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GY561 Frequency & Power Meter LiPo Conversion

From the factory, the GY561 meter uses alkaline AAA cells for power. As these are not rechargable, and I don’t carry any other devices that take such batteries, I figured I’d replace them with a single Lithium Polymer cell that I can charge via USB.

Battery Compartment
Battery Compartment

Here’s the battery compartment, with the original spring terminals removed.
I searched eBay for a suitable sized cell, and settled on a 1000mAh type, with dimensions of 47mm x 28mm x 7mm.

This size cell required a small amount of modification to the battery compartment to make it fit properly with the associated charge & protection circuitry.

Modified Compartment
Modified Compartment

Here’s the modifications made to the compartment, I’ve ground away the plastic to make the bottom flat, and the plastic tabs that retained the original spring terminals.

Modifications
Modifications

After grinding away the original battery spring holders with a dremel, the cell fits perfectly in the available space. The small PCB on the top of the cell is the USB charger & protection.

Charger
Charger

The charger is located in a slot cut in the bottom of the casing, so the USB port is accessible from outside the compartment.

Wiring
Wiring

Here’s the rest of the wiring completed, with the power wires going through holes in the bottom of the battery compartment to join onto the PCB where the original terminals were located. I have insulated the solder joints on the control PCB with some Kapton tape to prevent any shorts against the lithium cell.

Battery Cover
Battery Cover

A small cutout was also required in the battery cover to allow the USB connector to poke out. This was easy to do on the soft plastic with a Dremel tool.

Charging Port
Charging Port

With the battery cover installed, the USB port is nicely recessed into the edge.

Charging LED
Charging LED

The indicator LEDs on the charging & control board show nicely through the plastic, here’s the unit on charge. When the charge is complete, another LED lights as shown below.

Charging Complete
Charging Complete
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GY561 Power Calibration

Unfortunately the manual for the eBay GY561 Frequency & RF Power Meter is very badly translated, but I think I have figured out the calibration procedure, so here it goes 🙂

Initial Screen
Initial Screen

On removing the front cover, which is just clipped on, there are 4 buttons. The only button that is usually available is the one on the far right, the power button.

I will term these buttons A, B, C, D, starting from the left side.

To get into the initial calibration screen, in the above image, hold button A while the power button (D) is pressed. Release the power button (D), then release button A.
The meter will show the screen above, where the frequency to calibrate can be chosen. This goes in 5MHz steps, 0-500MHz, using the B button to go down in frequency, and the C button to go up.

Once you’ve selected the frequency you wish to calibrate against, press button A, and the following screen will appear:

Frequency Calibration Screen
Frequency Calibration Screen

On this screen, the actual calibration can be done.
The number in the bottom left signifies the power level setting, from 1-5. The centre number is the calibration setting in Watts. The D in the bottom corner signifies that the setting is at the factory default.
Button C will cycle through the power level settings, for 2W, 5W, 10W 20W, 40W. This allows calibration at different power levels per frequency.
Once you have the frequency to calibrate, and you’ve selected the power level to calibrate at, connect a known RF power source to the input of the unit.
At this point, key the transmitter, and press button A. The display will change to the following:

Calibration Stage 2
Calibration Stage 2

When on this screen, you can set the power level of your RF source. Use the A key for +0.1W, the B key for +1W, and the C key for +10W.
Once you’ve keyed in the power of your source, press button D to save the setting. The “S” in the bottom corner will change to a “C”, to indicate a user calibration has been entered:

Calibration Complete
Calibration Complete

If you make a mistake with entering the power level, press the “C” key to cycle up to 60W, once at this level, another press of the button will reset the reading to zero. You can then enter the power level again.

If you wish to revert a user-entered setting to the factory default, press button B on the page above. The “D” will reappear in the bottom corner to indicate the setting has been restored.

At this point you can either press button C to calibrate at another power level for this frequency, or press button D to go back to the frequency selection.
Press button D again when at the frequency selection page to turn the unit off. The unit will then power up normally next time the power button (D) is pressed.

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Arduino SWR Power Meter Final Parts & Calibration

Now the final bits have arrived for the SWR Meter module, I can do the final assembly.

SMA Connectors
SMA Connectors

Here the SMA connectors are installed on the side of the eBay meter, for forward & reverse power tap.
These are simply tee’d off the wiring inside the meter where it connects to the switch.

Uncalibrated
Uncalibrated

The meter is connected to the module via a pair of RG58 SMA leads, above is a readout before calibration, using one of my Baofeng UV-5Rs.

I’m using my GY561 eBay Power Meter as a calibration source, and as this isn’t perfect, the readings will be slightly off. If I can get my hands on an accurate power meter & dummy load I can always recalibrate.

Tools are only as accurate as the standard they were calibrated from!

After calibration, here’s the readings on 2m & 70cm. These readings coincide nicely with the readings the GY561 produce, to within a couple tenths of a watt. SWR is more than 1:1 as the dummy load in the GY561 isn’t exactly 50Ω.

High Power VHF
High Power VHF
Low Power VHF
Low Power VHF
High Power UHF
High Power UHF
Low Power UHF
Low Power UHF

Shortly I’ll calibrate against 6m & 10m so I can use it on every band I have access to 🙂