Bird Model 43 RF Wattmeter Repair Tips

aka How Do I Fix My Bird Wattmeter?

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If your know a little bit about electronics you can fix your Bird 43 wattmeter should it become intermittent or inoperative. Here are a few tips on what to do if your Bird 43 wattmeter is not working. Don't try these test if you are not at least a little familiar with the electronics. You can damage your meter if you are not careful.

The Bird Model 43 Wattmeters are very robust and rarely fail. There is not a whole lot to them. Most of the electronics are in the elements, not in the wattmeter housing. The wattmeter consists of the transmission line section, a 30 ua meter movement, and a length of coax connecting the two. 99.9% of the problems I see are with the wattmeter contacts to the elements or with the coax on the inside of the wattmeter that is connected to the transmission line section.

Here are pictures of the locations of the two most common problems, 99% of problems can be found here, the left picture shows the contact finger, the right picture shows the DC connector on the transmission line:

Bird Model 43 Wattmeter Element Repairs and Calibration

Method I

Pry off the element top with a small screwdriver. I use a small hammer and lightly tap the screwdriver to force it under the element cover. This works with all types of elements. The adhesive used on the metal covers is agressive and it can take considerable force to pry/lift the cover off. The adjuster hole varies with the style elements. Some elements do not have an adjuster, you will need to replace the fixed resistor with a small potentiometer in order to calbratie the element.

Method II

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A Look Inside The Bird Elements

A Photo Tour of Bird Elements

Wattmeter Manufacturer Links

Bird Electronic
Coaxial Dynamics
Telewave, Inc

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