Is this antenna analyzer any good

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StormShadow
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Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by StormShadow » 27 Nov 2015, 21:10

I'm thinking about buying this antenna analyzer as I need one to make a few antennas so I'm wanting to know exactly what I'm looking at here. Has anybody bought one of these who could tell me more on how they perform? Do they work? what do people think of these?


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-ANT-SWR- ... OSwPhdVHCW~

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by 2SG » 28 Nov 2015, 13:07

I don't have one, but reading the reviews on eHam, the Sark 100 seems a bit hit and miss.
Here is what some people who bought them think.
http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/8960

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by Admiral » 28 Nov 2015, 13:32

I don't have one either, on just eyeballing the picture it looks nasty to me.

Buy cheap, buy twice.
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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by GeeFull » 28 Nov 2015, 13:56

And on antennas that are often far from complicated, buy expensive, buy once, but be prepared for it to spend most of its life unused stuck in the shack drawer, not unlike the "wavemeters" of old, when basic on paper calculations, and simple test equipment already to hand, would in all likelyhood fit the bill! ;)
But each to their own pedantic ways of course.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by StormShadow » 28 Nov 2015, 21:58

Admiral wrote:I don't have one either, on just eyeballing the picture it looks nasty to me.

Buy cheap, buy twice.
Thats what I thought when I looked at it. I reckon I'll just spend a bit more money on a decent one that way once I got it I can build all the antennas I want then.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by 2SG » 28 Nov 2015, 22:25

While I agree with Geefull that an analyser is not used everyday, and is probably not really needed for simple antennas such as dipoles, it can save a lot of time fannying about. It is one of those things that, once you've had one, you wouldn't want to be without one.
It's probably best to spend a little more and get something reliable and accurate that will last for many years.
I bought an MFJ-259B some years ago, and it has been fine, but I do fancy something newer like a Rig Expert. Maybe Santa will read this... :D

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by Mattylad » 29 Nov 2015, 11:29

I have been thoroughly put off the price of the MFJ because of the claims of build quality, why would I pay so much for something that needs fixing - even 2nd hand. The MR100, like the SARK100 has build quality issues, just the same but costs way less and does the same things.

There are many that are happy with the Sark100 clones just as there are many happy with the rigexpert ones.
I was planning on getting an AA-170 but for the use I will put it to I cannot currently justify the price of it, perhaps for my 60th birthday I might lol.

I am going to get one but will start off with a cheaper one, only once I have actually found that I use it a lot so the MR100 is on my xmas list.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by GeeFull » 29 Nov 2015, 14:17

I have always been happy with what I have, RF current meter, SWR meter, and Grid dip meter, amongst other basic test equipment.
Most of the rest comes from careful design, accurate measurements, and on paper mathematical calculations, with a bit of in field tweeking.
Have managed to put a reasonable signal out to date, without needing the antennas "inside leg" measurement displayed in graphic detail. ;)
When all else fails theres always the "tuner" that some recon is the cure for all ills, although I avoid them myself wherever practical.
Resonant is resonant, "pulled" into place always being a compramise.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by 2SG » 29 Nov 2015, 14:34

Well, of course you are right Mattylad, there are many who have the SARK 100 and are more than happy with it, and the link to eHam I posted confirms that. Like most things, you have to weigh up the cost and the value for money.

On the MFJ build quality issue, I used to have quite a number of MFJ products, some of which were better built than others and some which required fixing even before use. Their QC is pretty dreadful, but they have a huge range of gear at affordable prices,most of which serves it's purpose.

Having said that, I have gradually got rid of every single piece of MFJ gear with the exception of the 259B. In comparison with all the other stuff, the 259B was rather well made, and has never required repair or given any trouble. When I bought it there were very few affordable alternatives, but in recent years there has been something of an explosion in the number of new analysers available, many offering much more than the 259B does. I will probably keep it as a backup/spare, even if I get another analyser.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by kr0ne » 01 Dec 2015, 01:21

MFJ = Made From Junk :)

Try searching the forum a bit StormShadow, there was a reasonably long thread a while back where a number of the cheap Chinese analysers were bought and reviewed by various members. I'm sure that the anal-yser you linked to made an appearance in that thread, if not the exact same one then one of its clones...

Think it might have been in the amateur forums but can't really remember unfortunately.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by cjay » 01 Dec 2015, 21:51

That analyser is a Chinese clone of the SARK100, the MR100 in the thread here is another copy, not entirely fair to compare the build quality of the Chinese ones with the original SARK100 which was meant to be very good.

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Re: Is this antenna analyzer any good

Post by Mattylad » 02 Dec 2015, 07:30

I dont think anyone is actually comparing the linked one to the original.

At the end of the day it does what it says on the box, if you want better then you pay more.

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