That sounds interesting, and would be a worthwhile thing to have
(even for someone new, if the software is relatively easy to use and
understand). I'm used to (in my head) "stitching together" the
results from my dongle via GQRX, but having software to do it would
be great! (I picked up a broken sweep generator and fixed it, so I
have that capability to a degree already, but at the same time that
could help in some instances!)
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Thanks for bringing that up!
On 5/18/20 11:37 AM, Scott McDonald via
Given the modeling comments I may regret suggesting this,
but as lots of folks have some of the less expensive SDRs, the
free software that stitches multiple frequency ranges together
to perform as a spectrum analyzer is a pretty cool piece of
A bit of learning required, but being able to look at the
spectrum from your transmitter, or the output of a mixer
module, really can speed along learning radio. Much more
intuitive than a scope for RF stuff to me.
I'm most familiar with the free software available for the
RSP series SDRs, and have used that with a cheapie noise
generator for lots of filter analysis, and am very happy with
it. I believe there is similar software available for dongles
as well. Slower than a real spectrum analyzer for sure, and
often some bugs and spurs, but pretty amazing for the price of
a free download.
Worth a thought if you already have a cheapie SDR.
I would NOT do it with a more expensive SDR unless you are
darn careful tho :)
Cheers, Scott ka9p
From: Robert D. Bowers <n4fbz@...>
Sent: Mon, May 18, 2020 9:41 am
Subject: Re: [BITX20] Test equipment recommendations
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
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
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
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
There's plenty of resources on the internet to help you
figure it out.