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Arduino Based SWR/PWR Meter – The Board

I recently posted about a small analog SWR/Power meter I got from eBay, and figured it needed some improvement.

After some web searching I located a project by ON7EQ, an Arduino sketch to read SWR & RF power from any SWR bridge.
The Arduino code is on the original author’s page above, his copyright restrictions forbid me to reproduce it here.

I have also noticed a small glitch in the code when it is flashed to a blank arduino: The display will show scrambled characters as if it has crashed. However pushing the buttons a few times & rebooting the Arduino seems to fix this. I think it’s related to the EEPROM being blank on a new Arduino board.

I have run a board up in Eagle for testing, shown below is the layout:

SWR Meter SCH
SWR Meter SCH

The Schematic is the same as is given on ON7EQ’s site.
Update: ON7EQ has kindly let me know I’ve mixed up R6 & R7, so make sure they’re switched round when the board is built ;). Fitting the resistors the wrong way around may damage the µC with overvoltage.

SWR Meter PCB
SWR Meter PCB

Here’s the PCB layout. I’ve kept it as simple as possible with only a single link on the top side of the board.

PCB Top
PCB Top

Here’s the freshly completed PCB ready to rock. Arduino Pro mini sits in the center doing all the work.
The link over to A5 on the arduino can be seen here, this allows the code to detect the supply voltage, useful for battery operation.
On the right hand edge of the PCB are the pair of SMA connectors to interface with the SWR bridge. Some RF filtering is provided on the inputs.

PCB Bottom
PCB Bottom

Trackside view of the PCB. This was etched using my tweaked toner transfer method.

LCD Fitted
LCD Fitted

Here the board has it’s 16×2 LCD module.

Online
Online

Board powered & working. Here it’s set to the 70cm band. The pair of buttons on the bottom edge of the board change bands & operating modes.
As usual, the Eagle layout files are available below, along with the libraries I use.

[download id=”5585″]

[download id=”5573″]

More to come on this when some components arrive to interface this board with the SWR bridge in the eBay meter.

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Moonraker SWR270 SWR & Power Meter

Meter Front
Meter Front

As I’m building up my radio shack, I figured an SWR meter would be a handy addition to my arsenal. This is a cheap Moonraker brand meter, which also will measure RF power. Above the front of the meter is shown, with the moving coil meter movement on the left, calibration adjustment on the right & the forward/reverse power switch.

Meter Rear
Meter Rear

For connections, standard SO-259 jacks are provided. The casing is sturdy 1mm steel. This is good, considering it’ll probably take a beating in my portable radio bag.

Directional Coupler PCB
Directional Coupler PCB

Here the cover is removed, showing some of the internals. The large PCB across the back is the directional coupler.

Directional Coupler Circuit
Directional Coupler Circuit

The SO-259 connectors are bridged with a transmission line, (the track covered in solder in the image below), while there are a pair of sense lines running alongside. This main line is electromagnetically coupled to the two smaller sense lines, which are terminated at one end with resistors, with diodes at the other to rectify the coupled signal.
The termination resistors are sized to match the impedance of the sense lines.
The diodes, having rectified the coupled RF, produce DC voltages representing the value of the forward & reverse RF power. These DC voltages are smoothed with the capacitors.

PCB Marking
PCB Marking

The PCB is dated 19-8-2011, so it’s a fairly old design.

Adjustments
Adjustments

Here is visible the back of the user calibration adjuster, with the factory calibration trimmer.

Meter Movement
Meter Movement

Back of the meter movement. This is a standard moving coil type. Nothing special.

 

This meter will soon be modified to accept connection of an external Arduino-based SWR & power meter, which I can calibrate individually for each band.
Stay tuned for that upcoming project.