[Amps] Bird wattmeter

Tom W8JI w8ji at w8ji.com
Tue May 8 05:27:14 EDT 2007

> If Bird is so darn Bad an inaccurate, why has it been the 
> gold standard all
> my adult life and still is the one EVERYONE else compares 
> themselves to? My
> BS meter is pegging.
> Ed-KV5I


RF power is very difficult to measure with great precision. 
We all like to think out favorite meter can tell us the 
absolute power perfectly but they really can't.

I'm afraid the Powermaster, while I have no reason to 
believe it isn't a very good meter with lots of excellent 
features, is being surrounded by a few exaggerated claims 
while some claims with little meaning are being used to 
denigrate the Bird.

For example a two-tone test is being used to qualify or 
compare the meters when reading PEP. While the words sound 
impressive on the surface and may be technically correct, 
they don't really mean anything to nearly all of us. The PEP 
we are interested in isn't tested by looking at a two-tone 
test. We use voice and CW.

Also we should all remember the 43 is a good "cheap" meter, 
but it is far from a golden standard. The digital model is 
also a good meter for bench work, but is not a golden 

Frankly I care less if the power is +-5% from a caloric 
standard in one or +-3% from an unknown accuracy standard in 
the other. I'd care less if they were +-10% in an amateur 
environment. I also care less how it reads peak power of a 
steady two-tone test. I want something with a long peak hold 
and very fast peak response and that monitors antennas for 
any short duration faults so I can watch my antennas while 
operating. I want to know what is going on with the antenna 
and if the amplifier is on or off, I give a rat's behind if 
something is a couple percent better or worse of if I can't 
heat it with my wife's hairblower while operating.

You can see the Bird we use at: 

It's yellow.

73 Tom

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