Tuning the HF Transmitter the Easy Way

I recently saw where a new ham operator was questioning how one tunes a HF transmitter that does not have a built in meter in the output circuit.  He was referring to the Pastime Projects 6V6 transmitter kits but the question would apply to similar low to medium power transmitters.

One easy and cheap way is to use a CB Field strength /SWR/power meter.  If you check the specifications, you will find these meters will work just fine on all HF frequencies from 160 to 10 meters and beyond. Many are listed at safe power ratings of 10 to 1000 watts of output power.  And, they sell for $30.00 or less (much less) on eBay!  Ideal for experimenting and measuring our HF transmitter kits performance with almost lab rating results for low surplus prices.

Simplest way to use the meter is as a field strength meter.  The meter will have a hole for a short wire antenna to attach.  (Make sure the wire antenna you use has some kind of top on it to prevent injury to an eye!)  With the meter near your transmitter – but not electrically attached – try transmitting into an antenna and tune your FSM for maximum strength.  The meter follows the strength of the transmitter, so tuning for maximum should get you great results.

Good luck!  Always get help from your local club when you can.  A good experienced radio amateur is always a friend to have.  73 Glenn .. for Pastime Projects.

pastimeprojects(at)yahoo(dot)com or http://www.pastimeprojects.com

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