SWR Meters UHF / VHF

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by M7MGO, Oct 24, 2021.

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  1. M7MGO

    M7MGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a new radio ham and have a Yaesu uhf/vhf ft65e hand held just to get started.
    I'm going to get or make an external antenna as the rubber duck is limited obviously might sound a daft question , but is there a particular type of SWR meter for the likes of a hand held or do you just need one that covers the UHF/VHF spectrum , as I assume the CB type 10/11m ones are no good for that and notice some meters have power ratings like 10w .
  2. G6YYN

    G6YYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might consider buying one of the VNAs that are available now, it will be very useful if you are going to make an external aerial. You will not have the power meter on a VNA but the VNA will cover HF VHF and UHF for testing and making aerials.
    And welcome to the hobby.
    M7MGO and N8RKD like this.
  3. KS2G

    KS2G Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're correct -- a "CB Type" swr meter won't work for VHF/UHF.
    You need a meter specifically for those frequencies.
    Something like this:
    There are lots of other choices ... most more expensive.

    BUT also consider ... is there a nearby ham or club from which you can borrow a meter?
  4. M7MGO

    M7MGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for that info There is a club not too far away but they only seem to be meeting via a net on air every other week from what I see . The SWR meter in the link says 1.6-60mhz HF , will that particular one handle UHF / VHF too?
  5. W5GX

    W5GX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unless the meter says specifically UHF, VHF, or will have the 148 and 440 frequencies in the range, don't count on it.

    For instance, the MFJ meter I have goes from 1.8 to 525 MHz. It uses two input/output pairs for different ranges of frequencies. But the "HF only" version looks 99% the same.


    You can get a version like that previously linked by KS2G that will work for VHF/UHF - you have to read the description.

    Keep tabs on the connection details, as well. Since you're dealing with an HT, there are several meters that offer the SMA connection (be mindful of male/female polarization). Most generally default to the UHF fittings. Depending on the antenna connection you make, your adapters will have to match accordingly.
  6. M7MGO

    M7MGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you . I'll look into these too, as something that covers all the bands is likely going to be useful going forward . I've noticed some commercially available antenna state that they are pre tuned , but obviously you need to check you have it set up right yourself , also as I'm interested in making different antennas I need something .
  7. M7MGO

    M7MGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I have noticed when I bought an sma-so239 adapter there are radios which have the hole tapped into the radio with threaded stub on the antenna like mine and some are vice versa. I assume the patch lead for the meter will likely use PL259 on each end so would connect ok to my SO239 adapter?
  8. VE4CY

    VE4CY Ham Member QRZ Page

    For quick and dirty measurements, I use a cheap Chinese 'Surecom SW-102 meter.. https://www.ebay.ca/itm/293294305838

    It provides a direct LCD digital readout of power, frequency and SWR. They advertise it as covering 126-525 MHz. It works well on 2m and 70cm, but is NOT accurate at all on 220 MHz. It uses N connectors, so you'll need to pick up some adapters if you're using PL259 connectors.
  9. PD1ACU

    PD1ACU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I may get some angry flames with this comment:

    Your CB swr meter may be usefull after all! Even if its just to verify if you have reflected power. Get a dummyload, maybe make one with two big 100ohm resistors in parallel on the antenna connector. connect the radio on the other connector. Put some signal on 2 meter on it and see if you can get a full scale meter reading on the fwd or cal setting. Then switch to REF or SWR and see if its low. it should be... If it is you can use it to check if your antenna is reflecting power back. It will most likely not give accurate power readings and a specified vhf meter is always better. However I started my radio life building small 10 watt illegal fm 100 MHz transmitters as a kid and only had a CB swr meter thatvI used to set the trimmer caps in alignment for max power on a dummyload and to test the dipole antenna and I never fried a final transistor because of high SWR.
  10. W5GX

    W5GX Ham Member QRZ Page

    As long as pins and threads match up, Bob's your uncle. :D

    In a trend that seems to be started by the CCRs (cheap chinese radio), the radio gets the male pin / female threads while the antenna gets the female pin / male threads. Some here will lament the move from BNC, but I'm more apathetic about it.

    During a temp test or install, I have some adapters. Close enough for government work.

    Can't be mad at that.

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