Antenna Analyzer

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC3SWL, Oct 13, 2019.

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  1. KC3SWL

    KC3SWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bit the bullet today and went to our favorite candy store in Delaware called HRO. I have this vertical antenna that is a base loaded coil vertical on a tripod and it was almost impossible to tune this using just a simple transceiver and swr meter within 15 minutes without running back and forth to adjust the coil.
    So I went looking for an antenna analyzer and I wasn't about to get a MFJ product <additional thread here > but they did have a used Comet MK2/500 for almost 300 bucks. Then they pulled out The Rig Experts and I picked out the AA-35 ZOOM which also happened to be on sale !!
    Got it home threw some batteries in and within 5 minutes had my vertical tuned for the 40 meter band and worked a couple of stations. One in North Carolina and one in South Dakota .
    I can't believe how much guess work this took out of the hobby.What I really can't believe is the number of jobs this gadget can do. At 230 bucks it was a STEAL with emphasis on illegal to offer this much performance at such a low price.
    I don't know why I hadn't got one before.Sure would have helped building my OCFD.
     
    KU3X and K7TRF like this.
  2. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yup, actually seeing the feed point impedance and being able to do quick SWR sweeps in and OUT OF the ham bands really speeds things up when it comes to antenna tuning. I ran a mobile HF setup for a number of years with various antennas including homebrew Bugcatchers. Using an antenna analyzer really made it easy when trying out new designs and figuring out where to tap the loading coil. Knowing actual complex impedance at the feed point also makes it easy to build things like simple Beta matching coils without a ton of cut and try.
     
    KU3X and KX4Z like this.
  3. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I didn’t get my AA-600 for a steal, but I love it nonetheless. Great tool.
     
    KU3X and KX4Z like this.
  4. KC3SWL

    KC3SWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The RigExperts line is currently on sale at HRO.. I got the HF only version.. Having a Comet GP3 doesn't need much use at this time for VHF or UHF on the analyzer
     
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  5. KC3SWL

    KC3SWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I like the additional info like impedance,resonant frequency.I really being able to pick a frequency and see how the antenna will perform no matter how I have it set up.
    All I know is it saves a lot of time and rf transistors on the Kenwoods trying to tune the vertical
     

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  6. W0KDT

    W0KDT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    They are great devices. The display is poor/small but plugging into a computer their app solves that and give beautiful and large SWR sweep plots over any interval you like. I have the AA-54 but (of course) would like to have one of the VHF/UHF units.
     
    KX4Z likes this.
  7. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Too me it's well worth while to slap an analyzer on an antenna you just erected or otherwise fooled with prior to firing up a rig on that antenna. All necessary trimming or verifying the coax is good is done before firing the rig.

    On my first go around as a ham an analyzer was considered to be an extravagance, this time around I figured it was better to have one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
    KX4Z likes this.
  8. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    remember the impedances are only correct if you have very little transmission line between you and the antenna.

    The SWR will be roughly the same no matter what distance (unless your tansmission line is quite lossy) -- and the machine assumes 50 ohms generally
     
  9. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is really so much really good, really cheap test equipment out there that there is no excuse for any ham to participate in ARSE (Amateur Radio Stupidity Exchange). Shucks for a couple hundred bucks you can get a decent vector network analyzer that a decade ago would have set you back $45,000

    By the way, MFJ has top level engineering....it's their QA that sucks. If their hardware matched their circuit design, they would be unbeatable.
     
    KK0K, K8AI, KX4Z and 1 other person like this.
  10. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had zero issues with MFJ gear in 10 years. Tuners, antennas, meters, analyzer, all good.
     
    K8AI, WZ7U and KX4Z like this.

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