Everything about SWR
In regard to your antenna, the standing wave ratio (SWR) is perhaps the most critical part to monitor to ensure everything is working properly. In this article we will go over the fundamentals and aspects of the SWR to further your understanding!
SWR compares the voltage the radio outputs to the minimum voltage that actually leaves the antenna. For example, if everything is perfect and all the voltage can leave the antenna, the SWR would be 1:1. Unfortunately that is hardly possible, but as long as you have an SWR below 2:1 for frequencies below 200 MHz, that is acceptable. Ideally you would want to be in the 1.5 or below range, but in practical use, the decibel loss is hard to detect from the other end.
More than just the antenna can affect the SWR. A faulty coaxial cable, bad mounts, or a defective connector can all lead to SWR changes. This makes monitoring your SWR an imperative part of troubleshooting your radio system. For example, on a ground-plane dependent mobile antenna, if you don’t have a chassis ground on your mount, that can show a spike on the SWR meter. On another note, it is also important that you give your antenna clear space, as objects in its way can lead to a low SWR.
We hope you found this information educational and gave you a deeper understanding of your SWR. At CB Radio Supply, we are here for all your radio needs, whether that is tools or assistance. Give us a call to speak with our expert staff today!