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Author Topic: Suggestions for a small portable (SOTA) wattmeter  (Read 3586 times)
AE7UT
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Posts: 76




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« on: August 18, 2015, 05:21:49 PM »

I'm looking for a small wattmeter to use on mountain tops
and parks.  I've built a couple of them but they are as
big as my rig!  I'm using a KX3 and K1 mostly so up to 10 watts.

Thanks for any help you can be.

Stan AE7UT
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KL7KN
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Posts: 117


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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 05:29:58 PM »

Is this just to check your power out or to confirm SWR on an antenna?

If this is small enough -

Has a watt-meter built in. LED light up at 1, 2, 5 or 10 watts.   $20 USD.

https://www.midnightscience.com/kits.html#kit11  XS-SDLK Smart Dummy Load
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AE7UT
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 10:09:47 PM »

Oh my Don that's not good.

That my friend is PERFECT!!!

Thanks so much.
Yes I'm looking for something that will help me KNOW when I'm putting out a signal.
I was working with my KX3 after a year hiatus and I called CQ for an hour with noreply.
No one I tried to reply to could hear me either.
Everything looked like it was working and in the field it would be nice to have a quick
little meter to make sure your at least putting some wattage into the wire.

73
Stan AE7UT
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VK3YE
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 02:24:33 AM »

If you want something even smaller, I suggest a salvaged meter movement with a diode and RF choke soldered on.  That gives a relative indication of RF and is perfect if using it around end-fed antennas (just adjust the antenna coupler for maximum deflection and you're tuned up).

This is similar but uses a few more parts, including a sensitivity control. http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/gateway/noapr97.htm
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Peter VK3YE

TOP-SELLING RADIO BOOKS: 'Minimum QRP', 'Hand-carried QRP antennas' & 'Getting back into Amateur Radio'. 
Paperback and ebook editions. See http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/vk3yebooks.htm or search titles in Amazon.
KL7KN
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Posts: 117


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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2015, 05:44:01 PM »

Oh my Don that's not good.

That my friend is PERFECT!!!

Thanks so much.
Yes I'm looking for something that will help me KNOW when I'm putting out a signal.
I was working with my KX3 after a year hiatus and I called CQ for an hour with noreply.
No one I tried to reply to could hear me either.
Everything looked like it was working and in the field it would be nice to have a quick
little meter to make sure your at least putting some wattage into the wire.

73
Stan AE7UT

Glad to be some help.  We are well past the days of an NE-62 hooked to the antenna connector or a FSM for checking power out.

I think the XSS folks have a wizard product....  Let everyone know how it works out for you...maybe a review?

73//Don//KL7KN
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KB1GMX
Member

Posts: 1505




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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 03:43:35 PM »

VK3YE hits the nail.

A wattmeter of any sort is useful....BUT!  You may still not be radiating any of
that power your putting into the cable.

A simple field strength meter is nothing more than a untuned crystal set with a meter.
More RF, more meter movement.  Also better antenna more meter movement.

The meter needn't be digital or large.

Allison
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VE3LYX
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Posts: 813




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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 06:44:47 AM »

I am a light bulb man myself. A light bulb unlike meters as already mentioned never lie. I use for low power rigs a 4.5 watt clear bulb that looks very much like a Christmas tree build. I have it soldered to a short length of coax with a connector so it can be put right on the transmitter, or the tuner or the cable at the antenna. No light no significant RF. If it lights then you are putting RF out in useable amounts. How bright is how much power. In my vintage shack which has old military radios I have one permanently mounted on my hb antenna tuner and can sub it as a dummy load and for testing with a flip of the wrist. Depending on power of transmitter I can change bulbs, from 7.5 watt to 250 watts if need be. Very very handy device and it never ever misdirects me. OH I know. I heard all the stories about someone working four states on a light bulb. BALONEY unless he lived a 4 corners USA right in the corner. And for those who would argue the point unhook your antenna and put on a light bulb then set  me up with a sked. You can barely get your real antenna working like you want so don't believe such nonsense. You will be lucky to make it next door even on your linear. (And if you mounted it upside down in an empty paint can with a few holes in the side for viewing brightness then that would be gone as well.) There is very little you can make or buy that works as well despite its simplicity. And you can see even out the window if it is working and how bright.
don VE3LYX
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