Build A Simple Audible RF Field Strength Meter

A simple NE555P IC audible RF field strength meter. It can detect a 1W VHF / UHF handheld from about 2 or 5 meters away. A useful tool to have for testing radio gear.
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Testing the NE555P IC audible RF field strength meter from Peter – VK3YE, well known as the Squeakie ( the meter, not Peter ha ). First PCB design made by my friend Stefan – YO5ASB. It can detect a 1W VHF / UHF handheld from about 2 or 5 meters away. As promised in the video, I also designed a PCB board for you to order, or you can make it at home. I had a lot of fun with this simple device and I really enjoy it. I find it really funny that it sounds like a Geiger counter.

THE SCHEMATIC

There is not much to talk about as there are only a few components on the board. Is a simple NE555P voltage controlled oscillator, connected to a diode and short antenna to detect the presence of RF. I like calling it RF sniffer and it seems pretty sensitivity. The 15K resistor and the 10K potentiometer allows you to vary the bias on the diode ( 1N4148 ). This way you will be able to adjust the sensitivity of the RF strength meter.

AUDIBLE RF FIELD STRENGTH METER SCHEMATIC

PCB BOARD

I designed the PCB board just because the design my friend Stefan made, was not suitable for the toner transfer method. The PCB board is now easy to make at home also, using the toner transfer method.

OPINIONS ON THE SQUEAKIE

There is really not much else to say about the audible RF field strength meter. Is fun having this tool, and the Squeakie name I like very much. I am playing with it at the moment testing the radiation pattern of my 8010 EFHW antenna and not only. Is a simple tool but at the same time very useful too.

I know that I may build other field strength meters, possibly the more traditional ones that are very sensitive and a little more precise. But I still think the Squeakie will be useful to me as well. All I have to do now is to find a nice enclosure and put the circuit and the speaker inside. I think it makes a good present for kids in a radio club as a project they could build in less than an hour I am sure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

73 DE YO6DXE

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