NanoVNA's a must have.

This page is work in progress and will be updated frequently. 


As I wrote in the article about the QRP-Labs filter adapter for NanoVNA I owned a  NanoVNA for a few months.  Most of the time I use it for testing  QRP-labs lowpass filters and bandpass filters  because for antenna stuff Iḿ using my RigExpert AA-600.  


But the NanoVNA can be used as a antenne analyzer up to 900Mhz when using the S11 measurement.

So basically hamradio operators can have a wide range antenna analyzer from HF up to 70cm for less then 40 euro (60 euro if you want to go up to 1.5GHz).

A range upgrade: the NanoVNA V2

Because I wanted to do some higher frequency measurements on a 2.4Ghz antenna for my QO-100 project, I ordered a NanoVNA V2 on Tindie (the V2 was later replaced by the V2 Plus4).
The V2  has extended frequency range up to 3Ghz and a little more dynamic depth (60dB when calibrated). Full specs (I had the V2.2 model) can be found here and here


It came without a case, so I 3D printed a case I found on Thingiverse (see link).



A new case for the NanoVNA V2

But after a while I found another case which could hold the calibration set and a Nintendo DS stylus.


The storage space to store the calibration set. 


I used the NanoVNA V2 quite a lot for my experiments and the image below  is showing a measurement of a 30m BPF from QRP-Labs with the QRP-Labs filter adapter for NanoVNA.


Here a example of one of my 2.4GHz experiments. A 5 Turn Helix in a jar used for QO-100



I used my NanoVNA V2 for tweaking the matching section. By bending the match more or less round (giving it more or less space above the ground plane) and placing the match higher and lower to the ground plane, I matched it to 2400.250 GHz with a SWR of aprx 1.34:1 which is good enough.


Tweaking in the back garden. 


Bad eyes, bigger screen. Another upgrade: NanoVNA H4

I bought a second hand NanoVNA H4 from a OM who upgraded to a semi-professional VNA. 

The 4" screen was a good improvement for my eyes (now I can take a quick look without the reading glasses).  


I used the H4 so much that it completely replaced my original NanoVNA and left it useless on the shelf. Because I don't like keep stuff I don't use any more, I sold for a few euro to a fellow OM and as a bonus I added a QRP-Labs filter adapter for NanoVNA and a Component Measuring Adapter for NanoVNA in the box. A bonus which was highly appreciated and until today the NanoVNA with the adapters are used.

New job, new NanoVNA:  LiteVNA 64

I was looking at the LiteVNA64 but owning a H4 and a V2 my frequency range was covered enough for the experiment what I'm doing.

But after been working for 19 years at Sigmax and doing some sole searching, I decided that we have been drifting apart and it was time for something new. I looked around and found a new job, in my hometown and informed my team that I was leaving them. They took it well and understand the reasons. The team tipped in a small goodbye envelop which I decided would be donated in the PH2LB hobby fund ;-) 

With the PH2LB hobby fund being filled enough to have some reserve even when I would buy a LiteVNA64, I bought a LiteVNA64 in my between jobs period in August 2023 at ELESHOP. ELESHOP is one of the official selling points of the LiteVNA and my main supplier for tools and equipment. 

It has very nice specs like :

  • Extended frequency range of 50 kHz - 6,3 GHz,
  • Dynamic range 
    • >70 dB (<3GHz)
    • >50 dB (≥3GHz)
    • S11 ruisvloer <-50 dB (<3GHz)
    • <-40 dB (≥3GHz)
  • Frequency stability <0,5ppm
  • Speed >550 samples/s
  • Sweep points
    • 10-1001 on device
    • 1-1024 punten over USB
  • 3.95" TFT LCD touch-screen (480x320)
  • Buildin  Li-polymeerbatterij  of 2000 mAh (charged over USB)

It comes in a nice box . . . 


Package content : 

  • 1 x LiteVNA64 with 4" display
  • 2 x SMA cables
  • 1 x SMA F/F adapter
  • 1 x SMA calibration set
  • 1 x strap
  • 1 x guitar plectrum to use as a stylus
  • 1 x USB-C cable
  • 1 x folded menu chart in English and Chinese 


And as always I have installed connector savers on it (why : check out this YouTube video).


After using it for a week and comparing the results with the V2, I decided the LiteVNA64 was a keeper and the V2 would end up useless on the shelf.

But when a fellow OM visited my shack, wanted to take it over and also bought adapters to tweak his QRP-Labs and WB2CA filters. So the V2 will be kept using.


All though I still have my eye on a Siglent SVA1015X (1.5GHz SA incl VNA), with the LiteVNA64 and the TinySA Ultra I have a nice set of measurement tools available in the shack (and in the field) to do some measurements on my experiments. Is it pro stuff? No, but for my amateur radio hobby it's good enough :-)



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