Yeah I am stuck on the S-meter and IMD wagon.
For the price that you paying for these radios I would expect a calibrated S-meter and a clean low IMD transmitter.
Well thats the whole point. If you had a calibrated S-meter and the radio was calibrated you could apply something like an antenna factor to correction for all the variables. You then will have a 100% repeatable accurate reading.
If you were doing antenna or propagation tests you would then have a reliable and accurate data not rubbish data.
Hams would complain if the volt meter or a the frequency meter in their radio was off by a factor of 100%, so why do S-meters have to be so lousy when it is such a simple job to fix or build calibrated S-meters. There
would be a riot if some radio had a SWR meter that was off by a factor of 100%. S-meters are simple circuits that can easily calibrated and the data stored.
Why the current uncalibrated S-meter's are even a big joke on hams is this. You get on the air and then ask a ham if they can you give me reading between my amp and 100 watts, or for that matter the front to back ratio
on your beam. Most hams will reply "OM I see 5 s units difference with amp off an on, and 6 S-units difference from the front to the back" Hams will state this with a air of confidence like they are using a Fluke meter
to make the measurements. You never hear these hams say but I must tell you that my S-meter could be off by 100% and by the law of physics going from 100 watts to 1000 watts is 10Db, not the 36db inaccurate reading my meter shows.
On some occasions you will have some nasty joker tell other hams what he saw on the S-meter and that station X must be running illegal power because his useless S-meter told him so. You cant have it both ways, by saying that having a calibrated S-meters is a waste of time and then behaving like you do have a calibrated S-meter is very hypocritical behavior
. I would prefer to have a calibrated S-meter that is accurate just like my volt, swr, impedance and frequency meter. Why is this asking for too much? I can buy a $1500 dollar Rigol spectrum analyzer with a color TFT screen thats as big as the IC7800 and TS9990S and it will have a guaranteed accuracy of 1 Db. Why cant you get this accuracy from something costing 10 times as much? Its joke on us and a huge rip off the junk thats being marketed to the ham community by the manufacturers at such an expensive price. There are radios like The Flexradios, Elecraft K3 and many of the direct sampling receiver which all have accurate S-meters. Calibrated S-meters should be standard on all transceivers.
Commercial VHF and UHF radios have had the ability to produce accurate signal strength readings for years. Yet you cant buy 1 VHF or UHF ham radio that has the same ability. Is it because hams are becoming like Cb'ers, all brain dead black box operators with no technical skills that cant understand the value of something as simple as measuring a signal level accurately?
SDR receiver and radios like the Flex have perfectly linear S-meters, why is it too much to expect this from a 10,000 dollar radio? The reason why people do have the 5/9 mentality is because they all know S-meters are useless
and inaccurate, if you can hear them well you might as well say they 5 and 9. If S-meters were calibrated you still be able to do this because the S-meter will train the operator on what is a good or bad reference point. After 1 contest you could be giving far more accurate reports since you know exactly what a real 5/5 or 3/3 signal sounds like.
There are modes such WSPR and HF grabber that can be excellent tools for reporting how effective propagation and antennas are. Having the ability to produce accurate results could help us develop better antennas and have a better understanding of propagation. A calibrated S-meter when used with these modes gives you tool that is far more reliable than most hams and their equipment. It would be great one day to use one of the internet remote receivers
with a calibrated S-meter to do antenna comparisons. If all stations had this capability we could measure relative performance and quantify it very easily.
Botton line is this if I bought an expensive radio like a Hilberling., TS990S, FTDX9000, FTDX5000, IC7700 and IC7800 I would expect for the asking price that It would have a calibrated S-meter. I dont expect
a meter that is no better than a 100 dollar CB radio. Why is that too much to ask for in this when technology can deliver this for 10 dollars? If you read the Icom 7800 brochure Icom raves about how
their smart engineers spent so much time making the on screen S-meter behave like a real analog meter. It would have better if they spent that time learning how to build a calibrated S-meter
into their expensive radio rather than some useless eye candy needle dancing on the screen. They truly have their design priorities wrong.
Having a calibrated S-meter might not seem important. Once you own a radio with a calibrated S-meter or a receiver that uses something like the DbUV scale you will never go back to the old uncalibrated
receivers and transceivers. Its a must have especially for an expensive radio. But hey I could be wrong maybe some people like buying expensive 10,000 dollar radios that dont have calibrated S-meter and that splatter
like a 100 dollar CB radio. I must be a freak I am expecting way too much!
I see you're still stuck on a calibrated s-meter which doesn't mean anything from an on-the-air source unless you know exactly the performance of your antenna and feedline. Then path loss figures in. An s-meter is only good for an appx idea compared to the other guy talking on the same frequency in the same QSO, then it's not worth much. Be better off with no s-meter. Can you hear him, work him. The 59 systems works great and doesn't require an s-meter.