Weather Conditions | Dedicated to the relevancy & growth of electronics, maker & amateur radio hobbyists in the Hudson Valley

Monday, May 14, 2018

Field Strength Meter Monday: A New Modern Low Cost F.S Meter

Most relative field strength meters employ an analog meter. Some newer models use LED bar graphs or LED numerical displays.

Both types of indicators offer different benefits and is why a modernized relative field strength meter is needed to bring all the benefits of these display types together. 

Additionally, having the ability to "listen" to how a signal has changed would be nice to have.  The human ear can detect much smaller changes compared to those that are visual.  So, how about we make our own modern relative field strength meter?

Key design considerations include:
  • Offer somewhat linear sensitivity across the entire design frequency range.
  • Provide amplification and attenuation for different use cases
  • Allow the user visual and audible customization indicators 
  • Enable remote monitoring capability
  • Balance cost and benefit to potential users
Evolution: Software Defined Relative Field Strength Meter

As covered in previous "Field Strength Meter Monday" articles, the components are pretty simple, but if we add more of a programming element thanks to a raspberry pi or arduino, we can do some interesting things by loading custom code and taking advantage of the different GPIO connections offered by these embedded computing devices.

Major Design Challenge

It would be nice to include the ability to remotely monitor RF signal strength since the human body can influence reception when standing in the RF near field.  Connecting a field strength meter to send its readings over Wi-Fi to a mobile phone could be an interesting feature to have.

Building This Thing 

It will be better to share a final product with HVDN readers to as to not confuse based on some half built, semi-functioning product or one that just works "theoretically".

When Can I See It?

Because HVDN wants to build a community with major benefits available to them first, the official schematic, parts list, code and other construction information will only be available to HVDN members for an embargo time period from the public.

Please join HVDN (Free) to learn more about this great project

Subscribe for HVDN Notebook updates only 

Search The Notebook

Subscribe To Future HVDN Notebook Updates Here