The DAIWA CN-501H isn’t the most popular SWR and power meter on the market, but it’s one of the most advanced ones in this price range.
It comes with some unique features that help it stand out from the rest of the devices in its price range.
Let’s walk you through everything that it has to offer so that you can decide whether it would fit the bill for you.
DAIWA CN-501H Features
There aren’t many meters in this price range that can operate on VHF, UHF and HF bands. But the CN-501H does, and it operates on all HF bands.
Of course, it allows both SWR and power reading with great accuracy, although it may take a bit to get familiar with using it for power readings.
The frequency range is pretty flexible as well at 1.8–150 MHz.
One of the unique features customers are all praise for is the light inside the device that makes things much easier to read.
The device comes with a DC power cord that you would only need if you want to use the built-in lamp.
Another very useful unique feature is the cross needle. It makes operating the device much simpler as you don’t need to keep switching the buttons back and forth to switch between PWR and SWR or FED and REV.
And this is all without you having to perform a calibration procedure.
You can also easily switch between 20 to 200 watt readings.
In addition to all the unique features, great flexibility and the price not being very high, the accuracy too is great.
In fact, VHF ratings are dead accurate with the device showing the exact reading as the radio, be it a CB radio or a HAM radio. The SWR works just as accurately too, and you wouldn’t notice any difference on that front too.
The power ratings, however, can be slightly off as there will be a bit of a loss at the antenna. But it will be predictable once you get used to it you probably wouldn’t find it a problem too.
Easy to Use
Despite all its unique features and great accuracy, the CN-501H is surprisingly easy to use. Sure, power ratings can take a while to get used to, but other than that you would have no problem.
The fact that it comes with a cross needle that eliminates the need of calibrating every now and then further adds to the ease of use.
People that use a walkie talkie for its ease of use will appreciate that they don’t have a steep learning curve with the DAIWA CN-501H too.
The DAIWA CN-501H offers some great flexibility in terms of the bands it can operate on. It works on all HF bands as well as VHF and UHF.
The accuracy is probably as it good as it can get, especially when operating on VHF.
There’s a built-in lamp that comes in very handy, something you do not find in many other meters. Another feature that turns out to be very useful is the cross needle as it prevents the need for frequent calibrating.
And this is all while being easy to use and priced very affordably for what it offers.
We really didn’t find much bad to say about the CN-501H. There’s one thing though.
The power ratings can be a little off at times. There would be some loss at the antenna. However, as we mentioned above, you would get used to it after using the device for a while and be able to do some math to figure out the correct rating.
Just Go for It!
Unless you’re looking for something much more advanced and have a much higher budget, the DAIWA CN-501H would certainly not fail to impress you.
It has everything you can ask for in a SWR and power meter, especially at this price point. You would particularly be hard-pressed to find the cross needle and built-in lamp features in other devices being sold at a similar price, and these features would go a long way in improving your overall user experience while making the operation much easier.
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