Wavenode WN-2

wn-2-frt

Recently I ordered a WaveNode WN-2 for an accurate RF power station monitor.  I must say that I really love this little box!  I first saw the advertisement for the WN-2 on eHAM.net, but my buddy Jeff N9IZ bought one before me, so I got a bit of a chance to play with one before I bought it.

At the core of the WaveNode is the controller, a small device with a nice multi-function LCD display.  The display will show the information of up to 4 sensors connected to it as well as Voltage and Amperage and also 2 channels that you can define for other devices.  The controller connects to a PC via USB connection, but you can use it as a stand-alone system.  It’s when you connect it to a PC and use the supplied software that the unit really shines!

My WaveNode WN-2 system consists of the following:

  • The WaveNode WN-2 controller
  • 2 HF1 sensors (1.8 – 60 MHz – 2 kW power handling)
  • 1 HF1 sensor with RF-View (1.8 – 60 MHz – 2 kW power handling and a BNC jack for connection to an oscilloscope).
  • 1 UHF1 sensor ( 140 – 460 Mhz operation – 500 Watts power handling)

For my setup I connected sensor 1 to the output of my IC-7600 and sensor 2 to the output of my SPE 1K-FA 1000 Watt amplifier so that I could monitor the output power between the IC-7600 and the amp, and the output of the amplifier.  This works really great for accurate SWR and power monitoring of my primary station.

Sensor 3 is used on my test bench where I can test radios that seem to make their way in and out of my shack.  I have connected my oscilloscope to the RF-View BNC connector to monitor modulation waveforms.

Sensor 4 is connected to my IC-910H.  This allows me accurate power and SWR measurement of my VHF-UHF radio.

WaveNode has other sensors available that go up to 8 kW!!!!!  You can see the very impressive line-up of sensors here.

The good:

As far as the good goes, there is MUCH to say about the WaveNode.  I have had other power meters from Diawa, and Power Master.  And although those products are good, they cannot come close to matching the capabilities of the WN-2.  Here are just some of the features of the WN-2:

  • Power measurement (up to 8 kW depending on the sensor used!)
  • SWR measurement and protection.
  • One WN-2 can handle up to 4 sensors, but two WN-2 units can be cascaded together for up to 8 sensors!
  • Excellent information on the LCD display.
  • PC connectivity using a USB connection with a quality FTDI chipset (no junky, problematic Prolific USB to serial chipset!)
  • Sensors utilize a PS/2 style mini DIN plug that can be extended using PS/2 style keyboard extension cables.
  • Software is included.
  • Software measurement shows Peak/Avg power, power forward, power reflected, and SWR.  Even has a nice pie graph to show forward/reflected power.
  • Software tracks elapsed DC power usage.
  • Software tracks elapsed RF power usage (Watt-Hours).
  • A totally awesome histogram of power that compares different sensors with a power vs. gain graph.
  • A SWR vs. Frequency graph that you can run on multiple sensors (and different antennas if you wish on a switch!)
  • WN-2 has connections for rotator control.  Control is done via software.
  • Software has an audio tone generator for testing.
  • 4 logic outputs for controlling additional accessories with supplied schematics.
  • And still there is much more!  Check out the WaveNode site for more information!

Here is a screen shot of the “Main Screen” window:

WaveNode Main Screen

Technical support is also EXCELLENT!  Most people will have absolutely no problems connecting the WaveNode WN-2, but I did have a small issue when connecting mine.  It turned out that a PC accessory that I was using was conflicting with the WN-2.  The PC accessory was a VL Systems L.I.S. 2 status monitor for the PC that monitored fans and other aspects of the PC that I really didn’t need to use anymore.  I called WaveNode for support and spoke with Alan Burroughs AD6MT.  What a nice guy Alan is.  He was very patient and offered me different solutions to get my new WaveNode working properly.  Thanks Alan!!!

The Bad:

Now this really would not be a very objective review if I couldn’t state what I didn’t like about the WN-2.  But I have to say there aren’t many dislikes.  Here is my run down of the things that I don’t really like about the WaveNode WN-2 (pretty petty stuff really):

  • Their website is a bit basic and old-school.  They really need a web site revamp! Make it easier to navigate and find information.
  • The WN-2 shipped with 2 very large front feet.  I guess this is so that it can be presented at a slight tilted up angle.  I removed those feet and bought some smaller ones to make it fit where I wanted it…easy enough done.
  • The software works great, but is not very refined from an aesthetic standpoint.  I would like to see some additional configuration options to get it to display the way I want (i.e. sizable windows).  Low resolution graphics and text makes it dated looking.
  • The “Dim” feature just looks horrible, but it swapps the light grey background with a dark grey one so that it isn’t so beaming.  In other words it works…

WaveNode Main Screen DIM

*ugh* the “dim” version….bleeeech!

Now for a nice slideshow of my WN-2 in my shack!

Summary:

If you are in the market for a great SWR/Power station monitor that does more than just the basic, the WaveNode WN-2 is your girl.

The price was very reasonable and way cheaper than my Power Master for way more features and performance.

I rate the WaveNode WN-2 at 4 3/4 out of 5 stars.  Really you cannot go wrong with a WN-2.  Get one and you will love it.

I made a video showing the WN-2 in action.  Here is the video for your viewing pleasure!

 

This was my first go with some video editing.  I still have a lot to learn :-D.

 

73! de Nick N9SJA

2 thoughts on “Wavenode WN-2

  1. Thanks. It was my first time editing video really. I had 2 videos that I made. One with the camera, and one with the screen recording utility. The audio was a bit low with the screen recording, so next time, I will make sure that I adjust that better. I still have a lot to learn about editing video, but it did work out ok I guess. I had fun doing it and I think I showed the best features of the WN-2. My next review will be better as I did learn some lessons from this one.

    Thanks and 73! de Nick N9SJA

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