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Recommend an Antenna Analyzer

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by Rok55, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Rok55

    Rok55 New Member

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    Thanks again to the group for leading me to a good decision on my last request, a Wattmeter.

    As I continue studying for my ticket I'm trying to plan and acquire other shack items/equipment I'll need. Looks like a Yaesu FT-890 from a well respected member here will be my first rig but haven't settled on an antenna / antennas yet. I know the Yaesu has an ATU but believe I will still need / want an analyzer and probably an outboard tuner.



    So ........... what would be the recommendation of an analyzer for someone on a real tight budget?
     

  2. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Far none, the analyzer made by RigExpert. Don't waste your time or money on batteries with the antiquated MFJ-259 series which takes 10 AA batteries and eats them up fast. This is the one I use, The RigExpert AA54 and only uses 2 AA batteries and seems to last a good while. This one covers HF bands plus 6 meters. Checkout the screen shots below to see what you can analyze including 5 bands at once.

    They have other models which cover up to the Ghz spectrum but these get expensive.

    The AA-30 is their least expensive model and cover up to 30 KHz and lacks a few features of the AA-54 model. This one can be had for around $200. Those cheaper MFJ's for $99 to $150 like the MFJ-207 aren't worth the time being awkward to use. Any good analyzer is going to cost $200 or more.

    [​IMG]

    RigExpert AA-54 – Screen shots
    Main menu of AA-30
    [​IMG]
    Main menu of AA-54
    [​IMG]
    First page of the Settings menu of AA-30
    [​IMG]
    “Show all” screen
    [​IMG]
    Help screen for one of measurement modes
    [​IMG]
    Frequency entry
    [​IMG]
    Single-point SWR measurement

    [​IMG]
    “Save to memory” screen (AA-54)
    [​IMG]
    SWR graph
    [​IMG]
    Multi-point SWR measurement (AA-54)
    [​IMG]
    R,X graph
     
    rabbiporkchop, tecnicoloco and Rok55 like this.
  3. binrat

    binrat WDX Club Coordinator
    Staff Member

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    I have the AA-30 and love it. Its light and accurate for what I'm doing.
     
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  4. tba02

    tba02 WOOF

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    I have the AA-170 and love it. Not cheap but much better than than the MFJ-259B that I had. The AA-30 or AA-54 will handle most needs, but I wanted to be able to play with 2M stuff as well which is why I chose the model I have.
     
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  5. Rok55

    Rok55 New Member

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    Great response FSB and appreciate your input as well binrat & tba02.

    Any others?
     
  6. kopcicle

    kopcicle Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for Rig Expert. As much as your budget allows.
    The MFJ works but ...

    Tuner. AAT's have too many moving parts and a processor and ...
    I would suggest you look at a manual tuner.
    Even though I own one I'm just offering this without bias as a good example.

    The Drake MN-2700 B

    [​IMG]

    Just a good unit.

    The Heathkit 2060A is another but I don't care for roller inductors.

    I do prefer a Pi-L type rather than a "T".

    I figure the first best station addition is the antenna "system". This includes the tuner and anything else between your antenna and the audio speaker. Antennas are frustrating, interesting, confusing and occasionally the best part of a station. However as you're getting your feet wet you are not going to get it perfect and the tuner can absorb some of that . This way you spend more time on the radio, less time falling off of roofs and out of trees and more time talking without destroying output transistors.

    You can work out the finer points of antenna construction later. I will give you one clue. There is little if any relationship between VSWR and resonance. I'll catch hell for that but ....
     
  7. Rok55

    Rok55 New Member

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    Thanks much for that input.
    If I read between the lines ............ manual tuner before analyzer?
    While I did figure a manual tuner eventually, I kinda figured the other way, try to ensure well tuned antenna system(s) as the FT-890 has an ATU onboard.

    I'll have to study up on Pi-L vs T.
     
  8. kopcicle

    kopcicle Well-Known Member

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    You are on the right track. Keep asking questions .
    https://www.w8ji.com/antennas.htm
    That will keep you busy for a minute
     
    binrat likes this.
  9. Rok55

    Rok55 New Member

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    Thx for the link kopcicle ......... I found W8JI a while back during my search/quest on info and am trying to ingest what I can ........... whew .......... mostly over my head right now but starting to get the basics.
     
  10. kopcicle

    kopcicle Well-Known Member

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    ...most antennas should be over your head.
    Most everything else should be at desk or bench level
     
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  11. Rok55

    Rok55 New Member

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    :LOL::ROFLMAO::D:p
     
  12. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    https://topbandhams.com/Tech/K5QY.pdf

    Lot's of good info...explained a little less intensely than W8JI...
    Most antennas described are for lower HAM bands but the theory and results are the same for most antennas to 30 MHz and beyond...
    Enjoy
    All the Best
    Gary
     
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  13. sp5it

    sp5it Master of puppets

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    Only analyser worth buying is that one which can show resistance and reactance at the antenna terminals no matter cable used.
    Mike
     
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  14. N0NB

    N0NB Active Member

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    I bought the RigExpert AA-230 Zoom a bit over a year ago as a package deal from GigaParts on an eBay listing. The package included a USB cable (maybe that came with the analyzer, I don't recall) and a NANUK case. It allows me to keep the whole works together. It does a variety of measurements which can also be done using their Windows software which can process the data into various charts.

    For a tuner I use a Palstar AT1500DT Differential Tee tuner (no longer made) It is a far better piece of kit than the MFJ-986 it replaced.
     
  15. Rok55

    Rok55 New Member

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    Thanks BJ, more good info.

    NONB, seems like the RigEperts series is at the top of the list for many.
     
    rabbiporkchop likes this.

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