All about commercial and home-build measurement devices

Power usage ...

All data measured using the ELV Energy Master Profi-2 Energy Master Profi-2:

Weinschel 40dB fixed high power coaxial attenuator

I was able to get a used 40dB power attenuator from a fellow ham. It is a 250W version in a very good condition. The attenuator should be usable up to 6GHz.

Chinese DC-Block

I've bought a cheap chinese DC-block on eBay for my spectrum analyser.

Here some measurements using the miniVNAtiny with vna/J:

SMA DC Block Detailed


Huber&Suhner 30dB pad SMA

I've bought some 30dB SMA pads from Huber&Suhner. 

Here some measurements using the miniVNAtiny with vna/J:

HuberSuhnerSMA30dB Detailed


RF detectors

I've done some measurements on two RF detectors - one on an older diode detector from ELDITEST Elditest 1 and another one on an AD8307 based one SV1AFN from SV1AFN.

Digital-Multimeter comparision

Today I've done a quick check on my existing DMMs. Absolute interesting - all three multimeter are showing an excellent accuracy compared to each other - independent of their age!

Computergesteuerte HF-Eichleitung

Ich habe von **** eine gebrauchte, schaltbare Eichleitung gekauft. Laut Aufschrift stammt sie von **RE Instruments** aus Jülich. Sie dürfe aus der Zeit vor der Jahrtausendwende stammen und ist wohl aus einem HF-Signalgenerator ausgebaut worden.


Nachdem wie gesagt, das Europagehäuse für den Blei-Gel-Lader zu groß war, hatte ich noch ein kleines Gehäuse "übrig".

RF Powermeter - Calibration basics ** updated **

In this post I describe in details, how you can create the calibration factors for k0 ... k3 based on raw data measured with the power sensor.

RF Powermeter - Updated display files

I've updated the the display control files to the current Nextion Editor 1.62:

   HMI-file for the editor: here

   TFT-file for direct load to display: here


RF Powermeter - Precision V2

As described here, I've build an RF Powermeter.

After aquiring an HF signal generator, a used HP 8647A, I started to do some testing regarding the precision of the RF powermeter.

RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.9.0

With the firmware version 1.9.0 there are some minor enhancements:

  • Peak-hold works now, when offset is set
  • Meter and diagram works in dBm and W mode

Here are the required files:

RF Powermeter - Unstable reading - Reloaded

Some times ago, I found for me a solution, how to handle the unstable readings from the ADC. I've described it in this post.

In the meantime, some HAMs also build the RF powermeter based on the work of Makis, SV1AFN and myself. One if these HAMs, PA3AXA Rens, digged a little bit deeper and analysed the problem in detail. Here his description.

RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.8.1

With the firmware version 1.8.1 there are some minor enhancements:

  • Offset value is displayed on main screen. "O" at the end of the unit is removed
  • Waveform display also correct when offset is enabled

Here are the required files:

RF Powermeter - Uploading HMI file

The Nextion display needs the content defined in the file PowerMeter.HMI. You can either upload it with the Nextion editor via a serial link to the display or you can copy the TFT file to an SD card and put this into the socket on the Nextion display.

RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.8.0

With the firmware version 1.8.0 I've introduce the capability to display also the input power in Watt instead of dBm. Simply tap on the unit field on the display to toggle between dBm and Watt.

RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.7.2

I've introduced with the firmware version 1.7.1 a complexity to this project which may not be suitable to all users.

WIth the firmware version 1.7.2 I've reduced the complexity by removing the remote configuration utilities.

RF Powermeter - Unstable readings

If you are using my powermeter software in conjunction with Maki's module and have a unstable readings or sporadic extrem value changes, this is a problem of the CS pin. It may be a grounding issue - Makis is currently analysing the problem.

RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.7.1

I've developed a new firmware for my RF Powermeter. In this firmware, the user can now program for six calibration points the factors for the polynimial regression functions.

Therefor I've developed a JAVA GUI application for downloading these floating point values to the device.

*** CAUTION ***
All stuff described in this post is ONLY running on an Arduino which runs the OptiBoot bootloader. The EEPROM capability of the OptiBoot bootloader is needed for the features of firmware V1.7.1

I described here a way how to flash the OptiBoot loader on an Arduino UNO clone. For this you need an ISP or a second Arduino to act as an ISP.

RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.5.0

I've added a new feature to the firmware release 1.5.0 V1.5 1 - power offset V1.5 3.

RF Powermeter - Adopted Nextion library

The original library from Dan is not working as expected for me. So I adopted the code a little bit.

You can find the changes below. You can also download "my version" of the library here. Unzip into the Arduino's library folder.

RF Powermeter - Precision

As described here, I've build an RF Powermeter.

The basic firmware is now running. So I started analysing the accuracy of the used meter head.PowerDev

RF Powermeter - First steps

Based on the work of Makis, SV1AFN i've build a small, stand-alone power meter with a "nice" GUI. This is the second RF head I've received from Makis. Data about the first one can be found here. MainScreen

GPSDO - Distribution Amplifier

I've build a simple distribution amplifier for my GPSDO.

GPSDO - Commandline interface

My SYMMETRICOM GPSDO 090-03861-03 with firmware release has a bunch of commands available:

GPSDO - Some Measurements

I've done some long term measurements on my GPSDO. The GPSDO has a RS232 based simple command interface.

GPSDO - GPS Disciplined Oscillator

To have a stable 10MHz reference in my shack, I've ordered a SYMMETRICOM based GPSDO from an Chinese eBay seller. It was delivered in kit form, so no issues with missing CE marking etc.

The GPSDO is build into a sturdy aluminium case with a PCB front panel and an aluminium back panel.


To get into the story I recommend to read the following articles in this sequence:

  • RF Powermeter - First steps
  • RF Powermeter - Uploading HMI file
  • RF Powermeter - Firmware 1.8.1
  • RF Powermeter - Precision
  • RF Powermeter - Calibration basics
  • RF Powermeter - Unstable readings
  • RF Powermeter - Unstable reading - Reloaded
  • RF Powermeter - Updated display files