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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024


    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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NanoVNA Vector Network Analyzer
Cool Product Report

Featured Product Archive

The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough to warrant an appearance.

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NanoVNA Portable Vector Network Analyzer - RF Cafe

NanoVNA Portable Vector Network Analyzer 

Phil Salas, AD5X, published an extensive review of the NanoVNA vector network analyzer in the May 2020 issue of the ARRL's QST magazine. Unfortunately, the article is not available to non-members, but if you are a member or know someone who is, it would be worth reading. He compared measurements by the NanoVNA with those obtained using an Array Solutions VNAuhf, which yielded very favorable results.

May 2020 QST magazine - RF CafeThere are many knock-offs of the NanoVNA available, which is typical since most of these low-cost, high-performance electronics devices are built using widely available block-level components that make replication relatively easy. Variations in the quality of coaxial connectors, internal batteries, switches, etc., can and often does make a big difference in the quality and ruggedness of the equipment you buy. Firmware and support software can vary significantly as well. It's a roll of the dice to some extent, but fortunately the low acquisition price reduces the loss risk. Resellers sometimes offer additional accessories to make their packages more of a value (seemingly, at least).

NanoVNA Block Diagram - RF Cafe

NanoVNA Block Diagram

NanoVNA Post-Processing Software - RF Cafe

NanoVNA Post-Processing Software

The original NanoVNA sports an ample 50 kHz through 900 MHz+ frequency measurement capability with a 2.8" LCD display for a mere $57. The NanoVNA−H model (2.8" display) extends the frequency range to 1.5 GHz for $75. The NanoVNA-F model extends the standard NanoVNA frequency to 1 GHz and has a larger 4.3" LCD display for $145.

Typical Specifications for the NanoVNA

  • 50 kHz - 900 MHz Vector Network Analyzer
  • PCB: 54 mm x 85.5 mm x 11 mm (without connectors, switches)
  • Measurement Frequency: 50 kHz ~ 300 MHz (900 MHz with extended firmware)
  • RF output: -13 dBm (maximum -9 dBm)
  • Measurement range: 70 dB (50 kHz-300 MHz), 60 dB (300-600 MHz), 50 dB (600-900 MHz) enable extended firmware
  • Port SWR: < 1.1
  • Display: 2.8 inch TFT (320 x240)
  • USB interface: USB type-C communication mode: CDC (serial)
  • Power: USB 5 V 120 mA, built-in 400 mAh battery, maximum charging current 0.8 A
  • Number of scanning points: 101 (fixed)
  • Measurments: S parameters, voltage standing wave ratio, phase, delay, Smith chart.

RF Cafe has no affiliation with any of the NanoVNA manufacturers or distributors.



Posted April 22, 2020

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