looking for an inexpensive SWR meter

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KK4SUH, Jul 31, 2013.

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  1. KK4SUH

    KK4SUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does anybody happen to know of any SWR meters for the 2M band that can be had for around $20?
  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Since swr is a ratio and not an absolute, a cheap cb meter will work on 2 if you don't run too much power. I have used one in my camper for years. The 50 watts finally got to the terminating resistors and I had to replace them with larger ones, but at 5-10 watts the original should work.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep...I have an ancient Midland CB swr meter that works very well on 2 meters. Just be aware that "monimatch" circuits become more sensitive with frequency, so you'll need to use just a tad of R.F. power
  4. KK4SUH

    KK4SUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do have a radioshack CB SWR meter (model 21-534), but the problem is that I can't get the needle to the calibration point.
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    These used to be $20 but the price has gone up http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002D6KQS You can find them from many sources. But the SW-1 will work on 2 meters, unlike many of the cheapie CB-oriented meters out there. The Vanco SW-3 is 'iffy' at best on 2 meters. The SW-3 is only rated to 30 MHz, but I've tested a few of them and they worked on 2 meters pretty well. And they are only $23. Still, the SW-1 is a classic, and it's actually rated to 150 MHz.. I've had two SW-3's die on me from unknown causes, too, but I don't think I've ever killed an SW-1. Years ago, all the ham stores had these with their own logos on them, and they'd throw them in when you bought a new rig!
  6. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi to you all

    I use my Miranda model 171 for many years on 160m - 2M.
    It is a CB QRP model for up to 10 watt power.

    I changed power meter to scale 10 watt and 100 watt.
    Can measure SWR and power from 1.8 - 50 MHz with 100 watts, and on 2 meter I can measure up to 10 watts.
    But SWR readings are very good and even power meter is fairly good from 160-2 mtr.
    Only use 10 watt max on 2 meters because resistors in SWR bridge will start to smoke.
    Bought exactly the same model SWR bridge/ power meter yesterday for $5 it is over 30 yrs old and was never opened up.
    Tested it and tighted one a bit loose little philips head screw on the inside and every thing worked like it was new.
    Of course the power meter scales are still original for up to 1 watt and a scale up to 10 watts.
    This will be handy in building my little homebrew pixie QRP trx to measure the power.

    I tested many CB SWR bridges, some of them are excelent and some of them are bad.
    If you have a good one they normally work from 160-10 mtrs very good and a few work even good on 2 mtrs.
    If you buy these second hand prices vary from 1- 10 dollars.
  7. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Can you run a bit more power?

    Assuming the meter movement is linear as it most likely is, set the fwd power to half scale, and mentally double the deflection
    in the reverse mode. That should give you the correct swr value. There might be a small error due to diode drops, but should be close.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  8. KK4SUH

    KK4SUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is no forward/reverse switch on the meter. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2036239#
  9. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

  10. KK4SUH

    KK4SUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did have it on the calibrate position when I tried to calibrate it. Okay so to understand, what setting on the meter is considered forward, and what setting is considered reverse?
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