Handy Mini60 SARK100 Antenna Analyzer Overview
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
- Power on the Mini60. Press the SET button, Press the DOWN button, You should see “PC Link Waiting Link” in the LCD.
- 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.
- 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.
- After installation you can open the MINI60 app, tap Connect and then tap the MINI60S. After a few seconds you should see “succeeded”.
- 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!
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.
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Stay in touch and best 73,
Download Link For All the Applications (use at your own risk)
Mini60 on Ebay (the one I have)
“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.
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,
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?
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!
Does it work on iPhone as well as Android do you know?
Great question. I do not see anything for the Mac or iOS.
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??
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.
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
Thanks for commenting here and thank you so much for the information. I’m sure this will help others. Best 73 and good DX.
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 ?
73´s Ivan EA8YG
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.
Could you tell me which file to use for an android phone note 8 please thankyou for your help
Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here. I am thinking it is the .apk file (Mini60.apk_.zip)
Try it it won’t hurt if it is the wrong one.
Best to you and yours!
Hello All, I need help and advice. My Mini 60 stopped communicating over Bluetooth and USB. It connects to my Android device and also the PC, but no data (Serial info) If I had to guess, it was the RS232 chip. Anyone else have this issue… and how did you resolve it?
Thank you for posting your question here and I hope you get some help with it. I have been using mine in the field, just the LCD on the device.
I have not tried Bluetooth in a while so I’ll give it a try.
Just got a Mini60 w bluetooth. tried to see if there is an Android app at the app store. nothing obvious. I’d really like this feature for true portability. Any suggestions for this app feature would be appreciated.
Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting. Yes the files are linked on the page. Look under Resources.
To expect good results without doing all the (simple) calibration steps is to expect failure… or totally incorrect results, at best… Look on the web for “Sark 100 calibration”, or download a full manual for same… The Sark100 was the original, from which the Chinese made clones were derived.
The link http://www.popular-hifi.com/shack/acc_sark100/SARK100.pdf gives assembly information for the original kit, it also includes calibration information and also the way to make small reference antennas for testing…
Be aware that in the earlier (Pre 2016) days some Chinese clone makers tried to use substitute chips, with catastrophic results… A LOT of bad analysers came on the market, and gave the Sark 100 clones a (deservedly) bad name… They CAN be repaired, but sourcing the correct chips is VERY difficult. The same can be said for the early Bluetooth enabled clones – they would only pair properly with a limited number of Android phones…
Choosing sellers that use PayPal is good insurance, especially now return postage is one of Paypals offerings to registered users.
All that said, recent ones DO work very well, and makes spending a LOT more for over-priced and overrated brand name units impossible to justify…
It’s great to hear from you and thank you so much for commenting here, You information adds value to this website and I sincerely appreciate it.
Good stuff and I’ll point to this post for others to read.
Best wishes to you and yours. 73 and good DX!
They should make the calibration ends for it also
Thanks Pete. Maybe so. I was using it with my old laptop and I need to try it with my new one. I just haven’t had time. Thanks and best 73!