Friday, March 13, 2020

Why did I overlook the simple?

What is going on?
Back in November 2017 I ordered and built the Funk Amateur FA-VA4 antenna analyzer kit. The kit was built and passed the smoke test without issue. I then went through the calibration process and it was successful (so I thought). I was not able to get the unit to work and I felt it was due to user error and tried to run the calibration again but without success. No matter what band I checked the SWR was off the scale. I even connected the device to a dummy load without success. I read and reread the manual and even checked out some YouTube videos and was just getting more frustrated so I was thinking of selling it to someone who knew how to operate the unit. As I watched more Youtube videos it seemed like a very straight forward unit to operate. Over the course of a year or more, I picked up the unit and tried to figure it out but just could not.
The issue
This past week I picked it up again and was looking it over but in so doing for some strange it occurred to me to open up the kit and look over my work. It's embarrassing to say but as I looked the board over I saw that the female BNC connector  I did not solder the BNC center pin to the PCB board!!! I soldered this pin, did a reset to the unit and then ran the calibration again BUT this time the calibration took a lot longer. Once it was done I connected it to my Endfed antenna and checked 15m this is a band that I know the SWR is decent. Low and behold the unit worked as it should way back in 2017!! I just can't believe that I overlooked the obvious to open the kit up and have a look around. I now get to discover this great unit that I built years ago.
All is well 

6 comments:

  1. Glad you figured it out. We’ve all done stuff like that. It is a great analyzer. You may want to update the firmware to the latest available, now that the unit is working.

    de K5KHK

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    1. Good afternoon Karl and thanks for taking the time to to leave a comment on the blog. It's now time for me to learn all this analyzer. As for the firmware update I believe the only unit that can be updated is the VA5 as it has a USB port. I also went online to see if it was possible and I could not find any info on how to update the firmware on the VA4 unit.
      73 and have a great weekend.
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  2. Sometimes there is a simple solution. It is so small I can imagine you overlooked it. But at least you have a working analyzer now. 73, Bas

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    1. Good afternoon Bas and as always very nice to hear from you, yes for sure I overlooked the simple and missed out on this great unit for some time.
      73,
      Mike
      VE9KK

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  3. Hahaha, well done spotting your error. I've done similar things SO many times in the past Mike. It's VERY annoying but also very rewarding when you've discovered the problem and everything's working as it should.

    73, Tom, M7MCQ

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    1. Nice to hear from you Tom, yes it was so blatant once I looked for it and I could not believe that I did not see it when I was putting the kit together. I am now very happy that I have a nice functioning antenna analyzer.
      Thanks for stopping by Tom.
      73,
      Mike
      VE9KK

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