By Norm Styer - AI2C
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 8:51 PM

        Tonight, I ventured down to the our club meeting place to check out the kit builders and their latest project. And, I also wanted to try out my new Olympus 410 Digital Camera. They were hard at work with soldering irons, wires, resistors, diodes, and circuit boards; and, lots of test equipment. This one was started by Gary Quinn - NC4S last winter and with all that's going on they finally got together to put the finishing touches on their SWR and wattmeter kits.

        I can tell you that an SWR meter is important; I always have one in line on HF and it was the first kit I built back in the early 60's after I put together my Heath DX-35 CW transmitter. In those days everyone owned a Knight bridge - the big guys have Birds nowadays; see RF Parts offerings of San Marcos, CA - the Model 43 Thruline has long been the standard. These little gadgets tell you how well your transmitter is match to your antenna; you don't want a lot of RF bouncing back-n-forth on your feed line. It soon gets lost in heat. I always like to get the antenna tuned just right so it accepts all the current being delivered from the feedline. Yep, tune the antenna not the antenna tuner; rely on the latter only to get the last few 'drops of RF' out of your setup. Thus, of course, the really most important item at your station is your antenna; your bridge just keeps an eye on it. Here's a simple paper by Wenzel Associates, Inc. of Austin, Texas, on this stuff; while this one by Integrated Publishing of Sprig, Texas, is a little more complicated but worthy of study. OK, I worry too much about reflected power but it's important; maybe that last rare one is in the log because I did. Try balancing your approach; read an April 1994 ARRL QST article on "The SWR Obsession." Hopefully you understand that this is important.

         Anyway, the kit builders are putting together one of the TEN-TEC Model 1202 Dual Band SWR and Wattmeter. It's cool: both HF and 2-Meters meter with coax connectors for both antennas. All you do is throw the switches.  It's limited to 200-watts for low power operation. You might toast something in the pickup circuit if you run QRO; maybe we'll hear about that in a few months. There are a few reviews on eHam with all 5's except one guy who complained that he had to calibrate it - Hello!!! Click here: eHam Product Review . The TEN-TEC description is here.

TEN-TEC Model 1202 SWR-Wattmeter. Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

Buddy Brewer - K4CJB of Round Hill
is almost there.
Buddy Brewer - K4CJB of Round Hill is hard at work preparing to mount the circuit board. Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C of Clarkes Gap, VA.

Final checkout and calbration. Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C de clarkes Gap, VA.

Everyone Knows This Is Going
To Be A Good Night !!

L-R: N4PD - Paul, Gary - NC4S, Mert - N4TGA and Buddy - K4CJB

Calibration Setup. Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

The Calibration Setup
I'm pleased to see the key !!!

The Smoke Test. Photo by Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap, VA.

The Smoke Test
It always better to smoke test it than to smoke your rig. Best Regards, Norm - AI2C.