Tagged: nanovna

NanoVNA V2 Enclosure and Carry Case Now Available on our Store with Release Discount

We have just release for sale our latest product which is an enclosure and carry case for the NanoVNA V2. It is currently on sale until the end of this week for US$14.95 including free shipping from China to most countries. At the end of the sale the price will rise to US$19.95. Amazon will be stocked in 2-4 weeks, but will not be on sale. Please visit our store at:

www.rtl-sdr.com/store

The enclosure is made from rugged plastic (plastic was chosen as the NanoVNA designers note that a metal case may actually degrade performance). There is space included for a standard sized (non-protected) 18650 battery, and battery terminals are included for optional use (battery not included). The enclosure also has a holder for the NanoVNA V2's stylus, and as a bonus we're including a matte antiglare screen protector as we found the NanoVNA V2's screen to be quite reflective. Finally, a protective semi-hardshell carry case is also included in the set. If you are installing a battery, please consult the installation instructions PDF file.

 

NanoVNA V2+ Now Available in our Store + Upcoming Enclosure Preview

The original NanoVNA V2+ is now available in our store for a reduced price of US$64.95 with free shipping to most countries. This price will increase in the future. The NanoVNA V2+ is a low cost vector network analyzer which can be used to measure and tune antennas, filters and cables.

The model on our store is the ORIGINAL product manufactured and designed by HCQXS + OwOcomm, not a clone. So purchases from our store support the developer. It is also the newer 2.8" V2 PLUS version, which has a two times faster sweep speed compared to the older model. The price includes the calibration kit which consists of two high quality SS405 cables and a SOLT (short, open, load, through) kit. Note that in our current stock we do not include the optional acrylic case.

NanoVNA V2+ Kit

However, we do have our own third party enclosure for the NanoVNA V2 that will be released by January next year. Our enclosure will be made of rugged plastic, and will be part of a kit including an antiglare screen protector as well as a carry case. The case includes space for a standard sized (non-protected) 18650 Li-Ion battery, and will include battery terminals (the battery itself will not be included for shipping reasons, but you can find 18650 cells for a few dollars locally). Pricing is yet to be established, but we're targeting around US$14.95 to US$19.95 with free shipping included. We note that some people have requested a metal case, however after a discussion with the NanoVNA V2 designers it was noted that a metal case could actually hurt performance and is not recommended.

Prototype Enclosure Front
Prototype Enclosure Rear

Andreas Spiess Shows how to Properly use a NanoVNA V2

Over on his channel popular electronics YouTuber Andrea Spiess has uploaded a tutorial video showing how to properly use a NanoVNA V2. The NanoVNA V2 is a vector network analyzer which can be used to measure and tune things like antennas, filters and cables. In the video Andreas aims to explain the differences between the VNA, Spectrum Analyzer and VSWR meter, what you can measure with a VNA, how to read the VNA results, the limitations of cheap VNAs, why and how to calibrate, and a review of the overall quality.

Andreas explains these concepts in a very easy to understand way, so this video is a great start if you've ordered a NanoVNA.

How to properly use a NanoVNA V2 Vector Network Analyzer (Tutorial)

Tech Minds: Testing Antennas with the VNA N1201SA / PS100

Over on his channel Tech Minds has uploaded a new video where he tests the N1201SA / PS100 vector impedance analyzer. This is a US$160 antenna analyzer from China that allows you to measure the VSWR of your antennas. In the video Tech Minds explains a bit about VSWR, and goes on to show the unit in action on several of his antennas.

Compared to the NanoVNA V2 these units seems less useful with a smaller frequency range, and are also more expensive. The unit is also only 1-port, meaning that it can only do S11 measurements and cannot analyze devices like filters. But on the other hand it does come in a metal case with a battery and has a fairly easy to understand and use interface.

Easily Check Your Antennas Tuning - VNA N1201SA / PS100

NanoVNA V2 Video Tutorials

The NanoVNA V2 (aka S-A-A-2) is a vector network analyzer (VNA) with 50 kHz to 3 GHz frequency range. Recently is has become readily available for around $60 + shipping from the Tindie store. We like this product a lot and are planning to get some for our store soon as well. (Update: A limited quantity of NanoVNA V2's are now available in our store)

A Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) is an extremely useful tool for radio hobbyists as it allows you to measure and tune antennas and filters, as well as measure cable loss among other applications. Until recently low cost VNA's cost hundreds of dollars. Then came along the original NanoVNA which brought expensive VNA capabilities to the masses with its low $40 pricing. But the original design is limited to a maximum frequency of only 900 MHz. The new V2 design pushes this maximum frequency up to 3 GHz officially, and unofficially up to 4.4 GHz with reduced performance. It also improves on overall dynamic range and maintains the affordable sub $100 price. We note that the NanoVNA V2 is unrelated to the original NanoVNA apart from being the inspiration, and sharing the same firmware base.

Over on YouTube Robert J. Meade has been uploading a series of videos demonstrating and teaching viewers how to use the NanoVNA V2 to measure various devices. For example in his videos he shows how to use the NanoVNA V2 to measure one of our RTL-SDR Blog Broadcast FM filters, how to measure a log spiral & clover antenna, use measurements to rebuild a variable attenuator, measure an active device (SAWbird+ NOAA), and how to measure a DIY microstrip L-band LNA. If you're just getting started with the NanoVNA V2, then these are some great videos to start with.

NanoVNA V2 First Measurements V2: Log Spiral & Clover Antennas (Above 900 MHz & up to 3GHz)

NanoVNA V2’s Now for Sale on eBay and Tindie

We've received a few notices that the NanoVNA V2 design that we've been following since last year is now available for sale on eBay and Tindie (or Taobao if you live in China). The original official sales appear to have been from Tindie, where it is priced at $58.25 + shipping, although it is now out of stock. On eBay resellers are selling it for up to $150. If you're interested in purchasing the V2 we recommend entering your email into the Tindie form as they will notify you when it's back in stock. Initial reviews posted on the Tindie store indicate that the unit has excellent performance for the price so we expect that it will be popular enough to manufacture many more in the future.

The original NanoVNA brought expensive Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) capabilities to the masses with it's low $40 pricing. A VNA is an extremely useful tool for radio hobbyists as it allows you to tune antennas, filters and measure cable loss among other applications. However, the original design was limited to only a frequency of 900 MHz maximum. The new design pushes this up to 3 GHz official, and unofficially up to 4.4 GHz whilst also improving dynamic range and maintaining the low price point.

The description and specs of the NanoVNA V2 are shown below:

Measuring the Radiation Pattern of a Yagi Antenna with a NanoVNA

On Hackaday we've seen an interesting post about Jephthai who has used a NanoVNA to measure the radiation pattern of a home made Yagi antenna. He began by initially modelling the Yagi using the MMANA software package, then building the antenna and measuring the SWR.

However, SWR is only partial information and tells us nothing about the actual gain and directivity / radiation pattern of the antenna. The radiation pattern tells us in which direction the antenna receives and radiates power best from. For a Yagi, we would expect the best reception gain to come from the front, with much less gain on the sides and rear.

To set up the radiation pattern measurement, Jephthai connected the Yagi to the TX port of the NanoVNA via a long coax cable, and connected an omnidirectional whip antenna to the RX port of the NanoVNA. The NanoVNA and Yagi are separated by a reasonable distance of 18' to ensure that the far-field radiation pattern is measured instead of the near-field pattern. He then measures and collects the S21 reading over multiple rotations of the Yagi.

The data is then plotted revealing a two dimensional radiation pattern for the Yagi. As expected gain is highest in the front, and weaker on the sides and rear. Jephthai notes that the radiation pattern mostly matches what the MMANA antenna modelling software predicted too.

Jephthai's NanoVNA Radiation Pattern Measurement Setup
Jephthai's NanoVNA Radiation Pattern Measurement Setup

A Guide to the NanoVNA: Kindle eBook for $2.99

With the NanoVNA (and upcoming NanoVNA 2.0) being so affordable and readily available many budget focused RF enthusiasts and hams are now adding a tool to their arsenal that used to only be for the wealthy and commercial users. Vector Network Analyzers (VNAs) allow you to do things like make SWR measurements on antennas, characterize RF filters and detect coax cable faults, among other applications.

However, much like the RTL-SDR there is no one company or entity controlling the NanoVNA concept or development. The NanoVNA name now encompasses a mishmash of similar but slightly different hardware created by multiple manufacturers/community members, and multiple firmware and software developed by the community. This can be frustrating for some people as community developed products typically do not have full manuals and support that you would find in products from a larger commercial company. Instead some time to research and understand the product may be required.

Whilst almost plug and play, to use the NanoVNA you still need to understand what a VNA is, how to calibrate it, and how to read it's measurements. And in addition, for the NanoVNA in particular you'll want to know the differences in NanoVNA versions, how to update the firmware and where to find optional PC programs for it.

In order to help people new to VNAs and the NanoVNA, Christoph Schwarzler (OE1CGS) and Maximilian Schwarzler (OE1SML) have written a Kindle eBook called "A guide to the NanoVNA". The guide goes over what a VNA is and how it works, NanoVNA hardware versions and what to avoid, what accessories you might need, how to update the firmware, how to read the various charts, how to navigate the menus, how to calibrate and how to use NanoVNA PC software. The book also goes over some use cases for the NanoVNA, including creating a loading coil for a 40m short vertical antenna, creating a band pass filter, and checking for coax short circuit defects. At only US$2.99 it's a good way to get started with the NanoVNA.

Kindle Book "A Guide to the NanoVNA"
Kindle Book "A Guide to the NanoVNA"