Re: Test equipment recommendations

Robert D. Bowers
 

You talk about a steep learning curve for the NanoVNA and then suggest MODELING SOFTWARE?  You do know that doesn't make sense - it could overwhelm someone in a hurry?

Let a new ham learn what they want to learn and when they're ready to learn - in order to pass the test (unless it's really been watered down even more since I got my Extra) they have to have some understanding of the basics already.  You have to build on a foundation - not start erecting the superstructure while the foundation is still being poured!

I'd suggest rather than modeling software, using the ARRL Antenna book or something similar.  That's appropriate not only for someone new to radio, but also useful even for experienced hams.  It also helps to lay a good foundation that can be built on.

Modeling can come later - at their own pace and if they choose.  (The VNA also may be a bit much, although the more a learns, the more valuable such a tool becomes.  That's why a directional wattmeter/SWR bridge is suggested.  Start simple and build up.)


On 5/18/20 9:38 AM, flatpickn via groups.io wrote:
If your interest aligns with this:
The NanoVNA is a nice piece of equipment for not a lot of money. I have an H model.
It does have a steep learning curve which would be true of any VNA.
Build yourself a wire antenna. Make it cheap, use speaker wire from the hardware store. Download the free copy of Eznec and model the antenna in it. Use the Nano to tune it and compare it to the model.
When your done, you'd have a good fundamental  understanding of antennas, a beginning knowledge of antenna analysis,  and you'll know the vna well enough to tackle other vna work like evaluating baluns and circuit impedences.
There's plenty of resources on the internet to help you figure it out.

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