Author Topic: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.  (Read 930 times)

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Offline WPXS472

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Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« on: July 31, 2021, 10:35:19 pm »
A while back, I bought one of the first Nanovnas that only covered to 900 MHz. I never used the thing because I wanted to use higher frequencies, and the available software wouldn't work on my Windows XP machine. Some time passed, and someone told me there was a version that used "N" connectors instead of "SMA", and had a 4 inch screen. I bought one of those with great expectations, but was disappointed that it couldn't be used for single frequency measurements. I have spent some time recently on AliExpress and eBay looking to get a newer one. I find the sheer quantity of different ones confusing, and cannot make up my mind which one to purchase. Does anyone have a suggestion based on experience as to an exact model and vendor I should buy? I like the idea of having a 4 inch screen, but I plan on using it hooked to my laptop most of the time, so that isn't a strict requirement. I would need it to go to at least 2.5 Ghz, and be able to do single frequency measurements.
 

Offline bdunham7

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Re: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2021, 11:15:59 pm »
I have a NanoVNA-F V2 from Rev C v0.2.3 from sysjoint.com and it goes to 3GHz, lets me set the span to zero and then indicates a single frequency and still gives me a Smith chart and graphs.  I haven't used it enough to comment other than to say that it seems to function properly after calibration.  I did connect it to a Windows 10 PC, but I don't even remember a single tidbit about the software.  The screen and case are pretty nice and the battery seems to last.  It does have SMA connectors, but I don't see the problem with that. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Online evb149

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Re: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2021, 11:24:55 pm »
In the future there's something called nanovna v3 that is expected to have significantly broader capabilities.
That may be interesting to wait for if you can wait a while and you care more about the frequency range and
more specialized measurement capabilities than cost or immediate availability.

https://nanorfe.com/nanovna-v3.html
 

Offline WPXS472

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Re: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2021, 01:56:03 pm »
Thanks to both of you. I will have to consider that V3. The specs mentioned seemed better than the 8714ES I have used for the last few years. I jumped at the model using "N" connectors because that was what I was used to, and they are mechanically more robust. But,  really, "SMA" connectors are OK for my use.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2021, 04:09:26 pm »
 
A while back, I bought one of the first Nanovnas that only covered to 900 MHz. I never used the thing because I wanted to use higher frequencies ..

So you have an 8714ES but then bought a low cost 900MHz unit but never used it because it was limited to 900MHz?   :-DD  If you don't want to be disappointed with your next purchase, I recommend you spend some time figuring out what your requirements are BEFORE you open your wallet! 


Obviously, there's a lot more to consider when buying a VNA than just 2.5 GHz, CW with a 4" display, N connectors and support for XP.   I wonder why you have not considered the HP8753ES or even one of the older models from this series.  Even if you are just starting out and learning the basics, it may be a better choice than going with these very low cost units.   I picked up an old PNA a while back for hobby use.  It has a few things I don't like but overall, not too bad. 

If you really want to stay with low cost ones like the NanoVNA, I have a V2Plus4 from OWO's company.   I finally ditched Windows XP but suspect my software would still run on it. Of course at this price point, it is missing a lot of features.   What's a couple of bias T's and step attenuators run?  I doubt anyone expects the $200 is going to work like the $250,000 unit.  Thinking it would will certainly would lead to further disappointment on your part.  For learning some of the basics, it's a nice little product. 

Attached screen shots with my V2Plus4 set to CW at 2.987654GHz along with the output on my Signal Hound set to Real-Time.   I also made a lengthy review of the V2Plus4 and a shorter video showing some of the more recent software for it.   





How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
Software, documentation and test reports for the low cost NanoVNA & V2 Plus 4 may be found here:
https://github.com/joeqsmith
 
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Offline WPXS472

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Re: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2021, 03:44:30 pm »
I never said I had an 8714ES, only that I had used one. I have been using VNAs since the early 80's when the company I worked for bought an 8505. They later added various 87 series instruments, including an 8753D. Our production used 8711s first, but when they started dying, they went to 8712s. Since the 8714 is pretty similar, I switched from the 8753 to the 8714ES so it would be easier to develop the test programs used by production. Over time, I came to like the 8714ES better than the 8753D. I'm not saying it is a better instrument, I just liked it better for my use. Time passed, I retired, and now I want to do some hobby work. I don't feel I need to justify my needs or desires for a VNA. My priorities may change over time, so I don't really want to invest the amount necessary to buy even a used HP instrument. I think the Nano will serve my needs, and if it doesn't I still have a relationship with the folks I used to work for. So, I can probably use one of their instruments if I need to. Theirs are all 75 ohm, and since retirement I have gone back into the 50 ohm world, but that can be worked around. I don't claim to be an expert in the use of a VNA, but I know enough to do the work I need to do. The young fellow who replaced me has done wonders with regard to software used with VNAs. In time, he will be what I never was.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Seeking suggestions for new Nanovna.
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2021, 05:31:02 pm »
I never said I had an 8714ES, only that I had used one.
Still, you bought an instrument that you knew up front would not meet your needs was the point I was making.  It sounds like your having great expectations followed by disappointed are self inflicted and nothing to do with the products you have bought.

I have been using VNAs since the early 80's when the company I worked for bought an 8505. They later added various 87 series instruments, including an 8753D. Our production used 8711s first, but when they started dying, they went to 8712s. Since the 8714 is pretty similar, I switched from the 8753 to the 8714ES so it would be easier to develop the test programs used by production. Over time, I came to like the 8714ES better than the 8753D. I'm not saying it is a better instrument, I just liked it better for my use. Time passed, I retired, and now I want to do some hobby work.

Sounds like lots of good experience. 

I don't feel I need to justify my needs or desires for a VNA. My priorities may change over time, so I don't really want to invest the amount necessary to buy even a used HP instrument.

I don't believe anyone has asked you to justify anything.   Cost was not mentioned until now.  It certainly makes sense but buying equipment you know is not going to suit your needs and never using it makes no sense to me no matter how much it costs.   

I think the Nano will serve my needs, and if it doesn't I still have a relationship with the folks I used to work for.   So, I can probably use one of their instruments if I need to. Theirs are all 75 ohm, and since retirement I have gone back into the 50 ohm world, but that can be worked around. I don't claim to be an expert in the use of a VNA, but I know enough to do the work I need to do. The young fellow who replaced me has done wonders with regard to software used with VNAs. In time, he will be what I never was.

Hard to say if the V2Plus4 would meet your needs or not.   As I said, there's a lot missing but what do you expect for the price.  You can watch the review and feel free to ask any questions you may have  before you try and order one.   There's no reason in being further disappointed in your purchases.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
Software, documentation and test reports for the low cost NanoVNA & V2 Plus 4 may be found here:
https://github.com/joeqsmith
 


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