Retro SWR Meter

Remember those old lovable and simple SWR meters from back in the Heathkit days?  Simple tap off the coax, a couple of diodes as the forward and reverse RF probes, and a sensitive meter that can be switched to read in either direction?  Well, what's old is new again as we explore the topic in this episode of CWTD, but using a couple of simplifying techniques to produce something as workable as before ... and equally fun in the building process!


Quick Specs:


HF operation

Resistive – easy on rig

Analog meter – easy to read anywhere

No toroids to wind

No batteries!


Panel Layout:

  SWR/Bypass Switch

  Fwd/Rev switch

  Full-scale Set potentiometer

  Analog Meter:  200 ua FS






Theory of Operation






Wiring the "Retro SWR Meter" ... Ugly-Style!


Theory of operation with simple math


Show fwd and reverse values for typical SWR values 3:1, 2:1 1.5:1


SWR to rig always 2:1 or lower


Need to think about packaging


PC Board necessary?


open – infinite swr

three in series   150 ohms 3:1 SWR

two in series 100 ohms 2:1 SWR

two in parallel plus one in series 75 ohms 1.5:1 SWR

The actual meter we'll be using in this project ...

To Order

We have a limited number of parts kits available. You can place an order electronically through PayPal, or by conventional postal mail.

    Send payments electronically via PayPal using the links below.
    (Shipping fees will be automatically added during PayPal checkout.)

             Retro SWR Kit ... $25      
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    Ordering by Mail ...

                Determine prices from above and add shipping ($10 for US & Canada, $17 for International).
                If you live in Maryland, add state sales tax.
                Write check or Money Order payable to "Midnight Design Solutions, LLC" and send to ...

In stock.



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