Handy Mini60 SARK100 Antenna Analyzer Overview

In Equipment by K0PIR12 Comments

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I purchased a Mini60 antenna analyzer a few months back. You can buy one of these for around $109 on E-bay. Mine is a bluetooth model. They come with and without bluetooth and the Mini60 (or SARK100 clone) without BT is less expensive. In Yellowstone I used it to check my wire antennas and also to tune my Tarheel 200A when my mobile rig wasn’t attached to it. At home I have used it to analyze my Hy-Gain TH-2MK3 tribander and on my work vehicle to tune my Hustler antennas. It comes in real handy!

mini60

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Mini60 SARK100

Very small, lightweight antenna analyzer for Ham radio operators used to test and evaluate HF antennas.

Has a re-chargeable internal battery, long battery life, mini-B USB connection for connecting to a PC and you can also buy one with bluetooth (BT) capability.

Using free software applications either on a PC or Android device, this little antenna analyzer can become a valuable tool at home or in the field.

Mini60 Bluetooth Problems

Users have reported issues with the bluetooth. Either they cannot pair it with their Android device or they cannot connect after it is paired. Some have trouble finding the Android software. I have software links below.

I had a problem in the beginning with BT and found that with some persistence, it finally did show up on my phone (at first it was just a MAC address) and I was able to pair it. After that it took a few times to connect, but today (for some reason) it connects quickly.

To avoid BT issues there is the option to connect a USB cable (Mini-B) and use a PC instead. I like this much better and have used it with my new HP Stream with my home antennas.  See the video below for a sample of the WinPCC software.

If you purchase a BT model and cannot get bluetooth to work, I would send it back!

Inexpensive and Small Package

The small size is very nice and that makes using it in the field and outdoors easy. I normally do not use the BT outdoors because I have all I need on the Mini60 LCD screen. I can see the SWR, scan and check impedance of the antenna very quickly.

Another Ham uses it with BT and tablet while tuning a portable magnetic loop. It comes in very handy for him in the field.

I picked mine up from a Chinese seller on E-Bay (excellent feedback). This particular seller was very responsive to my questions and I received mine sooner than I thought I would.

There are now some Ebay sellers in the US. I stick with sellers that have high ratings.

I’ve even found the Mini60 and other clones on Amazon.

Compared to other analyzers, it’s so inexpensive, if I drop it (I have) and it breaks, I’m not hurting too bad.

Mini60 Bluetooth Setup, Pairing and Connecting Checklist

  1. Power on the Mini60. Press the SET button, Press the DOWN button, You should see “PC Link Waiting Link” in the LCD.
  2. On your phone or tablet. Go to the bluetooth settings, Scan for a new BT device. At first it may show up as a MAC address, but after a few seconds you should see MINI60S. Select it to pair with your Android device. It will ask for a PIN, use 1234.
  3. Download and install one of the MINI60.apk files. There are a few out there and the link below has the ones that I have used.
  4. After installation you can open the MINI60 app, tap Connect and then tap the MINI60S. After a few seconds you should see “succeeded”.
  5. You can attach your antenna at any time, but if you haven’t, go ahead and then press the Start button in the application. Your Mini60 will start scanning.

Mini60 with USB cable

At home this is the easiest option. Even in the field with a small laptop (like a HP Stream) this is quite doable.

Just download and install the WinPCC application, attach a Mini B usb cable to the MINI60, power it on, press SET, then DOWN and you should see “Waiting for Link”.

Open WinPCC, select the correct COM port and click the Connect button. Select the Band and then Start Scan. Easy!

Caveats/Final Words

You can adjust the Center Frequency and DIV or scan step. I have found when stopping a scan I have to wait until it ends. If I rush it, it hangs.

Sometimes I have to Stop, Quit and restart the application. I notice the Mini60 will show it is still scanning in the LCD, so I power cycle it and start over.

You’ll see why I like using it as a stand alone device when in the field!  😆

The current application I have on my Samsung Galaxy S7 hangs a bit. It is probably just my S7 overloaded, so I’ve been using my Kindle Fire to test the bluetooth capability at home and outside.

On my Kindle, the application is missing the frequency labels at the bottom of the screen. It’s not a big deal and others have mentioned it too. It’s caused by the application and the devices screen settings.

Although I haven’t had it long (since July 2018), I really like it and would purchase it again without hesitation. It is much smaller than anything I have ever used and the rechargeable battery is a big plus. Battery life is impressive. Using it as a stand alone (no BT) is quick and effortless.

If something should change I will update this article.

Videos

 

 

Comments

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Stay in touch and best 73,

Rich, K0PIR

Resources:

Download Link For All the Applications (use at your own risk)

Mini60 on Ebay (the one I have)

Mini60 on Amazon (looks like it still ships from China)

Comments

  1. Hi Rich,
    I buy the mini 60 in China but it come without battery and bluethoth I go to buy Usb serial and the bluetotooth,
    you have any info about install in the MINI60 the bluetooth after configuration ?
    Thank you
    73´s Ivan EA8YG

    1. Author

      Hi Ivan,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for the e-mail.

      I apologize for the delay in getting back to you, I was out of town for a while.

      I am sorry but I do not. You could ask in the QRZ.com forum. I am sure you could find it.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  2. Jos PD0DDA,
    i bought the same but it did not work at all.(it did not charged but the led status was fully charged but it wont switched on) I got my money returned and did not have to returned the analyzer. I opened it up and i did not find any battery attached in the analyzer. does anybody know what kind of battery i need??

    1. Author

      Hi Jos,
      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting. That’s great you got a refund and can keep it. Won’t it work plugged in and without a battery?

      I opened mine up and it has a battery, but no markings. If you pull the back off, you see a modular plug (2 pin) on the circuit board.

      Keep asking around, someone will know.

      Sorry I can’t help any more.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

    2. Hi Jos.
      Mine was the same and my money was als returned. The battery I use is a HW 752540p. Not sure if its correct but it charges ok and fits nicely

      Roger G4OQV

      1. Author

        Hi Roger,
        Thanks for commenting here and thank you so much for the information. I’m sure this will help others. Best 73 and good DX.

        Rich,K0PIR

  3. “Buyer beware” is good advice: I have purchased 2 off eBay from different sellers which were both terribly inaccurate compared to my SWR meters. One I returned the other is still on my shelf as the seller didn’t want to pay the return shipping. However, if I could find one that worked I would buy again as I can’t justify spending $300 for an instrument I only rarely need.

    1. Author

      Hi John,

      Nice to hear from you and yes, I agree. I ask about return policy beforehand and save it in an e-mail, so if I have any trouble I can forward it to E-Bay. I have never had any trouble returning bad products purchased in Amazon, but never say never right? HI!

      Take care and 73,

      Rich, K0PIR

    2. Keep in mind that many analyzers require a OSL (Open, Short, Load) calibration before they are accurate. Rich, do you know if the Mini60 allows such a calibration?

      1. Author

        Hi John,

        Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting. Yes, as far as I know they can be calibrated. I would guess they are calibrated since mine works well. It works well for me and the tasks I use it for. I would not say it is spot on.

        If one purchased a Mini60 and it was not good, I would send it back and not even try to calibrate it. Just my 2 cents.

        Best Thanksgiving to you and yours. 73!

        Rich, K0PIR

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