Coil measuring-, and Q-meters

m1. LC- and Q-meters.
c. Amateur radio technical experiments m2. RF detectors, level meters, attenuators, dummy loads, signal dividers m3. RF signal- and power generators m11 Grid dip meters + xtal testers m12 Power- and VSWR-meters m21 Norwegian instruments m22. Old measuring instruments m23. Signal-to-noise-meter m31. LF/Audio instruments

Several old constructions and instruments are still a good idea to use today, the Rohde & Schwartz 50 years anniversary book contains several stories about some of their oldest, but highly appreciated instruments.



and below is the Fernsehen connector which is practical for video switch panels.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-. and Q-meters 1. Above is the coax connector usually found on CF instruments from Wandel&Goltermann and Siemens.noding. an old.1) Some German LF/HF-coax connectors from the 50. (also shown on page m-12) 1.com/la8ak/m1..htm 2/10 .2) Analogue RCL-measuring instruments Radiometer MM1f.. I use them for selecting between HF antennas. but still very useful multimeter to maintain! http://www.60's.

but the old 1950-vintage instrument seems still worth to maintain . It is usually no problem to find inductance values with this instrument when the instruments fails to work. and Q-meters Radiometer MM1f multimeter. Modification in particular to achieve better reading between 20nH-2µH coil inductance.com/la8ak/m1.htm 3/10 . Note the series coil. it is the secret why it is possible to measure inductance values down towards zero.3) Radiometer QM1f (50kHz-70MHz in 8 ranges) http://www.noding. Also have a digital L-C-R-meter and some Q-meters. (Since it is a gif file it prints better than it seems on the screen). to null out the extra connection wires with alligator clips.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-. in my case they measure to 150nH 1. A suggested compensation for home-brewing instrument.

4 94 41. Freq range 10-50Mhz.23 turns of #22 wire Spacing .qsl. I bring up the last point because these Amidon "yellow" cores appear to be operational at a lower range than their charts indicate even thought they mention that larger cores tend to peak towards to low end of the range. Won't modify as it probably upsets calibration.5 9.0 10. Permeability 8. and consistency of the core material itself (maybe other factors). wire spacing around the core.net/k5bcq/qmeter/qmeter. see note further below 1.yellow Winding .9 8. The screws for device under test is bad design and it is often difficult to fix the coil wires properly.0 18. they tend to fall out when screws are tightened.com/la8ak/m1.0 15. The Q-meter detector uses an EF6. the only modification is a mains socket on the rear and a BNC skt for frequency counter.4) Build your own Q-meter calibration coils Received note (not edited): I can give you some detail if you like using an Amidon core as an example.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-.htm 4/10 .html http://www.noding. Amidon T-50-6 core.5uH Results: Frequency (MHz) Capacitance (pf) "Q" 7.0 19.2 150 134 119. color . Perhaps it was invented before they started to make holes in the screws?!.equally spaced around toroid Doping .5 28.2. and Q-meters It seems sometimes difficult to use if you don't already know the inductance or resonnance frequency.none Inductance .5 25 340 350 355 355 340 296 284 73s Kees K5BCQ Boonton 260A Q-meter: http://www. I would think the "Q" will vary some with "doping" material used to hold the turns in place.

6) The poor man's Q-meter It was constructed as a comment to a SPRAT article to demonstrate how cheap it was possible to make a coil measure meter. http://www. didn't load the circuit so much that it couldn't be used in a Q-meter. while EF94/6AU6 didn't work at all.50.com/la8ak/m1. Had some discussions with Dick Rollema PA0SE regarding detectors. since you may measure the level on 50Ω side. and I believe it is better than EF93 which I ended up with as only modern alternative. but of course it depends on the frequency and minority carrier life time #1. and Q-meters #1.QM1f uses a small resistor and requires quite heavy excitation to achieve high enough drive.noding.htm 5/10 . with the shown ferrite core transformer you easily make very low feed impedance I redesigned my Heath Kit QM-1 meter using this technique.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-. and used a 6BA6/EF93 as grid detector. this uses a Philips EF6. suppose it could be built for less than £2. and a thermocouple to measure the power. based on the principle used for Radiometer QM1f. But this is much easier with the described ferrite toroid technique.5) how to build your own Q-meter An idea how to build your own Q-meter. but depends on what you have in your junkbox. and he proved that 1N4148 type detector.

With different capacitors you may tune to resonnance and coils be calculated when you know the capacitance. while the European standard is 2x450pF or 405+455pF (since we have the longwave AM broadcast band. Ended up with a 6BA6 detector in a similar circuit to the one in Radiometer QM1f using EF6. not such disc ceramic(!) type. 6AL5 detector was a problem. too).com/la8ak/m1. mine drifted.htm 6/10 . it consists of two insulated wire ends twisted together. since the signal into the receiver is certainly strong enough. and it is now far from the original. the other capacitors are not critical in other ways than that they may influence the frequency stability. You use an 80m receiver and the S-meter deflection indicates the Q-value.noding. http://www.We bought some in 76 when they were offered at half price. Suggested construction on a piece of copper laminate using the dead-bug method #1.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-. and Q-meters American broadcast type capacitors seems to be 2x365µµF. but somebody else believe the diodes could be selected. (140kHz-18MHz in 4 ranges). C9 should be small as possible. It has reasonable accurate Q-readings. it is really not so important. Must admit that I used QM1 for several experiments. but possibly totally out of calibration. It is important to use a good capacitor at C4.7) Heathkit QM-1. but I never managed to align the frequency properly over the band.

An alternative circuit: The primary consists of a brass plates which passes through the toroid core. didn't load the circuit so much that it couldn't be used in a Q-meter.8 Q-meter. but of course it depends on the frequency and minority carrier life time. so the usage may depend on operational frequency. EF6 which seems somewhat different from more modern type pentodes. and Q-meters #1. #1. you will transform a loss resistance of 10000 x 50 = 500kΩ to the hot circuit and this is really too much for a good Q-meter. So if you attach a 1/100 voltage divider for connecting a 50 ohm amplifier. Notes for building your own Q-meter. the voltage on the hot side is 1V. I would reckon that an integrated circuit detector need at least 100:1 detecting http://www. With 20mV excitation to the coil and Q=50.9) Q-meter construction Q-meter. It would be some improvement in coil loading if a voltage divider goes to the diodes or an RF amplifier could be used as buffer. the detector should not load the tuned circuit. The grid circuit must have dc return circuit via the coil. The first problem to consider is that you need a defined RF voltage to use this technique for building your own Q-meter.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-.htm 7/10 . but has an obsolete type. Grid detector using 6AU6 used with Heath QM-1. the second is perhaps even worse.noding. Had some discussions with Dick Rollema PA0SE regarding detectors. The original is used in Radiometer QM1. and he proved that 1N4148 type detector.com/la8ak/m1.

2v Detected DC 28V 14v 5.htm 8/10 . It is described on one of my pages. A problem with germanium diodes is internal capacitance. If output voltage is not critical.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-. Amatör Radio 1985-11 pg 299). On the other hand. AAZ15. and perhaps. #1.noding.10) Measuring small coil values http://www. and you may have good use of it whether it is perfect or not. It may also be mentioned on page m2 as "LA7MI LF/HF/VHF/UHF mV-meter". but you don't know the actual calibration. Dick Rollema PA0SE mentions the diode detector.45 RF (RMS) 100mV 50mV 20mV 10mV 5mV 2mV Detected (DC) 187mV 50mV 13. but it must be checked what the dynamic impedance is. and the performance must be checked and calibrated.4mV 0. see sensitive RF detector using silicon diodes (1N4148) on page m2 The problem with the detector is that it must have very high impedance. but I am not capable of finding it now.5v 0.com/la8ak/m1.4V 2. He constructed a quasi-compensating amplifier with CA3140E so that the reading was within 20% accuracy. Some other possible diode types are OA95. and worse is the diode characteristic which should be checked properly for any detector intended to be used. you may always build something which works.25 0. AA118. so they should be applied with an RF-voltage-divider. so it is not a good solution. AA119. the characteristique must be predictable. RF detector with 2x 1N270.6 1. but not so much below 100MHz.85mV 0. a suggestion is shown here. and Q-meters range. note that detected voltage may decrease for higher frequencies.7mV 3. LA7MI Stein Torp made some measurements of a voltage doubler with 2x 1N270 on HF: RF (RMS) 1MHz 10V 5v 2v 1v 0. you just want to see some DC change as RF voltage varies.137mV DC output from a voltage doubler with varying RF voltages (LA7MI.

com/la8ak/m1.noding. However. but you can measure coil vales down to zero. http://www.11) Another RF transformer construction for Q-meter Another suggestion is to use an RF-transformer described by W4ZCB for another purpose (ref.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-. The secret in measuring such small values is to add a 0. #1. This extra coil should have high as practical Q-value (dependent on you desires).5-1µH coil in series with the coil under test. Q-measurements may not be accurate.htm 9/10 . the single turn braid must use brass end plates so the braid can be opened up and pushed into contact with the sides of the hole in the binocular core. See also the notes and modification for Radiometer MM1f which uses the principle mentioned with the extra series coil. and Q-meters It is often difficult to measure small coil values. reasonable results can be obtained with just the braided with enamel inside and no end plates. 3): To minimise leakage inductance. this construction works fine down below 20 nanoHenry.

with J310 1) G3SBI Radcom TT May 95 pp60 3) Zwischenbasis amplifier W4ZCB and G3SBI Radcom TT Sept 96 pp70-71 4) Zwischen-Basis JFET amplifier 4) G3SBI Radcom TT Sep 98 pp 58-59 See the original notes on page Page r22 (2003.8/17/2010 Coil measuring-.htm 10/10 .b.01 http://www.c.noding.07.12) Edge-mounted p. The shape varies for different manufacturers of telecommunication equipment page-994 List of contents Back 2004.com/la8ak/m1.06) #1. tool Some useful tool to pull out PCB's with edge-contacts.08. and Q-meters References: 1) Zwischen-Basis amplifier with J308 2) G3SBI Radcom TT Dec 95 pp70-71 2) Zwischen-Basis cascode-amp.