Saturday 31 October 2009

I have the power

With my 830S “data Rig” I use an MFJ 945 tuner. This is a compact ATU which seems to work quite well. One of the handy features it has is that there is a built in SWR/Power meter. The power meter has two ranges  0 to 300 watts and 0 to 6 watts.
Now I wouldn’t like to try running 300watts through this ATU, I really don’t think its up to that but it works quite well at 100 watts and the built in meter seems fairly accurate.
Whilst setting the rig up for WSPR I was trying to measure my power at 5 watts. I have a fairly high quality  AVAIR power meter and used this to set the 830 at the QRP level. I was surprised to notice that with the external meter showing 5 watts out, the meter on the MFJ on its low range was showing just 1 watt. Switching the MFJ meter to its high range it was showing approx 5 watts like the external meter. Its obvious that the low range setting on the MFJ meter is pretty useless. At least I know that the high range is OK and I can set my power based on that.

WSPR has been working well for me.  I ran it overnight last night and for much of the day today, all on 10mhz (30 metres)I note that I have been heard now by several U.S stations and much of Europe. This morning I noted some G Stations on my heard list but it seems they didn’t hear me.

When I was a youngster and just getting interested in Shortwave I used to love visiting the local “Tandy” shop and used to look forward to the annual Tandy catalogue  . This contained details of all sorts of Hi FI, computer, Electronics CB and of course shortwave radio equipment. In the 80’s I really wanted their flagship communications receiver the DX302, very impressive with its digital readout. I ended up with the cheaper analogue DX200 receiver but still had lots of fun with that. If you would like the chance to look at the “Tandy” catalogues of long ago and relive the 70s, 80s and further back, take a look At this excellent site

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