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Author Topic: need opinion on swr/watt meter  (Read 2968 times)
KC0OBI
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Posts: 9




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« on: November 15, 2012, 12:20:11 PM »

Hi All
 I am looking to get a swr/watt meter. I currently run a ft-817 and occasionally a hf packer amp. I am looking at either a Diamond SX200 or Mfj 892. I am wondering what you use. The amp runs about 45-50 watts on 80m and drops off to about 20 on 10m. I was looking at one of the Daiwa ones and it looks like the minimum power needed is 4 watts.

Thanjks Michael KC0OBI
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G4AON
Member

Posts: 525




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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 01:05:00 PM »

Michael

You don't say if it's solely for use in the shack or outdoors. In my opinion, there are a few things to consider:

1. Does it need to be cheap, cheerful and small to take outdoors?

2. Do you need a large meter to either be easy to read or "stay put" on the desk.

3. Some meters have a remote sensor, allowing easier installation (no need for thick coax to be on your desk).

4. Do you want an accurate peak reading meter, able to catch a single "dit" which can also serve as a piece of test equipment?

Cheap and cheerful, the SX200 will suffice.

Most of my radios have an SWR meter built in, including my linear, so I do not use an SWR meter in-line at all. I have an LP100 which is excellent as a piece of test equipment for aligning/testing radios, as well as being fairly good at catching peaks, much better than SWR meters with analogue meters... However for really seeing what is happening on peaks nothing beats an oscilloscope.

I guess only you can decide...

73 Dave
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KC0OBI
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 02:40:44 PM »

Hi Dave
I operate both at home  and portable as well, parks and camping. I didn't
want something too big. Basically looking for best value. Most of the time I
use a Mfj 259 to check the antenna's.  It would be used for making sure amp
(Hf packer amp) is working correctly. I have a scope and other equipment for
repair.  The Oak Hill one looked good but mass out at 10 w . I was curious.

73's Michael
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AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2236




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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 06:29:48 PM »

If your looking to build your own, there
are some spiffy kits out there.
The Elecraft W1 computing wattmeter/ SWR
Bridge is nice in that it displays
power and SWR simultaneously. It uses
two LED bar graphs and is quite accurate
even at QRP levels. There is an aftermarket
case available for it, I forget who, but you can Google
it. The link to the Elecraft W1 is:
http://www.elecraft.com/mini_module_kits/mini_modules.htm

Radio-Kits.UK offers a very reasonably priced
digital PIC Chip/Backlit LCD wattmeter/bridge kit.
http://www.radio-kits.co.uk/
Go to the above link and click on
"Digital SWR Meter" (on the left side of
the page). You will have to roll
your own enclosure from scratch.
This is a very cool and accurate little project.

Ten Tec offers a meter kit complete with cross
needle meter and enclosure. But it is a bit
pricey at $159.00 .
http://www.tentec.com/categories/Kits/?sort=featured&page=2

I have built and own the Elecraft W1 and the
Radio-Kits.UK meter. Both are accurate, with
the nudge going to the Elecraft. But the RadioKits
meter is more versatile.  I built a Ten Tec kit meter
a long time ago and it was no very accurate. But
it looks nothing like the current model. So maybe they
re-engineered the whole meter.

Good luck and have fun!
73, Ken  AD6KA
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STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 854




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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 11:02:09 PM »

As others have said, most gear has an inbuilt SWR meter which will be good enough to get you in the ballpark.
However, with older gear which is devoid of SWR meters, I use the Diamond SX600N which is a great SWR/Power meter.
It works over HF/VHF/UHF and has 5/20/200W power measurement settings and and dual sensors.
Also, it is easy to get good QRP power measurements, and is a reliable and rugged performer.
They are not cheap, but quality is usually worth the price.

Alternatively, they are very easy to make yourself or just get a simple one - they all act about the same way.
Providing you calibrate it, they are all good enough for government work.

73 - Rob
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NK7Z
Member

Posts: 747


WWW

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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 07:12:56 AM »

Hi All
 I am looking to get a swr/watt meter. I currently run a ft-817 and occasionally a hf packer amp. I am looking at either a Diamond SX200 or Mfj 892. I am wondering what you use. The amp runs about 45-50 watts on 80m and drops off to about 20 on 10m. I was looking at one of the Daiwa ones and it looks like the minimum power needed is 4 watts.

Thanjks Michael KC0OBI

Hi,

You might consider an Ameritron AWM-30.  I use one and have had very good luck with it.  There is a review of it on my web site at:
http://nk7z.net/awm-30/
The review covers my feelings on it...

73's
Dave
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K0JEG
Member

Posts: 646




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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2012, 10:47:10 AM »

Another Elecraft W1 builder/user here. Easy to build, set up, make one adjustment and it's very accurate. A little hard to see in direct sunlight and BNC connector position isn't great. I use it more for testing/verification then pull it out of line, but both my HF radios have built in SWR meters that get close enough.
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KH6IDF
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 07:37:53 AM »

I'm using the Diamond SX-200 meter.  It works well on the 5W setting with the FT817.
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