An HF Antenna Analyser for under $50


Background

The “$50 HF Antenna Analyser” started off life as a presentation for Pacificon 2013.

The inspiration was what someone could do with a $5 DDS module found on eBay and a $35 Arduino micro-controller.

During early development it was discovered that using a PIC instead of the Arduino brought the price down to under $25. The PIC is used to sweep an AD9850 DDS and measure the forward and reverse detector voltages from an SWR bridge at each frequency and return the values to a PC for plotting on the screen.

The following picture shows a comparison of the Antenna Analyser shown at the top of the page with the Anritsu VNA Master hand-held VNA:

Both were testing my Buddipole antenna set up for 40m.

This grew into a design that incorporated and LCD so it could be used without a PC (although the PC is still required to show the plots), a prototype of which was shown at Pacificon 2013.

Development was done on a HamStack Dev-1 board from Sierra Radio Systems.

An early prototype as well as the materials presented at Pacificon 2013 have been kindly hosted on the Hamstack project gallery

There was a great deal of interest in a kit, so the PCB at the top of this page was created.

This kit is usable both stand-alone, and with a PC program (free download, source available). It feature both USB and RS232 connections, and can be powered through a DC jack or can take power from the USB port.

Although it will always work the way it is, there is included a programming header for updating the firmware as improvements are made.

A write-up and information for building your own is in the attachment below "K6BEZ Antenna Analyser".

A Yahoo Group has been setup for people interested in the project to ask questions.




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  1481k v. 1 Jan 25, 2014, 8:17 PM Beric Dunn
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