Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SWR up's and down's

LP-100 reading
I was on the air the other day using the MFJ loop and as I was trying to tune to the lowest SWR reading I noticed an odd thing happening! Available to me at the station are 3 separate points to view the SWR. I have the SWR reading on the K3, the LP-100 and the MFJ remote control for the loop antenna. While tuning the loop antenna I was able to get an SWR of 1.5.1 on 20m with the K3's meter this is a very decent reading. I had the same reading on the MFJ remote unit but the LP-100 was showing 2.08 SWR??? The way the meters read the SWR are as follows.....the K3 right at the radio, then the LP-100 and then the MFJ remote unit. Oh and in case you are wondering if I am SWR meter crazy, I have the LP-100 in the game plan as it also reads very accurate output power and when operating QRPp it comes in very handy. . as for the MFJ remote that just comes with the antenna package and is really used to adjust the antenna and I really don't rely on it's SWR meter. I have heard and read in the past that the remote MFJ meter should not be relied on to much. ANYWAY.............I am getting this odd reading on the LP-100 and it is on all bands that I get a differing reading from the other SWR meters. First thing that came to mind was faulty coax or faulty
K3 meter
LP-100. I bypassed the LP-100 ( I removed the LP-100 and attached the two PL-259 using a SO-259 coupling) using all the same coax that fed the LP-100 and there was no problem. I then setup the LP-100 on it's own, meaning out the K3 through the LP-100 into a dummy load and there was a perfect match. Then I simply removed the SO-259 coupling and added the LP-100 again....there was the funny SWR again. Not sure what is going on here. In my trouble shooting I tried the LP-100 on it's own into a dummy load and it worked fine. I then used all the same coax cables and bypassing the LP- 100 and all was fine. Therefore LP-100 is fine and cables are good??? Not sure what is going on here.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Mike, the LP100 being a digital meter I think you got a kind of RFI problem? But with only 5W that would be very odd. I have several analog meters and yes they read SWR different from each other. But not that much difference as you have between your K3 /MFJ meter and the LP100. Hope someone else does know the answer for this? 73, Bas

VE9KK said...

Good morning Bas, very nice to hear from you and yes it is very odd. As you say it's only 5 watts but radio is a strange thing for sure. Thanks for your input.