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eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: KK4JJF on May 07, 2013, 02:19:41 PM



Title: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: KK4JJF on May 07, 2013, 02:19:41 PM
This choice is much tougher than I had imagined.  Looking for a 1.5 KW meter with PEP, lighted meters, and for a reasonable price. I was initially interested in the Autek, but after further reading, I'll have to take a pass.  This doesn't leave much! Would I be better off with a Daiwa 801 model, or the "look alike" MFJ model? http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-891

Perhaps a different model  MFJ?   Blue lights are a +   ;D


Title: RE: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: WB2WIK on May 07, 2013, 03:54:57 PM
I'd recommend the Autek WM-1 over the others mentioned.

Autek is an American company with local service and I've owned WM-1s for many years with zero problems.  They work well for their cost point and are very easy to use.

The only other decent "true PEP" HF wattmeter in that price class is the Ameritron WM-30, which uses a cross-needle meter that I don't like as much; but electrically, it works well and about the same as the Autek.  A big advantage of the Autek is that its coupler is remote-able, connected by a cable, so you can hang the coupler where it's convenient for the cables and they don't try to pull the meter off your bench.  You can extend the cable and make it as long as you wish (use shielded cable) -- I made mine about six feet long, and that works fine.

Everything else is considerably more expensive, if you want a PEP instrument that has any sort of local warranty (or non-warranty) service available.

Daiwa doesn't. 


Title: RE: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: W5CPT on May 07, 2013, 04:26:06 PM
I had a Palstar PM2000AM and was very pleased with it. It comes in two models - one has an outboard detector module (the model I had) and the other with the detector inside.  They call the AM the mobile model, but I just put the detector near the wall feed-through.  It has a Peak Hold feature which I like. It will hold the peak reading for 2 seconds before it returns to Zero. That makes checking it easier if you are trying to do two (or three) things at once.   At $180 the price is reasonable.

btw: I only sold it when I got my Palstar tuner and it has the same circuitry in it.

Clint - W5CPT -


Title: RE: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: K0OD on May 07, 2013, 07:45:02 PM
Quote
I'd recommend the Autek WM-1 over the others mentioned.

Agree with Steve. My WM-1 is 20 years old. The remote head is charred from a lightning strike a decade ago. But it seems accurate on all three scales. I've used it in major DX contests at full legal power and in QRPP events running <1 watt.  It goes months in my shack without being powered down.


Title: RE: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: KS2G on May 08, 2013, 09:52:46 AM
Another vote for the WM-1.

Wonder why "after further reading" you "have to pass" on it?
Price?

Nothing else out that there with better bang for the buck.

73,
Mel - KS2G



Title: RE: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: KK4JJF on May 08, 2013, 11:56:06 AM
Another vote for the WM-1.

Wonder why "after further reading" you "have to pass" on it?
Price?

Nothing else out that there with better bang for the buck.

73,
Mel - KS2G





Futher reading suggested a severe quality control issue as of late with front panels coming bent as standard, as well as other issues.


Title: RE: Picking a SWR / Watt meter.
Post by: WB2WIK on May 08, 2013, 02:26:20 PM



Quote
Futher reading suggested a severe quality control issue as of late with front panels coming bent as standard, as well as other issues.

Sounds like possible shipping damage.  I haven't experienced that, but anything's possible.

At least they're American-based and will cover such stuff under warranty, and from what I've heard, quickly.

Better still, to be assured you don't have such issues, buy a used one from a local ham selling one. ;)  They've sold many, many thousands of these meters over the past two decades and they're always around.