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SWR, power, and field strength meters

May 28, 2023
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I ordered a Surecom SW-114 meter to use with my antenna setup. I saw several different ones on Amazon that all look like the same meter sold under a different name. Are there any differences, or is it all the same one, just rebranded again?

These are three of the ones I saw (listed below). These all had two separate gauges on the face for power and SWR. I saw others that just had a single gauge even though they measure SWR and power, both. I figured a dual gauge would show power and SWR at the same time, but maybe not. I mostly chose the one I did because it also had the field strength measuring feature. Figured if I was ordering one I may as well get every feature I can.

Surecom SW-114
Workman SWR-3P
Astatic PDC2
 

If you look around you will see TONS of electronic test equipment and radio communications equipment that are all the same just rebranded. Buy a generic piece of equipment from china and put your own name on it. Thats what they do. Ebay has fine examples of this.
 
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Yes but everything is made in China whats your point. Not all of it is junk. Granted it is not 1960-1980 HP or Tektronics or RCA etc...Most of the good stuff has been bought and sold so many times that the Good Stuff needs to be stripped down and rebuilt and certified. If you can even find the parts to do that. You are also looking at $400 to $500 for none working non tested good old American made stuff!

You have 2 real problems with Chinese made stuff. 1 A lot of cheap poorly made stuff with no actual manufactures marks to help identify good manufactures from bad. 2. China unless being directed and controlled by a company like Sony or Toyota has almost ZERO quality control!

You have to be on the ground in China to know. You have to deal directly with the manufacture yourself. You need trusted people in country to help smooth things out.

Because China will build what ever you ask them to build and are willing to pay for. You have a lot of "wholesalers" that make nothing themselves but sell almost everything they can get their hands on kind of like a small scale Amazon mixed in with Ebay like scale.

It is possible to get fantastic stuff out of China or Former Soviet States or other parts of South East Asia but it is not easy for you to reliably do from outside of those countries with out a trade network of your own in place! The deeper you try to go into the supply chain to get cheaper price the bigger of a chance you take.
 
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Ebay, Temu, Albia and the like are not for the risk adverse. If you want zero risk than you have to accept much higher prices. Ebay and the like are not a sure thing it is like playing poker in the Wild West of what became America.
 
I ordered a Surecom SW-114 meter to use with my antenna setup. I saw several different ones on Amazon that all look like the same meter sold under a different name. Are there any differences, or is it all the same one, just rebranded again?

These are three of the ones I saw (listed below). These all had two separate gauges on the face for power and SWR. I saw others that just had a single gauge even though they measure SWR and power, both. I figured a dual gauge would show power and SWR at the same time, but maybe not. I mostly chose the one I did because it also had the field strength measuring feature. Figured if I was ordering one I may as well get every feature I can.

Surecom SW-114
Workman SWR-3P
Astatic PDC2
The Astatics and all of their fellow clones are a decent choice as an entry level SWR meter. They certainly beat no external meter at all and are reasonably accurate enough on SWR to tune your antenna and avoid possible damage to your radio. Probably a little stingy on Average Watts out but that's not really too vital. As for Field Strength, probably not great, if even actually usable.
You can always upgrade to a better meter if/as you get more involved. You were wise to get an external meter and not rely solely on the internal SWR meter of your radio.

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I ordered a Surecom SW-114 meter to use with my antenna setup. I saw several different ones on Amazon that all look like the same meter sold under a different name. Are there any differences, or is it all the same one, just rebranded again?

These are three of the ones I saw (listed below). These all had two separate gauges on the face for power and SWR. I saw others that just had a single gauge even though they measure SWR and power, both. I figured a dual gauge would show power and SWR at the same time, but maybe not. I mostly chose the one I did because it also had the field strength measuring feature. Figured if I was ordering one I may as well get every feature I can.

Surecom SW-114
Workman SWR-3P
Astatic PDC2
It's good you're asking questions and doing your research. It can get overwhelming and confusing with all of those choices.
as el senior crayfish said above, they are decent entry choices and more than likely made in the same factory with different names and feature change for their client.

Those will do but there are more options in the same or close to the same budget.

A little better than most of those is a nos or good used radio shack meter from ebay. Just a thought.

 

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