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Reviews For: Workman SX-144/430 SWR-Wattmeter

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

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Review Summary For : Workman SX-144/430 SWR-Wattmeter
Reviews: 19MSRP: 50
Cross needle VHF/UHF SWR/POWER meter. Model #SX144-430. Frequency range 120MHz~500MHz, power range 0~500W, includes 12VDC meter illumination.
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W8IJN Rating: 2019-03-15
Works for me, better 'n the 104 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got this meter back when I had a IC706Mk2G. Figured I needed it to make sure the 2m/70cm antennas were set up right.
. . . I've used this meter to tune a couple Arrow Antennas units. The 2m beam and the 2m/70cm J-Pole. The meter was very useful and gave me reasonably accurate readings. I've trusted it since.
. . . I recently acquired and used a Workman 104 VHF/UHF meter and found that the 104 was a bit off on readings for 70cm. So I dragged the SX144/430 out to the car and use it instead. The 70cm readings from the SX144/430 were very helpful, showing the high SWR for 70cm where the 104 showed no problems. Thus I am tempted to trust the SX144/430 more than the smaller meter.
. . . I'm going to continue to trust this meter. It has served well, has been useful for antenna set ups and appears to be pretty well made. Definitely a keeper.
W5MSV Rating: 2016-06-21
stay away Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Mine worked for 2 years, then every time I keyed my 2 meter rig, it would start squealing and giving high swr readings. I bought another antenna, put it up and still the same thing happened. A friend from the ham club came over and we found it to be the wattmeter had become unsoldered in some areas. Save your money and get a REAL meter that is not going to die on you. Oh yea, I came to find out the first antenna was great, the second antenna....not so much! 73
N4ZAW Rating: 2014-04-06
ZERO QC. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought it new and stuck it inline ,where it has stayed for almost two years. Recently,I put up a new beam. I noticed it was giving me a much lower reading than I got when I was outside, working on the beam with my factory-calibrated SWR analyzer. I compared it to my LDG and a friend's Diawa.. They both agreed with the the analyzer's readings, this POC did not...I could've lost my radio's finals over this and am not happy. I had no idea it has been jiving me all that time!

When something breaks around here, I usually open it up and try to find out what went wrong -- but not this thing. I opened up it alright. Then I ripped the meter out of it and chunked the rest!

KB4BJM Rating: 2011-10-26
Has some extras Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased this new a week ago on Ebay for a total of $37.00 after shipping. It has a few features that other new meters don't have. The power cable is fused. The back light has an off/on switch and the cabinet is vented too. It seems to be as precise as any other inexpensive meter. So far... it works out of the box with no issues.Thanks..
KD0NFF Rating: 2011-01-07
Not bad! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Not as accurate as a Bird or other more costly meter, but mine reads with enough accuracy to get the job done, no more than +-10% variation. Large cross-needle meter element is easy to read and looks good. No regrets regarding this purchase.. Works equally well on 2m and 440, not sure about 220 since I don't use the band myself.
KJ4FGI Rating: 2009-08-08
Didn't last long. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Worked for about two weeks and than went south, no tech support and no service manual or any other information to aid in repair, JUNK (I should have relied a little more on the reviews) what do you expect buy cheep get cheep. Picked up a Diamond SX-400, I had it for a year now and it’s not the best but I am happy with the results I get.
W1LVT Rating: 2009-03-23
Not bad - not great Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
GOOD STUFF: Have had mine for over 6 months now and it is a good little meter. I used the MFJ antenna analyzer as a comparison for SWR at various frequencies and they matched pretty closely. Also, the wattmeter turned out to be accurate as well. Overall, not bad at all for the bucks.

BAD STUFF: 1. the meter lights did not work right out of the box - lousy soldering job on the lamps (no sockets-they are soldered in directly).
2. Someone had written on the back of the plastic meter shield with a magic marker at the factory - this distorted the meter lights once they were working. A little soap and water took care of that.

Overall good except for shaky quality control - otherwise would have rated it higher.
K0UA Rating: 2008-11-02
works well Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Had mine for almost a year. Its accurate, and all functions work. I keep mine in line on 2m rig at all times. Worth the money. I really needed it to get my J pole tuned up.
KG6POG Rating: 2007-07-20
Ok, but not great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this meter for awhile now. The first year it was such an improvement over the MFJ 2 meter SWR/Power meter I had I thought it was worth a 5.
But after a few years, though it's ok, I bought a power transformer so I could light the face. Guess what, it doesn't work. I tried two different new Radio Shack power adapters and though they both worked on other items they would not work on the this meter. So I took it apart (very easily done) and saw the bulbs but they are both soldered in and kind of a pain to deal with.

So for a 2 meter SWR/Power meter, it works pretty good, but the fact that the face lights don't work on mine, was a little dissapointing.

Earlier 5-star review posted by KG6POG on 2005-07-15

I've owned an MFJ-812B and it was useless. So after using a something that gave me false readings it's nice to have a meter that is easy to use and reasonably accurate.

I like the size, the three way power selector and the large easy to read meter.

I'm sure there are better meters out there but for the money I don't think the Workman SX144/430 can be beat.
KE5HFM Rating: 2006-05-01
Good - when used right Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I Picked up my SX-144/430 off of E-bay for $25 or so. I've heard a number of horror stories from people buying gear off there, but so far, I've not been bitten. (knock on wood).

First, let me say this. I bought this meter for NO OTHER REASON than to protect my base station. I wasn't interested in how accurate the meter was, numbers-wise as long as it was consistant... and it is. I was interested in measuring the SWR on my rig in RELATIVE form. (i.e. I know my antenna is 1.2:1 at 146mhz on the meter. If it suddenly jumps, somethings wrong).

So with that said, I'd say for the moola, this is a good little meter. I've had mine up and running now for about 30 days non-stop and it's been reliable. It's actually saved my radio once when a solder joint came loose on my antenna, It also let me know that when my double J-pole gets wet, the SWR's go up beyond 2:1, allowing me to fix the little homebrew workhorse before I destroyed the radio.

So, for what it is and how much it costs... heck yeah! Hook 'er up, and leave 'er alone. save your expensive rig with a $30 meter!!

I did find however, that the meter is quite accurate. It's within .1 swr of an MFJ-259B, which is pretty respectable. Wattage outputs shown so far are also pretty accurate.

I haven't had the loose solder joint problems that others have described, and the case is nice and sturdy.

Heck, I'd buy another one at that price.