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Reviews For: Drake W-4 Wattmeter

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

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Review Summary For : Drake W-4 Wattmeter
Reviews: 10MSRP: drake w-4 wattmeter
HF wattmeter from the 70's with forward and reverse watts in two ranges - 0-200 and 0-2000 watts.
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KC2QYM Rating: 2018-10-24
Solid build quality Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I must echo what others are saying about the Drake W-4. I received mine from a friend who fitted it with a peak meter circuit. This is a very good add on for side band phone users. Running my 500 watt PEP SB-200, we compared the forward and reflected accuracy of the W-4 against the highly touted Bird watt meter across the various bands and guess what? The W-4 was just as accurate. So yes, why spend hundreds on a Bird and more on those separate slugs if the Drake does the job.
SWLCHRIS Rating: 2018-10-23
Drake quality strikes again Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had a Drake R4A receiver for years. It was built tough and did everything you could possibly want except make coffee.
The same applies to the W-4 meter. Easy to use accurate to a fault and looks nice on the stand next to my rig and tuner. I use a Kenwood TS430s into a Dentron Super Tuner and I get the lowest minimum SWR each time I tune up. No issues at all with build quality or functions.
The fact I got this meter ALONG with another one for 40 bucks is my steal of the year.
W0BKR Rating: 2016-03-14
Great Meter and Low $$ Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Great meter. Easy to use, no tweaking, no cross needle to strain your eyes on. Pick a range, and go. Excellent and not sure why anyone hasn't made this kind of meter in today's market...

Drake had quality stuff back "then" and still is quality today. Wish someone would pick up the line again....
W6UXB Rating: 2014-11-28
Absolutely brilliant Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just bought a "new" W-4 on eBay, this is an older one with the copper chassis, but was advertised as brand new, well I received it and it was as brand new,as soon as I got it I checked the calibration with an RF ammeter RF voltmeter and a dummy load, it was spot on as from the factory all those years ago, I paid top dollar but the unit really makes me feel comfortable that I am reading a correct value. Not leaving my shack, you can prise this from my cold dead hands!!!
SM5SRR Rating: 2014-11-09
As accurate as a Bird meter Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have 2 of these meters and have tested and compared their accuracy with the famous Bird meters. Believe it or not but the accuracy of the Drake W-4 is as good or better than the Bird and this for a much lower price. It can handle power up to 2Kw which is more than enough for me. High quality and well worth the price which will be lower than a brand new "modern" SWR meter.
M0AEP Rating: 2014-05-24
Excellent performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this with a complete Drake station in 1996. I sold the station as it occupied too much shack space following a house move but kept the W4 wattmeter as it covered my favourite 50MHz band. So pleased I did as it is proving very useful in reasonably accurately checking output from my TS480HX (200w max) on the lower scale as well as output and VSWR when employing my ACOM 1000 linear on HF & 6 Metres. Its certainly a valued part of my station kit despite its age!
K5LRS Rating: 2010-01-05
Great Old Tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had the W-4 for more than twenty years and it has never had a single problem. Have checked it against my Bird 43 and it is almost always dead on.
I have several watt meters but this is the one that is always on line and in use. I can't think of a better watt meter than the W-4.
AI4WM Rating: 2008-10-04
Nice handy meter Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had mine for about 2 years and have never had a problem with it. I like it because it has a nice 200 watt scale which better suits my needs than all the modern ones with a 300 watt scale. This meter will measure 200 or 2000 watts forward or reverse and the sensor can be remotely located from the meter which could be handy. Since this is not a dual pointer meter the meter must be switched and the nomograph used to determine SWR or the SWR must be calculated. To make it easy I just set it on reflected power and match for zero reflected while checking Plate current or power out on my rig.

The 200 watt scale on this meter makes it more accurate (for most 100 W rigs ) than the MFJ and other Japanese/Chinese meters with cheaper movements and 300 W scales just in the physics of the meter, the higher on the scale the more accurate the reading.

N2QQF Rating: 2007-12-30
Good Meter Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Great little meter, I am very pleased with mine works well and is pretty accurate.

If you can find one grab it becasue it is pretty accurate and small in size and looks pretty danr good.
K4EQQ Rating: 2004-10-25
An Old Workhorse Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had the W-4 for about 30 years now and it performed flawlessly over the years. I've used the W-4 with the SB-200 linear without any issue.

The only drawback - there is no direct readout of SWR. Drake provided a nomograph to compute the SWR from forward and reflected power.

The way I used the W-4 with my antenna tuner was to simply tune for "0" reflected power. It always worked just fine.

The W-4 has a 4' cable to the sensor box which contains 2 SO-239's for input and output.

The case of the meter is solid steel and like all Drake equipment is a quality product.

The W-4's VHF brother is the WV-4 wattmeter which I've used on 2 meters for the same length of time without issue. The only difference is the power scales are 0-20 and 0-200 watts.

Both Drake wattmeters are quality products that will serve you for many years.