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Reviews Categories | SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads | Bird 43 Help


Reviews Summary for Bird 43
Bird 43 Reviews: 51 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $265.00
Description: RF power meter
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.bird-electronic.com/
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W5KVV Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2017 17:02 Send this review to a friend
rugged & reliable   Time owned: more than 12 months
Both mine are 80's era Motorola units. They are just as accurate as they were when new. Verified with my freshly calibrated HP8935 SM. Is that scientific? Nope. But it's close enough for Amateur use. Last time I checked this was an Amateur site.

These meters were the industry standard for LMR, however I think the wideband Telewave units are starting to overtake them in that arena.
 
KB1GMX Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2015 15:53 Send this review to a friend
Mine is now 43years old and still going  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine in the early 70s for land mobile work.
lived in the truck and van and carried to every transmitter.

Just a while ago I had the meter and three old slugs checked (calibration) and they were 100%
up to spec.

A very useful and durable tool and good with the right slug for any band you can imagine.

Earns a 5 for durability, product lifetime, and ongoing support. I suggest it for anyone needing to read power and SWR.
 
K9ILL Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2015 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Best I ever owned  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For years Ive run a Dosy TC-4002 psw, I know, I know, Dosy meters are CB radio junk but at least their not MFJ's.... lol.
Last week I bought a pristene Bird 43 and a 1000 watt slug. My radio is a 100 watt Kenwood TS 850s into a 600 watt Ameritron 811.

The Dosy meter showed my 100 watt ts-850, dead keying 140 watts. The Bird showed 105 watts

Dosy showed my 600 watt Ameritron keying 470 watts.
Bird showed dead on, 600 watts.

I also checked my 200 watt RCI ranger 2970n2 with the Dosy and the Bird.

Dosy showed 240 watts PEP. Bird showed dead on 200.
I like the Bird because its simple, down to earth and accurate.
 
W8AAZ Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2015 07:37 Send this review to a friend
For me does what it should.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can't comment on current production as mine is probably 20 years old. Bought it new. Then new and used slugs as needed. It is not a ham meter. Thousands of commercial, military and aerospace users have them, for probably 50 years. As a simple portable, passive device, it more than meets my expectations. It is of course, not a mega-bucks lab instrument that you could not afford, if you must know whether your radio is putting out 50, or 50.1 Watts. Seeing some posters comparing it to something that costs a mint and comes up short, is ridiculous. I have a microwave power meter. I could use that to see if the HT is putting out 5.08 Watts exactly, hardly portable and useless for inline checks. If they were junk, they would have been off the market decades ago, as hams are a pretty small portion of their market. Don't tell me yours is junk if it is some hamfest special with a bunch of dropped-on-concrete slugs. Nothing used is guaranteed.
 
K9ILL Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2015 05:58 Send this review to a friend
Best I ever owned  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For years Ive run a Dosy TC-4002 psw, I know, I know, Dosy meters are CB radio junk but at least their not MFJ's.... lol.
Last week I bought a pristene Bird 43 and a 1000 watt slug. My radio is a 100 watt Kenwood TS 850s into a 600 watt Ameritron 811.

The Dosy meter showed my 100 watt ts-850, dead keying 140 watts. The Bird showed 105 watts

Dosy showed my 600 watt Ameritron keying 470 watts.
Bird showed dead on, 600 watts.

I also checked my 200 watt RCI ranger 2970n2 with the Dosy and the Bird.

Dosy showed 240 watts PEP. Bird showed dead on 200.
I like the Bird because its simple, down to earth and accurate.
 
RFEXPERT Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2014 22:59 Send this review to a friend
The Best Standard  Time owned: more than 12 months
Where do I begin. Well I own about 5 Bird 43's, 4410A and 4431. I was in paradise being able to measure power on all ham bands. Then all my friends started telling me about and making me jealous about all the new digital meters. The LP100A, PowerMaster, Alpha and the Meterbuilder meters.

Well I own all these meters now. So whats the conclusion? All the digital meters I hate and dont trust. Why dont I trust them? Well they accurate sure enough on CW. They do what they do well enough, however they have their problems

1. All of them suffer from RFI problems on the power supply.
2. All are Jerky and jump all over the place as they measure power. Even on PEP
3. All of them cant handle a tuning up pulser properly. Or a string of CW dits.
4. All of them need a power pack(messy)
5. Features overkill that you dont need when just operating. If you a lab its a different matter.

Now after fiddling around with all these all singing and dancing meters, and being very disappointed about how they work, I pulled out my Bird 43 with PEP adapter.

I could pulse tune my amp. The PEP hang time was perfect. It detected any little amp glitch. I can squeeze every watt out of my amp under pulse tune and the analogue needle followed my modulation in sync. A perfect wattmeter station monitor. I was in heaven, I did not have to think about what the meter was reading. It was absolute and 100% correct. The Bird 43 just works and works without all the hyped up BS features.

Another trick to prove how good the Bird. Try running a string of dits for a long time at 40 wpm CW. Adjust the power up and down and watch how your fantastic digital meter misses all these tiny power adjustments. Same goes with a tuning pulser, its useless on a digital meter.


Now people whine about accuracy, slugs and about this and that. Its a one time investment and once you have invested there is no going back or further investment. Who really cares if its 10%,8% or 7%, its accurate and close enough. You wont get this accuracy on SSB modulation voice peaks on any of the digital meters. On The Bird43 with peak adapter because of meters ballistics its more accurate than all these digital wonder meters. If I wanted a NIST accurate meter I would buy a Agilent, Boonton or Rohde wattmeter. If the FCC comes around for a station inspection they will use a Bird 43, say no more!

All I need a wattmeter for is tuning the Amp, SWR and ensuring I am legal. The Bird 43 does all this 100% perfectly and in a 100% reliable manner.
Its also an intuitive station monitor whose needle habits you learn. If the Needle wiggle is bit down check the settings. The digital meters autorange and change as you go long from day to day. You never sure what you are reading without pushing buttons and menus all day.

Dont make the mistake I did wasting 8 months of my life fiddling with digital meters. Just use a Bird 43 and you will be OK till you 6ft under!

I am happy to welcome back my old faithful friend the Bird 43. Dont be a fool and remove a Bird 43 off your operating desk. It will be the biggest mistake you make. Digital meters have their place however they are no match for convenience, accuracy and simplicity of a Bird 43.
I am so glad I re-dsicovered by Bird 43. All my digital wattmeters have gone back in their boxes and I will pull them out when I need a job as wattmeter feature tester. Life is just too short for playing around with meters that have millions of features, are not very good at reading peak power or have all sorts of other issues.

My advice is not to get rid of your Bird meter to replace it with a digital meter. The Bird 43 will match it and then some! The proverb "A Bird 43 in the hand is worth 2 in the bush" is absolutely right.
 
W1BG Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2014 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Rugged & Reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
Over the 40+ years I spent in and out of the 2-way servicing business, it never mattered what shop I worked for or whether they were an independent, or an MSS, or private industry supporting their own commercial systems - in every shop and without exception THE STANDARD wattmeter was (and likely still is today) the Bird 43 (or one of its newer siblings). Bouncing around in service vans, in & out of the trunks of emergency vehicles, on board locomotives & frequently taken to ham club "tune-in/tune-up" weekend get togethers back in the early days of 2 meter FM, it was then and still is the most dependable piece of test equipment I own. No, it was not specifically "designed" for ham radio use; it was designed for *ALL* conceivable uses (with the proper slug), whether you were checking the power or SWR on an 800 Mhz mobile or a 2 Ghz microwave relay station, or a CB radio or a Ham rig. At one time (perhaps still today) an FCC field engineer would show up (unannounced) at someone's door, with his trusty Bird-43 in hand, to check for alleged over-power operation of a CB transmitter - and whatever the Bird-43 said is what got written into his report. Say what you wish, disparage them all you want, but I plan on carrying mine to my grave.
 
EA4AZZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 12, 2013 12:33 Send this review to a friend
great meter  Time owned: more than 12 months
works great. A light years from Daiwa, Revex etc etc
 
WA0ZZG Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2013 15:54 Send this review to a friend
Industry Standard  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Model 43 has been around since the 1950's, and is still considered an industry standard. It was never intended for Amateur Radio use. It is built for daily use in a service van. Clean the contact on the slug and case if yours sits around. Accuracy is NOT the priority here. Repeatability is. A service tech knows how their 43 reads and what to expect. It IS a good field service tool.
The high power elements in the 10KW,20KW and 50KW range are not intended for the 43. They are used in ridged line sections that get bolted to the output of high power transmitters. Bird will calibrate them on your transmitter's operating frequency. I had a FCC inspector show up for an inspection of the FM radio station I was the Chief Engineer of. When it came time to inspect the transmitter, he noticed my Bird wattmeter and commented that was all he had to see. The inspection was done.
The elements can get knocked out of calibration if they get dropped. I suspect that's when they show up on ebay. Never buy a used Bird element without a warranty then closely check it for holes and accuracy.
 
M0SRW Rating: 2/5 Jul 15, 2013 04:43 Send this review to a friend
Not as good as WATT is says on the tin  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
BIRD 43 what is all the hype about I got 1 with 7slugs yes the meter is good easy on the eye and easy to use BUT it is about as accurate as using a excavator to crack a egg . I have a brand new FT817 so I set the radio in line with the 43 and a bird dummy load and tried it out 3 different 5w slugs 3 different readings from 3-8w on the full power from the radio ! so are slugs or the meter faulty think ill stick to my Diawa CN620 !
If any one sets there radio up with one of these ordiments need there head checking along with there radio !
 
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