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Categories | Antenna Analyzers | mRS miniVNA 0.1-180Mhz Help

Show all reviews of the mRS miniVNA 0.1-180Mhz

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G8JNJ  Rating: 4/5 Feb 17, 2009 09:08  Send this review to a friend!
Good in the workshop  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned a Mini VNA for about a year and have found it to be an immensely useful workshop tool, especially for measuring the performance of baluns and other antenna related items.

For the price the performance is very good, and the size of the unit makes it very portable and easy to carry around with a laptop PC, especially as it is powered via the USB port.

I had some problems making measurements when I initially started using the unit, but I soon realised that the USB connecting cable was forming part of the device under test (this is true of all analysers which add extra cables into the equation). The problem was mimimised by adding a large number of clip-on ferrites to the USB cable.

I find that I use Zplots software more than miniVNA or IG miniVNA as it allows imports from EZNEC which is quite useful for comparison purposes.

The downsides ? Accuracy is not as good as it could be due to a limited calibration method. Impedance measurements tend to be limited to a maximum of about 2K ohms. Strong signals from broadcast stations can corrupt measurements when connected to large antennas (especially on 160m).

Generally I’d recommend the unit as a workshop tool, especially as it can be used to measure gain and loss in addition to impedance, which is very useful when building items such as amplifiers and filters.

However if you are serious about antenna construction, and not to bothered about being able to measure through loss, then I’d go for the Array Solutions AIM 4170B, which is much more accurate under ‘real world’ conditions. This is especially important when building matching networks or trying to phase multiple antennas correctly.
Product is in production.
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