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What is the preferred type of SWR/Watt meter?

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Old 02-11-2012, 06:13 PM
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Default What is the preferred type of SWR/Watt meter?


Which is the preferred type of SWR/power meter for 2 meter 70cm and wider, or is it just a matter of personal preference?

This one: MFJ Enterprises Inc.

Or this one: Ham Radio Outlet | DIAMOND SX-400 | 140 TO 525MHZ SWR WATTMETER 200W
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:25 PM
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Antenna analyzer for the VSWR and whatever watt meter your pocket can afford as most are relative anyway.

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Old 02-12-2012, 04:53 AM
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To some extent it's a matter of preference. I like 'cross-needle' meters. They give you alll the information a typical meter is capable of at a glance. I have one of MFJ's VHF/UHF meters but not that particular one. It does just fine. (They didn't make a 'giant' one when I got this one. Oh well.)
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wavrider View Post
Antenna analyzer for the VSWR and whatever watt meter your pocket can afford as most are relative anyway.
Should I interpret your comment as meaning that all $100 SWR meters are pretty much equal, that you have no preference for the significant design differences between the two meters I referenced, and that the more money that is spent, the less "relative" (i.e. "more accurate") the results of the meter become?
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:07 AM
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Better to know the reactance than the swr, but good to know both.
An MFJ 259B analyzer is about $300 but a most invaluable tool for actually tuning any antenna up to VHF.

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Old 02-12-2012, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Needle Bender View Post
Better to know the reactance than the swr, but good to know both.
An MFJ 259B analyzer is about $300 but a most invaluable tool for actually tuning any antenna up to VHF.
I've been using the MFJ 259B for a long time to initially set up and tune my antennas. Then I've got an LDG AT-600 Pro tuner in line to monitor the SWR and relative output in case anything ever changes.

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.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need2Know View Post
Should I interpret your comment as meaning that all $100 SWR meters are pretty much equal, that you have no preference for the significant design differences between the two meters I referenced, and that the more money that is spent, the less "relative" (i.e. "more accurate") the results of the meter become?
You should look at the specifications for any meter (or anything else) and use that information to select the one that, to YOU, has the best balance of features for the money.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need2Know View Post
Should I interpret your comment as meaning that all $100 SWR meters are pretty much equal, that you have no preference for the significant design differences between the two meters I referenced, and that the more money that is spent, the less "relative" (i.e. "more accurate") the results of the meter become?
Other members answered the question rather well.

The VSWR just tells you that voltage standing wave ratio, an analyzer has so many other functions than just vswr, and since the antenna is 95% of the station the analyzer is the best investment any op can have in their station, IMO it is.

As far as a meter for pep or avg or the so called "bird" watts. It is your pocket. Some like the prestige per say of using a bird meter but that is all it is.

Autek is a great meter. I use several in the shack and all perform well.
MFJ cross needle meters are ok, many in use and they do work.

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.

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