Monday, April 9, 2012

MiniVNA Pro Antenna Analyzer

Just got my MiniVNA Pro Antenna analyse and started analyzing my HF multi trap inverted V antenna and it did not look good. I will have to re-tune almost all the bands.

1) What's nice about the analyzer you can see all the band details in one sweep and the re-tune and compere  the graphs.
2) Took me a wile to find out that resonant point is not necessary the lowest return los measurement but rather 0 phase difference between Tx and Rx signal when analyzer is connected directly on antenna.  Its very easy to do with the blue tooth connection to MiniVNA hanging off antenna.

How to install the software on Linux
The VNA/J software will work on Windows, Linux and MAC as well. The compatibility was possible using the JRE 6 + (Java runtime from SUN microsystem)

1) Check the java version installed on your linux
java -version
java version "1.7.0_05"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_05-b05)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 23.1-b03, mixed mode)

Apparently the link is broken here is a link to the jar
2) If you don't have java install it. The SUN/ ORACLE version is better.
3) Download the miniVNApro software from
4) Change the permission on the file that you downloaded to have execution writes (vnaJ.2.8.3c.jar)
5) Run the command  java - jar vnaJ.2.8.3c.jar  in the file directory of the vnaJ.2.8.3c.jar
You could also create a short-cut with full path to java as well as to vnaJ.2.8.3c.jar file and execute it that way.
6)There is two ways to connect to the VNA  device (via USB cable or via Bluetooth)

6.1) I will first explain how to connect the VNA to USB port.

On UBUNTU possibly the same on all Linux versions you need to find out what is the USB serial port of  the VNA device. This can be done by disconnecting you VNA fro usb and the running the following command in Terminal tail -f /var/log/messages and the connect your VNA to USB on PC.
You should see something like this.

Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.397530] usb 2-2.3: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 15
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.552690] ftdi_sio 2-2.3:1.0: FTDI USB Serial Device converter detected
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.552817] usb 2-2.3: Detected FT232RL
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.552826] usb 2-2.3: Number of endpoints 2
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.552834] usb 2-2.3: Endpoint 1 MaxPacketSize 64
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.552840] usb 2-2.3: Endpoint 2 MaxPacketSize 64
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.552847] usb 2-2.3: Setting MaxPacketSize 64
Jul 14 14:05:41 chackpc kernel: [917066.554902] usb 2-2.3: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB1

The serial port as in RED above will be the port to configure in your VNA/J apllication under the analyzer setting menu see details in Picture.
Select the test button after you have selected the Analyser model and port.
Should see something changing to green at the bottom indicating the driver and port works.
Select update. (Mite get warning that there is now calibration data the first time you us the program)
Follow the operting instruction to calibrate and normal use of VNA device.

6.2) I will now explain how to connect the VNA via Bluetooth  (Very handy if you want to test the antenna without co-axle cable and connecting it directly to antenna)

Make shore the VNA is disconnected from USB and the on switch is switched on, there should be a blue led flashing at the bottom of device.
6.2.1) Then install Blueman applet ( synaptic package manager or commad line  sudo apt-get install blueman)

Then select in ubuntu menu System > preferences > Bluetooth Manager

Search for VNA device if not already in found device's.
Write click on found device and pair with device using password 1234

Then write click on PRO sn 01150 and click on setup...
Then select connect to serial port
you will the see a popup something like serial connected to /dev/rfcomm

Start the application vnaj as in section 5 above.

Select analyzer menu and the setup as in section 6.1 above.
The problem you have now is the /dev/rfcomm is not in the list of serial devices.
The reason for the problem is it seems that the VNAJ program only display devices with tty at the front
To resolve the problem run the following commands.

ls /dev
you should see something like this

agpgart          fd       loop4               psaux  ram6     sdc       tty11  tty25  tty39  tty52  tty9        vcs    vcsa7
autofs           full     loop5               ptmx   ram7     serial    tty12  tty26  tty4   tty53  ttyrfcomm0  vcs1   vga_arbiter
block            fuse     loop6               pts    ram8     sg0       tty13  tty27  tty40  tty54  ttyS0       vcs2   zero
bsg              hidraw0  loop7               ram0   ram9     sg1       tty14  tty28  tty41  tty55  ttyS1       vcs3
btrfs-control    hidraw1  mapper              ram1   random   sg2       tty15  tty29  tty42  tty56  ttyS2       vcs4
bus              hidraw2  mcelog              ram10  rfcomm1  shm       tty16  tty3   tty43  tty57  ttyS3       vcs5
char             hidraw3  mem                 ram11  rfkill   snapshot  tty17  tty30  tty44  tty58  ttyUSB0     vcs6
console          hpet     net                 ram12  root     snd       tty18  tty31  tty45  tty59  uinput      vcs7
core             input    network_latency     ram13  rtc      stderr    tty19  tty32  tty46  tty6   urandom     vcsa
cpu              kmsg     network_throughput  ram14  rtc0     stdin     tty2   tty33  tty47  tty60  usbmon0     vcsa1
cpu_dma_latency  log      null                ram15  sda      stdout    tty20  tty34  tty48  tty61  usbmon1     vcsa2
disk             loop0    oldmem              ram2   sda1     tty       tty21  tty35  tty49  tty62  usbmon2     vcsa3
dri              loop1    pktcdvd             ram3   sda2     tty0      tty22  tty36  tty5   tty63  usbmon3     vcsa4
ecryptfs         loop2    port                ram4   sda5     tty1      tty23  tty37  tty50  tty7   usbmon4     vcsa5
fb0              loop3    ppp                 ram5   sdb      tty10     tty24  tty38  tty51  tty8   usbmon5     vcsa6

you should see something like rfcomm0 or rfcomm1 ....

the run the following command
 ln -s rfcomm1 ttyrfcomm1 

Then restart your vnaj program and you now will see a serial device in you setup list ttyrfcomm1 

test and and update should work now.

Enjoy your VNA ....

My Antennas

Here is a scanned image on my Wideband antenna including coax cable done on Ubuntu.
(Antenna COMET DS-150S)

SWR and phase

My Multi trap Dipole

SWR and Phase


Very narrow band's (The multi trap dipole is 10 times better than this CHV-5X)


30m 1/2 wave Dipole

I now have add two active loops for the 20m and 80m SDR receivers.

here is the details

and here is the connection diagram

Here is some of my antennas.

2m Eggbeater, 2m,70cm jpole, 3element 2m/70cm yagi on rotater,
70cm Eggbeater, Discone, 2m,70cm 5/8vertical, Multiband HF  V Dipole.

Same Antennas seen from the Bottom