I often see reports that a nanoVNA has been ‘bricked’. The term seems to have become part of the vernacular of would be pros. The term ‘bricked’ certainly applies to electronics that can no longer be programmed through ‘ordinary means’ and is to all intents and purposes as useful as brick, but in most cases, the nanoVNA is recoverable.
The STM32F072 chip used on the original nanoVNA has some features that make the firmware update process simple and robust, and difficult to mess up.
The normal way of doing a firmware update is using the DFU protocol from a PC over the USB interface. To use this, the device has to be “put into DFU mode”, this means that the chip is reset and started executing the bootloader in permanent system memory.
The concept of DFU is that normal client programs used with the device can easily be extended to include the DFU function as just another menu function of the client software. I am not aware of any nanoVNA client that does this.
So, you need to use a programming client, and for Windows a good choice is ST’s DfuSeDemo. You may need to convert the distributed file format using Dfu file manager from the same distribution, not all developers distribute a .dfu file.
There is a pin on the board, BOOT0, that must be held high during reset to enter the on-chip bootloader. Later firmware versions also provide a menu option to enter the bootloader, but if an attempted upgrade messes up the menu, you may need to use the BOOT0 pin bridged to the adjacent VDD pin while you power cycle the nanovna.
Above is the rear view of the board, and a jumper using pogo pins to bridge BOOT0 to VDD. Continue reading nanoVNA-H – recovery
At A thinking exercise on Jacobi Maximum Power Transfer #2 I posed the question of a metric for the mismatch at the L2L1 junction in the following network where the calculated values L2L1_lZ is the load impedance at the L2L1 junction (looking left as Simsmith is unconventional), and L2L1_sZ is the source impedance at the L2L1 junction (looking right). The left three components are the fixed antenna representation.
Common practice is to speak of a “source VSWR” to mean the VSWR calculated or measured looking towards the source, and very commonly this is taken wrt 50+j0Ω which may be neither the source or load impedance but an arbitrary reference. Continue reading A thinking exercise on Jacobi Maximum Power Transfer #3
At A thinking exercise on Jacobi Maximum Power Transfer I posed an unanswered Q2:
Keeping in mind that C2 and L2 are an adjustable matching network, usually adjusted for minimum VSWR as seen at the source G. So, the questions are:
Does the system take maximum available power from the source G when the load impedance seen by source G is equal to the conjugate of its Thevenin equivalent source impedance (ie C2.Z=G.Zo in Simsmith speak)?
Does that ‘matched’ condition result in maximum power in the load L?
Above for reader’s convenience is the model conjugate matched at the GC2 interface. The calculated Po figure (lower right) is the power in the load L to high resolution. Continue reading A thinking exercise on Jacobi Maximum Power Transfer #2
nanoVNA-H v3.4 is out, and I don’t yet see significant problem reports.
When I compare the circuit with v3.3 (which I have), apart from new battery charger IC etc, the changes are in three areas:
- decoupling power to the mixers;
- increasing the drive to the mixers; and
- higher attenuation of input on the rx port. Continue reading nanoVNA-H – rework of v3.3 PCB to v3.4?
At The system wide conjugate match stuff crashes out again I discussed the failure of Walt Maxwell’s teachings on system wide simultaneous conjugate match using an example drawn from an online expert’s posting.
The replicated scenario with matching with an L network where the inductor has a Q of 100, no other loss elements is shown below. (Quality real capacitor losses are very small, and the behavior will not change much, the inductor loss dominates.)
Above is a model in Simsmith where I have adjusted the lossy L network for a near perfect match. I have used a facility in Simsmith to calculate the impedance looking back from L1, often known as the source impedance at a node but in Simsmith speak the calculated L1_revZ on the form, (ie back into the L network) from the equivalent load. Continue reading A thinking exercise on Jacobi Maximum Power Transfer
RFPM2 – current probe described a current probe for use with a power meter calibrated in dBm (eg RFPM1 and RFPM2).
RFPM2 – current probe – #2 exposed some of the build details.
This article reports the completed article.
Above the current probe with RFPM2, the display does not show well at this camera angle… it is actually a lot clearer when viewed from a higher angle.
The instrument noise floor is around -76dBA or 0.16mA. When coupled to a conductor the background noise level will raise that by some site dependent amount, at my home coupled to an antenna feed line it bounces between -75 and -65dBA. Continue reading RFPM2 – current probe – #3
At nanoVNA – measurement of two 920MHz LoRa antennas I mentioned my growing frustration with the USB interface on the nanovna, particularly the tendency to reset the nanoVNA with the slightest wiggle and the frustration in trying to use the resulting mess.
I have previously cleaned both plug and socket a couple of times, the last time was after some board modifications and flux residue was washed from the board keeping the USB socket dry, then the USB socket was flushed with clean solvent and blow dry.
The USB problems have become apparent only recently and rapidly got worse. Continue reading nanoVNA-H – v3.3 USB problems
The article IoT – exploration of LoRa – part 3 showed some components of a simple LoRa system.
This article reports measurements made on two antennas used in the prototype system.
Above is a view of the prototype system. Continue reading nanoVNA – measurement of two 920MHz LoRa antennas
One of the many nanoVNA cloners makes an interesting little inexpensive demo board with a selection of components, filters etc to develop familiarity with the nanovna.
Above is a pic of the demo board and the supplied jumper cables. The demo board may not include information relevant to using the cables and connectors supplied. Continue reading nanoVNA – that demo board and its U.FL connectors
Recent discussion with a correspondent about the design issue of the so-called Co-Co collinears, vertical collinears made with alternating sections of common coax ranged onto the conflict between the phase velocity of the wave on the inside of the coax and the wave on the outside of the coax, and the difficulty in aligning both the outside standing wave pattern for optimal pattern, and the internal phasing to feed those sections with optimal phase. Continue reading Coaxial Collinear – dielectric loading the outer conductor