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GMRS swr meter


Papatree
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Why are gmrs swr meters so expensive? The one I have for my cb cost twenty bucks and I only needed to use it twice. Is it worth it to even get one, since I believe most antennas come pre-tuned? If so, are there places that have used ones, other than the obvious ebay and craiglist platforms? I'm considering it because I'm going to be adding a base station.

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They are more expensive because UHF is more challenging from technical standpoint than 27MHz.

There is a thread here where we were discussing getting SWR meter vs NanoVNA. NanoVNA is much more advanced, and costs less than a good SWR meter, but it much less newbie-friendly. SWR meter worth getting (together with quality UHF-capable dummy load!) if you are doing home or car installs. For HTs, you cannot really use SWR meter to obtain meaningful data.

 

 

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Lots of people like the Surecom SW-33 SWR Mk2 meter avail on Amazon.  It's about $40.

It certainly can be used with an HT (Walkie Talkie) as long as you have the correct cables.  I use my MFJ meter with HT's all the time and it works fine.  Just make sure the power range is appropriate for whatever radio you intend to use in your test.  You do not have to test the antenna with the same radio you want to use it with either.

Testing a portable antenna (like a rubber duck) is a little tricky because the ground is not well defined and the meter itself can impact that. But usually portable ants aren't tunable anyway so why bother.  With HT's and portable (radio mounted) antennas your body is actually part of the ground system.

The main reason CB meters are so cheap is that they make so many of them.  They're a commodity.  Some day GMRS meters may also be that cheap but I suspect most GMRS users do not test their antennas and just use it out of the box. 

 

Vince

 

 

 

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I’d also point out the CB SWR meters are built for a single, very narrow frequency range and 5 watts of rf power.

SWR Meters that work on GMRS usually cover a much wider band. My Diamond SX400 covers 140 to 525 MHz and up to 200 watts. There’s more sophisticated components necessary to do that. 

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2 hours ago, OldRadioGuy said:

With HT's and portable (radio mounted) antennas your body is actually part of the ground system

That's exactly why SWR meter is not providing any useful info about HT antennas. Measuring SWR of HT antenna is a totally meaningless exercise.

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