04 December 2015

$60 MR100 antenna analyzer - PC interface and post-analysis software test

Hi all,

after first few tests of the analyzer alone I tried to connect MR100 antenna analyzer to PC also... in order to test the post-measurement data analysing.

First of all after connecting the module to PC using USB cable you have to check if the FTDI chip adapter is already recognized by PC. I do not know if there is genuine FTDI chip implemented but I can suppose it isn't. In my case I found in Win Device Manager that FTDI chip is unknown and related driver is not installed. Luckily in my Win7 the system found automatically the proper driver and installed it in few minutes. So after finishing it the FTDI adapter is showed in Device Manager as that all is installed and it works properly.

After that you should find which COM port is assigned when the analyzer module is connected. In my case it was COM7 which will need to be added into the post-processing software.

The SARK100 Antenna Analyzer Software for Windows usable also for it's derivates is available here:
 
Another software for SARK100 and derivates is here:
http://die-jetzis.de/WinPCC-Sark100-V0.9-DH1KLM.rar

Chinese language (partly in english) software for Mini60/SARK100/MR100 v0.9 is here:
http://cq.hub.tw/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=866and
 
Nice software that scans the SARK100/MR100 and plot the SWR on frequency by SM6WHY is here:
http://www.sm6why.n.nu/SARK-100

I decided to test for the first shot the software which was recommended by seller. It is the WinPCC for Mini60 and should work also with SARK100/MR100 in it's version 0.9 in Chinese language...

Run your antenna analyzer and click Config button to get PC Link, then click Down button to get Waiting Link... message.

After running the WinPCC software .exe file the main screen shows that Chinese vs english words is 50/50%...hi. The most important is left side command panel.


In the top left corner you need to select the proper assigned COM port then click on the left Chinese button which means "Connect" in english. After that you should see on the antenna analyzer itself that Waiting Link is already changed to "scanr" message which means it's connected and ready to scan upon PC software commands request.

Lowest left side command panel button means in english "Stop Scan", next button above is "Continue Scan" and next button above means "Start Scan". Screen with translated buttons to english is in improved later version WinPCC v.1.0_eng:


By clicking to the Start Scan button you should see scanning procedure and you should see the plot of SWR and other impedance parameters on the screen.

 
Here you can see the plot of very bad 50Ohms load measured in 6m band range including the Smith diagramm plot... nice feature.
 
If you will have problems with running the WinPCC then maybe the following link to Youtube will be helpful:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJZuUeRieZE

During my intensive testing I realized that this version of the WinPCC software has probably some bug in the code as the programm stucked many times when I tried to change some parameters like frequency range, step etc. The only solution is to quit the programm and run the .exe file again. Unfortunatelly you have to set COM port again...

Another problem is that if you want to use magnification button on the top (magnifying glass symbol) then it is always switching the plot into 3D vision... it is not possible to play with magnifition funtion in 2D only.

Well in general the basic WinPCC v0.9_ch software works. MR100 antenna analyzer PC interface is working. Connection or sync with PC is working and post-alanysis is possible. Now it will be funny to test other more sophisticated softwares... see links above.

Hope it helps.


73 - Petr, OK1RP

2 comments:

  1. What are the 5 pin connector on the back for and what is the pinout of them

    ReplyDelete
  2. What are the 5 pin connector on the back for and what is the pinout of them

    ReplyDelete