NanoVNA are they any Good?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by M1MRB, Feb 2, 2020.

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  1. M1MRB

    M1MRB Ham Member QRZ Page

    ICQ Podcast Episode 317

    In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Leslie Butterfield G0CIB, Edmund Spicer M0MNG, Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Ruth Willet KM4LAO to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is - NanoVNA are they any good?


    We would like to thank Dave Pyle (KW1DX), Tim Price (G4YBU)and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit -

    News stories include: -
    • Radio hams Rescue Teenage Girl from Kidnappers
    • Barry Shelley (N1VXY) - Interim ARRL CEO
    • Continued Access to 3GHz spectrum
    • New IARU Region 1 record on 134 GHz – 65km
    • Australian Brushfires Causing Major Telecommunication Outages
    • Maine Bicentennial Special Event
    • YOTA Matching Fund Drive
    • Greenland and Denmark Special Event
    The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from

    K4FMH likes this.
  2. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Only if the user understands how to use them, there is a learning curve for several of the functions.

    VA3SFA likes this.
  3. NQ8J

    NQ8J Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love mine. I've mainly used it as an antenna analyzer, which doesn't have too steep of a learning of a learning curve. I've been experimenting a lot with antennas lately - knowing what R+jX is at a given frequency (or across an entire band) greatly speeds up adjusting the antenna or matching network.
    N4EG, VA3SFA and K3DQB like this.
  4. WW5JS

    WW5JS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had mine for two weeks, and without a doubt it's the best $55 I've ever spent on gear. There is so much to learn, but after a few days with help of internet resources I'm amazed at how far I've come with it in such a short time. Now I just wish I'd paid more attention to material on Smith charts when studying for my Extra exam.

    Often we operate in the realm of superstition and hunches, but with this you'll move into the realm of data and certainty. It's a must have for any serious ham.
  5. KO4AMB

    KO4AMB Ham Member QRZ Page has very good forum on the nanovna, and other technical topics. I too am on the learning cycle, having just purchased a nanovna version that comes with a battery and is enclosed in a case with cables and calibration loads.

    From Ebay (eBay item number: 113951631014).
  6. AA4SS

    AA4SS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    NANO VNA Menu.jpg I find mine very useful. I dont see my MFJ being used again anytime soon.
    AD8BU likes this.
  7. M0KLG

    M0KLG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great piece of kit, had mine for 3 months now, not only am I learning how to use it, but also learnig the finer points of antenna construction.
    Very easy to use as antenna analyser whe used with Nano VNA Saver on the laptop.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The NanoVNA is super useful and highly recommended. I spent the extra $50 to get the larger screen F version with a good case and I’m glad I did.

    Some caveats:

    There is a learning curve especially if you haven’t used VNAs before.

    As mentioned above use the NanoVNA io group, there is a different group for the F version differences.

    There are many knockoffs with poor construction so be careful who you buy from.

    It is more suited for the bench. It can be used outdoors on antennas but is fiddly to use for that and not as robust physically as a purpose built antenna analyzer.

    The F version uses a different firmware fork and so far is not to the same level as the other version, but that hasn’t been an issue for me.
  9. KO4AWN

    KO4AWN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really enjoy mine, one of the limitations of it is the number of samples it can take across the spectrum. One way to solve that is connect it to a computer, by doing that you can have it break up the work and collect A LOT more samples than when you use it by the screen alone. I love that it's a great tool at a great price, not perfect and has its limitations, but the cost more than makes up for it, and I have a feeling we haven't seen the full potential of what it can do (with more software development around it).
    K2XT likes this.
  10. VK3VM

    VK3VM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A well-known and respected VK3 Amateur and I compared two V3.1 board NanoVNA's to his MiniVNA Tiny only just last Monday. One had covers across the ports and oscillators; mine did not have the same shields. Both used contemporary nanovna-h firmware.

    [ The reason for this examination was that I had concerns re device reliability and needed to be able to trust my device for diplexer alignment at 70cm. ]

    Across HF (1-30MHz) and 400-500MHz the two CALIBRATED NanoVNA's displayed near identical results across the real test antenna systems that they were provided input from .... Imperceptible differences.

    SWR Dips on the same systems were observed to be identical to that displayed on the MiniVNA - yet some of the SWR readings at peaks and troughs were observed to vary insignificantly at HF (i.e. 1:1.95 MiniVNA comapred to NanoVNA 1:2.05) and were near identical at 400-500MHz.

    A NanoVNA has also been compared to this Amateur's 2-port AIM VNA (Note: I have not observed this testing). This same Amateur has reported that his AIM VNA also provides results that match that observed with the MiniVNA comparison.

    These tests are not lab-grade analyses or of lab standard; yet they should provide some guidance when considering is one of these devices accurate enough for Amateur work or should one spend at least 500 x more of our hard-earned cash on a device for their AMATEUR shack !
    VK3DEK and KO4AMB like this.

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