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What is the preferred type of SWR/Watt meter?

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Old 02-12-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by wavrider View Post
Some like the prestige per say of using a bird meter but that is all it is.
Really? I can swap out many combinations of slugs in my dual line section for direct reading of forward and reflect, from milliwatts to kilowatts, pep or average, I can use a multiplier board if I don't have the exact slug I need, I can put an Extractor slug in for feeding a scope or AM detector, etc etc. I think it goes way deeper than prestige.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wavrider View Post

So basically interpret it how you want. The end result is the analyzer will definitely assist in tuning the antenna for the "most efficient radiator possible". The meter is just relevant to see what the power out in watts maybe.
I guess my problem is that I don't believe in relative truth, especially for technical equipment. Being a newbie and not an expert, "interpreting how I want" is not of much value. I have to base my unfolding understanding on the clearly stated opinions of those who have been at this hobby for awhile. The most my attempts at interpretation can yield is to help to clarify well intended but not-quite-clear-enough advice.

To state my opening question more precisely,

1. Which design do users find most helpful/intuitive/useful: The "cross needle" approach or the dedicated SWR switch/direct meter readout?

2. For determining SWR for an external antenna hooked up to a 5 watt, 2 meter/70cm HT, are the 2 different SWR/watt meters that I referenced in the $100 range "overkill" for the job or just about right?

3. Is there a "brand" or "brands" within the above specification that are generally known to be more accurate or cost effective than others?
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 359 View Post
Really? I can swap out many combinations of slugs in my dual line section for direct reading of forward and reflect, from milliwatts to kilowatts, pep or average, I can use a multiplier board if I don't have the exact slug I need, I can put an Extractor slug in for feeding a scope or AM detector, etc etc. I think it goes way deeper than prestige.
As waverider said "some" like the prestige. In the real world of CB or ham MOST people that use a Bird, and only a Bird meter, do so for that reason. The CBer that has a single radio and probably an amp and uses a Bird as his only meter is pretty much doing so for the "I have a Bird" factor. If you have a station covering the spectrum from 160m all the way up to VHF/UHF with various power levels than something versatile like a Bird and a handful of slugs makes perfect sense to have. Myself I just use a diamond SX-1000 as it covers everything from 160m up to 23 cm and I have no amp so that meter is great and has served me for many, many years. I do however plan to buy another meter soon that will cover 6m with a 2 Kw range as I have just obtained an amplifier for that band capable of at least 1 Kw output. I may look at the Diawa cross needle meters as they are decent units. As for the OP question, it really boils down to personal preference among the two you linked too. I have faith in the Diamond SX-1000 that I have but the Diawa series is very good as well.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 359 View Post
Really? I can swap out many combinations of slugs in my dual line section for direct reading of forward and reflect, from milliwatts to kilowatts, pep or average, I can use a multiplier board if I don't have the exact slug I need, I can put an Extractor slug in for feeding a scope or AM detector, etc etc. I think it goes way deeper than prestige.
Oh yeah, and then there is the frequency coverage too .......


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Old 02-12-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RatsoW8 View Post

If I were going to add a dedicated watt/SWR meter I'd go with the Autek WM-1. Looks well made, accurate and gets decent reviews on eHam.
Looked at that Autek WM-1, and for $30 more than what I was considering, it looks like it has some nice features, namely the 2 separate meters (SWR/Watts); and the separate unit for plugging in the antenna cable so the main unit sits more securely.

However, it is only good up to 30 megahertz. My need is from 2 meters through 70cm. The selection is much more limited. Maybe the need for such meters is more limited as well.
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