About NanoVNA V2

NanoVNA V2 (S-A-A-2) is a 4GHz vector network analyzer (VNA) capable of measuring antennas, filters, duplexers, and amplifiers. It is a new from-scratch design by HCXQS/NanoRFE not based on the earlier edy555 V1 design.

V2 Plus4 is the latest design which fixes the drift and linearity issues with older versions. It uses our new VNA-R architecture featuring temperature drift cancellation and reduced crosstalk, showing no visible drift in all indoor conditions.

Compared to other NanoVNA versions, V2 Plus4/Plus4 Pro do not use harmonics for measurements, improving performance significantly, achieving 90% less trace noise, and is the only low cost VNA to give you highly repeatable and reliable measurements comparable to professional instruments. Its wide frequency range covers common cellular & Wi-Fi bands, as well as HF, VHF, and UHF amateur radio bands.

The main improvements in NanoRFE's NanoVNAs are:

  • No noticeable drift, allowing calibrations to be kept for > 3 months (compared to < 30 minutes for other low cost VNAs)
  • Lowest measurement noise due to using RF rated parts and careful tuning of each device (see example measurement). V2 Plus4 Pro increases signal to noise ratio further by an adjustable IF filter, improving performance at lower averaging.
  • Improved shielding and all-aluminum enclosure of the NanoVNA V2 Plus4 increases its dynamic range to >90dB, 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.
  • Sold and maintained by original developers, ensuring consistent performance, quality control, and continued updates.
  • Large touchscreen, can be used standalone or with a PC.

Update: V2 Plus4 versions now available for order: although the components shortage is worsening (original parts are harder to find while low quality counterfeits flood the market), we have finally secured enough ICs for another batch of NanoVNA V2 Plus4s, now available for order from our official Tindie store. Cost of components are still rising, so prices may need to be adjusted in the future. We'd like to keep offering high performance test equipment at affordable prices, and will continue monitoring the components market to try to keep price increases minimal. Thank you for your understanding.


Where to buy

NanoVNA

Official stores

Safe places to buy an original NanoVNA V2:

You are probably aware of the components shortage situation everyone is in right now, with many small businesses struggling to survive, as well as the flood of low quality clones becoming a major issue. We'd like to thank you for choosing to support us by buying the original version! If you are looking for a higher end offering, please check out our recently launched VNA6000 series.

As of November 2022 there are many clones of our ealier S-A-A-2 design sold under various names. Beware that many have exaggerated their specs (for reference the official S-A-A-2/V2.2 specifications can be found below), and some variants are highly noisy due to using incorrect or lower quality parts, while using measurements and graphs from original equipment to deceive unaware customers. Some users have also reported software incompatibility. See official stores above and look for NanoVNA V2 Plus4 and VNA6000 versions only to avoid getting a bad clone.

Beware that nanovna .com is not owned by the original developers of either V1 or V2 NanoVNAs, and is being used to mislead users into buying clones from one clone manufacturer. These clones are not supported by any updates from the developers.

The following stores have sold at least one bad clone.


Achievable performance (V2 Plus4 Pro, calibrated, IFBW=0.8kHz, AVG=20)



Measurement comparisons

Several users have tested clones of the NanoVNA V2 design, some claiming higher specifications than the original. We also checked out a few clones ourselves. The clones are based on earlier designs intended for either 1GHz or 3GHz, and some have tried to extend the frequency range using harmonics without understanding the design. Furthermore, none of the clone sellers seem to understand the role of the high frequency components and have substituted generic parts, which worsened the trace noise noticeably.

The performance of the NanoVNA V2.2 clones start to degrade before 2GHz, and would not have passed our standard QC requirements 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.

It is likely that the clone sellers measure dynamic range based on the lowest instead of highest data point of the noise floor, so actual practical dynamic range is 20-30dB lower than claimed.

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.

If you need a VNA with higher frequency capability, see VNA6000.

All clones are based on the older V2.2 design, which if replicated well can only reach 60dB dynamic range @ 3GHz. Any clones advertising higher performance are exaggerating the specifications and likely perform worse.

Note: Hugen/Zeenko is selling S-A-A-2/NanoVNA V2 based products without permission after being asked not to several times by the original developers. These clones exaggerate specifications by pushing components beyond datasheet limits, and give wrong measurements at the higher frequencies advertised. Please be aware that buying these clones do not support the original developers. There is no support or updates for these hardware versions, which run outdated firmware. Thank you for your understanding.


Comparisons with professional VNAs

Many users have compared the NanoVNA V2 Plus4 with professional instruments. When using the same calibration kits, the measured data and smith chart matches well.

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 we made of a cascaded SAW filter and a power amplifier 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

60dB

V2 Plus4

90dB

AVG=20, 1GHz

V2 Plus4 Pro

90dB

BW=1.6kHz, AVG=5, 1GHz

96dB

BW=1.6kHz, AVG=20, 1GHz

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.