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Question about a Bird 43A VS. 43P

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Old 03-21-2013, 02:16 PM
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Default Question about a Bird 43A VS. 43P


I've had a burning question on my mind about a Bird 43A (no peak kit installed) VS. a Bird 43P.

Would both meters read the same output on SSB? I've always assumed that they'd both read the same output, since you don't have a carrier (ie. AM). Is this true? An inquiring mind would like to know.

Also, what would be a good meter to buy that measures accurate PEP output? Suggestions?

Thanks!


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Old 03-21-2013, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitThirteen View Post
I've had a burning question on my mind about a Bird 43A (no peak kit installed) VS. a Bird 43P.

Would both meters read the same output on SSB? I've always assumed that they'd both read the same output, since you don't have a carrier (ie. AM). Is this true? An inquiring mind would like to know.

Also, what would be a good meter to buy that measures accurate PEP output? Suggestions?

Thanks!


~Cheers~
Depends on "how accurate" you have in mind.

As to the 43 vs 43P: if you set the 43P to read average power (i.e. the PEP kit is turned off), they should be within 5% of the full scale range. That said, one of them could be, say, 4.95% HIGH and the other 4.95% LOW, and they'd both be within the manufacturer's specified tolerance range. However, at 50 watts full scale (for example), the one would read 52.5 watts and the other one 47.5 watts (rounding).

Which one would be right? Both of them.

You couldn't use the 43/43A on SSB and expect to see PEP shown with any degree of accuracy or precision.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitThirteen View Post
I've had a burning question on my mind about a Bird 43A (no peak kit installed) VS. a Bird 43P.

Would both meters read the same output on SSB? I've always assumed that they'd both read the same output, since you don't have a carrier (ie. AM). Is this true? An inquiring mind would like to know.

Also, what would be a good meter to buy that measures accurate PEP output? Suggestions?

Thanks!


~Cheers~
The Bird 43A is only accurate on a stable carrier. That would be FM, or CW. Any variation in amplitude including SSB will require a peak reading watt meter. The Bird is nice but Captain Kilowatt has pointed out a nice cost effective alternative from Diawa in another thread.

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:13 PM
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Excellent. Thanks for the posts! I'm just using my Bird 43A to check SSB output on my AEA LA-30 amp, and I didn't know how accurate I was with it on SSB.

I saw the thread that you mentioned in your post Shockwave, and I'm going to go have another look at it to see what CK had to say.

FYI, I'm checking the output on a 1000W slug, so I reckon the margin for error would be rather high.

(edit) For example, 15W into the amp = 170W out right now. I'm thinking that this is somewhat in the ballpark, as the 3-500Z tube has an output multiplication factor of about 10x.


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Old 03-21-2013, 03:41 PM
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If you already have the Bird 43A, Bird makes an add on board to convert it into the peak model. There is also an aftermarket company that sells a peak board for the meter at a fraction of the original cost. Sorry I forgot their name but it shouldn't be hard to Google. I may have even seen them on eBay.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:53 PM
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Is it Coaxial Dynamics?

Birds are ok meters. There's only three reasons I don't own one.

1. They cost an arm and a leg.

2. They are ugly as hell.

3. They are to damn tall.

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Old 03-21-2013, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitThirteen View Post
Excellent. Thanks for the posts! I'm just using my Bird 43A to check SSB output on my AEA LA-30 amp, and I didn't know how accurate I was with it on SSB.

I saw the thread that you mentioned in your post Shockwave, and I'm going to go have another look at it to see what CK had to say.

FYI, I'm checking the output on a 1000W slug, so I reckon the margin for error would be rather high.

(edit) For example, 15W into the amp = 170W out right now. I'm thinking that this is somewhat in the ballpark, as the 3-500Z tube has an output multiplication factor of about 10x.


~Cheers~
There is a method by which you can use a average responding wattmeter to reveal the PEP capabilities of your amplifier while transmitting SSB.
However this method will not work for AM.
But it will be better to spring for the PEP kit for your BIRD.
For AM and SSB it is almost essential that you have a meter that is capable of PEP readings.
I found a kit, quite inexpensivley, (board and schematic) at a hamfest quite a few years ago and now my BIRD is so much more useful.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:47 AM
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There is also a simple way of using an averaging meter to for both AM and SSB. It uses the same basic method people have been doing for quite some time but in a way that is accurate rather that that 'common' way most people use. It requires a -constant- audio tone. That will give you a 'Pep' reading with SSB from an 'averaging' meter. The exact same method will work with AM too. I have yet to understand why a 'Pep' power reading is wanted with AM mode, it tells you absolutely nothing beneficial. All that it gives you is a larger number to brag about. It's also very confusing if when giving that 'Pep' reading you happen to forget to tell the one you are telling that it is a 'Pep' figure. Which will almost always lead to an incorrect 'goal' to shoot for.
- 'Doc

Of course, all that depends on someone understanding just exactly what AM mode is, how it's 'done', and the proper construction of the signal.

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