Midnight Scalar Network Analyzer
Inexpensive handheld network analyzer kit with color graphic display and touch panel measures filters, antennas, coax, frequency, circuits and components.
Measure Filters … Low Pass, Band Pass, Receiver IF stages
Measure Power … Accurate from -80 dBm to +20 dBm (100mW)
Measure Crystals … Frequency, “Motional Parameters”
Measure Antennas … SWR, Return Loss
Generate RF Signals … Stable reference frequencies
RF Cal Reference Output … +3 dBm output for bench use
instruments, radios and bench accessories for the electronics experimenter these
days increasingly use the PC to augment the instrument’s control, data
processing and display capabilities. Whether for remote operation, remote
display or post processing, the PC adds much computational power to the
instrument. However, this extension of the
instrument’s capabilities comes at a price, considering the size of the PC, the
complexity of making the serial connections work, and the updating and
configuration of the PC application being used for the enhanced capabilities.
Enter the Midnight Scalar Network Analyzer (MSNA) … designed to serve as a convenient, compact, inexpensive, and dedicated terminal and SNA controller. The cost of bright, multi-color, and moderate-resolution VGA displays has come down in recent years to enable a small form-factor device such as the MSNA to be developed. Further, the display’s touch-sensitive surface will allow the developer to implement “soft keys”, thus eliminating the need for mechanical pushbuttons and other controls. Lastly, adding a jack to accept low-cost, industry standard, mini keyboards allows the terminal to be “bidirectional” for the operator to conveniently enter textual information, numeric calibration data or whatever specific input the application requires.
The small-sized PCBA (approx 4.8” x 3.3” x 1.3") can be installed in a dedicated enclosure for use as a handheld, free-standing, full function, scalar network analyzer or even added to the front panel of an enclosure that may house additional instrumentation.
The MSNA incorporates mass storage in the form of an SD card to provide spooling of data, thus enabling at-speed operation of the instrument, long multi-point scanning capability, and convenient/extensible data storage. The user can also use the SD card for transfer of instrument data to other platforms either by inserting the SD card into a card reader in the other platform or by transferring files between platforms over a serial interface. Further, the SD card offers a convenient way to upgrade the MSNA firmware in the field … just load the latest firmware release or an entirely different application onto the card and then command the MSNA to re-flash itself using that file!
While initially designed as an optional accessory for the PHSNA platform (the "NAT" Network Analyzer Terminal), the project has evolved into a free-standing, full featured, Scalar Network Analyzer. In addition to the standard SNA functions, the MSNA can also serve as an attractive standalone VFO, a QRP power meter, and a display/control head for other commonly-used equipment in Amateur Radio.
With the Midnight SNA, the capability of one's test bench is greatly expanded!
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Solutions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Page last updated: April, 2016