Developer Cary Wang based in Vancouver, Canada has created a new low-cost fully featured Vector Network Analyzer that is both easy-to-use and allows S parameter export.
Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the xaVNA two port Vector Network Analyzer which offers users a typical frequency range of 137MHz to 3.5GHz, and a guaranteed frequency range of 140MHz to 2.5GHz.
xaVNA has been designed to plug directly into a spare USB connection and requires no additional power supply, and all measurements are completed using an intuitive and easy to use UI on a computer.
Specifications of xaVNA include :
• Frequency range (guaranteed): 140MHz to 2.5GHz
• Frequency range (typical): 137MHz to 3.5GHz (achieved in iteration 1 prototype)
• Signal level: -20dBm to 10dBm (achieved in iteration 1 prototype)
• S11 trace noise: <<0.1dB (achieved in iteration 1 prototype) • S11 dynamic range: >50dB (achieved in iteration 1 prototype)
• S21 dynamic range: target >=70dB (achieved 50dB in iteration 1 prototype)
• Dimensions of the VNA board: 10cm x 10cm
• Weight: <200g
• Interface: Micro USB
• RF ports: SMA Female
• Current draw: ~500mA @ 5V
• No warm-up needed: achieves spot-on measurements within 1 minute of power up
• Windows, Linux, and Mac OS will be supported
It is both open source hardware and open source software, with a GitHub repository containing all schematics, PCB layouts, FPGA VHDL, and software that will be kept updated during development. A VNA (Vector Network Analyzer) allows you to measure the impedance of an arbitrary device (such as an antenna) across a wide range of frequencies, as well as the transmission coefficient (gain/loss and phase) of a two port device (such as an amplifier, filter, or isolator).
It can do everything an antenna analyzer can do, but 10x better: it gives you phase information as well, and lets you see the exact complex impedance of an antenna, allowing you to easily design matching networks without tedious trial and error tuning.