On this page I will gradually publish information-  how and use MAX6 with a PC  and Android

- MAX6 antenna analyzer
- USB cable
- charger
- ETUI - just nice bag

- RC6 remote  ( based on chip dg3010 )
- SD card
- Bluetooth  ( internal or externall )

and new functions ...  please click on links below

some important tips and "problems"   >>   Touch Ground

More on  Bluetooth  and Android on link ... >>  Android

about upgrade and latest version  info find on bottom of page ...

If You not find interesting info ...  just write email  >  jarek@sp3swj.com

Few  "pictures"  about MAX6  :-) 

Film z YouTube


MAX6 can work in three mode with measure electrical circuit and antenna:

VNA - Reflection measurement - Vector Network Analyzer 

SNA - Transmission measurement - Scalar Network Analyzer

SVNA -  Both together :-) - Vector Scalar  Network  Analyzer 

:-)  but for what is  SVNA....   just when You measure filter You can see in this same time Reflection and Transmision - this really speed-up tunning of each filter !!! 

Connecting optional accessory  ( external RF probe)  to ACC port - MAX6 can work as three channel wobuloscope.  RF probe can be 50 ohm  or 10 kohm  ...  for steal the signal in RF paths ....

Current firmware of MAX6 support this function ;-)  ... but PC software will be available soon...

This function is under development and accessory will be available soon ...

Version of  MAX6

There is available two version of  MAX6
-  180 ...  working  up to 180 MHz                ...  DDS internal clock work on  400 MHz

-  500 ... working  up to 500 MHz               ...  DDS internal clock work on  400 M

More info about small differences soon....    but remember check dds clock on 


Always discharge antenna before measure, 
just short center pin with cable shield
Antenna shield  and PC ground must be connected together before measure.

But when You use MAX6 in LCD standalone mode work from buildin battery 
(separate from PC )  connected to nothing except antenna cable  :-)
Coaxial cable shield must not be connected to the ground station. 
Always discharge antenna before measure

Remember .. all type of antenna analyzer transmit some small RF signal  
that can interfere or disturb other receivers.

FIRST SWITCH ON - work with LCD 

SWITCH ON  -  just  press & hold   ON  button   - please hold  about  4 seconds..... 

SWITCH OFF  -  just  press & hold   ON  button 

... if we forgot about us MAX6...  auto power off switch off  MAX6 after about  5 minutes  :-)

MAX6 is microprocessor controlled - if any problem happend with "hang-up" ... just press RESET  for one second and release. Use for this thin wire

What is on the LCD in top line in VNA  mode...

Pressing and hold  MODE  button we change backlit....  in this same time wee see help about LCD top line...  We don't need   this info is on LCD  ;-)

FUNC  button - change  function of  UP DOWN arrow

MODE button - change mode of current  function


All  MAX6 is equipped with IR remote receiver. Any function can be fast call from remote control :-)

IR receiver is hidden under keyboard or  under red glass close BNC connector - depend on model...

Working in LCD mode we can save our measurement to SD card to file. Available is three format;
- ZPLOT  ( VNA )
- S2P  - touchstone   (  SVNA  )  - for example to use with  RFsim99 to calculate match for antenna
- TXT - simple TXT file to read in Notepad or any "Excell"

On field You can save file and later open using Your PC ;-)


Just long press FUNC button...

and use  keys below LCD  to chose function

1M  - scan from 1 MHz         100M - scan from 100MHz

When "dip"  is to wide  or to thin ...  SmartScan sometime can not stop... 

but always we can mannualy STOP  scanning


Before the first connection to the computer it is recommended to install the serial port driver.

WARNING !!!  please not use latest  driver version  2.12  from  FTDI  

Please use version  2.10 ....   

Adress to  FTDI.   download page

The file should be downloaded to your computer and run the driver, when  installation is complete, 

Firs connection ... take sometime long driver detection,  
please  first switch on  MAX6  in LCD  mode  - and then connect cable.

It is recommended that you install the latest firmware version  for MAX6 - read on bottom of page.

CHARGING ...  and supply 

Before connecting to the computer it is recommended to fully charge  MAX6, but of course you can also use the uncharged supplying only the USB port. You can charge while working MAX6 computer via the USB port. 

MAX6 is not charged via USB cable

MAX6 is charged by PSU 12V (> 200mA)  stabilized !!   ( both model  180 and 500 MHz  )
Possible is charging from CAR cigarette lighter  :-)  with hombrewed cable  :-)

Supply socket is protected from reverse polarity  (center pin is  +  )  

Charging process is fully automatic and internal LI-ION battery can by charged any time and finish automatically. You can charge anytime You need.

MAX6-180   work on battery  about  4 hour continuous use ..

MAX6-500   work on battery  about  1,5  hour continuous use ...  
 but in future will be extended by software upgrade to 4 hour...  :-)

If You have  MAX6-500 MHz and You plan using long time on desktop with LCD mode  MAX6-500 must be supplied from 9V_1000mA supply. MAX6 is software protested from supply from higher voltage.


MAX6 when connected to a computer start in a few seconds, the screen will show the inscription MAX6_SERIAL ( USB_MODE ) - this means that the USB drivers are working properly. You can now run the program on Your PC. >>>>

(... if MAX6 blink and not switch on - that mean driver  in Your PC  is not properly installed ... )

After connection MAX6 to USB will be hear sound  "tik tik" every second - this is OK  - "heartbeat".

In new model (MAX6 version >2,50)  LCD blink instead of make sound "tick" and count up...  in first 10 second waiting for PC communication MAX6 is additionally powered from the internal battery. After  10 seconds of inactivity power goes only with USB and expects to communicate with the program. 

If Your windows don't have preinstalled USB drivers for FTDI  ...   you can find here :
- local FTP -  for win XP


For first start i recommend use simple and fast program written by PA7N.

First download program and save to some place - can be DESKTOP
after download program is ready for use - no install - just EXE file

Just run program -  write to RL  value  0   ( zero)  and press START button

(program automatically find proper COM )

Antenna - VNA

Left and right mouse button over program window change MARKERS and press ZOOM button

New version of PA7N with support MAX6-500MHz

Beta    versions....  just download and run & use :-),  any problem - please report by email

Please set RL offset value:
- connect MAX6 to PC
- run  program
- leave ANTENA port with nothing connected
- set marker to freq about  10 MHZ
- read R.L.  value dB ...  for example  " - 0.3 "
- write this value to RL offset   with reverse sign ....  for example  "  0.3 "

Antenna - VNA


Download program IG miniVNA 

After downloading program just run EXE file for unpacking archive, chose location for file and confirm saving  unzipped files.

After unpacking run file  IG_miniVNA.exe

When we first time run program - wee see message about calibration "Please calibrate ...."  - CONFIRM

Next... we have message on unknown COM port  just IGNORER ..

Before use MAX6 we must CONFIGURE >>  COMport >>  and chose our COM    and  OK

Now we should calibrate   CONFIGURE >> miniVNA >> Calibrate Reflection 

... don't connect anything to MAX6 ports  and press  OK ..

Now program is ready for measurement. Just connect some antenna  do ANTENNA port and start. 

Antenna - VNA

For using MARKER please switch on all needed marker. If we need big readout, switch on  on right side of tablle.

...as you can see from the two programs have similar charts

SPACE   =  start  1 scan
F12 -  start sweep
ESC - stop sweep

Filter  - SNA

With this program Transmission mearuremet works  - but   dB scaling  is not fullu correct
but shape of characteristics is  OK
 for accurate measurement - please use  DL2SBA vnaJ  described below

preconfigured  for MAX6-180MHz     IG_niniVNA_v_2010.06.11.exe

preconfigured  for  MAX6-500MHz    IG_miniVNA dla MAX6-500
(MAX6 works - but  suportet range  only up to 180 MHz)

 to be continued... to be continued... to be continued... to be continued...


Antenna - VNA

Filter- SNA

Antenna - VNA

Filter- SNA

(first must be installed VNA230,  decimal point must be DOT in regional settings)

Antenna - VNA

Filter - SVNA 

(first must be installed VNA230,  need MS EXCEL and allowed MACRO and remove "kill bit" in registy)

Antenna - VNA

Filter - SNA

Xtal - SNA

 vnaJ DL2SBA   web page

Just download :  JAR   file ...   You must have installed  JAVA for work this programm on PC

all version  vnaJ   http://download.dl2sba.com/vnaj/
2.8.6c   last tested by me :-)
2.8.6d  not yet tested ....

Before first use:
  1.  ANALYZER >> SETUP ... and chose proper COM and  VNA model
  2. ANALYZER >>> INFO ...    after connect press RESET  button to reset config data 
  3. CALIBRATION _>> LOSS  ....   and calibrate 
DDS tick for 180 MHZ = 10737418
DDS tick for 500 MHZ = 3435973

This program work on Macintosh too :-)

FOUR Cursor...  just left  mouse over plot  and...      SHIFT           CTRL           SHIFT+CTRL

Antenna - VNA


Designed specially for multiband anttena

Filter - SVNA

Android  APK  

NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     
More on android on left side... >>  Android
NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     NEWS !!!     

 MAX6 with Android APK  need firmware  version 2-69 or higher


Film z YouTube

APK on phone Samsung SGS2

APK on tablet Overmax Sttelcore 10+   - USB connection

APK on tablet Overmax Sttelcore 10+   - Bluetooth connection

Antenna - VNA


Fixed marker and automatic marker


:-)  connecting by USB cable  and  wireless by Bluetooth

Automatic detection of type MAX6  -   180 MHz  or  500 MHz   :-)

MAX6 firmware upgrade ...

For new firmware please write to jarek@sp3swj.com , latest version for 8 button keyboard is  v2-70

Please email me Your serial number and HAM call.  For read serial number use one of method:
 from LCDpress  ON   button  after switch on ....release  and again press  ON   and  hold,
-  from Android - read number  on application start screen
-  from vnaJ DL2DBA - find on window from menu    Analyser>Info

Process of  upgrade MAX6 is shown on Youtube and is extremely easy to perform...  just save    
     MAX6.HEX         file to SD card  and press FUNC while switch ON   MAX6.  More on film  :-)

(remember on name of  HEX file must be  MAX6.HEX )

  1. save file with name  max6.hex  on SD card
  2. swittch off MAX6
  3. insert SD card to MAX6 
  4. press and hold    FUNC  button ....
  5. switch on MAX6 using   ON    button..   max6 start   bzzzzzzz
  6. after about 30 second    bz.z.z.z.z.z.   slower sound.... ...   
  7. after about  45 second  MAX6   swotch off  -  all finished...  :-)
  8. MAX6 is ready with new firmware ...  just switch on and use .....

...  please remember  - file name must be    max6.hex

.... more info on current  upgrade on left menu  >> UPGRADE  ... or ask by email ;-)

last news...  change type of usage buttons :-) 
and new functions ...  please click on links below

Jarek SP3SWJ    

Any question...   sp3swj@gmail.com     or  on skype: SP3SWJ

© 2014 by sp3swj
Jarosław Seroczyński,
15 gru 2014, 01:39
Jarosław Seroczyński,
28 wrz 2013, 14:08