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APX 7500 - Watt Meter?

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mdwst

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Hey all. First post. Looking for help with suggestions of options (budget minded and not) for measuring our radios post-install.

We are having some performance issues and want to get a baseline of our in-car installs.


Thanks
 

N1GTL

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I think you need to better spell out what the performance issues are. Could be a number of things. Insufficient voltage/amps, bad antenna, bad cable.

I put an XPR5550 in my car. Power goes right to the battery. Ground as well. I chose to remote mount it in the trunk, keeping the coax run to less than 4 feet versus running it 17 feet to an under dash mount. You'd be surprised at even 13' the loss, depending on the frequency and type of cable. I measured SWR at the radio. I also have an NMO to BNC adapter to put a service monitor and/or watt meter right at the antenna connection to measure exactly what output I am getting to the antenna. It also allows me to generate a signal to see what is required to open the receiver.
 

mmckenna

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Hey all. First post. Looking for help with suggestions of options (budget minded and not) for measuring our radios post-install.

We are having some performance issues and want to get a baseline of our in-car installs.


Thanks
Depends on how deep you want to get into this.

As others said, "performance issues" really doesn't tell us much. That could be a lot of things. Giving us an idea of what your system looks like and what exact issues you are having would help us point you in the right direction.

Transmitted power isn't the only parameter you'd necessarily need to consider. There are other issues with antennas, cable, and condition of the radio that you'd need to consider. On the other end, if you are using a repeater, there's a lot of places where things can go wrong there.

But, if you are just looking for a simple RF power output test, the Bird 43 that Buddrousa suggested is a good place to start. In addition, you'll need the frequency/power specific slugs to make it work where you want.

As one of the tests I do on new vehicles coming back from the installer, I use an NMO-UHF adapter to screw down on the antenna mount. I connect a short jumper from the adapter to the meter. On the other side of the meter I connect a 50 ohm dummy load rated for 100 watts.
Keying up the radio will show me how much RF power is making to the antenna mount.
This sounds like what you may be asking about.
What this test can tell you is pretty much the same as what doing a regular SWR check will, although it gives you the additional information about how much signal is lost in the feed line. In other words, did the installer actually cut the cable to length, or is it all wadded up above the headliner because they were lazy?

This is only one part of what you'd need to look at to find issues with your system.
 

dpcain

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Just to add to the above... the bird 43 is a workhorse. Grab one.
 

hitechRadio

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Perform your tests on a non-trunked conventional channel, if the trunked system is TDMA. A normal bird 43 will not read correctly on TDMA.
 
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