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Author Topic: SWR meters will not move to CAL set  (Read 3920 times)
W1REJ
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Posts: 8




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« on: January 30, 2013, 07:02:17 PM »

I have a working Yaesu 857 transceiver, and decided to check the SWR and Power. I used an old SWAN SWR-1 but get no meter adjust when I try to calibrate to set point. If I try to transmit, I get the power meter to kick up and a little bounce on the SWR meter, but that is it. I tried an old Micronda (RS) Power/mod/Swr meter and get the same result, cal position adjust knob does nothing.
  I have been transmitting fine, made contacts at 1500 miles OK, I have 50 ohm LMR 400 coax.
Two separate meters that will not move in Cal position??? That has me stumped. The Modulation meter operates fine in Mod position however. Any thoughts guys ?

Dick
KA1VEI
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K8AXW
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Posts: 3961




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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 08:16:51 PM »

Are you using the CW mode with key down to set the CAL point on the SWR meter?  Can't imagine the same problem with two meters.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 04:04:20 AM »

Both of those SWR meters are fine for measuring the SWR of HF and CB sets, but they fail miserably on the higher frequencies.  You simply can not get them to work no matter what you do, and if you do, the results they show frequently aren't correct.

If your antenna system is working--and from what you describe, it is--then don't worry about the SWR.  You would need a more expensive SWR meter or an antenna analyser to get any sort of useable results.
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W1REJ
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 07:11:44 AM »

Good morning guys, to answer the first question, I am not using CW mode, I am using SSB, I tried 160 M, 80M, 40 M, same results. I was holding the PTT control down. In the old days when I used a CB on the road, the RS meter worked fine. The antenna is a 160M-2 M windham OCF (265 feet). I agree guys, very unlikely that TWO meters would have the same problem, this points to something else. I even swapped out the coax from the Xceiver, same results.  Thank you for you help guys,

Dick
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G3RZP
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 07:17:08 AM »

You need to do it on CW, with the key closed. On SSB, there's no output without an input signal, like a steady audio tone.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 08:11:29 AM »

Hi Dick,

SSB must be modulated before any RF power comes out the other end. 

While you can indeed read the RF while shouting or whistling into the mic in SSB mode, it is not a good way to measure the RF output or SWR as the amount of RF power will be constantly changing as per the modulation signal, and also because it will be impossible to get a Peak Reading from those kind of meters. 

Use CW mode and insert a key in the key jack in order to be able to key the rig, or a plug with the rear cover removed such that you can short the two contacts. 

Or -- AM mode will show you the Carrier, but be advised that in AM mode you cannot see the full output power of the rig (typically 100W) simply because in AM mode the Carrier is only part of the RF output power, modulating the mic creates the sidebands where the rest of the power will be. 

Rigs that feature RTTY, FSK modes can be used in those modes to measure output power, often without hooking up anything such as a code key. 

Don't listen to those knocking your meters, the rule of thumb with any SWR/Power meter that has the CAL or SET point that is adjusted first using a knob is that if you can adjust the SET point, the meter will work on that frequency well enough.  At one time this was a constantly repeated mantra in ARRL publications, but for some reason, many did not get the memo. 


73
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W5FYI
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 08:39:07 AM »

I have to agree,--in SSB mode, merely pressing the PTT will not generate any RF, thus no SWR indication.  Get a plug for the key jack, switch to CW mode, and short the key contacts. Switch to FWD on your SWR meter and adjust the pot to its CAL position. Switch it to REF mode and then read the SWR. Simple! GL.
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W1REJ
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 08:41:35 AM »

Ahhhh, now the light has come ON! As I read your responses, especially KE3WD, I was thinking that I could use my old HP 200CD to send a continuous audio tone at say 5 KHz freq. and audio level from a speaker with my PTT closed on SSB, but using CW is what I will do.
  Thanks again to KE3WD and G3RZP, my sanity has been restored and that is not easy at 74! LOL

73's
Dick
KA1VEI
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W1REJ
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 11:46:04 AM »

Still not working with CW mode !!! I shorted the gnd on the 3.5MM phone plug to the dash, or dot (no difference with either one), all I get is either a series of dots or dashes and the SWR meter pulses up and down with each dash or dot. The pS drops back also I noticed, 13.8 drops to 8 on the transceiver. I thought I would get a continuous tone with either the tip of the 2nd contact shorted to gnd, but all I get is a series of dots or dashes. What am I missing here ?
Thank you in advance guys,
Dick
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K1WJ
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Posts: 460




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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 12:05:09 PM »

Go to CW mode & key the mic, then set up cal on mark, then go to swr & read it.
I think that is all there is too it. You should be able to get swr in CW,FM or AM mode NOT SSB.
Should try on lower power until you know what swr is. Make sure swr scale is correct for power level selected - try low power 1st.
73 K1WJ David
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 02:00:31 PM »

Or, read the fine manual on how to turn off the keyer and use a straight key, then try shorting the right two pins on the plug, as described for wiring a straight key in the manual. 


73
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1073




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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 03:07:53 PM »

Single Sideband can not (should not) be used for measuring VSWR. SSB has what is called suppressed Carrier, there is no signal present (minimal output) unless the Carrier is modulated. The use of AM, FM or CW should be used. With the transmitter set in any of the three modes AM, FM or CW (CW preferred). Set the meter to the appropriate scale for the power output of your transmitter.  Turn the power control on the SWR bridge to minimum. With the SWR bridge in the forward position. Key the transmitter, then adjust the power control on the SWR bridge to full scale (maximum reading). Switch to reflective position to read VSWR. It should read better then 2 to 1 for good antenna matching. Even though the power out on AM is less then on CW you should still be able to set the power meter to full scale if the SWR bridge is set to the transmitters output.

Hope this helps,

73s

K2OWK
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AE5QB
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Posts: 270




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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 05:23:11 PM »

The series of dits and dahs is because you have your keyer turned on.  You must turn off the keyer.

Press the "func" key once and then turn the select knob until you get to menu "j".  The menu select keys should read from left to right "SPOT"  "BK" "KYR".  Make sure there is no ">" next to the "KYR" item.  If there is, press the "C" button until it goes out.  Then make sure there is a ">" next to the "BK" item.  If there isn't one there, press the "B" button until it comes on.

Now press either the PTT button on the mic or attach a straight key and key down.  You should get a side-tone and an RF indication on your meter.

Good luck.
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W1REJ
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 07:43:03 PM »

I finally got some results with the Power Meter and the SWR meter. I was able to get readings on both AM and FM. Set points could be set Ok and the SWR was less than 1.3. I want to thank all you guys for some great TS assistance, very much appreciated.
73's to all,
Dick
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 12:02:26 PM »

An SWR meter is calibrated by adjusting the needle to the 'set' or 'cal' mark in forward power then reading the SWR by switching to 'SWR' setting for the reading (or however it's labeled on your meter).  The requirement is a -constant- level power going through that meter that's -strong- enough for that meter to read.  Can 't do that with SSB because there is no power with out speak input, and how are you going to keep that constant?  (Yes, it can be done but not by just using your voice.)
I would suspect that, for whatever reason, there isn't enough power getting through that meter for the thing to be adjusted correctly.  I don't know what the minimum power level for your meter is, or why you may not be getting enough from your transmitter.
 - 'Doc
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