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Reviews Categories | SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads | Alpha 4510 HF Digital Wattmeter Help


Reviews Summary for Alpha 4510 HF Digital Wattmeter
Alpha 4510 HF Digital Wattmeter Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $745
Description: 1.8-30 MHz digital wattmeter that covers from 60mW to 3000 watts. Analog readings for forward, reverse and SWR with 4 digit readings for PEP, RMS and Delivered power.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.rfconcepts.com/
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N4JBK Rating: 3/5 May 17, 2006 19:52 Send this review to a friend
for the $ a little dissappointing  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
almost as soon as I got my 4510 the 4520 came out, I called alpha about trading up and they wanted my meter and $400...whatever. now they want $50 to to a firmware upgrade that should be standard issue from the factory. This certainly isnt the Alpha that made my 77Sx, or the one that we all grew to know, love and respect. A couple of years ago I tried to order a new 99, but due to the fact that one lady was on vacation they couldnt take any orders. I bought a Commander and am oh so glad I did.I fear that alpha is merely riding on the coat tails of what used to be. Sad.
 
W9AC Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2006 18:16 Send this review to a friend
Excellent.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The quality and accuracy of the Alpha 4510 is superb. It blends the best of analog and digital technologies and all the information I need is there at a glance.

The directional coupler is integrated into the control unit so it is not possible to mount the coaxial cabling away from the control head. The benefit is that unlike meters with sensor cabling, the 4510 is not susceptible to RF at high power and maintains its lab-grade accuracy across all power levels.

The analog meter is LED back-lighted with an "ice blue" coloring that is especially easy on the eyes.

I own several commercial-grade wattmeters and this one ranks among the nicest.
 
N4DEK Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2006 12:44 Send this review to a friend
Another Fine Alpha Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just as I went thru many amplifiers until I bought an Alpha I also went thru many wattmeters. Most work ok but the accuracy and consistency leave much to be desired. The 4510 is the answer. No other wattmeter that I have owned even comes close to the quality level that Alpha has put into this meter. The look and feel alone spell quality not to mention how well it operates. If you can stand the price I say go for it. I know you'll be pleased.
 
N6PEQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2005 19:46 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Alpha 4510 wattmeter is built like a tank! Very solid construction, and a nice "heavy" feel. The unit is just beautiful to watch operate. Nice large green digital display. I especially enjoy the brightly lit analog display. The wattmeter is a "no brainer" to use, and works flawlessly. Hats off to Alpha! Thank you!
 
W2MSK Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2004 12:32 Send this review to a friend
Unsurpassed Quality and Service!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This meter is a testament to the quality products and service that Alpha provides their customers. The meter is a finely crafted instrument that not only provides a high level of accuracy but also exhibits the pride of workmanship that is the hallmark of Alpha. Service is a top priority with this company and it extends to not only their multi kilobuck amps but also their lesser priced products. One may take issue with the cost of this meter but if you want to be absolutely certain that you are operating your expensive transceivers and amps at their peak performance and you are protecting your investment, you need go no further than selecting this meter.
 
WW7A Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2004 13:20 Send this review to a friend
The last Watt Meter you will ever need  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Alpha 4510 Power meter is a true Laboratory grade meter. When temperature stabalized the meter is capable of 1 to 2 precent error. The Delivered power setting is a great feature that gives the operator the power that is actually reaching the antenna. It subtracts the reflected power from the forward power to give delivered power. The unit is very rugged and well built. It even surived UPS shipping.

This meter makes the Bird meter playing for second place. It is a great compliment to the Alpha 87A.

The manual is well written and very informative.

The only negitive I can find is the use of serial connectors that must be on com port 1. I think in this day and age a USB cable should have been used since most laptops no longer have serial connections.

Alpha has made a very impressive unit that will give reliable service for a long time. IMHO it is well worth the price if you need reliable accurate measurments of power and SWR
 
WA3JGI Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2004 16:28 Send this review to a friend
make one for vhf  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
well as everyone else its expensive , but makes adjusting swr a simple easy on the fly process for me , i got it rack mounted only whish it do vhf or come out wit a vhf model , meter with digital i like the meter well lit easy to see , its a keeper
 
KY1V Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2004 14:44 Send this review to a friend
The last wattmeter I will ever buy!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I first saw the 4510 at Dayton this year. I was a bit shocked upon learning the price so I asked the guy at the booth about the accuracy of the meter. He said +-5% and I wasn't impressed. For over $1000 I think the accuracy should be +-.1%, but we all know this isn't possible with a wattmeter. The sales guy didn't have much to say about my response and needless to say I didn't buy one. Instead, I bought an RF Applications VFD and saved enough money to cover next years expenses.

I wasn't happy with the bar graph display on the VFD nor was I happy with the fact that both the bar graph and digital display changed in set increments. It wasn't fluid like an old W4 analog meter and I didn't like it. In my opinion, if I am tuning my amplifier and the output changes by 10 watts, I should know it. The VFD didn't adjust smoothly to small changes in power levels.

Last month, I broke down and bought the 4510 and I have not regretted the decision once. It is the finest meter I have ever owned. It can simultaneously provide information about forward power, reflected power or SWR on the analog meter while displaying PEP or delivered power with a large digital display.

It provides all of the information I need at a glance. It is big and the displays for both analog and digital are large and easy to read. It is smart enough to shut itself off when not being used and you can't even ruin it by hooking it up backwards as the meter automatically senses the direction of RF flow!

Besides its awesome features and functionality, it looks fantastic sitting on top of my IC-7800 or Alpha 87A.

I won't waste your time discussing all of the features of this fine piece of equipment as you can read that on Alpha's web site, but I will tell you that I will never have to buy another wattmeter! If you have been a ham as long as I, you probably have spent more than $1100 on watt meters over the years. If you buy this one, it will be the last one you ever purchase!

David ~ KY1V
 
K4IKM Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2004 17:42 Send this review to a friend
A great product!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought S/N 0003 at Dayton this year. This is, without a doubt, the finest RF meter I've ever owned in 45 years of hamming, it beats the pants off every other power/SWR bridge I've used. Super easy to use and well thought out. I really like the standby mode - it powers down and waits for RF to hit it, then it lights up and gives you the data - so I leave it on all the time. The time constants for the digital display and analog meter average out variations but still respond fast enough for manual tuning and such. It's got a slick look and the large meter/LEDs are easy to see across the shack.

Is it worth $1100? Only if you want the best!

Steve...K4IKM...73!
 
K6AER Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2004 23:35 Send this review to a friend
Incredible Lab Grade Instrument  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Lab Grade HF Wattmeter

I bought the 4510 Alpha wattmeter, serial number 0009, at Dayton. First some background; I am a microwave engineer and own a far amount of Hewlett Packard/Agilent test equipment. Having said that, I can attest to the fact that 99% of the watt meters on the market today are at bestÖ wishful thinking. You know the types, each scale reminds you of a contest signal, all are 59 or above. The higher they read for a given wattage the better they make you feel. At least that what most marketing folks think. The Bird 43 and Coaxial Dynamics units are OK but leave much to be desired if you want accurate readings of low to high power SSB HF transmissions. A lab grade HF amateur wattmeter has been left to our imagination until now.

The 4510 is everything you could want in a lab grade HF wattmeter. Frequency is from 1.8 MHz to 30 MHz. Meter wattages are read in 5 dB levels from .3 watts to 3000 watts on the analog scale for FORWARD, REFLECTED and SWR. The digital scale reads in 4-seven segment LEDS the actual wattage for PEP, RMS and DELIVERED (Forward minus Reflected). The wattmeter has AUTO range where it selects the proper wattage scale for the analog meter. You can not over drive the meter for the microprocessor will limit the maximum meter deflection. The watt meter has a RS-232 output so you can display the meter readings on a computer. The computer driver for this program is included in the price. All that is needed is a straight RS-232 cable. The analog meter has a very bright blue/white LEDís lighting the meter face. If you donít use the meter in a 2 minute period the meter goes into the sleep mode and only the ON LED is light. Upon any RF sensing the meter instantly comes to life, very cool.

About the circuitry. The Alpha 4510 has two microprocessors. One for frequency detection, RF sampling and A to D conversion on the RF board. The other for display, calibration and buss functions on the display board. The RF section is a strip line coupler that is compensated from an algorithm in the microprocessor that corrects for frequency, temperature and calibration variables. The wattmeter come with the best manual I have ever found on an amateur piece of equipment. It is in the same class as commercial Agilent/HP test equipment.

It this point you are wondering if the price is worth the $1100. Absolutely, no regrets what so ever. I tested the 4510 watt meter against my Agilent EPM-442 digital wattmeter and my HP8953E spectrum analyzer. In each test, on each band, we used a calibrated dummy load and tested the losses for the tap level and cable losses. Alpha specifies the accuracy to be +/-5% with typical accuracy of around 3%. I found the accuracy to be on average of 2.7 % for the bands tested between 160 and 10 metes. To give you an idea how close this is, on 20 meters the tested wattage for a CW or SSB peak reading was 1513 watts and the 4510 Alpha reading was 1545 watts. This was within the statistical accuracy of 2% as read on a $6000 digital watt meter and a $43,000 spectrum analyzer. Low power readings were just as accurate. Five watts, 100 watts or 2 KW it didnít matter. The wattmeter will detect down to 60 mW. Perfect for calibrating QRP rigs.

Input DC voltage is 12 VDC from a switch mode external power supply that accepts from 100-240 VAC. The coax connections are direction sensing so you cannot connect the transmitter and antenna load to the wrong ports. The coax connectors can be changed from the outside from UHF (supplied) to ďNĒ type. Weight is 9 lbs. So the cast aluminum case will not have the RG-213 moving it around. When the meter is turned off the meter movement has a DC shunt across it so vibration cannot damage the meter movement.

Bottom line is this wattmeter is high accurate, lab grade instrument that not only is the last word on your power output but serves as a bench mark for all other watt meters being produced to become. No more guessing if you amplifier has lost some of its dynamic range, you can see readings down to a watt on the 3000 watt scale. If you are a stickler for accuracy you got to get one of these watt meters.
 
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