Comparing antennas

Thread Starter

Track99

Joined Jun 30, 2022
61
Hi friends. I am trying to compare an old antenna versus a new antenna that I bought.

Apart from comparing the datasheets for both antennas, is there any lab instrument/ scientific procedure that I can use to compare electrical properties like Gain, VSWR, Beamwidth, Polarization, Power etc?

I am willing to buy any test equipment that is needed.
Thx!
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
21,227
Hi friends. I am trying to compare an old antenna versus a new antenna that I bought.

Apart from comparing the datasheets for both antennas, is there any lab instrument/ scientific procedure that I can use to compare electrical properties like Gain, VSWR, Beamwidth, Polarization, Power etc?

I am willing to buy any test equipment that is needed.
Thx!
There is an inexpensive tool called an antenna analyzer, that measures return loss or SWR of the feedline plus the antenna to see if they are matched. The rest of that probably requires more test equipment money than I was ever willing or able to spend. There is also the nano-VNA which is useful for all kinds of purposes.
 

ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
3,045
My TV has a signal strength meter in one of the modes. It works well when trying to find the right direction for the antenna. It could work to compare the two antennas.
 

Thread Starter

Track99

Joined Jun 30, 2022
61
There is an inexpensive tool called an antenna analyzer, that measures return loss or SWR of the feedline plus the antenna to see if they are matched. The rest of that probably requires more test equipment money than I was ever willing or able to spend. There is also the nano-VNA which is useful for all kinds of purposes.
Thank you my friend. Will a spectrum analyzer also help? I can also buy a spectrum analyzer.
 

Thread Starter

Track99

Joined Jun 30, 2022
61
My TV has a signal strength meter in one of the modes. It works well when trying to find the right direction for the antenna. It could work to compare the two antennas.
Thank you my friend. Will a spectrum analyzer also help? I can also buy a spectrum analyzer.
 

ronsimpson

Joined Oct 7, 2019
3,045
Will a spectrum analyzer also help? I can also buy a spectrum analyzer.
Yes I assumed that you have no money like the rest of us. I think it will work great.
I also have a Cable TV signal strength meter. With It I can tune to channel-4 and read the micro volts.
There are some USB-software defined radios that read db, micro volts and can tune to a certain frequency. Some are USB, some are stand alone. I do not have one and cannot suggest one. I have seen on youtube people use these as a spectrum analyzer.
1666359962632.png1666360257493.png
Here is a example of a $100.00 receiver with LCD display that is looking at a range of frequencies at one time.
1666360347813.png
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,849
I wonder the HackRF1 is so cheap?? I bought it many years ago for some 2 or 3 times expensiver (just looked into Google showing it fresh price between 450 and 600 USD). But, as a matter of fact, You need it only if frequency range is far over the 1.7 GHz or below the radio broadcast FM range available for USB stick costing 10-20 USD (RTL-SDR stick). Both tools are VERY effective to measure the radiated field strength, however with lesser pain on installation (oh, those sorrow bundle called Zadiq) may use the ready made field meter, where best of my knowledge in cheap end is Go-EMF-390 showing as field strength as frequency at which the signal is coming from, thus the all peaks are captured by individual strengths from 10 Hz to 6 GHz. Price about 100 USD. For antenna adjusting, sure, are completely another apparatus. There no doubts all may be done with ultra cheap two ports Nano-VNA. However better to add bit a coins and buy it with screen what is bit larger than small sized postal mark :) . There exist the slow old version up to 1.7 GHz and bit expensiver fast version able up to 3.5 GHz. DONT trust to computer link, mostly even the very experienced system programmers arent able to switch these both work together. But, if we speak specifically about antennas, FAR better handy is one port VNA device called N1201SA able to work between 137.5 and 3500 MHz or about 3x expensiver PS200 working 37.5-3500 MHz. Just the intuitive handyness against NanoVNA is just grand. So, then one may ask, why to buy any NanoVNA? The short answer - because it is brilliant for testing the radio-components in the frequency range where all coils are particularly the capacitors, but all capacitors are good coils and no bad resistors at once, but any wire is at least the coil or worst case the bad transformer to the neighbor compartment.

You may throw me stones rather deserved - I have left unnoticed the best ever seen on the planet Rhode & Scwartz devices. For sure, it are the deserved king in the business.... if You have some USD 300 000 or bit more permited to spend :) :) . But while my finances sings romances I am using those above mentioned with a glance.
 
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