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Author Topic: Do you NOT always keep your SWR meter inline due to insertion loss?  (Read 12550 times)
KD2CJJ
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Posts: 369




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« on: August 17, 2012, 06:08:16 AM »

Im curious and contemplating which SWR meter to buy, and then realized thats just one more component to add to insertion loss (i have a balun midway to the antenna, a tuner, now SWR meter?) and wanted to know if you guys keep yours inline all the time OR only use it for specific tuning exercises.



Thanks
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73

Mike
KD2CJJ
AC5UP
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Posts: 3959




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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 06:26:20 AM »

If your connectors and jumper cables are near perfect the insertion loss is inconsequential, and some folks enjoy seeing the meter verify the antenna id "OK" every time they push the TX button. Otherwise it's one more pair of connectors to work loose.

I'm going to assume the antenna tuner is an automatic type and you do not need an SWR bridge to keep it tweaked.
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W5FYI
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 08:07:15 AM »

I'd rather have the miniscule insertion loss and be able to instantly see SWR anomalies than to not have it in line and miss a potentially costly problem. That's my 2¢ worth.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 08:47:30 AM »

Quote
miss a potentially costly problem. That's my 2¢ worth.

And my 2 cents!  I've always left my SWR meter in line.  It's saved potentially costly mistakes many, many times during the past 55 years. 

Perhaps the only time to consider leaving it out is if you're running very low power.

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WB6BYU
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 09:16:15 AM »

I leave it in place for HF, because I'm often readjusting the tuner and/or changing my
output power.

For VHF I don't:  I tune the antenna initially, then hook it straight to the rig and don't
worry about it unless it doesn't seem to be working right.
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W8JX
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Posts: 6692




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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 09:20:26 AM »

I leave it in place for HF, because I'm often readjusting the tuner and/or changing my
output power.

For VHF I don't:  I tune the antenna initially, then hook it straight to the rig and don't
worry about it unless it doesn't seem to be working right.

I agree
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KE3WD
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 09:48:14 AM »

I like to leave it inline as well, but I generally sswitch the meter over to indicate RF output power rather than SWR.  This is especially true if you purchase a Peak Reading power/swr meter and talk Sideband a lot.  You can see your RF peaks as you talk.  

Most hams don't seem to realize that power out drops when the SWR rises.  That means that if you are watching the Power Output meter and it should suddenly drop, first suspect might be a change in SWR for the worse.  


73
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N4CR
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 10:33:51 AM »

My SWR meter has a feature in it that keeps my amp from keying when the SWR is above a preset level. That's a feature that is more important than insertion loss.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
KA4POL
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Posts: 2128




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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 10:35:50 AM »

The losses are really neglectable. I am using it up to 23cm permanently. It allows me to recognize problems immediately.
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K2DC
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 10:57:51 AM »

In over 30 years, I don't think I've taken the power/swr meter out of line for any reason except to check connections.  The insertion loss including connections (assuming properly installed connectors) is so low that it would likely be difficult to accurately measure without laboratory test equipment.  That's for HF.  For VHF and UHF, as posted earlier, I've never had one in line after properly tuning the antenna.

73,

Don, K2DC
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W8JI
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 12:15:30 PM »

My power output indication goes up if the SWR goes up a little.

Most do.

I can't imagine worrying about the loss of a SWR meter, unless it is really poorly designed for the frequency range.

73 Tom
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 04:34:04 PM »

Always in on HF
Always out on VHF
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W9MMS
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Posts: 121




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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 05:12:27 AM »

Get yourself a good Peak Envelope Power Meter/SWR and leave it inline.
A good PEP/SWR Meter is the N8LP LP100A meter. It is pricey, but well worth the investment in the long run, and it is very accurate.

http://www.telepostinc.com/lp100.html

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5981

Just my $0.02 worth.

(((73))) Milverton.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 05:28:47 AM »

When I'm using the FT897D with the FC40 remote ATU, I have found that an external SWR meter is not necessary for me.
The FT897D like many transceivers will indicate SWR (not very nicely - but its an indication), and the  remote ATU does a good job of matching.
But when I am using the TS430S, I always use an external SWR meter (Diamond SX600N) since otherwise if something goes wrong - smoke rising may be your first indicator.

Using an SWR meter internal to the rig, or an external one - is like insurance - it never seems necessary until something happens.
So I would definitely keep it in line.

73 - Rob
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G3TXQ
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Posts: 1535




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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 07:40:47 AM »

I measure the insertion loss of my LP100 sense head as 0.022dB at 30MHz; I think I'll leave it in  Wink

Steve G3TXQ
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