|I'm building a small, 80-watt amp for 2 meters to drive with my Elecraft K3. Needed a power meter to test things out, so I bought one of these '873 units from AES. Folks always deride MFJ products as having shabby construction. Not so with this unit. No crummy solder joints, paint done very well, no sharp edges - just nicely made.|
I think it reads a tad high, as my K3 is showing 5 watts out but the '873 is showing 8. However, the SWR it shows me is in line with what my AIM-4170 is telling me about my antenna, so go figure....
I would have given the review a 5 had MFJ put an on/off switch for the illuminated meter. I run my station on solar / battery power, so when I'm not on 2 meters and not using the '873, the meter lamp has no business being on. There is no provision to turn it off, short of unplugging it from the 12V power. So, I got out my drill and installed a miniature toggle switch (Mouser part number 506-A101SYZQ04) on the back panel. Luckily the power jack on the back panel is not a board-mountd unit and it was a simple matter of running the red wire from the power jack through the switch and then to the meter.
I considered the Elecraft W2 meter, but that's an awfully expensive SWR/Wattmeter for my simple, occasional 2 meter needs.
Would I buy the '873 again? Probably. I'm not 100% certain of it's accuracy, but for $79 it's good enough for my purposes.