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

Reviews Summary for Bird 43
Bird 43 Reviews: 46 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $265.00
Description: RF power meter
Product is in production.
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<— Page 2 of 5 —>

WX1F Rating: 1/5 Jun 18, 2009 08:30 Send this review to a friend
Overrated  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Compared to other rf metering equipment I've owned, the Bird is the most over-priced and over-rated dinosaur on the market. For the price of just a bird slug, I bought two used rf meters that work with "Bird accuracy" after calibration. Never ceases to amaze me how the price of these huge ugly bench space hogs have held our wallets hostage. And the guilty party's are the hamfest buyers who got one for cheap and the fools that will pay through the nose for them...just to be able to say "they own a Bird". Now...the new overpriced replacement Bird parts are made in China and are crappy as well as still expensive!!
N1JIN Rating: 0/5 Oct 16, 2008 16:55 Send this review to a friend
Bird parts now made in China  Time owned: more than 12 months
Recently I had need to replace the meter in my trusty old Bird 43 which I have owned for 15 years. My dealer told me that Bird has moved production to china.

The meter movement was considerably lighter and poorly finished Meter face silk screening was blurred so that fine print was barely readable the (r) after the THRULINE was simply a black dot. The replacement meter was a $25 meter with a $100 pricetag.

In the future for new equipment I will be purchasing Coaxial Dynamics for slugs and new meters.

This is unfortunate in that a once great company in the effort to save a couple of bucks has sacrificed the quality which made paying the premium price worthwhile - the quality is no longer there so I will be purchasing only Coaxial Dynamics products in the future as they are both made in the USA and are roughly 2/3 the price of the Bird product.

HB9DRX Rating: 5/5 Jul 31, 2008 13:17 Send this review to a friend
Still a Winner!  Time owned: more than 12 months
During my professional life as an RF-Engineer and during the past 30+ years as a HAM I have been using all kinds of Wattmeters. The BIRD 43 was the only one that always did produce repeatable & reliable results! The calibrated bandslugs are unbeatable, very user friendly and build to last a lifetime...My several BIRD's are a vital part of my Shack, hopefully for the next 30+ years..!
-> I can only strongly recommend it!

Nick / HB9DRX
K6AER Rating: 5/5 Jun 22, 2008 20:28 Send this review to a friend
Clasic Wattmeter  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own several Bird watt meters and they have all served me well over the last 35 years. It is a simple meter concept with each slug being calibrated for 50 uA output at full meter reading no mater what the wattage slug and frequency.

Lack of usage will cause the contacts to become tarnished but a gentle cleaning with a pencil eraser will keep the meter operating properly.

The contacts are directly connected to meter movement. A 9 volt battery and an 180,000 ohm resistor set the meter needle to the full meter position.

Calibration is typically 5% full scale. The meter is very rugged and the slugs will last a lifetime if they are not abused.

Most hams that have problems with the meters just need to do some preventive maintenance to the contacts for their meter to last a lifetime.
W4HH Rating: 2/5 Jun 22, 2008 14:29 Send this review to a friend
Not happy with my Bird 43  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my Bird 43 along with three slugs in the mid-1990's. I used it only occasionally and that may be the problem -- I can't make my bird 43 work reliably.

The Bird 43 uses slugs that are inserted into the front of the meter; different slugs for different frequency and power ranges. The slug has a small contact on it that must make contact with a tiny spring-loaded "finger" inside the meter case. The meter comes with a dummy slug that is supposed to be inserted when the meter is not in use.

I use mine so infrequently that something is happening to the finger contact with the slug. Most of the time, my Bird 43 does not work. To make it work, I have to open it, fiddle around with the tension on the contact, put it back together, hope it works, if not, open it, fiddle around, close it up, try again.

I finally put my Bird 43 on the shelf and purchased a Daiwa cross-needle meter -- a real waste of a fine piece of equipment but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
K0ZN Rating: 3/5 Mar 29, 2008 19:45 Send this review to a friend
Decent product, but EXPENSIVE to repair!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a Bird 43 for years, it has been generally good, but (even when treated with great care during use) it has become unreliable with age. I have sent it back to Bird 3 times in the last 5 years. If I was rating the attitude of their service dept. people towards customers, I would give it a "2". Their repair charges are SKY HIGH. For such a simple instrument, the cost of repair borders on uneconomical. Ditto the elements. A Bird 43 is a generally a good product, but be assured, if it needs service it will be VERY expensive relative to the price of the unit. Unless you really need a lab quality meter for some reason, the average ham for station monitoring is better off with a good quality wide band SWR/Watt meter. Array Solutions and others make equal or better products that don't require slugs. Really, the "slug thing" is approaching obsolete. Bottomline: a Bird 43 is a good product, but it is not a "legendary" product as some would have you believe. Be sure to carefully look at competitive products before you purchase a Bird product; you will find it instructive.
W9DZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2006 06:49 Send this review to a friend
I'm keeping mine!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my 43 for over 10 years and have added new elements from time to time. It has always worked great. I did install the peak reading kit which is a nice addition although it does tend to eat batteries. The initial cost is high but this is one meter that will last a lifetime.
KC9GUZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2006 22:03 Send this review to a friend
Great!!  Time owned: months
I had a chance to use one that belonged to a tech i know and i was sold!! I dont have one yet, but im writing in response to using his.. Funny thing is, CBers hate these meters. They dont show the swing like a Dosy or something else cheap will. But oh well, for general ham use they ROCK! If i can ill find a good used one someday and be settled and satisfied!!
W6QE Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2005 15:31 Send this review to a friend
The Best there is!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned several Bird 43 wattmeters through the years and won't use anything else. I have 2 Model 43 wattmeters currently in line. One is on the output of my Amplifier with a 2500C slug and the peak reading kit. The other is on the output of my 2m/70cm radio with a 50 watt slug. When you need a measurement, and want it to be correct, use a Bird 43. I've added a few miscellaneous slugs for weird things but for the most part the "permanently in-line" configuration will not change.
Save yourself a lot of grief and make the investment in a Bird 43.
dit dit
G8JNF Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2005 11:46 Send this review to a friend
Simply the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a number of SWR and WATTMETERS in the past, but NONE have ever lived up to the performance and operation of the Bird 43. I now own two of them, one for HF and the other for 144/433MHz. I have used them at QRP levels and at 400W with no prblems at all, they are just made for the job. I'm sure if you buy one you won't be disappointed.

73's Duncan
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