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


Reviews Summary for Elecraft W2 Wattmeter
Elecraft W2 Wattmeter Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.5/5 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.
More info: http://www.elecraft.com/
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NU4J Rating: 5/5 May 24, 2010 11:28 Send this review to a friend
Small but Bright  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the factory assembled unit. It's just a good solid SWR/POWER meter and not that expensive for what you get.

There may be a few watts play between led segments at the higher range, I don,t know that for sure but if you must have the most accurate meter out there that measures down to that one accurate watt.. good luck.
 
KC2NIN Rating: 4/5 May 21, 2010 14:19 Send this review to a friend
I like it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Works as advertised, in my situation the remote length is 50 feet away and the accuracy is a little off, but not terrible. The convienience is worth the price, software also easy to install and works fine
 
WU8P Rating: 2/5 Feb 21, 2010 04:32 Send this review to a friend
Not Happy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This was my first purchase from Elecraft. Sorry to say it wasn't very good. The W2 was D.O.A.
The worst part was trying to convince Elecraft is was bad from the factory. Also the person I talked with didn't even understand the product. He said he would send a replacement IC to plug in the socket. I asked what socket? All components are board mounted and coated , sealed. No sockets. A new board was finally shipped. So after 5 weeks I had a working W2. I didn't like the way it preformed so I sold it and purchased my old standby Autek Research WM-1.
I guess I expected a lot more from Elecraft after reading the comments for years about the other gear they produce.
The W2 is priced way to high for what you get.
 
K9YEQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2010 06:37 Send this review to a friend
Updated software makes for a keeper  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I withheld my review knowing that once I purchased the kit there would be firm/software updates and would reserve judgment until the product was "mature". Elecraft staff are very pleasant and responsive to customer concerns and early release issues have been quickly corrected.

I built the 2KW unit. The device allows updating and has computer software to closely monitor detailed forward and reflected power levels while the LEDs give a quick view of transmission characteristics. Alignment via utility has also improved. When I first received my unit there was an issue with instability when changing from the factory presets. This has been corrected by updates.

What I really like about the unit, besides the PC software, is the ability to interrupt the amplifier with the device in the event of high SWR. I can leave the transceiver on and adjust settings until the SWR is brought down. A great tool to protect against the loss of my amp. My Solid State amplifiers have built in fault circuitry but I would rather have the fault detected quickly by the W2 before the Amp. It does this for me when I inadvertently forget to change antenna or my frequency is in the wrong part of the band and the SWR is high.

The build for this unit was quick and easy. I have built plenty of equipment in the past so no big deal. The instructions are clear enough and the builders Elecraft reflector is a place to ask and answer questions... or pick up the phone and get help.

Criticism of accuracy in most cases is of little value based on non-lab comparisons. I find the meter to be right on. This device is a keeper!
 
K6CTA Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2010 21:52 Send this review to a friend
Form follows Function  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased a W2 in kit form. From opening the box to putting the W2 in-line took about 45 minutes. The kit goes together very easily.....there were no assembly issues. I added the power-on mod, which involves soldering 1 short jumper. If you do not put that mod in, there is no soldering required.

The unit is compact and well designed. It has a nice clean look to it. The led bar graphs allow for a very quick glance to see what is going on. I find this useful when operating. It is very easy to glance at the display to get an indication of output power and swr.

The firmware utility is simple to use, as is the interface for the computer if you wish to have an on-screen display.

I'm pleased with the W2......it does what it was designed to do very well......
 
HB9ANM Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2010 09:26 Send this review to a friend
Very nice SWR/wattmeter  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The W2 does exactly what it is supposed to do. And it does it pretty well. Assembly went smoothly. The problem IMHO is that it was developed by people who know a thing or two about power measurement, accuracy, resolution, precision and the like. For people who may not always be familiar with such matters... or are just accustomed to needle meters.
With the W2 Utility and/or the W2 PC program, it is quite easy (and for some people maybe comforting) to adjust the W2 to match the 5+% error of your BIRD which is by no means supposed to be a standard (even if recently calibrated), hi...
73 Richard - HB9ANM
 
NZ0T Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2009 17:22 Send this review to a friend
Another great Elecraft product  Time owned: months
I bought the kit and it went together easily and quickly. I don't have a Bird meter but the W2 agrees for the most part with 3 other meters I have and I doubt all 3 are wrong. I like the LED readout and the first couple of versions of the computer display software are excellent. I had 2 glitches. 1. The supplied sensor to meter cable developed an intermittent and 2. I had some trouble with the software. Why do I rate it a 5 even after a couple of problems? In both cases Elecraft responded very quickly to my questions - one of them on a Sunday - and both problems were resolved very quickly. I doubt very much that any other ham manufacturer would have done so. Great company and great products.
 
N0GZ Rating: 2/5 Dec 11, 2009 23:38 Send this review to a friend
First disapointing Elecraft product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this because I wanted an economically priced meter with dual remote sensors to indicate power to/from my linear amplifier and to provide over-SWR protection. The W-2 does do these things, just barely.

Because of the 20 LED display, do not expect great resolution. This long all-green RF power light bar is labeled but hard to interpret at a glance. I replaced the middle "10" LED with a red one which improved it somewhat. The SWR light bar is three color, perfect. The LED brightness is adjustable from very bright to way too bright.

The power accuracy is poor with both the low and high power directional couplers. Compared to my Bird and other meters, it reads 10-15% low. The SWR accuracy is ok. The peak reading hold time is too short to be useful. The auto-ranging feature, which is obviously designed to improve resolution, works but is confusing as it tends to quickly jump up and down a lot, especially with SSB. Alternatively, if you set it to a fixed higher range the lower power resolution suffers.

The W-2 comes as a semi-kit (no soldering), the assembly was quick and easy. It's compact, solid,and looks good. The manual is up to the usual excellent Elecraft standard.

I own several other Elecraft products, all outstanding. Unfortunately, this was the first big disappointment.
 
K4VUD Rating: 4/5 Nov 30, 2009 01:54 Send this review to a friend
Very good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a review of the new W-2 Elecraft wattmeter IN KIT FORM. Mine was purchased with two HIGH power Directional Couplers. The second coupler costs $100usd.

Assembly: Assembly is not for those with problems with small screws and tiny lock washers. Fortunately, those items are all you have to deal with in assembly, but they are small! In the lower center of the main board, one must align and insert a screw through a loose spacer into the board. If the spacer slips, start over. You could, I guess, put a small dab of RTV to hold the spacer in place, but be sure to wait for the RTV to dry.
The case is all that is to be assembled, and it is in 5 pieces. Screw hole mis-alignment was a medium problem for 2 screws, requiring lots of force to get the holes to line up. Removing paint from the inner holes to allow electrical continuity is fastest done with a grinder because this paint is really tough (a good point!).

Instructions: The 5 pages of instructions are clear and well photographed. You must look very carefully at the "2D" fastners to see a wider shoulder on one side--not well indicated in the instructions. My kit had an errata sheet with 5 changes. You are advised not to open the fully assembled Directional Couplers, and Elecraft has thoughtfully inserted a photo of the insides of the Couplers so you will be less likely to open them.

Supplied Parts: Included are a 1 meter red/black power cord with the coaxial power plug installed. There are no markings anywhere to indicate the polarity of the plug/socket--bad news if you are in the field with no factory wired plug. (The polarity should be written on the rear panel.) A five foot flat cable is supplied for each Directional Coupler to connect to the main unit, and telephone type plugs are factory-installed on both ends. One RCA/phono plug is supplied loose (that fits the 12VDC power out jack on the K3) and has to be soldered onto the power cord if desired. Also, a nice serial cable is provided with pre-installed plugs--to fit the rear of the main unit and a 9-pin computer plug on the other end.

Kit building summary: The screws are tiny. If you can handle them, the kit assembly is easy--2 hrs for the clumsy; 1 hr for everyone else.

Features: Dual Directional Couplers for two rigs are available, the Couplers are separate from the main unit to keep thick coax from pulling unit off the table, everything has a plug and socket (no dangling wires permanently connected), remote usage, over-SWR lock out, simple but adequate controls, and LEDs to indicate everything. It can be up-graded via downloads from Elecraft.

Overall: I had to push too hard to align the holes to give it a "great" rating, but assembled, it likely would be great.

I do not pretend to measure its accuracy, but it does what I want--indicates output power. See Elecraft notices for other features and details.
de K4VUD Charles
 
K2NF Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2009 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Built and installed in 45 minutes !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Received the kit version today with the 1.8-54 Mhz 2kw sensor. Assembly takes about 45 minutes. Plug the led display circuit board into the main board and then build the case around that assembly. Uses right angle connector blocks and about 30 4-40 screws. Make sure you read the errata sheet before building otherwise you will have problems with the screw type counts. When constructing I had a problem with alignment of the top and bottom case parts where the relay phono jacks come out of the back of the case. Appeared to be due to the jack assembly being about 3/16 inch off from where it should have been on the main circuit board. Went together ok but both jacks are off center from the case cutouts. Will follow up with Elecraft to see if it can be resolved. Will note that they did a very good job of aligning the 40 LEDs on the display circuit board- very little " tweaking " if any is required to get them into straight lines. As assembled, the unit worked without issue the first time 12V power and TX was applied. The LEDS are very bright but they can be toned down with the brightness pot. Auto range idles on the 20W setting and then jumps to 200W when barefoot power is applied. LEDs respond rapidly to power and SWR peaks. Have not cranked up the linear to see how it plays on higher power nor did I test the high SWR relay cut-out feature. Peak hold is kind of brief in that it illuminates the peak power led for about 1 second so you need to pay attention if you want to see the peak. I dont have a Bird or other " reference grade " wattmeter, but compared to my various MFJ meters and Autek WM-1 the W2 seems to be reading about 80w out when all of the others show 100w for keydown CW when running barefoot. SWR readings seemed to be in line with the other meters. I would be interested in other builders observations on accuracy. Overall a very simple build and very easy and quick deployment. I actually forgot how small it was - just 6 inches across and a little over an inch high. Overall a good accessory that allows a quick (and entertaining) visual check on PO and SWR without having to resolve a meter needle.
 
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