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Author Topic: Reccomendations on a good SWR meter andantenna analyzer  (Read 2804 times)
W7HBP
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Posts: 166




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« on: September 06, 2012, 12:01:14 PM »

Ok, would like to find a good SWR meter (brand name) one that can do HF and VHF. Does it even exist. Also a good antenna analyzer.
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ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member
STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 03:24:22 PM »

The Diamond SX600N SWR meter does HF and VHF/UHF.
Very nice bit of gear, but expensive.
It also measures power on three scales 5W, 20W and 200W.

On the rear it has two sets of connectors (and sensors).
One set is SO239 (HF/VHF 1.8Mhz to 160Mhz) and the other set are N connectors (140Mhz to 525Mhz) for VHF/UHF.

These are copied, so beware that if you decide to buy one, that you buy an original Diamond unit.

As regards antenna analysers, there are many options these days.
They will all work for what they are intended to do.
The list is extensive and you will find a table of reviews on eham at: http://www.eham.net/reviews/products/31

To refine your search you will need to set your selection parameters.

What frequency range do you require?
Do you require a graphical display of SWR versus frequency (frequency sweep).
Is reading capacitor and inductor values necessary?
Do you require line loss calculations and so on...

In a nutshell:

Almost all antenna analysers measure the value of the antenna's resistive (R) and reactance (X).
From this it can display impedance (Z) and enable many other parameters to be calculated.
Even with a simple analyser which displays just X and R, you can use well known formulae to calculate many other parameters.
Whether this is done in the analyser, or in your head is something you will need to consider.

Probably the most accurate and sophisticated antenna analyser which is available to hams is the array solutions AIM4170.
It uses a different principle to calculate the antenna characteristics than the bridge system used by most others.
Also, it uses a PC in conjunction with the analyser, so this must be considered as well.
It is also fairly expensive compared to others, but it is a high quality unit.

Most hams seem to gravitate to the MFJ269 which works fine, but is subject to controversy with regards quality issues.
I own an MFJ269 and have never had any problem with it over the last two years of use, but some hams certainly have.
Again, check the eham reviews and make up your own mind.

However, in the last few years, many other analysers have come to market, some are very well regarded, so do your research.

Good luck,
73 - Rob
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 03:26:15 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
W7HBP
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Posts: 166




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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 07:34:28 PM »

Rob, thank you very much for the long in depth reply. Very much appreciated. I dont mind spending extra money to get the right one the first time. I have spent more money getting the less expensive one, only to sell it at a loss  (used now) and buy the more expensive one. I have found the more expensive one is actually cheaper if you buy it first.  Grin

73 Rick W7HBP
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 07:54:12 PM »

Hi Rick,

You are so right.
Whether it is sunglasses or SWR meters I have found if you buy genuine quality, you only pay once.
Of course price is not always the best indicator of quality, as we know, but they usually go together.

Good luck with your research.

73 - Rob
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W7HBP
Member

Posts: 166




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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 12:56:46 PM »

I'm going to get the MFJ269, it will do SWR, so that is the one I will get. It seems to fit my guidlines of what I'm after. I found it for $309 on the net.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2814




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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 05:00:33 PM »

I have to say this because I know a guy who bought a 269 and was unpleasantly surprised that he couldn't leave it in the feedline all the time.  No "analyzer" I know of can be permanently installed in the feedline of a transmitting antenna.  ALL of the SWR meters I know of CAN be.

They complement each other, but they aren't interchangeable.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W7HBP
Member

Posts: 166




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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 05:42:54 PM »

I am after both, but will purchase one now. The analyzer can be used to tune and measure SWR, next item on my list will be just an SWR meter, I can l eave inline at all times to monitor my antenna system. Thanks for that info. I didnt know the analyzer could not be left inline.  Grin
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K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2814




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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 09:13:50 AM »

That's a plan.

Back much earlier, SWR measuring devices were virtually unknown and quite expensive for the elite.  When I finally used one, I found out that my 40 meter dipole, mounted at only about 30 feet and with a number of other problems  Huh, had an SWR of about 5:1.  My secondhand 3 element Hornet beam was over 3:1 on all three bands.  BUT, not knowing it was impossible to do so, I got about 175 countries worked with very little trouble.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N4CR
Member

Posts: 1672




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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 03:32:02 PM »

No "analyzer" I know of can be permanently installed in the feedline of a transmitting antenna.  ALL of the SWR meters I know of CAN be.

The LP-100a is an inline power and swr meter and also does analysis via a RS-232 connection to the computer. SWR plots, Smith charts, R-JX plots, vector impedance, dBm/RL, calibrated field strength and audio compression ratio. Also it has a path through which it will open the keying line to your relay if the SWR rises above a preset ratio.

http://www.telepostinc.com/lp100.html
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
W0FM
Member

Posts: 2056




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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 12:52:52 PM »

I have the 269 that I use outside moving around my antennas.  It's very handy.

Ditto on Phil's comments.  I have both the original LP-100 and the LP-100A.  Great piece of "do-it-all" gear to leave in-line all the time.  Larry's products are fun to build and his support is first rate.

73,

Terry, WØFM
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KJ6ETL
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Posts: 43


WWW

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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2012, 02:50:59 PM »

I like my YouKits FG-01 antenna analyzer a lot!
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N8CMQ
Member

Posts: 373




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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 06:13:11 PM »

I have two MFJ-249 units, one for home, and one for work.
I bought them both used, the first for $100 and the second for $10.
They do well, but I guess the previous owners didn't understand them.
I do NOT leave an SWR meter inline while transmitting, it can cause harmonics.
Always remember, SWR is a relative indication, and does not mean all your power is being radiated, as dummy loads have perfect 1:1 SWR...
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