Top 6 Instruments for Radio Engineers & Field Technicians Testing Radio Antennas and Cables

15 January 2016

1. Anritsu S331E Sitemaster Cable and Antenna Analyzer 2 MHz-4GHz

The Anritsu S331E sitemaster and previous versions have been the industry standard for years covering the frequency range of 2MHz-4GHz. Many Engineers like the touch screen and ability to take quick readings for measuring Return Loss, VSWR, Cable Loss, Distance to Fault and more. The Anritsu S331E is available new or used from Instruments 4 Engineers. For those Engineers looking for a lower cost but reliable alternative we’d recommend the Protek A434L or Comm Connect 3013.

2. Protek A434L RF Sitemaster Cable and Antenna Analyzer 5MHz-4GHz

 The Protek A434L is an excellent analyzer for field use, weighing only 2.3Kg with an easy to read 7 Inch TFT Color Screen capable of being read in direct sunlight. Additionally, the unit has an optional power meter. The rechargeable battery offers over 4 hours of operation. Quick and precise measurements for VSWR, Cable Loss and Distance to fault can be easily taken with the Protek A434 Cable and Antenna Analyzer. The application specific software allows the user to easily compare and analyze measurements and generate comprehensive reports. A large number of cell site problems are caused by the antenna system, cable, or connectors.

It is important to have the right instrument available when either servicing or certifying cell sites for operation. The Protek A434L is an indispensable tool for technicians and radio engineers who need an efficient way of measuring and maintenance of antennas and antenna systems.


3. Comm Connect 3013 SWR TRUE 3013 30MHz-2.7GHZ Cable and Antenna Analyser

For those Engineers who truly want a handheld Antenna Analyzer, the Comm Connect 3013 is the ideal choice. The rugged unit can easily be read even in direct sunlight. We love the Comm Connect 3013's ease of use. Set up  take less than a minute and you are ready to test. Measurements are represented graphically as VSWR or Return Loss Plots. The built in PLL synthesized signal generator provides superior accuracy with small steps. Results can be downloaded directly from the unit or via USB Stick and downloaded in XML format. The Comm Connect SWR TRUE handheld Antenna Analyzer boasts a 6 hour Battery life.

4. Bird Technologies 43 Thru line Wattmeter 450kHz-2.7GHz

The Bird 43 Wattmeter has been used by industry professionals since at least the 1970’s. The Bird Technologies 43 Wattmeter is an insertion-type RF wattmeter, designed to measure RF power and load match in 50 ohm coaxial transmission lines. It is intended for use with CW, AM, FM, and TV modulation, but not pulse modulation.

When used in 50 ohm applications, the 43 has a maximum VSWR of 1.05 for frequencies up to 1000MHz The Bird 43 is available new or used from Instruments 4 Engineers. For those customers who would like something more compact and durable with a digital display we highly recommend the Comm Connect 3030 Handheld PMR Power Meter or Comm Connect 3029.   

5. Comm Connect 3030 Handheld PMR Power Meter 30MHz -500MHz or 30MHz-1GHz

The Comm Connect 3030 Handheld Power Meter is a contemporary version of the traditional Antenna Watt and VSWR instrument. The Comm Connect 3030 Handheld RF Power Meter will measure forward and reflected power in the range from milliWatts up to 100Watts. The built in frequency counter shows the transmit frequency and will call the calibration table for the actual frequency. Outside the range of the counter the instrument can be set into manual mode giving a wider dynamic range. In addition,  the 3 RF Power Meter will calculate VSWR or Return Loss and features Peak and Hold mode. Many customers love the digital display and find the Comm Connect 3030 to be more dependable, rugged and easier to use in the field compared to the units they’ve used in the past. 


6. Comm Connect 3029 Handheld RF Power Meter 30MHz-6GHz

The Comm Connect 3029 covers both analogue and digital carriers in a wide frequency range from 30MHz to 6GHz. The Comm Connect RF One Handheld Power Meter is capable of measuring forward and reflected power in the range of a few milliwatts up to 500 Watts. Results from the unit can be downloaded via I/O’s or USB memory stick. In addition the I/O’s can also be used to give commands and receive data while operating the unit. For documentation reference the unit has a real time clock and offers the ability to set up and control parameters via the multilayer menu. The Comm Connect 3029 is a easy to use and reliable great piece of kit.