Radio Shack Digital SWR/Pwr Meter

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From: Allen Jones (ajones@adsnet.com)
Date: Sat Nov 04 1995 - 13:45:40 EST


Gang . . . One of the locals, Ron, NT9T purchased the new Radio Shack
digital SWR/PWR meters #21-527 and asked me to check it against my Bird 43P.
This is a new item and was on sale during the month of October for $90.
Regular price is $120.

I used my Icom 736 as an RF source. I can control power down to 2.5W from the
front panel. I use the Bird mainly for my VHF and UHF weak signal work and
the lowest freq range slug I own is for 25 to 60 MHz so all the testing was
done on 10 meters. I have both a 25W and a 100W slug for that range. The
accuracy of the 43P is rated at +/- 5% of full scale. The Radio Shack is
rated +/- 10% of full scale. My results are as follows:

Using Bird 25W FS element:

          Bird 43P Radio Shack
          -------- -----------

          5W 5.4W
          10W 11.1W
          15W 16.75W
          20W 21.4W
          25W 26W

Using Bird 100W FS element:

          Bird 43P Radio Shack
          -------- -----------

          40W 43.1W
          50W 55.2W
          60W 65.4W
          70W 76W
          80W 85W
          90W 95.7W
          100W 104W

OK, so much for QRO power levels. How does it work on QRP?

I compared the Radio Shack to my Oak Hills WM-1 which was calibrated per the
manual using a Fluke 77. I have never compared the OHR to another meter of
known accuracy. I compared the two meters at levels of 2.5 to 10W and
readings were almost identical. I hooked up my SW-40 which showed 1.25W on
the Radio Shack and about the same on the OHR. I did not make any
comparisons at milliwatt power levels.

The Radio Shack meter has three power ranges that can be auto selected.
0-20W, 0-200W and 0-2000W. It has a remote pickup head. It automatically
computes SWR and will read peak power. I did not check either of those
functions. It comes with a small "wall wart" power supply. The LCD is backlit.

All in all I am favorably impressed by the meter. Unfortunately, the sale
is over but you may still be able to get a break from some of the
independant RS dealers.

BTW, the RS meter is only rated to 30MHz but I tried it on 6M anyway. At
100W out, according to the Bird, the RS read 83W.

I am not an employee of nor do I have a financial interest in Tandy Corp.,
etc., etc.

72 de Allen, K9DZE


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