Vector Network Analyzer mode?

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  • Idea
  • Updated 6 years ago
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Here is a "dream" idea for way down the pike....

With such a wonderful wide panadapter display, could special software be written that would allow the 6000 series to function as a VNA (Vector Network Analyzer)?

It might need to be a loadable subroutine that wouldn't stay resident in the machine, but could be loaded up as part of a special "Test Equipment Mode" or something like that. (saving valuable memory and CPU cycles in normal operation.)

How cool would it be to hook up an antenna (or other circuit) and have a graphic display across 14 Mhz, or two panoramas combined to 28 Mhz wide detailing the SWR and impedance figures of the antenna! Or perhaps use it as a TDA to sniff out shorts, opens, or impedance bumps in the feed line?

We already will have a pretty nice spectrum analyzer and RV volt meter. Why not add to the "tool kit with a VNA/TDR, etc? I know, I could just buy a MiniVNA for $300, but I will already have a $4300 piece of equipment. If it would work, why buy another piece of equipment?

I can see it now.... Is your antenna giving you problems? Switch to VNA Mode and "see" your antenna on the pan-screen. Think your coax just got "squirrel chewed" or "mole bitten?" Switch to TDA mode and "see" how far out the break is on your line.

Is this even possible with the rig's circuitry?
Just a thought I came up with today.

Gerald promised that the future will bring us things that we have "never even dreamed of" ..... Well, I am starting to do some of that dreaming.

Ken - NM9P
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Ken - NM9P

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Posted 6 years ago

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W5XZ - dan

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for sure...bring it ON !! ( I have one, already, DG8SAQ VNWA2.6, and it IS marvelous...)

73
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W8SJV

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You bet!

But if that's not possible, how about a 70Mhz spectrum analyzer with a 100 watt tracking generator ;-)

Unfortunately I don't think the FCC would like that...
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Mike - W8MM

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VNA and TDR functions might be very possible from the "Transverter" port as the test output with SCU-A and/or SCU-B RF Inputs as the sensing ports. I don't know enough about VNAs to know whether one can do accurate phase information without using quadrature inputs and therefore be able to do it with a 6500.

I feel confident that the general electrical functionality is there, but it might require a pretty large software engineering project to successfully implement. It might also require external directional couplers, etc.

I think it would be VERY cool of the radio was its own "Field Fox" in a box.
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WA6FXT Mike

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See my 'Idea' Front Panel Display...
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W5XZ - dan

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Alex, VE3NEA, had VNA software in his "Rocky" for softrocks.

Phil, VK6APH, has VNA software for the HPSDR "Hermes"...

so, it seems plausible this might happen for us too ?? 73
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Ken - NM9P

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Even though I am the original poster on this topic, I wouldn't be surprised if the guys at Flex already had this on the back burner. If not, I claim the bird-dog fee!
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W5XZ - dan

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no way Jose !! i asked for this last fall...' I ain't got a witness, you know I can't prove it, but that's my story, and I'm stickin to it..' ha ha ha
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K4EAR

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Get an AIM 4170 and don't look back for antennas/feedlines.
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W5XZ - dan

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I feel the same way about my VNWA2.6. They'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands...that is, unless or until my 6500 can do the same thing....73
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WA6FXT Mike

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Yes, the various VNAs available are nice and I would not throw it out, if I had one, just because my Flex6700 could now do it; however, I would much rather have the feature added to my paid for radio, rather go out and buy another box. :^)
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Robert -- N5IKD, Elmer

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I was also thinking about the ability to have the radio act as an antenna analyzer. We could get a good profile of the antenna without swapping out the radio for the analyzer.
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Dale KB5VE

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There is no limit!!!