The Relationship Between SWR and Power Loss
Throughout all the articles we have on our website, we are always talking about SWR (standing wave ratio) and for good reason. SWR influences the performance you see out of your CB radio and one of the ways this happens is affecting your radio power output. This is important because your power output affects the range of transmission your radio is able to reach. Depending of the type of activity your expect out of your CB radio, this factor might be of significant importance to you.
A SWR of 1:1 is most ideal since it causes no loss in radio power output. If you are operating with a radio that has 4 watts maximum value, it will be able to perform at 4 watts. The higher your ratio increases the more power output you lose. At an SWR of 1.6:1, you have effectively lost about 5% of your power output meaning your radio can only operate at 3.79 watts.
At a SWR of 2:1, you lose 11% of your power output.
At a SWR of 3:1, you lose 25% of your power output.
At SWR of 10:1, you lose 67% of your power output.
If you need to calculate your lose of power in watts, you can refer to the below formula:
(power in watts) x ((SWR-1) x (SWR-1)) / ((SWR+1) x (SWR+1)) = lose of power in watts.
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