ 259B died.  best $600 I ever spent!


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N4FBW on December 23, 2012, 12:19:04 AM
I recently bought a SARK 110 and first impressions are very good. The device is very easy to use and I found that I really didn't need the manual to start using it. The screen is full color although it is small and you'll probably need reading glasses to see it. The Smith Chart function is gorgeous! The heavy duty aluminum case is a nice touch; it is slippery so a wrist strap would be a good idea. I'd also recommend a field case for the unit to help protect it when you take it outside. The internal battery is charged via the USB port and an allen wrench is included so that you can open up the case.

In going through all the features of the SARK-110, it appears to be the Swiss Army knife of antenna analyzers for the ham radio market. The analyzer does include calibration routines. For everything that the analyzer does, the price of $330 is a bargain.


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: KC4MOP on December 23, 2012, 04:43:17 AM
I bought a Rig Expert AA-230 Pro several years ago after my 15 year old MFJ 259B died.  best $600 I ever spent!

The really nice analyzers start at this price. Some analyze over a spread of frequencies and show the characteristics of the antenna in a Smith chart format.
Ant Analyzers seem to be a big thing this past year.
fred


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on December 23, 2012, 10:38:29 AM
I bought a Rig Expert AA-230 Pro several years ago after my 15 year old MFJ 259B died.  best $600 I ever spent!

I also have the RigExpert 200A- until the SARK came out this was the best instrument going. However, there is so much jitter in the R/X page as to make the instrument of less use than it could be. RigExpert says there are many issues involved with the jitter- not just the A/D bits- so not seeing a solution to it.

Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: M0HEX on December 26, 2012, 09:47:47 AM
I have just taken delivery of one of these units. I am quite simply amazed at the build quality. MFJ have a lot to learn from products like this. I have used it to characterise some of my antennas and am very happy with its performance. I have no way of verifying its accuracy, but I guess I'll have to take designer's word for it - he has tabulated a whole load of comparative results with other analysers on his website. I've been waiting for this analyser to be available for more than a year now. In the meantime I have been using a Rig Expert AA-54 which was the best of what was available in my mind, the Youkits FG-01 user interface is too BMW iDrive for my liking :). The AA-54 has a nice user interface, but the display is a little limited in size, is monochrome and slow in operation. Still, until the SARK-110 came along, it was the best of the bunch in my humble opinion.

As other users have commented, the display may be a little small for some, but I love the detail that's contained in it. I mentioned to the designer that I thought some people may have issues with the small size of the display and he said that he'd think about introducing a 'field mode' which would provide some larger user interface elements, better suited to a quick glance when you have your hands with counterpoises or adjustable antenna elements.

In summary, this project seems to be a clever re-use of an existing product package (Nano DSO) for a new use, which brings some top notch analyser action to a great little package with a beautiful display and intuitive user interface. Well done, I say.


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on December 26, 2012, 03:51:41 PM
Can someone who now has the SARK comment on the RF input? On-site photos show a short pigtail with a female type N (from memory). How does the pigtail attach to the SARK- I hope it's SMA or??
Tnx,

Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N4FBW on December 26, 2012, 07:01:18 PM
Can someone who now has the SARK comment on the RF input? On-site photos show a short pigtail with a female type N (from memory). How does the pigtail attach to the SARK- I hope it's SMA or??
Tnx,

Dale W4OP

The test port end of the SARK-110 pigtail is an MCX connector. It snaps into the test port on the analyzer.  The other end of the pigtail is a BNC Female connector.

Rick, N4FBW


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on December 27, 2012, 09:50:38 AM
Perhaps this  was mentioned on the SARK website and I missed it. Does the SARK allow the user to move the reference plane to the end of a piece of coax?

Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: EA1EVR on January 09, 2013, 02:22:01 PM
Hello,

      This is the second antenna analyzer designed by EA4FRB. SARK-100 was the first one. Now you can find a new and free firmware with new design of the menu boxes and a new screen for using of the analyzer outside and new traces was added.
      Best regards.

      EA1EVR - Javi -


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N4JTE on January 09, 2013, 04:44:15 PM
Hope for that money your antenna plans exceed a dipole or G5RV, hi
Bob


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on January 10, 2013, 09:40:34 AM
I placed my order yesterday. For those of you here in the U.S., how long did it take to receive your analyzer?

Tnx,
Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N0SA on January 10, 2013, 09:58:51 AM
I placed my order on Jan 5th.
It has been shipped but has not arrived yet.
Hopefully soon though. I am really looking forward to using it.
Larry
n0sa


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on January 11, 2013, 08:04:04 PM
Do any of you know of a reasonably priced calibration BNC set Open/Short/Termination?

From memory, my type N HP set was over $700 some years back.

Dale W4OP



Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N0SA on January 12, 2013, 02:03:26 PM
Do any of you know of a reasonably priced calibration BNC set Open/Short/Termination?

From memory, my type N HP set was over $700 some years back.

Dale W4OP



The Sark manual has part numbers and descriptions for building your own set
of calibration loads.
Very simple actually, you just need to keep the leads short and they
suggest surface mount resistors.
Larry
n0sa


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: ZENKI on January 14, 2013, 04:06:15 PM
The feature that I have found the most useful on antenna analyzers or VNA's is a bluetooth connection.

Having a nice light small analyzer that you can attach to the feedpoint and then sweep from your table or laptop is very handy. It also produces much more accurate results.

The developer of this product should consider adding bluetooth.


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on January 14, 2013, 06:26:17 PM
If, as I hope, you can move the reference plane to the end of the coax, as  most SNA's and VNA's can, then that is even more convenient. If the cable loss is low, it's as good as having the analyzer at the feedpoint.
Larry- has yours arrived yet?
Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N0SA on January 17, 2013, 02:58:21 PM
If, as I hope, you can move the reference plane to the end of the coax, as  most SNA's and VNA's can, then that is even more convenient. If the cable loss is low, it's as good as having the analyzer at the feedpoint.
Larry- has yours arrived yet?
Dale W4OP
Mine just arrived today in fine shape.
Playing with it a bit I am pretty impressed so far.
It is really tiny but that is what I want for taking on hiking trips with my KX3.
And, yes you can calibrate a length of cable out to simulate the analyzer being at the antenna.
Larry
n0sa


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on January 17, 2013, 04:07:51 PM
Thanks for the update Larry. My order was placed on the 9th- so looks like next week for mine.
Still using one of your early paddles as my favorite.

73,

Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: K5MF on January 17, 2013, 04:44:53 PM
Looks like a descent unit.  I own the Array Solutions AIM UHF and it is simply awesome.  But I wouldn't want to haul it up the side of a mountain for a SOTA activation.  This one looks very nicely portable.  But on the other hand, one shouldn't really need an antenna analyzer on the top of the mountain.  If everything is checked out properly before the hike, there should not be any surprises.  And if there are, you probably won't have the tools and pieces to fix it anyway.

Keep us posted, please.  I am eager to hear about what this one can do.



Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: ZENKI on January 17, 2013, 06:46:42 PM
I have AIM as well as VNWA. What I like most is the clean simple layout of the AIM software. If the VNWA software had such a  clean and simple software interface like AIM, I am sure it  would be more popular.
I think the complexity of the VNWA software  puts a lot of hams off.  The VNWA is a very powerful instrument that delivers everything that the VNA 2180 offers and some more at a bargain price.
At the end of the day a instrument that can have a dual role as a simple analyzer and  then as a powerful VNA is the best approach, this can easily be done in software. The VNA2180 is   a very expensive
instrument. The VNWA and MiniVnaPro offer much better value for money and they are both 2 port instruments.


Looks like a descent unit.  I own the Array Solutions AIM UHF and it is simply awesome.  But I wouldn't want to haul it up the side of a mountain for a SOTA activation.  This one looks very nicely portable.  But on the other hand, one shouldn't really need an antenna analyzer on the top of the mountain.  If everything is checked out properly before the hike, there should not be any surprises.  And if there are, you probably won't have the tools and pieces to fix it anyway.

Keep us posted, please.  I am eager to hear about what this one can do.




Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N0SA on January 18, 2013, 01:59:35 PM
Thanks for the update Larry. My order was placed on the 9th- so looks like next week for mine.
Still using one of your early paddles as my favorite.

73,

Dale W4OP

I thought your call looked familiar. Glad to hear you still use the paddle.
I still make them on a limited basis since I retired last year.
So far I am still impressed with the Sark110. I also have an AIM 4170 and I like it a lot.
It is a pain to drag it outside even though I do use a netbook computer with it.
The Sark has everything I want in a small handheld device and it updates/rescans pretty darn fast.
I have been doing a lot of experimenting with small mag loops and it works great for that application.
If it works tight in for small loops it should work well with about any type of antenna.
  I did make a screen protector for it today as the screen cover is plastic and not glass.
My only complaint so far and it is very minor is that it is hard to hold onto the BNC connector to
install or remove the connector on the other side. I plan to make a small knurled piece to install
on the connector so I can get a grip on it.
 This is a very minor complaint and easily fixed in a variety of ways.
There is tons of info on displayed the screen and many options for what is displayed in the scans.
It is easy and fast to change functions and very easy to understand how to use it.
So far I give it a five thumbs up.
Larry
n0sa


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: W4OP on January 28, 2013, 01:49:11 PM
My SARK just arrived- spectacular. What are others using for charging the unit. I seem to have every sized USB connector except the one this unit uses.

Tnx,
Dale W4OP


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N0SA on January 31, 2013, 08:36:31 AM
I just got a notice from Jay WX0B at Array Solutions.
He has informed me that Melchor EA4FRB has pirated the patented software
in the AIM4170C. Jay told me that Melchor has admitted to him that he did
indeed pirate Jay's patented software.
 I find this to be very troubling and tried to contact Melchor to hear if
he had any comments but he does not respond back.
I guess that answered my question.
Larry
n0sa


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: EA4FRB on January 31, 2013, 01:12:31 PM
Larry,

I received your question by email and promptly responded to you.

In my response, I told you that it is not true that I have copied or pirated the software in the AIM4170C and having admitted this fact to Array Solutions. 

It is indeed true that the company owner contacted me in regards to a potential infringement of the SARK110 with the impedance measurement method described in their patent US 7,629,795.  We have an ongoing discussion about this issue that it is not yet closed.

Obviously, I consider the details of this discussion and the position of either party private until have worked out it, thus I am surprised to learn that Array Solutions have contacted you about this and especially using such terms and judgments.

Melchor
EA4FRB


Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: N0SA on January 31, 2013, 01:51:46 PM
Melchor
 I had not received an from you, do not know where it went.
This is all fine with me, I just thought it would be nice to get your side of the story.
I hope the two of you can come to an agreement on the matter.
It is a nice product I hope to see it continue.
I will say no more about the matter.
Larry
n0sa


Larry,

I received your question by email and promptly responded to you.

In my response, I told you that it is not true that I have copied or pirated the software in the AIM4170C and having admitted this fact to Array Solutions. 

It is indeed true that the company owner contacted me in regards to a potential infringement of the SARK110 with the impedance measurement method described in their patent US 7,629,795.  We have an ongoing discussion about this issue that it is not yet closed.

Obviously, I consider the details of this discussion and the position of either party private until have worked out it, thus I am surprised to learn that Array Solutions have contacted you about this and especially using such terms and judgments.

Melchor
EA4FRB



Title: RE: SARK 110 Antenna analyzer with color screen .1-200 Mhz $330
Post by: WX0B on February 02, 2013, 01:21:32 PM
I just discovered this discussion. And want to correct the statement about pirated software.  This is not the case and we would not use those words anyway. The situation is that the SARK appears to use the same measurement circuit and proceedures as our analyzers, using two DDS devices to heterodyne the measurement to a base band. Just as the Bob Clunn patent describes for our analyzers. 
No mention of pirated software was ever discussed. I hope this clarifies the situation.

Best regards to the group.
Jay, WX0B