While it is not an absolute necessity, if you want to get the best experience possible, then you will need to purchase an SWR meter for your CB radio. As you can probably guess, there are a lot to pick from. Thankfully, you don’t have to do your research to find the best one. We have done it for you. On this page, we want to talk to you about why you need to pick up the Surecom Gam3Gear.
Why Do You Need an SWR Meter?
Most CB radios can be plugged into an antenna and switched on right away. However, the chances of you being able to get a good signal like this and virtually nil. You may be able to hear something, and you may be able to send a message, but the sound quality won’t be that high. To get decent sound, you need to adjust your antenna. This is where an SWR meter comes into play. It will allow you to measure the degree of impedance on the aerial and, ultimately, allow you to make adjustments.
Thankfully, an SWR meter (including the Surecom Gam3Gear) is not that expensive. Since there is very little that can go wrong with one of these, you can really just pick one up, safe in the knowledge that it will give you a good few years of use too.
Honestly, there is very little to an SWR meter. Here are the basic specs for the Surecom Gam3Gear:
- Frequency range 125 to 525 MHz
- Maximum power: 120W
- Impedance: 50 ohms
- Measurable power range: 0.5-120 watts
This unit runs on a 3.7V Li-ion rechargeable battery. This is actually great. Some similar products on the market run on Ni-Cad or NiMh batteries. This may help to cut costs, but the end result is a product that doesn’t last anywhere near as long. Lithium-Ion batteries do not suffer from that dreaded memory effect which can cause your batteries to fail to hold a charge if you fail to discharge them properly.
The Surecom Gam3Gear makes use of a digital display. For most people, it is going to be quick and easy to read. Well, most of the numbers. A lot of information can be found on the screen at once. As we are going to mention in a while; some people will have an issue with reading that information. There isn’t really much that Surecom could have done with that. You don’t really want a huge SWR meter connected to your CB radio set-up. For most people, the display is going to be fine anyway.
The SWR meter is ready to give you readings right out of the box. You will not need to calibrate it. However, if you want the most accurate readings, then it is going to need to be calibrated. Thankfully, this is not going to be that difficult to do.
Can Be Left Connected to Your Set-Up
Whether it’s your first or tenth time going through the how to setup your CB radio guide, SWR meters do have their place. One of the nice things about this unit in particular, the Surecom Gam3Gear can be left plugged in permanently. It has a low insertion loss. It measures at just 0.3 decibels. This means that it is going to have no impact on the sound of your CB radio set-up. We have seen other SWR meters which are simply too noisy to have permanently plugged into your set-up. In fact, anything cheaper than this is going to cause too much noise on the line which could distortion on the line. It could result in missing important messages.
The accuracy of this SWR meter is fantastic for the price. Numerous people report that there is consistency in their results. This is actually rare when you pick up a product at this price. The readouts seem to be pretty much all over the place. Not the Surecom Gam3Gear. Your measurements will always be accurate. This is going to make your adjustments a whole lot easier which, of course, is going to result in better adjustments on your antenna.
Easy to Use
This SWR meter will come complete with a decent manual. You will probably need to have a flick through it before you use the Surecom Gam3Gear. Using a unit with a digital display like this is going to be a bit different from the analog meters. However, it is not going to take long to get to grips with the features of this SWR meter. We know that the vast majority of people who fiddle with CB meters don’t want anything too complicated. This is just the ticket if you want something quick and easy to understand.
Some people have claimed that the display can be a little bit dim. If your eyes are ‘none too good’, then you may struggle to read the screen of the Gam3Gear, however, this is a problem that does seem to impact only a few people. We have no idea if this was due to the lighting of the place they were using the unit. All we know is that the unit we received did have a good display on it, and it was incredibly easy to read.
The only other issue people seem to have is that the menus can be tough to navigate. However, this is an issue that can easily be rectified once you have used it a few times. It is unlikely that you will be using it that often anyway. Most people will only use their SWR meter every so often i.e. when they think there has been a drop in signal quality.
If you are looking for quality SWR meters for CB radios, then we recommend that you check out the Surecom Gam3Gear SW-102S SO239. Yes, it does have a couple of issues, but the pros of it will far outweigh those issues. Throw in the fact that it comes in at an affordable price and it will make a nice little addition to your CB radio set-up.