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Reviews For: Workman 104 VHF-UHF SWR Wattmeter

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

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Review Summary For : Workman 104 VHF-UHF SWR Wattmeter
Reviews: 17MSRP: 28.99
VHF-UHF SWR Wattmeter 120-500 MHz 52 ohm 150 Watts Max Power Workman Electronic Products 11955 County Road 10-2 Delta, Ohio 43515-9748 800.537.7107 Fax: 419.923.7145
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WA7AXT Rating: 2019-07-11
works just fine for me Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I gave this a 5 because it worked just fine. I opened it up and the construction looked good to me. I bought this about 15 years ago, and just found it in the original package still unused. I hooked it up to my 2 meter system and it worked perfectly. It even got the output power from my rf concepts 2-23 correct at about 32 watts.
W8IJN Rating: 2019-04-05
Addendum to my review of 15 March 2019: Check the bypass caps Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This is an addendum/revision of my previous review.

My feelings about this meter have not changed but the usefulness & accuracy of the meter has been improved by one simple modification

I opened the box & looked at the insides. Discovered that the two bypass capacitors inside the meter, soldered to the foils of the bridge/sensor board had excessive lead lengths. As in: they had never been trimmed before soldering to the board. (Why they weren't soldered through the holes for which they were intended on the board is beyond my understanding.)

So I removed the caps, trimmed the lead lengths and stuffed 'em into their places on the board. Had to leave the cap on the bottom/foil side of the board at one end because to do it from the top of the board would require disassembling more stuff, which I was not about to do, age, vision and essential tremor considered. It was barely fun as it was.

Closed up the meter & tested it again with antennas and a DL. Much better readings on 70cm (they had been zero SWR before). Also much more reliable readings on 2m.

Quality control is obviously not a high point on this meter. So my earlier expressed feelings/evaluation stand.

At least now it's more useful, which it wasn't before.
KK4LLS Rating: 2018-06-18
Garbage Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Calibrated per instructions. Flat SWR. Maybe correct. Power showed 150 watts from a 30 watt radio. Second Workman product I have purchased that was garbage, also the last.
WY7CHY Rating: 2018-02-08
Gets you in the ballpark Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This meter isn't all that great. But for $28 at amazon, it does what I need it to do. Some radios have a decent swr/pwr meter in them. My FT-857d doesn't. Very inaccurate bars. So, to know a ballpark swr reading, I got this meter. I'm not much into 2m/70m, but I play once in a while and wanted to check SWR on an antenna I put up. SWR is pretty accurate in this meter. (I compared it to a friend's Bird and it was close).

Forward power is off. The meter says good to 150 watts, but under 20 watts the meter is slightly low. 20-25 watts is somewhat accurate. 30 reads around 40-45 and anything above 30 watts shows full scale. It doesn't peg the meter, so I'm not worried about that.

I know how much my radio puts out, so I didn't need a meter for that. I basically just wanted an SWR meter so I could tweak the antenna and play with the coax. 2m and 70cm seem accurate enough for me. So, I give it a 3 because it's fine for my needs. But if you REALLY NEED a meter that is somewhat accurate for everything; swr and power out; spend a few more dollars and get a better meter. You can find a decent 2m/70cn meter for under or around $50. I literally was looking for the cheapest meter to read swr. I found it. For me, it's ok.
GYPSYJON Rating: 2016-07-10
Very Good Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
It does what it says it will do. Nicely made unit, works just fine. I have no complaints at all. Robust construction, fairy priced.
AF5NP Rating: 2016-01-13
Two Huge Failures & One Maybe Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Tested on 147MHz. Only thing that worked properly is the SET function where you key up and adjust the knob to infinity. Went to check SWR and quickly discovered that the function select switch was wired backwards (SWR & Power reversed). That could be remedied but SWR seemed unrealistically low across the 2m band. Then went to check power and observed that the Watt meter reads about 3 times high (5W shows 15, 10W shows 30, higher power TX pegs meter). Sending back to Amazon.
KF4ZHL Rating: 2015-04-06
Junk Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Worked once on VHF, maybe. Once I set it, it read 1:1 through the whole band, which isn't possible. Watt meter worked though. As soon as I tried it on UHF, it blew up on 10 watts. A little puff of smoke and no reading. Luckily, my radio was not damaged in the process. I want back my MFJ that someone snatched.
AE4SE Rating: 2015-01-18
Cheap! Quality Poor! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got this over a year ago. Played with it alot. Readings were fine on low power but never same on higher wattages. Decided to take it apart an see if I could determine the problem. Very tight fit, close connections but all seemed well. At first I thought meter itself was at fault. Could not find a numerical on meter anywhere just took a guess of 200uA an started there. Some parts came apart as quickly unsoldered from the board. The traces came right up. So I took the whole unit apart. The wires to meter were partly broken, traces came off board in a few places, the two SO-239 were no good to begin with. The centers came out. I mean fell out of the socket into my hand. I have never seen this happen before. It became clear why the unit was unreliable. I took the parts that were left, put them on a perf board of my making, added new connectors, changed meter out to a 250uA one because i could not find correct meter. All in meter was a big experiment on what not to purchase an spent several hours working on a new project trying to get a working meter. I think I would have accomplished the task if I had on hand the correct meter. The whole mass of the problem was quality. The connectors certainly casused poor an unstable reading, the board was poorly made, an my guess is the meter itself was at fault from the beginning. If the quality of parts were of choicer pieces, the unit would be a great buy. Quality is not there, construction I thought was ok. Just poor quality parts to begin with.
This is no Diamond, Comet, or MFJ meter I have used. I would pass it by if I had to do it all over again. Since then I have seen more than a few used for sale, may or may not be working I was told. If you can get two for $10 go for it an use one for parts or fun project. You really would be better off getting schematics from some magazine an build your own from scratch. Save time an money.
KK6FAD Rating: 2013-07-24
Nice unit, fairly accurate Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Had this unit for several weeks. Watt readings are right on for lower power settings up to about 30 watts . Higher power settings of 50 watts and more are off the scale. The SWR readings seem about right, but I don't have another meter to compare them to. Unit seems to be well built and is pretty compact.
WB7OSR Rating: 2012-01-14
Quality is good, calibration was off by 50%. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
My Workman 104 was off by 50% on the power scales, compared to a Bird wattmeter, from 5 to 50 watts on 2 meters. I did not bother to run any curves on it.

Also, my meter wouldn't "zero." It shows about 1 watt, standing still.

I opened the meter up and looked at the solder joints. They seemed to be perfect so the Chinese may have improved quality in this area.

Anyone purchasing this meter better be able to check the calibration on it. Although the instruction sheet didn't mention it, the power meter is adjustable, through a hole in the back, but I don't know if the compressed, non-linear scale is accurate.