A look inside the N1201SA VNA

Working on antenna projects a VNA is essential. In the field you not want to carry tons of lab equipment, so I got myself a N1201SA. My initial expectations were low. Very low. Practically it has proven to be a very handy tool, exact enough for most of HAM related projects. We\’ve done some benchmark tests, comparing the S11 results to the measurements of some serious lab equipment. The results were close in in 70cm and 2m band.

Rule #1: Don’t switch it on, take it apart! First let’s take a sneak inside:

Main components I’ve identified:

ADF4350 Datasheet Wideband Synthesizer with Integrated VCO
SA612A Datasheet Double-balanced mixer and oscillator
W25Q64FW Datasheet Serial Flash Memory
MCP6021 Datasheet Rail-to-Rail Input/Output, 10 MHz Op Amps
TP4056 Datasheet Rail-to-Rail Input/Output, 10 MHz Op Amps
STM32F103CB Datasheet Medium-density performance line ARM®-based 32-bit MCU with 64 or 128 KB Flash, USB, CAN, 7 timers, 2 ADCs, 9 com. interfaces

Regarding the measurements I plan to post some more details and results. Until then I\’d recommend to take a moment to watch this cool video form Andreas Spiess featuring the NS1201SA: