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STANDING WAVE RATIO (SWR) METER

SWR is useful in connection with the design of coupling circuits and the adjustment of the match
between the antenna and the transmission line, as well as in the adjustments of the matching circuits.

FREQUENCY AND SWR


The principle factor that determines the way the transmission line is operated is the frequency range
over which the antenna will work. Any kind of transmission line can be used with any kind of antenna, if
proper measures are taken to couple the two together but in different kinds of units such as portable
radio and base transmission lines vary depending on the unit being connected to.
Very few types of antennas will present essentially the same load impedance to the line on harmonically
related frequencies. Builders of antennas often choose between:
1. An antenna system that will permit operating the transmission line with a low standing wave
ratio, but is confined to one operating frequency or a narrowband of frequencies.
2. A system that will permit operation in several harmonically related bands but with a large SWR
on the line.

Methods of Matching
Operating the transmission line at a low standing wave ratio requires that the line be terminated, at its
output end, in a resistive load matching the characteristic impedance of the line. This can be approached
in two ways:
1. Selecting a transmission line having a characteristic impedance that matches the antenna
resistance. This approach is simple and direct but its application is limited because the antenna
impedance and line impedance are alike only in a few special cases.
2. Transforming the antenna resistance value to a value that matches the Zo of the transmission
line.

ANTENNA a device for radiating electromagnetic waves into space, or for receiving these waves.
BIDIRECTIONAL ANTENNA Radiates or receive most of its energy in only two directions.
ONMI-DIRECTIONAL ANTENNA Radiates or receives equal power in all directions in a horizontal plane.
UNI-DIRECTIONAL ANTENNA Radiates or receives most of its energy in only one direction.
POLARIZATION Direction of the electric field as radiated from an antenna.
Types:
1. Vertical
2. Horizontal

ANTENNA RADIATION PATTERN theoretical appearance of an antenna reception region.


REFLECTOR a single rod, a system of rods, metal screen or sheet used behind an antenna to increase its
directivity.
DIRECTOR parasitic element places a fraction of a wavelength ahead of a dipole to increase the gain of
the array in the direction of the major lobe.
DRIVEN ELEMENT an antenna element directly connected to the transmission line.
MAJOR LOBE direction of maximum radiation.
ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE power signal radiated or propagated into free space with the velocity of
light, c = 3 x 108 m/sec.
FREE SPACE space that does not interfere with the normal radiation/ propagation of radio waves; no
magnetic or gravitational fields, no solid bodies, no ionized particles.

ANTENNA LENGTHS
1. BASIC ANTENNA LENGTH, /2
NOTE:
- /2 is the shortest length of a conductor which will resonant at a given frequency.
- Radiation / reception is at its greatest when the antenna is resonant.
2. PHYSICAL LENGTH actual length of an antenna.
L = /2;
= c/f
3. ELECTRICAL LENGTH length dependent upon the velocity coefficient/factor (ratio of the
half wavelength to diameter)

VELOCITY FACTOR
Electromagnetic waves do not travel at the same speed in all media. C which is 3 x 108mps is only
valid for free space. This maybe slightly different in a conductor such as the material the antenna is made
of: Al, Cu, etc. The velocity factor is dependent upon. The ratio of the half wavelength conductor
diameter.

STANDING WAVE RATIO


Standing Wave variation of current and voltage along a line.

/2

Emax, Imax

0.5

-0.5

Emin, Imin

-1

-1.5

-2

20

40

/4

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

Distance

ANTINODES /LOOP maximum current or voltage point.


NODES minimum current or voltage points.
*Voltage loop occurs at a current node and vice versa.

LOSSLESS LINE
REFLECTED POWER the remaining power from the termination and moves back toward the source.
INCIDENT POWER the RF power moving/ travelling down the line to its termination.

Reflection happens when the transmission line is incorrectly terminated.


If the line is short or open circuit, there is full reflection (no power is dissipated).
If the line is lossless, a wave can be possible sent, thus, power will be sent back and forth (never
diminishing).

INFLUENCE OF TERMINATION ON STANDING WAVES (Zr vs. Zo)


Where:

Zr = resistive/ load termination


Zo = surge / characteristics impedance.

Terminating resistance larger than surge impedance.


- SW resembles an open-circuit condition. The higher the
ohmic value the more closely the SW condition; voltage loop
is always maximum at Zr (termination). In an open-circuit
conditions, R.
E

I
I

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

Terminating resistance much larger than the surge impedance.


- Less power is absorbed, more is reflected (not good). SW is
of higher magnitude than in the first. Termination still
resembles an open circuit condition.
E

2
I

1.5

0.5

-0.5

-1

-1.5

-2

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

E
E

Terminating resistance less than the surge impedance


- Termination acts like a short circuit, but of similar existing
relationship as Zr > Zo (1).

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8

-1

20

40

60

80

100

120

E
E

140

160

180

Terminating resistance much less than the surge impedance.


- Has a similar relationship as Zr >> Zo (2). Termination is a
short circuit. In a short circuit condition, R0, all incident
power is reflected.

1.5

0.5

-0.5

-1

-1.5

-2

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

180

SW magnitude increases as ohmic value of the Zr decreases.


As SW decreases, more power is reflected.
If Zr slightly greater than Zo, more incident power is absorbed, which strengthens SWR.

STANDING WAVE RATIO (SWR)


- a measure of the mismatch between the load (Zr) and the line (Zo)
- a measure of the standing waves.

SWR = 1 (ideal/desirable condition)


= minimum value

>> when the load is perfectly matched with the line.


>> when a line is matched by a resistive impedance
equal to its surge impedance, no standing waves are set
up on the line because the termination absorbs all the
energy.

SWR = (Zr is purely reactive)


= maximum value

>> there is a perfect mismatch which is not good.

SWR Formulae:
SWR =

Imax Emax
=
Imin Emin
Z

SWR = Z r or
o

Zo
Zr

(which ever is greater)

SWR reading tells much about the operation of an antenna system; the highest it is, the greater
is the mismatch. Consequently, less power reaches the termination and more is reflected.

When: = 0 ; SWR = 1
= 1 ; SWR =
1 ; SWR > 1

(Zr Zo)
(Zr>>/<<Zo)
(Zr > Zo) or

* Preflected = 0
* Preflected = max
* Preflected = 0<x<max

>> perfect match


>> perfect mismatch
>> slight mismatch

= reflection coefficient
= the ratio of reflected to incident
= 1 when there is a short circuit, an open-circuit, or a reactive termination, or no component can
dissipate or absorbed power.

Zo = impedance seen by both incident and reflected waves.


= typically resistive at high frequency.

OPERATION OF SWR METER: (SX-600Model)


1. Connect the radio and antenna to the SWR and POWER-WATT Meter.
2. Set radio operating frequency for testing. Radio transceiver must be pushed to high power.
3. Set SWR meter to 5W function. (For portable, about 50W for base radios).
4. Set to cal (calibration) function and then press the PTT. (Pointer moves to or must be at , if not,
adjust the cal knob.
5. Set from cal to SWR function (pointer moves back towards 1).
6. Where the pointer stops, that is the SWR reading.

Power range depends on the output of the transmitter. It is the selectivity output of the
transmitter.
Always do calibration first.
Always push high (high power) for more accurate reading and to really determine where the
signal of the transmitter is strong.