Which antenna analyzer?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by VE6ADZ, Sep 29, 2015.

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  1. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ive had a 259B since the late 80's or so and havent hurt it yet, the only downside is the firmware is so old its no longer supported for upgrades.

    Ive found it almost impossible to not use it on 120VAC and that includes several 100' extension cords in series; I even take it to the top of the 180' tower and the 3 shorter ones. When Im 750' back in the woods I take my special purpose lawn tractor without a mower deck retrieved from the town dump back before they had a transfer station. It is a mid 80's 12.5 HP Craftsman which has an alternator to run the lights so I use a small 150W Rat Shak inverter from the early 90's.

    My idea of portable is close enough to run it off a lawn tractor battery or a small inverter from the car and a string of extension cords. Ive done that many times when hill/mountain topping during VHF contests....the antennas are often 100' + higher than the vehicle can go and Im often too rushed to test everything at home first.

    Carl
     
  2. N8CMQ

    N8CMQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have several analyzers for different applications.
    My MFJ-259 is my primary unit, so much so, I have two,
    one for home and one for work.

    I have been looking at the new units that hook up to a
    computer and allow printouts of the various displays.
    Plus I won't have to do the math any more, or, maybe,
    a lot less math?
     
  3. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also have an AA-170 and don't know how I lived without it for so long. Quality only hurts once.

    Buy the 170 and you'll be a happy camper (unless you operate on higher bands than 2M).

    GigaParts and Rig Expert Canada have them for around $350 shipped.

    73, Jeff
     
  4. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have four antenna analyzers. MFJ 259B, MFJ 223, SARK 110 and the Rig Expert AA-600. I also HAD the original MFJ 259. All have worked great for me.

    Which one you choose directly relates to how much you want to spend and what you want to do with it.
    I like the little pocket size MFJ 223 and use it most of the time. If I need to do some serious calculations, I use the SARK 110. Other than the frequency range,
    the SARK 110 does so much more. What it's lacking on the AA-600 is, " sampling points. " The default is only 80 sampling points. That's good enough if you want
    to stay in the same band, like checking a 30 meter dipole. If you use a computer with the AA-600, you can increase the sampling points. Me..........I am not about
    to carry a computer around with me to do that. With the SARK 110, as a stand alone unit, I can set the sampling rate up to 10,000 sampling points.
    One example for the need for more than 80 sampling points is for checking multi band antennas, like an OCF80 or a multi band beam.
    The SARK 110 handles OSL calibration much much better than the Rig Expert does. On the SARK you can even store OSLcalibration profiles and recall them.

    Bottom line, if all you really need to do is check SWR and feed point resistance on the HF bands, most any antenna analyzer will do that but the MFJ 223 does
    it nicely. If you want to take some serious readings, like plus and minus J and maybe use OSLcalibration, then you should look into the SARK 110 or the
    Rig Expert. For OSL calibration on the rig expert, I think you must purchase the AA-600 or better. I don't think the units with less band coverage allow for
    OSLcalibration?

    Here's a YouTube video on the MFJ 223 if you are interested?



    Barry
     
  5. NS3L

    NS3L Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a RigExpert AA-54.. Staple in my shack.. Steve NS3L..
     
  6. N6YFM

    N6YFM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have th

    I have the MFJ-269c. I like it. I use Sanyo Eneloop batteries, so I don't care that it only goes several hours on a charge.
    It covers all my needs from 1 Mhz to 470 Mhz. Not a lab grade instrument, but good enough for Ham use, and costs
    several digits less than lab grade stuff. It can determine a number of interesting details about your antenna, coax, etc.
    I also got the grid-dip coils for it, which let you check traps for your multiband antenna.

    Yes, it's MFJ. So test it while warranty is still there. Open and inspect for loose hardware and bad soldering.
    Other than that, it works a lot better than it looks.
     
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hate when theory changes. :eek:
     
  8. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    New math, new theory. Same thing?
     
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I only buy MFJ stuff from the local HRO and open it and try it while still in the store.:)

    Process seems to work.
     
  10. KB1CKT

    KB1CKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently got the MFJ-259C. Thought about "better" but decided it was likely good enough. I like knobs and real analog meters... It would be nice if it had a DDS, so as to have better stability, it's kinda touchy; but otherwise between that and the fact it does not do sign of reactance I've been ok so far. I figure, MFJ complaints aside, it ought to be easier to repair, if the need were to ever arise.
     

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