Jerry Ritchie Presents: Smith Charts

From Jerry Ritchie of station WA5OKO:

The HP-8753C Vector Network Analyzer cost $30,000 when it was new. Its weight is about 50 pounds and takes up a lot of space on my work bench.  It was one of my first instruments that provided Smith Charts.  20 years later, they about the size of a pack of cigarettes  and cost about $400 and have a range of 1 MHz to 3 GHz.  The MiniVNA Tiny’s size makes my MFJ-259B look like a boat anchor.

I compare the VNA instrument to the original cell phone. When cell phones first came out, I couldn’t imagine why I would ever need one.  Most amateurs look at Smith Charts like they are something from outer space, but they will eventually talk about that SWR meter they used in the old days to test antennas.

I hope this article will make the transition a little easier.

Jerry, WA5OKO

Smith Charts, by Jerry Ritchie WA5OKO

One thought on “Jerry Ritchie Presents: Smith Charts

  1. EXCELLENT!!! I, for one, sincerely appreciated seeing THIS information posted to our Club website, since I was unable to make it to the LETARC Meeting when the presentation was given! I had never before received training on how to decipher Smith Charts, and after reviewing the presentation data for only the 15 minutes it took to read it and view the graphical readouts given, now the charts actually MAKE SENSE to me!! THANK YOU for adding this data to the LETARC website!! This what I feel SHOULD be happening with the information being presented at our meetings! Not everyone can make the monthly meetings to witness the info in person. GREAT! THANK YOU!

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