Many thanks to Michael (N7CCD) who writes:
I just watched your last activation video (very fun by the way!) using the TR-35 and thought I’d share really quickly my solution to the lack of an SWR indicator.
It was a cheap (and fun) $5 for the kit, build project I did with my brother, N7BHP, while visiting him in Mexico. It was actually the first little precursor project to building the TR-35 while on that same trip.
We picked up three (one for me and two for my brother) Pacific Antenna Mini SWR Indicator kits, and some cheap cases off of Amazon that just fit the meter. Of course, we had to add the BNC connectors also.
The kit is a 50ohm dummy load, and the LED lights up if the SWR is above 2:1. I’ve actually used this to tune my AlexLoop with the TR-35. When the light goes out, you’ve hit 1:1. I’ve found the LED on this kit to be more sensitive than the AlexTune light on the antenna.
I modified my kit to eliminate the switch. The way they have you build it is to leave it inline with your antenna, and just flip the switch from ‘forward’ to ‘reverse’. To save space and fit into the little plastic case, we jumpered where the switch would be so it stays in the ‘engaged’ position. I then just put it in at the very beginning of my setup to ensure the SWR is good on my antenna, then take it out of the circuit completely when using the radio.
It’s small enough to just live with my TR-35 at all times.
Hope all is well!
I love this, Michael. I think I might have to build one as well. Looks like a fun, inexpensive build that’s actually quite practical! Thank you for sharing!