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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | VK5JST Aerial Analyzer Help


Reviews Summary for VK5JST Aerial Analyzer
VK5JST Aerial Analyzer Reviews: 45 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.
More info: http://www.users.on.net/~endsodds/analsr.htm
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VK6HIL Rating: 5/5 Jul 31, 2019 04:57 Send this review to a friend
A great kit at a great price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Note : This is a review of the new 60MHZ version at http://www.vk5jst.com/

I always choked at the high cost of antenna analysers so I bought the kit hoping to save some $$$.

The kit itself is complete with everything you need except solder. The only minor problem I had was an extra resistor of one value instead of a different one but that is very, very minor.

The construction guide is very good - heed the warning though about some transistors of the same part number having opposite pinouts so you need to do an HFE check but that's mentioned as well.

Take care with component orientation and all will be good. One thing I'd suggest constructors do is to put right-angle connectors on the board and LCD so you can use little plug-ended flyleads : it saves a lot of soldering. I also swapped out the N connector for an SO-259 since I had no adapters. Jim advises against this but I will take the accuracy hit for the moment.

Care in construction meant it worked first time on a dummy load. I don't know how I managed without an antenna analyser.

Overall this kits is fantastic value for money and rare opportunity to get an essential bit of test equipment for in reality buttons.

Jim was a pleasure to deal with and couldn't have been more helpful.
 
NM3A Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2019 17:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Had a few parts missing which appears to be a rare issue, but club offered to resupply. Easy to assemble if you have prior kit building experience. SM chip was bad, but VK5JST was extremely helpful in IDing the problem and helping to get it all working well. Very accurate, and portable. I put in NiMH cells and a small 12v charger which can also power it directly. For the short use each measurement takes, battery life is no problem at all. Every bit as good as MFJ 269.
 
VK3GMO Rating: 4/5 May 8, 2019 04:19 Send this review to a friend
great value  Time owned: more than 12 months
It is a great little kit. I originally put it together and wasn't happy with its readouts so bought the MFJ 259B. Quite some time later I pulled out the VK5JST analyzer and realigned it. It is reading SWR within .1 of the MFJ. The only criticism as has been mentioned earlier is the battery pack. Very sloppy without some rework. I have ordered some 27A 12 volt batteries and holders and plan to put a few of them in parallel to last longer. It will be far more compact and I can attach the holders to the case more readily with reduced weight.
 
VK2MS Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2018 23:06 Send this review to a friend
There's more to it than just quality   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've said '5' though I'd like to see a better battery situation. An amazing amount of work obviously went into the unit but it had other design criteria which remind me of the Ham traditions and outlook of long ago. Do read this right through, ...http://www.m5poo.co.uk/vk5jst-aerial-analyser/...including cost kept down to enable poorer Hams to buy it and 17,000 of these analysers sold...WOW!! You don't just get the old excuse 'you only get what you pay for', you get who knows how much went into design, ethics and a unit which has clearly given great pleasure to many. What a shame they are no longer available....if that is still the case. Mine's still working at 10.5v but whether readings are accurate (like SWR>10) I'll see when I replace them...but it might explain why my TS820S had an apoplexy when tuning it up last week....and later blue arc'd inside the PL259-closer 614B as I reconnected the antenna...I'm pretty sure in Rx mode!

Opportunely..My TS820S has a Magnicon C133 board added under the IF strip ..Does anyone out there know what it does? I presume mine is only one of many. I wrote to Magicon and to the organisation which emphatically advertises its Kenwood experience and service as technicians. Neither bothered to respond so ...anyone out there know? If so please email me at goldmort@onthenet.com.au. It's a hard board to get-to so I'd prefer to hear about it than risk damage.
 
G0AYD Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2018 05:12 Send this review to a friend
GREAT ITEM  Time owned: more than 12 months
what a fantastic piece of equipment.
easy to put together
works as it should do
you have the pleasure of building it yourself.
mine has the 6 mtr modification to it.
I used a laptop psu to run the unit
it devoured batteries.
great piece of equipment.
this is a must for every radio amateur's shack.
DAVE G0AYD.
 
WB4SPT Rating: 4/5 Jan 21, 2017 10:09 Send this review to a friend
good kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have some recent detail on this kit.
Note that you do need to cut a large rectangle and some round holes and a radiused cut. I simply gave the print (enclosed with the kit) to a machinist buddy who did this work in about an hour; it came out much better than what you would do with drill bits, etc. It really wants a milling machine to do it right. It's kind of risky to do this work on plastic, with hand tools, for sure.
The PCB is top quality, with a top side ground plane. No issues with the board.
The prescaler IC did not have good pin 1 identifier, and being the only surface mounted IC, you need to figure that out, or risk SM rework. I didn't and put it down wrong (50/50); had to buy a new one from DK, which was marked better.
The power RF oscillator will "fly" at multi-GHz on the low freq range. The fix is to pull out the 100fF on the emitter and put in something with a bit of inductance. My first try was a 1500pF 1kv ceramic with slightly longer leads, and it works just fine 1.8 to 170MHz. SWR into a microwave rated 50Ohm resistor is reported now a 1.00 and 50 Ohms. Success!
The 10 cell battery pack seems a bit overkill on voltage. It's driving a 8v linear regulator. I removed 2 cells, and it works fine with 8 alkaline cells.
I love the lcd backlight, and the fact that I can fix this thing if ever required. It has a real N RF connector.
 
KB0DMU Rating: 4/5 May 24, 2015 08:33 Send this review to a friend
So far so good.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've almost finished the build - everything is assembled and I need to install batteries and enlist the use of a 'scope. I wanted to share this link with anyone who doesn't wish to use the included battery holders which are extremely inconvenient. Instead, get this - it fits beautifully and will do the job nicely: https://www.greenlivingforu.com/8-aa-battery-holder-boxcase-96volt-12volt-55mm-barrel-plug-recessed-mount

You can see photos of how it looks installed: http://incolor.inebraska.com/elassley_bie//temp/vk5jst/

Once I have it up and running, I will post a more in-depth review. Thanks.
 
M0KFO Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2015 00:19 Send this review to a friend
Good value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought mine 2nd hand for 60 posted. I like MFJ products, but it was a fair bit cheaper than them.

The previous owner, had put it together, though not very well. I loaded a newer/better firmware from the website using Picaxe. Made the 4/5 digit switch work, corrected being the wrong way around as well. got rid of the thin wire from board to antenna socket and fitted coax. Also fixed the shoddy recharge battery pack and the mountings. Also the calibration with the three test point was done.

Works well now, tested on a dummy load to check the readings are correct across the board. Useful when using something like a G5RV, to check all the anomalies, and see the difference between a coax feed line and ladder line.
 
F5MZE Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2014 04:52 Send this review to a friend
Best ROI  Time owned: more than 12 months
Easy to build, easy to set up, unexpensive aerial analyser.
Only 15 minutes to settle my new HF2V antenna. I can easily see the SWR without needing to make trip between the antenna and the transmitter.
 
VE1HAO Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2014 10:23 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!   Time owned: more than 12 months
The VK5JST Aerial Analyser is excellent value and very useful. The kit cost less than the MFJ-207 my wife gave me years ago, which only indicates SWR and has an inaccurate analogue frequency indicator. The MFJ has proven unreliable to boot. The VK5JST is more reliable, gives much more information, and is far and away more accurate.

I second the advice to read the material on the net, e.g.,http://pa0fri.home.xs4all.nl/Diversen/VK5JST/Ant%20analyzereng.htm

The mechanical work cutting out the enclosure takes a little time and care, but doing it yourself keeps the price down.

The actual build is fairly straightforward for any technically competent ham, but do pay attention to the instructions and take your time. In particular, pay attention to the cautions regarding spacing of some components from the board. A scope makes calibration much easier. Try to borrow one if you don't have one. A good soldering station and some magnifiers -- for those of a certain age -- make life easier, of course. Component spacing isn't that tight, but it's tight enough.


It works fine and seems accurate enough when checked against several counters and precise resistors, certainly beating the whole MFJ line for value for money. In addition, there is the satisfaction of feeling that you are a real ham. Of course, if you build it you can fix it, but mine has been reliable so far. The neighbouring hams love it too. Build one and become popular!
 
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