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Reviews Categories | SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads | Elecraft W2 Wattmeter Help

Reviews Summary for Elecraft W2 Wattmeter
Elecraft W2 Wattmeter Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $$229.95 Kit $289.95 Assembled
Description: Power & SWR LED bar graphs with peak/hold
Four power ranges with auto/manual selection
Up to 2 remote sensors with selection switch
Compact size: 1.5x6x4.5 (HWD)
1-200 W sensor for 144-450 MHz
0.1-200 W & 1-2000 W sensors for 1-54 MHz
Remote control/measurement via RS232
Overrange alarm output & amp keying control
Versatile Auto-ranging Power/SWR Meter
The Elecraft W2 wattmeter provides fast
LED bar graphs to keep track of
transmitter and amplifier performance. With four power
ranges (2/20/200/2000 W), the W2 can satisfy the needs
of both QRO and QRP operators.
Sensors optimized for
144-450 MHz and HF-6 m are available
The sensors use standard CAT5
shielded or unshielded cables.
The W2s built-in RS232 port allows you to use a
computer to read both power and SWR with higher
accuracy, as well as to set and check alarms, turn the
LEDs off, and other operations. You can use the
supplied PC software, or write your own remote-control applications.
Factory-Assembled or No-Soldering Kit
Product is in production.
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NI0C Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2017 11:02 Send this review to a friend
Helps protect my amplifier  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The power meter on my little ACOM 1010 amplifier has a resolution of 50 watts, and the W-2 display has a 100 watt resolution on its 2KW scale.

So why did I purchase the W-2? Three reasons: a) On the 200 watt scale, the W-2 has a resolution of 10-30 watts, essential when I wish to use my amplifier on the 30 meter band; b) The W-2 provides a display of SWR, while my amplifier displays reflected power; and c) The W-2 gives added protection for my amplifier-- by routing the keying control line for the amp through the W-2, the keying connection opens up instantly if the SWR exceeds your pre-programmed limit.

Based on the experience of other reviewers concerning LED alignment, I chose to purchase the factory assembled unit. My unit cam with firmware v. 1.0; however I obtained a v. 1.07 from someone on the Elecraft Reflector.

I really like the compactness of the unit, and the fact that it uses a remote directional coupler that I have installed at my amplifier output.
N2ZDB Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2016 17:59 Send this review to a friend
Great Product for my VHF/UHF equipment!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received it over the weekend and had it up and running in less than an hour.

Works great - both the main display unit and the VHF/UHF Coupler are high quality products!

K7FD Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2015 16:57 Send this review to a friend
Lookin' good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ordered by XYL as birthday gift for OM; shipped on Monday, received following Thursday USPS Priority Mail. Very well packed and arrived in good condition.

Initially had problem with AUTO power sense...W2 would not change to next range when power increased. I contacted service by email and received a response immediately by technician Craig. He suggested a reload of firmware which did not correct the problem. Next he asked me to try a different sensor cable, a standard CAT5 cable. Replacing the cable fixed the problem.

W2 performs flawlessly and is just what I hoped it would be. I did take time to straighten the LEDs so a straight line of color would result vs. the up & down look of Billy Bob teeth. Factory built should look factory built...

Big thumbs up for Elecraft service...and a decent wattmeter for the price.

73 John K7FD
N4NRW Rating: 4/5 May 23, 2014 10:39 Send this review to a friend
Same quality kit as the K2 or K3  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK...time for another kit build project. First, this is not a complicated electronics kit. Only mechanical assembly required. Build quality was just as expected and in line with the previous K2 and K3 kits I have assembled. The cons first. I thought the LEDs protrude past the front panel a bit far. The mechanical stability of the LED board leaves a bit to be desired. The kit does not have very good instructions for using the PC application. I had trouble with Windows XP (no flaming remarks about the EOL of this operating system please) locating the USB driver. XP finally located it and installed after 3 attempts. Next problem was establishing communication with the unit. Hardware indicated Comm 4 was the new USB port. I set the W2 PC software for Comm 4 but unit would not connect. A power cycle of the W2 fixed this issue! No mention of the proper power or install sequence that I could find. In operation, the only objection so far is the overshoot displayed in PEP hold mode. Now this may be a slow ALC problem with the K3 and nothing to do with the W2. Output power from the K3 on the first syllable or dot may be overshooting the set point. Still looking into this. Calibration was a bit off against my Bird 43 and a stack of HF power slugs from 50 - 2500Watts. Using the calibration routine in the PC program brought this in line, with the final accuracy within approx. 1% of the Bird (Bird +/- 5% of full scale). Pros, fits and looks like a quality pc of gear. Supplied with a DC power cable terminated in an RCA male so it plugs right in the back of the K3 for dc power. Takes up a small footprint on top of my K3. Can be calibrated to your own known reference. PC program provides more resolution for the power display than just 17 LED steps. Full control over features like PEP hold time, PC bar graph color etc. Price / Features is right where I wanted to be. Would have rated a 5 except for the few CONs listed above.
K3NB Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2014 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Small but big performance  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This thing works. It was fun to put together, works well with Windows 7 AND with MAC OSX and doesn't take up a lot of space on my desk.

One little detail, however. Stray RF. I found when I hooked up a linear (AL-811H) and keyed the mic, my radio software (TS-590) AND the Elecraft program would disconnect. I did this ONCE thinking maybe it was a fluke, the SECOND time I stopped using the linear for a couple days' time while I ordered a handful of 5mm clip-on ferrites through I put one on either end of the USB cable - just to be sure - and fired everything up. No problems since.

I'm still contemplating using some superglue on the LEDs as I tried to make them more or less level before final assembly without great success. Kind of reminds me of the reports I used to type out on a 1950's-era typewriter with the letters all kinds of cockeyed. It's not a big deal, but a minor annoyance. They could have fixed this at the factory with a jig, some glue, and a minimum wage-slave from Goodwill industries but left it for us, the OCD hams to have something to fret about.

A very nice unit, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.
HB9FIX Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2014 01:47 Send this review to a friend
That is what I looked for  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since I don't like to have thick Antenna Cables on my Desk, I searched the web for a SWR/Powermeter with external Sensor.
The W2 from Elecraft does much more. It can handle two sensors! So I bought the W2 with two sensors, one for HF with my IC-7200 and one for 2m/70cm for my IC-7100.
The W2 works very fine and does a good job, especially with the W2.exe Programm for the PC. This tool gives additional functionality to the W2. I can choose PEP or AVG, LEDs on and off, PEAK on and off. Short, I like the W2 very much.

K6USN Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2014 21:34 Send this review to a friend
Just What I Was Looking For  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I use an Elecraft K3 for my travel and portable ham radio operations. I carry my station in a Pelican travel case and space and weight are limited.
I wanted a quality SWR/Wattmeter in a small package that interfaced well with the K3.
I find the W2 Wattmeter meets all my requirements and the accuracy measured against my Coaxial Dynamics watt meter is spot on.

The LED lights are easy to read and I do not find them too bright as some earlier reviewers had said. I like the auto ranging feature so that when I go from 100 watts of CW/SSB to 25 watts on PSK 31 I don't have to change the power settings.

This meter is not inexpensive, but meets my needs exactly and I plan to take it with me everywhere in the US and overseas.

K3NB Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2014 15:04 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised and then some  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got my unit about a month ago. Assembly, after having built the KX3 was EZPZ and fun. Lining up the little LEDs is especially fun - five words for Elecraft: super glue or hot glue.

So I got the unit together, took much less time than I'd thought except for scraping off the paint (someone forgot the tape) and got the software installed (thank you Elecraft engineers for realizing not everyone uses Microsoft OS) and the software works equally well on Windows 7 as it does Mac OS X Mavericks.

One thing. Maybe just me.

I'm running a TS-590S into an Ameritron AL-811H, AT2K then through the W2 Wattmeter. After patching everything together, when I keyed the mic, my Kenwood radio program and the W2 program would disconnect. This only happened twice, as I thought the first time was a fluke, some random event..

EVERYTHING goes to common ground from PS, to Radio, to AMP, to AT. Oddly enough, neither the W2 nor the RF Directional Coupler device are grounded. I put a 5mm ferrite choke on the feed line from the W2 to the USB port into my iMAC. Problem solved.

Nowhere in the manual can I find reference to ground except for the construction pages. I'm thinking I might run a ground from the coupler and remove the choke, once, and see what happens when I key the mic.

Meanwhile, this works, and works well. SWRs and reflected power closely match what I'm reading with an AA-54. Much higher readings on this meter than the meter on the AT2K.

I'd thought about a simple needle meter, MFJ, Palstar, others, but trying to read peaks through the hysteresis in the meters on the AT2K are what I got this unit to avoid.

I like it, it's a nice addition to my "shack."


KE6EE Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2013 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Improves tunings  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This wattmeter makes tuning my multiband antennas for minimum SWR much easier than using the excellent cross-needle meter on my high-quality wide-range tuner. The W2 display LEDs are quite brilliant and respond very clearly and definitely to subtle tuning variations. In contrast the movement of the needles is much more subtle and requires more deliberate attention. Yes the cross-needle meter is well-illuminated and my eyesight is excellent.

Assembly is easy despite having to scrape some paint and spend some time aligning the rows of LEDs.
AD9DX Rating: 4/5 May 20, 2013 19:36 Send this review to a friend
A few tweaks could make this an easy 5  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a fairly easy build. It took me about 90 min, most of which were spent scraping paint off the inside. The paint surface is very tough, I wish I had used a dremmel tool to remove it. I can't believe that it would add too much cost to actually mask off the inside. The other issue is the absolutely terrible DC power cable provided. It needs to be longer than 10". Here again pennies more to make it way better. I used an extra I had around to reach my supply. The only other beef I have is the LEDs needed a lot of alignment to look good. They were way out of alignment out of the box.

Once those "problems" were resolved the Watt meter is really nice and a good value compared to the LP-100 or others. The meter with properly aligned diodes looks really good. The brightness is adjustable, but the lowest 25% is more than adequate. I may in the future put a resistor in the circuit to make it a bit dimmer. The free program makes this unit emensly more useful and is easy to use. I like that you can change the sample rate.

Accuracy is very good and on par with my other calibrated meter.

Overall it is a 5 once the little issues are resolved.
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