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Tiny S.A. Spectrum Analyzer

Discussion in 'CB Radio Modifications' started by Shadetree Mechanic, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Has anyone tried this out? I am thinking about getting one. I wonder if the Nano VNA can do this function? Looks like almost the same thing.





     

  2. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    Tiny SA and Nano VNA are two very different devices. Nano VNA is good for antenna tuning, checking coax etc. Tiny SA is a mini spectrum analyzer and is good for tests like the one shown in the video. It can also also act as a signal generator which I tested out the other day on my frequency counter and scope. So I think you could use it to feed signal into a radio to test/set receive levels.

    I haven't fully got into all the functions but both devices are pretty amazing. I'm sure I'll use the Nano VNA more often but for $50 it's nice to have the Tiny SA.

    They are a little confusing to use /menus etc, but there are lots of videos on youtube.
     
    Robb and Shadetree Mechanic like this.
  3. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    Yeah, bought one ('tiny SA') a couple of months ago. Haven't had much of an opportunity to really run it thru its course yet. But I also needed to buy some male/female SMA to BNC connectors off of Ebay to hook it up; about $5/shipped.
     
    #3 Robb, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
    LeapFrog and Shadetree Mechanic like this.
  4. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    After watching several videos where people figured out how NOT to overdrive the unit, I purchased one that will be delivered next week. At $60, that removed all fear of any issue causing damage to the SA. It cost many times that amount just to get a Hewlett Packard SA calibrated. The price of this thing, makes it more like a disposable flashlight.

    Yeah, it's cheap with a small display, doesn't have the fastest refresh rate or best resolution but, for doing anything from tracking down self oscillations to tuning harmonic filters, this device seems to have all you need, with just about zero risk if you happen to destroy it.
     
  5. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    Yeah they are pretty amazing. The Nano VNA + PC software is blowing my mind. Hard to believe that the simple little $60 device can do so much.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    Can you tell us where did you see the VNA at $60? I could only find it just over $100 (still a great deal) on eBay. For another $60, I'd buy the VNA too.
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  7. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    I bought mine on Amazon. My amazon links never work when I post them but search -
    【Upgraded】AURSINC NanoVNA Vector Network Analyzer 10KHz -1.5GHz HF VHF UHF Antenna Analyzer Measuring S Parameters, Voltage Standing Wave Ratio, Phase, Delay, Smith Chart(Latest Version REV3.4)
    Sold by SHY Store

    $62.98


    It's the SMA version so you need a SMA to SO-239 adapter but those were $5.

    The nicer/larger VNA is $100 and has SO-239 connections. I have a PC on my bench so I figured I'd go for the cheap version. I downloaded and installed the software and plugged the USB C into the VNA and into my PC and it pulled the data right in to the computer and gave me control.
     
    #7 Big Kahuna, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  8. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    Very cool. You can also connect the Tiny SA to your PC through the USB port. That gives both control and full screen display on the PC or laptop.
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  9. Big Kahuna

    Big Kahuna Sr. Member

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    Yeah I mostly wanted it for when I'm trying out different antennas on the base so the PC software interested me. At the same time it's so small it's pretty handy for taking with you to check vehicles. The main PITA is that it's supposed to be calibrated every time you change the frequency range. SO if I was doing 26-28 MHz and then wanted to do 13-15 MHz you're supposed to do the calibration process which is a bit annoying. If you're only using it for one band not a big deal but if you're checking multiple antennas over a short period of time that's where I'd get a RigExpert.
     
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  10. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    The Tiny SA arrived yesterday and I've been experimenting with it ever since. I was very surprised to learn it also does 90% of the functions my expensive and very heavy HP signal generator does. It even holds frequency lock better. The SA does work all the way to 1 GHz. with reduced resolution. Walking by the police station looking at the 800 band, got me all of their active simplex frequencies they use when they don't want everyone listening to the repeater, to know what's going on.

    The SA has allowed me to do many things, very easy. Tuning harmonic filters is a joy. I've checked a wide range of amplifiers and HF rigs for harmonic content, some with surprising results. The old tube FT-101ZD had less harmonic content than a solid state Kenwood. One amplifier managed to add tons of harmonics, just being inline and off...

    Would you believe that was the result of a cheap RF sniffer circuit, rectifying RF without being bypassed? This tiny SA is very "tiny". About the size of a pack of cigarettes. It is also built to match the crazy low price in terms of ruggedness. Everything from the power switch, to the connectors does not give the appearance of being able to handle any abuse.

    Handle it with care and when you drop it or break a connector off with rigid cable, remember it only cost $60 for a reason. I've been using the flexible cables with the adaptor that it came with. So far, it's been working great with no noticeable changes from those connectors. Other than not being built to take abuse, this is by far the best bang for the buck, I've ever seen on any piece of test equipment.

    What they have managed to fit inside this package, is almost impossible for me to wrap my mind around. While it won't be replacing any laboratory grade test equipment soon, this has to be making companies like HP, scratch their heads...
     
    #10 Shockwave, Apr 27, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  11. 86lidewell

    86lidewell Active Member

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    I like mine!
     
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  12. Klondike Mike

    Klondike Mike Sr. Member

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    How about this NanoVNA-H from Amazon. $5.00USD. Yup. I ordered one a couple of days ago. Do I think it will show up? Nope.

    [​IMG]
     
    #12 Klondike Mike, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  13. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    If it arrives, I'll offer you a 100% profit and pay shipping? I think the price is just low enough, so that most won't raise hell when it never shows up. I wish you luck and keep us posted.
     
  14. Shockwave

    Shockwave Sr. Member

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    Just showed this SA to my friend that owns a high end marine electronics business. Also shocked about the price and capabilities. He can now determine if a VHF or SSB radio needs to be pulled for servicing, without even having to make any connections to it. Now he can check for relative output power, frequency, modulation and deviation on the transmitters. When done, switch it into the generator mode and test for receiver sensitivity too.

    No need to pull the radios out of the flush mount panel to get at the connections behind the radio unless you need to make a specific forward or reflected power measurement. In about a minuet he can determine if the equipment is functional, or needs to be pulled for service.

    Its size and portability make it awesome for "sniffing" out interference problems too. Things like figuring out which LED ballast, switch mode power supply or, inverter is generating RFI, could not be easier than using this device with its included telescopic antenna.

    PS: If he drops it off the dock, it's just like Johnson's baby shampoo... No tears.
     
    #14 Shockwave, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  15. 86lidewell

    86lidewell Active Member

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    President Randy over the air on 27.205

    Probably useful for finding RFI
     

    Attached Files:

    #15 86lidewell, Apr 28, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

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