From: Allen Jones (email@example.com)
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
Using Bird 100W FS element:
Bird 43P Radio Shack
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.,
72 de Allen, K9DZE
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