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Author Topic: SWR Meter for QRP  (Read 2077 times)
KY3U
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Posts: 8




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« on: February 29, 2008, 08:19:41 AM »


Would like some suggestions on a inexpensive SWR meter for tuning a 40 meter dipole. Nothing fancy... I have looked at some homebrew kits etc but I think at this point I just want to order a finished unit. I am a bit unsure of which units are good for lower power under 5 watts etc...

Comments are always appreciated !!

KG4YXR
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W3JJH
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2008, 10:10:16 AM »

I have two QRP range SWR meters.  One is the built-in dual-needle meter in my MFJ-971 tuner.  The other is an Oak Hill Research WM-1 (the WM-2 is the current version).

I find the dual-needle meter to be easier to use, but the OHR meter is very accurate and quite sensitive, 100 mW full scale on the lowest range.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 07:48:33 PM »

A CB meter would work fine if cost is important.  You can often pick them up at hamfests pretty cheap and even new they're not that expensive.  Of course you can spend more if you want the features of some of the ham-specific models but if all you want to do is tune a dipole the CB meter will certainly do the trick.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KY3U
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2008, 04:05:45 AM »

Thank you!! That is great I have a Radio SHack SWR meter still laying around from my "CB Days" I will give it a try first then.

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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13567




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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 09:00:58 PM »

I've used CB-style SWR meters for many years, even on VHF.  They
certainly aren't perfect, but they will indicate relative power output
and whether the SWR is low or high.

One thing to be careful on the lower bands, however, is that the response
is frequency sensitive:  it takes a lot more power to drive it to full scale
on 80m than it does for CB.  (And only about 10mW on 2m.)  I think
the one I used required 5 or 10 watts for full scale deflection on 40m,
perhaps 25 watts on 80m, and on 160m it really didn't work:  I couldn't
get enough power out of the rig to drive the meter until the SWR was
good enough that the SWR shutdown didn't kick in - then I didn't
really need the meter!

Even if you can't drive the meter to full scale you can still adjust a tuner
for minimum reflected power.  Note, however, that even with a full scale
reading the indicated SWR may not be too accurate at maximum sensitivity
because the voltage threshold of the detector diodes will make the
reflected power read low.
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5R8GQ
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Posts: 203




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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 02:39:04 PM »

It's not inexpensive ($89 kit) , but I recommend the Elecraft W1 SWR/Power Meter. It reads SWR and Forward Power simultaneously. It has three AUTO ranges:
150mw -> 1.4w
1.5w -> 14w
15w to 140w

Very accurate and easy to use.
I use it to tune up all my QRP rigs.
Ken 5R9GQ/AD6KA

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