A homebrew RF Milliammeter

The need for a QRP output meter was felt when the homebrew SWR meters / RF ammeters in the shack proved useless for peaking the output of a homebrew 7MHz 5W solid state CW transmitter. For their pointers barely moved.

Hence the decision to build a RF milliammeter on the same lines as my homebrew RF ammeter.


All parts were sourced from the junkbox. BNC sockets were used. The primary of the toroidal transformer is a piece of the inner conductor of RG-58/U coax. The secondary is wound with a length of solid hookup wire. A rubber grommet ensures positioning of the toroid.


The small 1kΩ, 200μA FSD meter makes the unit quite compact. The enclosure of a defective 230V - 110V autotransformer came in handy, with the meter taking the place of the 110V socket.


It was roughly calibrated to read around 250 RF milliamperes maximum. The CW transmitter was then easily adjusted.
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