NanoVNASaver Software Walkthrough + NanoVNA Firmware Updates Bring 1.5 GHz Max Range

The NanoVNA is an open source VNA project by @edy555 and ttrftech that has recently become extremely affordable at less than US$50 for a fully assembled unit thanks to Chinese manufacturing (or a little more if you order it via Amazon).

Ohan Smit had recently been playing with the NanoVNA and came across a software package from Rune B. Broberg (5Q5R) called NanoVNASaver. NanoVNASaver is an open source program that can be used to read and plot data from the NanoVNA. It has some nice features like the ability to display multiple charts, increase the resolution up to 10k points, measure cable length via TDR calculations, save Touchstone files and more.

Over on his blog, Ohan has put up a walkthrough guide about using NanoVNASaver. He shows how to setup the application, calibrate the NanoVNA, and then demonstrates how to use NanoVNASaver to measure the response of some filters.

Testing our RTL-SDR.COM BCFM Bandstop filter with a NanoVNA and the NanoVNASaver Software.
Testing our RTL-SDR.COM BCFM Bandstop filter with a NanoVNA and the NanoVNASaver Software.

Later in the same post Ohan also includes an update about his experiments with some new experimental NanoVNA firmware that extends the maximum frequency range from the previous maximum of 900 MHz up to 1500 MHz. Results show that while it can work up to 1500 MHz, accuracy rapidly degrades above 900 MHz.

 

14 comments

  1. John Battle N4OE

    I want to communicate with my nanovna directly with an ascii terminal on my MacBook but I don’t understand how to accomplish that. I tried installing an ascii terminal on the Mac but I can’t seem to get anything to connect. I assume that the nanovna needs to be running but I don’t know exactly what serial port to use and how to make the nanovna establish a connection.

    Thanks
    John N4OE

  2. John Battle N4OE

    Everything works fine on my linux box but when I tried to install nanovna-saver on my Mac I get this runtime message. Anyone have any ideas? I want to use my nanovna to collect data at the feed point of an antenna and my linux bos it too big to move out to the antenna.

    Thanks
    John N4OE

  3. anne

    Is there a document describing the NanoVNA-Saver SOFTWARE concept ?
    I did not find much about HOW it interfaces with NanoVNA in github.
    Flow chart / block diagram would be nice.
    In pseudo code

    setup serial – word length, baud rate etc…
    send data via USB (serial?)
    verify NanoVNA “signature”

    • Paul

      Peter, Thanks for your response. When I try to run nanovna-saver-v0.2.2-1.exe in cmd window I am getting the following message:
      C:\User\Admin>nanovna-saver-v0.2.2-1.exe
      Traceback (most recent call last):
      File “nanovna-saver.py”, line 17, in
      File “c:\user\ieuser\appdata\local\programs\python\python37-32\lib\site- packages\PyInstaller\loader\pyimod03_importers.py”, line 627, in exec_module
      File “NanoVNASaver\_main_.py”, line 21, in
      ImportError: Dll load failed: The specified module could not be found.
      [376] Failed to execute script nanova-saver
      =================================
      Have you had the same error message or something else?

      • Peter Kirk

        Paul, probably the driver signature issue causing the python script to fail.

        1) Connect your nanoVNA to the usb port and make sure the nanoVNA is turned on.
        2) Windows should generate a sound if it detects the presence of your device (you may see a driver msg in lower right of screen)
        3) Open your system device manager and check for a driver error in the PORTS (COM & LPT)
        or under VIRTUAL COM PORTS
        4) If you see the following driver error: STMicroelectronics Virtual COM PORT, then you probably need to sign the usbser.sys driver as per my previous post. (make a back up a copy of the original usbser.sys for piece of mind)
        cheers

        • Paul

          Device manager shows the PORTS (COM & LPT) and STMicroelectronics Virtual COM PORT with No error message (“This device is working properly”).
          The error message I quoted in my previous message appears regardless I have Nano-VNA connected or not to PC…
          I asked a friend of mine who does not have Nano-VNA meter but has win 7 (64bit) installed on his PC to downloaded and run nanovna-saver-v0.2.2-1.exe. And he was successful. So maybe there is something wrong with Win 7 config on my PC?

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