About NanoVNA V2

NanoVNA V2 (S-A-A-2) is a low cost 4GHz vector network analyzer developed by HCXQS in collaboration with OwOComm. It can measure antennas, filters, duplexers, and amplifiers. The V2 hardware is a new from-scratch design and is not based on the earliest V1 design from edy555. Compared to earlier low cost VNAs, it does not use harmonics for measurements and achieves higher measurement repeatability.

The V2 Plus4 is the latest NanoVNA design with 90dB dynamic range. It has a frequency range covering common cellular and Wi-Fi bands, as well as HF, VHF, and UHF amateur radio bands.

The main improvements over earlier NanoVNAs are:

  • Less temperature drift due to automatic internal calibration that corrects for drift errors
  • Improved shielding in the NanoVNA V2 Plus4 allows it to reach over 90dB dynamic range, achieving similar results as professional VNAs, and allows measuring duplexers.
  • S parameters export, custom calibration kit parameters & advanced calibration methods (NanoVNA-QT software)
  • TDR (time domain reflectometry) allows measuring cable length and discontinuities.
  • Includes 4 inch touch screen, allowing it to be used standalone or with a PC.
NanoVNA

Where to buy

Official stores

Safe places to buy an original NanoVNA V2:

As of July 2022 there are many clones of outdated NanoVNA hardware versions sold under various names, many of which do not meet specifications and are highly noisy due to using incorrect or lower quality parts. Some users have also reported software/firmware incompatibility. See official stores above and look for NanoVNA V2 Plus4 versions only to avoid getting a bad clone. See also FAQ | How to avoid a bad clone.


Measurement comparisons

We tested a few clones of the NanoVNA V2 design, some claiming higher specifications than the original. The clones are based on earlier designs intended for either 1GHz or 3GHz, and some clones have tried to extend the frequency range using harmonics without understanding the design, while substituting lower quality parts to reduce cost. What we saw was worsened noise, nonlinearity error, and temperature drift issues.

The performance of the NanoVNA V2.2 clones start to degrade before 2GHz, and would not have passed our standard QC procedures for the earliest 3GHz V2.2 version:

LiteVNA (V2 clone) S21 noise LiteVNA (NanoVNA V2 clone)

Note: the above plots are uncalibrated to show the amount of noise of the raw data from the hardware.

Some NanoVNA clones use harmonics to exaggerate the frequency range, which gives wrong measurements because the strong fundamental signal at the receiver creates interference at the harmonic frequency, giving a stable but incorrect measurement. These clones usually come in a plastic enclosure to save cost.

The following stores have sold at least one bad clone.

Note: Hugen/Zeenko is selling S-A-A-2/NanoVNA V2 based designs without permission after being asked by the original developers not to. Please reconsider supporting this vendor.


Comparisons with professional VNAs

Many users have compared the NanoVNA V2 Plus4 with professional instruments. When using the same calibration kits and up to the dynamic range limit, the measured data and smith chart matches well. Some differences are visible as the dynamic range is approached and noise becomes noticeable.

Here is one blog post from AE5X comparing it with a FieldFox:

https://ae5x.blogspot.com/2021/07/1-to-4-ghz-nanovna-2-plus4-vs-keysight.html

DD1US compared it with a HP-8753E:

https://www.dd1us.de/Downloads/Brief comparison of NanoVNA V2 with a professional VNA HP-8753E.pdf

To get an idea of what kind of measurement noise is achievable, here are some sample measurements of a cascaded SAW filter and a power amplifier made using a NanoVNA V2 Plus4 (click the images to view them at full size):

LiteVNA vs NanoVNA V2 Plus4 dynamic range LiteVNA vs NanoVNA V2 Plus4 measurement

Note that some averaging is needed to get the NanoVNA V2 Plus4 to near 100dB dynamic range.

User groups / Forums

Discussion forum
https://groups.io/g/NanoVNAV2

This is the only official NanoVNA V2 users group. Be careful and note the URL is NanoVNAV2.

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/nanovnav2/


How to use NanoVNA V2


VNA basics

A VNA (Vector Network Analyzer) measures the frequency dependent reflected and transmitted power of a high frequency network (RF Network).

The NanoVNA measures the following:

Using the above measured data, the NanoVNA can calculate the following items:

Required components

To use the NanoVNA for one port measurements (e.g. analyzing antennas), you will need the following:

Performing measurements

The basic operation and menu structure of V2 is very similar to the original NanoVNA.

For a more detailed description of the calibration methods and measurement options available in the NanoVNA V2, please refer to the user manuals below.

Documentation

User manuals

User Manual for all NanoVNA V2 versions

V2 Plus4 User manual by NC4BR

Menu maps

Menu Map for all NanoVNA V2 versions

V2 Plus4 Menu Map by NC4BR

Firmware downloads

For firmware releases go to the Hardware versions page which lists the latest stable firmware builds for each NanoVNA hardware variant.

There are also experimental firmware releases at downloads.

Firmware sources are at https://github.com/nanovna-v2/NanoVNA2-firmware

Software

See Software downloads.

Specifications

The following are the specifications of NanoVNA devices manufactured by HCXQS/NanoRFE.
Beware of clones using lower quality or salvaged parts.

Parameter

Board version

Specification

Conditions

Frequency range

V2_2, V2 Plus

50kHz - 3GHz

-

V2 Plus4,
V2 Plus4 Pro

50kHz – 4.4GHz

-

Frequency resolution

All

0.01MHz

-

System dynamic range
(calibrated)

V2_2, V2 Plus

70dB

1GHz

60dB

3GHz

V2 Plus4

90dB

1GHz
BW=6.2kHz, AVG=20

80dB

3GHz
BW=6.2kHz, AVG=5

V2 Plus4 Pro

90dB

1GHz
BW=1.6kHz, AVG=5

80dB

3GHz
BW=1.6kHz, NO AVG

S11 noise floor
(calibrated)

All

-50dB

f < 1.5GHz

-40dB

f < 3GHz

Sweep points

V2 Plus4

1 – 1024 points (with NanoVNA-QT software). More points (up to 65535) are possible depending on the performance of your PC.

-

Sweep time

V2 Plus4

0.25s

Default sweep settings

V2 Plus4 Pro

0.16s

Default sweep settings
BW=10kHz

Power supply

All

USB, 4.6V – 5.5V

-

Supply current

All

500mA typ

No charging

Battery current, charging

All

1.2A typ

-

Battery capacity

V2 Plus4,
V2 Plus4 Pro

3200mAh

-

Operation ambient temperature

All

0℃ - 45℃ *

* by design, not tested in production

Ambient temperature during battery charging

All

10℃ - 45℃

-

Note: NanoVNA V2 Plus4 Pro now allows measuring crystals by an adjustable bandwidth setting. All other hardware versions can not measure crystals because of the rapid switching of the test signal.


Schematics and PCB layout

The schematics and PCB layout files of the V2.2 version are available here:

https://github.com/nanovna-v2/NanoVNA2

The NanoVNA V2 design is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA and commercial use without specific permission is forbidden. You need to obtain specific written permission every 3 months to sell hardware using this design.

V2.3 and V2.4 designs are confidential and proprietary, and reverse engineering is forbidden.