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Author Topic: Do I really need a SWR meter anymore?  (Read 1248 times)
N8FNR
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Posts: 304




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« on: March 15, 2019, 12:08:58 PM »

Have a Flex-6400 rig and a KPA500 amp that both display power out and SWR and seem pretty accurate. I am starting to wonder if I still need to keep my LP-100 SWR meter in the shack as it seems kind of redundant. What do you think?

Zack
N8FNR
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DL8OV
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Posts: 1044




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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 01:05:28 PM »

It's a backup, just in case your antenna falls off or your feeder fills with rainwater. I'd leave it in place with the alarms programmed to some sane limits.

Peter DL8OV
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K1VSK
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Posts: 467




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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 02:18:32 PM »

Both your radio and amp will warn you of any problems.

There was a time, decades ago, when an SWR meter was essential. Today, it it superfluous.

An antenna analyzer is of far greater utility, especially if you build, maintain or tune antennas.
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KS2G
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Posts: 1032




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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 05:19:12 AM »

If you use a transceiver's internal antenna tuner, it's useful to have an external meter between the rig and the antenna to see what the "actual" swr is that that the tuner is matching ... or trying to match if it's outside the internal tuner's range.  Wink
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 3333




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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 07:50:05 AM »

Yes an SWR/Power meter is still extremely handy, especially if you operate on multiple bands or multiple antennas.  It aids in tune up/matching; alerts to high impedances, cable or connector damage, shorts, squirrel chewing, water intrusion, antenna falling on the ground or shorting to trees; Gives indication of carrier and modulation; overheating or damaged BalUns or traps; incorrect switchology in tuners, coax switches, amplifiers.

In short, a handy tool for any amateur.
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KA0HCP, ex-KB4QAA Relocated to Ks. April 2019.
K7MEM
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 08:18:33 AM »

I learned how to anything I needed with a simple SWR bridge and Grid Dip meter. Then I bought a used Antenna Analyzer. It was nice, and is handy from time to time, but I went back to the SWR bridge and Grid Dip meter. To each his own, I guess.
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
N5CM
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Posts: 246




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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 11:38:40 AM »

Keep your SWR meter.
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K3UIM
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Posts: 365




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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2019, 03:18:13 PM »

but I went back to the SWR bridge and Grid Dip meter. To each his own, I guess.
<hidden Text>Grandpa, what's a GDO?<End Text>
<Sound of snickers, giggles and guffaws in background from OT's> LOL
Charlie, K3UIM
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Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
K7MEM
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2019, 04:31:40 PM »

but I went back to the SWR bridge and Grid Dip meter. To each his own, I guess.
<hidden Text>Grandpa, what's a GDO?<End Text>
<Sound of snickers, giggles and guffaws in background from OT's> LOL
Charlie, K3UIM


And one of my Grid Dip meters actually has a Grid. Now get off my lawn.
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
K3UIM
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Posts: 365




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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2019, 07:35:47 PM »


"And one of my Grid Dip meters actually has a Grid. Now get off my lawn."
Oh yay?? You can't tell me what to do! You're not my mommy!!
LOL
Charlie, K3UIM
 
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Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
G4AON
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Posts: 1357




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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2019, 03:38:30 AM »

My LP100 is no longer in circuit with my antenna, it’s gathering dust on a shelf... However, it’s a really accurate power meter for my homebrew projects, and as such I’m not looking to sell it.

73 Dave
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K3UIM
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Posts: 365




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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2019, 03:30:47 PM »

I have fond memories of times when a GDO, VTVM and a tube checker were the first things a ham, or a ham to be, had to have before starting any project. How times have changed, and not necessarily for the best, I must admit. LOL
The challenge of whether to remove a winding or add one to get to the correct frequency. Experience and a love of learning usually got us through every problem. (That and also our miserable allowance for doing those blasted dishes, mowing that "growing-so-fast-you-could-hear-it-straining-against-its'-roots" grass, etc!!!!)
The sad/good side of the techie advances show us that just about all we need today is found in a 6"x6"x6" box. (Maybe even made in China.) … sigh …
"Go Steelers!"
Charlie, K3UIM
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Where you are: I was!
Where I am: You will be!
So be nice to us old fogies!!
KC6RWI
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Posts: 154




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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2019, 12:03:10 PM »

I used to see a vtvm in the tv repair shop, I learned tv repair at a school and now I miss those big parts and leaky money making capacitors.
I never run my radio at mismatch, but I assume the real let the smoke out swr is something more than 3.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 1143




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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2019, 03:04:15 PM »

 The Rugby Radio 'B' station with 30 off 30kW transmitters and lots of coax made from 2 inch diameter copper tube as well as balun transformers to get to 600 ohms always reckoned on a maximum VSWR of 3:1 at the transmitter....

Admittedly, the coax balun transformers were about 20 feet high!

Now it's all a housing estate....
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K1FBI
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Posts: 202




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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2019, 03:32:51 PM »

An SWR meter can be very useful for detecting other stations on 75 meters when you combine it with an EA meter.  Huh
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