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Author Topic: Obscure equipment - beware  (Read 2421 times)
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 405




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« on: December 08, 2012, 06:49:08 AM »

I recently bought a Palomar 500 watt meter off QTH for my HF station. The guy I bought it from assumed it was a HF watt meter, and when I googled it I found little info, just a few expired Ebay listings and a few "what is this?" posts on ham forums where people were saying "well, it should be good for HF". OK, fine. I buy it, it arrives, but once hooked up gives out all sorts of oddball readings. I finally find out that this meter was intended for Citizens Band base station use. So now I have a meter I can't use. Thankfully some kind soul was willing to trade it for a HM-102, so I'm rid of it. Just a caution, if some piece of gear is so oddball or obscure that you can't google it, assume it's not what you're looking for, and pass.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 09:10:55 AM »

A citizen's band SWR or power meter shouldn't give all sorts of "oddball readings."  It sounds as if the meter is simple defective.  I use an old CB SWR/Pwr meter all the time for HF. 

I ran into basically the same problem some time ago when I bought a Heathkit SWR/Pwr meter on eBay and after receiving it I found that it was wired for VHF, which won't work on HF. 

However, you're point is a valid one and if research doesn't get you started by identifying a piece of gear, it's best to avoid it.  If for no other reason, understand that repairing it will probably be difficult if not impossible especially if it uses specialized or unidentifiable components.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 03:10:40 PM »

Yes, it is a CB watt meter.  HF is HF. It should be suitable for ham use.  If the readings are screwy, it probably has blown diode(s).   Radio Shack has the parts for a couple dollars, and a few minutes spent soldering.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 04:20:00 AM »

Gee, when I want to buy something, I usually research it first instead of just taking someone's word for it--especially something that sounds like it was made by some obscure manufacturer.  All too many times these things were made for CB--and are nothing but junk, otherwise known as window dressing for some showoff with his CB collection.
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KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 405




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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 10:32:32 AM »

Gee, when I want to buy something, I usually research it first instead of just taking someone's word for it--especially something that sounds like it was made by some obscure manufacturer.  All too many times these things were made for CB--and are nothing but junk, otherwise known as window dressing for some showoff with his CB collection.

Maybe I wasn't clear. I googled it, and came up empty. And yes I was stupid. I know that there's plenty of cheap meters for CB out there, and I usually can figure it out.
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W4OP
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 12:28:11 PM »

It may be OK as a VSWR meter but it uses a sampling line and because the sampling line appears as a different electrical length on different frequencies, the meter will only be accurate as a wattmeter on one band.

Dale W4OP
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TANAKASAN
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Posts: 933




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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 12:46:46 PM »

Keep the meters and case then build a new wideband detector, there are plenty of circuits around on the web but let us know if you're stuck.

Tanakasan
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K1CJS
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 03:57:53 AM »

Maybe I wasn't clear. I googled it, and came up empty. And yes I was stupid. I know that there's plenty of cheap meters for CB out there, and I usually can figure it out.

Yes, you weren't clear--and apologies for coming off somewhat like a smart-*ss.  However, when I can't get ANY info on an item, I usually don't touch it--even if it seems to be exactly what I'm looking for.  That one rule of thumb has saved me from making a few mistakes--when I found out afterwards that the item wasn't what I needed.  AAMOF, one item I looked at was a gag gift that didn't do diddley, and the seller didn't even know it--or he was trying to get cash for something useless.  All too many unscrupulous sellers do so these days.
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