## VSWR meter trap for the unwary

From time to time one sees discussion online about consistency of ‘measured’ VSWR at different power levels (on the same instrument).

I tune up at 10W and achieve VSWR=1.5, and when I increase power to 100W, the VSWR increases. Which should I believe?

The first thing to note is that good antenna systems SHOULD be linear, VSWR should be independent of power, it is if the system IS linear.

For the most part they are linear, even though many antenna systems contain elements such as ferrite cored inductors that may exhibit some small level of non-linearity in ‘normal’ operation.

Non-linearity caused by for instance saturation of magnetic materials, loss of permeability where the temperature of ferrite cores reaches Curie point, arcing of capacitors or other insulating materials is NOT normal linear operation of a GOOD antenna system. If high indicated VSWR at high power is caused by any of these effects, it is flagging a problem that requires attention.

That said, a significant non-linear element may be the VSWR meter itself.

A common, if not most common way to make these meters is to use a half wave detector to convert the direction coupler RF outputs into DC to drive an ordinary moving coil meter. These meters commonly assume that the detector DC output voltage is exactly proportional to the RF input voltage.

Lets look at the accuracy of that process.

Above is a plot of the detector output vs RF input voltage for a commercial 200W VSWR meter. The measurements cover input power from 10 to 100W.
Continue reading VSWR meter trap for the unwary

## Online calculator of ferrite material permeability interpolations

Many of my articles call for finding the complex permeability of a ferrite components from manufacturer’s data.

Let’s explore an example used in a recent article, Another small broadband RF transformer using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use – 50:450Ω.

The core used was a Fair-rite ferrite core of #43 material, and the magnetising impedance of a 5t winding needed to be found.

Above is a chart from Fair-rite’s catalog. Permeability is a complex quantity and is frequency dependent. One could scale from the graph, the values for µ’ and µ” at the frequency of interest. Continue reading Online calculator of ferrite material permeability interpolations

## Another small broadband RF transformer using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use – 50:450Ω

A simplified design for small broadband RF transformers using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use. The specific application is an impedance transformer for a nominally 450Ω antenna to a 50Ω receiver input. Intended frequency range is from 0.5 to 15MHz.

The characteristic of typical medium µ ferrite mixes, particularly NiZn, are well suited to this application.

This article continues with the design discussed at BN43-2402 balun example, but using a BN43-202 with 5t primary and 15t secondary for a nominal 1:9 50:450Ω transformer (though at high ratios, the transformation is only nominal).

Lets consider a couple of simple starting points for low end and high end rolloff. Continue reading Another small broadband RF transformer using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use – 50:450Ω

## Another small broadband RF transformer using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use – 50:3200Ω

A simplified design for small broadband RF transformers using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use. The specific application is an input transformer to a nominally 2kΩ receiver at around 9MHz (a panadapter).

The characteristic of typical medium µ ferrite mixes, particularly NiZn, are well suited to this application.

This article continues with the design discussed at BN43-2402 balun example, but using a 2t primary and 16t secondary for a nominal 1:64 50:3400Ω transformer (though at high ratios, the transformation is only nominal).

Lets consider a couple of simple starting points for low end and high end rolloff. Continue reading Another small broadband RF transformer using medium µ ferrite core for receiving use – 50:3200Ω

## Implementation of G5RV inverted V using high strength aluminium MIG wire – 12 month review

This article continues on from Implementation of G5RV inverted V using high strength aluminium MIG wire documenting review after 12 months operation under a wide range of temperature, humidity and wind conditions.

Above is a view of the steel mast with the Inverted V G5RV rigged from the top of the 11m mast using a halyard though a purchase on a small gibbet to offset the antenna and feed line from the mast. There are lateral guys at 7m height, and the left hand one is non-conductive synthetic fibre rope. Atop the mast is a 2m/70cm vertical. Continue reading Implementation of G5RV inverted V using high strength aluminium MIG wire – 12 month review

## Anytone AT-D868UV: initial impressions

Above, the AT-D868UV, purchased for about A\$225 incl post from Hong Kong. This model had a GPS though that is unusable on ham DMR networks, so it is wasted money if you like. They may be more expensive through online shops that collect GST, and of course in countries where tariffs are applied to make them great again, prices may be higher.
Continue reading Anytone AT-D868UV: initial impressions

## 40m filter for WSPRlite flex

The WSPRlite flex requires external low pass filters for each band of operation.

Since my experiments will be conducted on the 40m band, the following low pass filter meets the requirement. The inductors and capacitors make a seven element Chebyshev filter as designed by G3CWI for use in a 50Ω system.

## Implementation

Above, the filter is assembled on a piece of matrix board with two BNC connectors. The inductors are fixed with hot melt adhesive, and the whole thing served over with heatshrink tube. It is not waterproof. Continue reading 40m filter for WSPRlite flex

## Another RFI mod of a speaker mic for DMR use

I bought a remote speaker-microphone (RSM) for a DMR portable from eBay (~\$12 posted). Experience says that these suffer RF ingress which is seriously bad in DMR due to the amplitude modulation of the transmitted signal.

This RSM had somewhat improved filtering around the electret compared to others I have purchased. Continue reading Another RFI mod of a speaker mic for DMR use

## WSPR for A/B tests – a discussion – part 4

Continuing from WSPR for A/B tests – a discussion – part 3.

## Regression techniques

Another technique for exploring the relationship between paired variables is a regression model. In the case of these experiments, a simple model that is a good candidate is that SNR_B=m*SNR_A+b, a simple linear regression. A simple  solution is to find m and b to minimise the sum of squares of errors between the predicted SNR_B and measured SNR_B.

Above is a frequency distribution of data extracted from a month studied in 2011. There are almost half a million spots on 40m contributing to this analysis, so it covers a wide range of propagation conditions during the month, and includes all stations spotted by all stations. Continue reading WSPR for A/B tests – a discussion – part 4