MB-1 Specifications - by Category

Many of these features are unique to MeterBuilder.


Display Devices

4 x 20 LCD

Four 4-digit 7-Segment LED Displays

Crossneedle Analog Meter – with Linear Scales

Display Devices

Two additional Crossneedle meters or four additional single needle Analog Meters

Two  High Visibility 7-Segment LED Displays
One  High Visibility 7-Segment LED Display and One High Visibility 40 Segment Bar Graph LED Display

MB-1 supports the full family of SURE Electronics 7-segment LED information modules (from 1.5 inches to 7 inches in height)

Number of Remote Coupler ports

4 (each port has its own power and band compensation settings)

Meter Configuration and Control

All functions Controllable from Font Panel
(no PC required)


Power measurement range


10 mw – 1500 watts with included MB-HF1 coupler

Up to 30,000 watts with appropriate user-provided coupler 

Supported Measurements

Instantaneous Forward Power

Instantaneous Delivered Power

Average Forward Power

Peak-Forward Power

Peak-Delivered Power

Reflected Power


Min/Max Functions

RF Current

Generic Meter - supports a wide range of applications when used with user-provided analog sensors.

All of the above measurements can be displayed on the numeric, bar graph, and analog meter displays.

Accuracy - MB-HF1 coupler using DC voltage benchmarks and voltmeter alignment


Accuracy - Custom Calibration of MB-HF1 coupler or user-provided coupler

Will track the calibration reference to within 2% across the full power and frequency range for power levels > 2 watts (provided that the coupler has adequate low power sensitivity). See the "Evaluating Couplers" page. The MB-HF1 coupler has adequate sensitivity to meet this requirement.

Simultaneously Displayable Measurement Types


Measurement Type-to-Display Device Mapping


Minimum Detectable Power

10 mW

Minimum Displayable Power

10 mW

Low Power Display Resolution

10 mW

Averaging Filter Window for Average Power Measurements

.3 seconds – 8 seconds, with optional "Snap Measurement to Constant Signal" feature

Maximum Measurement Rate

> 500 measurement cycles per second  for time varying signals

> 300 measurement cycles per second with a constant level signal applied (as during tune up)

(Above specs apply for Default MB-1 settings) 

Adjustable Peak Hold Time

.1 sec - 9.9 secs in steps of .1 sec

Adjustable Analog Meter Downrange Decay Time
(when range is controlled by AutoRange feature)

.1 sec - 9.9 secs in steps of .1 sec

Variable Display Update Rates

Three speed controls - 9 Speed Settings for each of the following Displays:

     Numeric Displays
     Bar Graphs
     Panel Meter

Effective Low Range A-to-D Resolution

15 bits

Peak Capture Time
(using Default Settings)

< 3 milliseconds

Dropout Capture time
(using Default Settings)

< 3 milliseconds

SWR range

1.00 – 99.9  

Min FWD Power Required for SWR Measurements

100 mw

SSB SWR Stabilizer

(Provides stable SWR readings even for time varying signals such as voice and CW)


Digital Filtering

4 Filters:

Instantaneous FWD Power
Instantaneous Reflected Power
Average Power


Frequency Range (for included MB-HF1 coupler)

HF + 6 Meters

(No frequency restrictions for User-provided Bruene type couplers)

Power Range (for included MB-HF1 coupler)

1500 watts HF (ICAS), 1000 watts 6 Meters (ICAS)

Maximum Full Scale Capacity of Control Head

30,000 watts with user-provided coupler

30,000 "user defined units" when used for a Generic Meter application

Maximum coupler distance

150 feet (using shielded RCA cables). No recalibration required when extending distance.

Restrictions on external Couplers

Works with most Bruene-type DC directional couplers with a FWD and REFL DC port with a Full Scale DC output of at least 1 volt.

 (> 6 volts FS DC required for full 15 bit resolution)

Max number of Calibration points  (Reference Band)

Up to 60

49 (for 0 - 2 kW Range)
60 (for 0 - 30 kW Range)

Band Selection


Frequency Compensation supported on the following bands

160, 80, 60, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10, 6, 2 meters
70 cm 

Multiple Power Level trim points for each of the above bands

Nine Power Levels (Six for Amateur Radio)

5w, 50w, 150w, 500w, 1000w, 2000w, 5000w, 8000w, 15000w

Pre-loaded Calibration table for included MB-HF1 Coupler


Number of "in memory" Coupler Calibration Tables

4 – With front panel pushbutton recall

Coupler Field Calibration Method

Simple Multimeter lineup with included MB-HF1 Coupler using Factory DC voltage Benchmarks

Coupler Port Input Sensitivity

Full Scale voltage of approx. 6 volts can drive full 15 bit range with coupler trim pot set to maximum sensitivity (max CW travel)

Max Input Voltage to coupler port

200 volts peak
100 volts continuous

Analog  Meters


Real time tracking  of Voice and CW (up to 40 wpm)

Internal Analog Meter

Cross Needle Meter with linear scales

External (user-provided) Analog Meters

Supports linear scale, nonlinear scale, and crossneedle meters. Each scale can be mapped at up to 50 points during calibration.

External Meters - Maximum Distance from control head

150 feet with shielded RCA cables

Auto range

Fast attack slow decay for up-ranging/down-ranging. Adjustable down-range timing.

External Meters - Number of Programmable Power scales

1 – 12 scales for Linear Scale Analog Meters

1 – 3 scales for Non-linear Scale analog meters (including Crossneedle meters)

External Meters - Number of Programmable SWR scales

1 - 3 ranges for Linear Scale Meter Movements

1 range for Nonlinear Scale Meter Movements

Required Meter Movement sensitivity for user-provided external analog meters

1 mA or less

Meter Movement protection

Yes – with Soft Overrange

Overrange Indicator

Yes – Soft Overrange, as read on Analog Meter, and LED overrange Indicator on Control Head.

Bar Graph

AutoMax Bar Graph

Bar Graph Full Scale Value adjusts dynamically to maximum applied signal with 1 watt resolution

Number of Manual Power ranges

Up to 5 (Full scale value of each range is programmable)

Number of Manual SWR scales

Up to 3 (Full scale value of each range is programmable)

Number of
BAR Graph Segments

Internal Bar Graph (LCD) – 60

External High Visibility Bar Graph Module – 40

Response Type


Bar Graph Response

>300 Updates per second
(with Bar Graph Update Rate set to max)

Can follow the on-off cadence of 60 wpm CW

"Sticky Bar" Segment

(freezes max bar)

Can be enabled/disabled for all supported Bar Graph measurements, not just Peak power

Sticky Bar Variable Hang Time

.1 sec - 9.9 secs in steps of .1 sec  (Slaved off of Peak Hold Time setting)

SWR/Relay Protection

(Display and Control)

LCD Message,
LED indicator,

Both Relay and Sounder
(Devices are selectable from menu)


High Power Trip
Low Power Trip

High Power/Low Power Trip Points can be used to alarm RF Current Coupler Applications and Generic Meter Applications as well

Alarm Relay Jacks

6 RCA Jacks - (2 sets, each with set of N/O and N/C contacts)

Max contact Switching/Load

.5 Amps at 30 VDC

SWR Trip Points

1.1  -  9.9 in steps of 0.1

Adjustable Fault Trip Duration for High Power/Low Power Trip Points

(50 ms - 30 secs)

Low Power
Trip Points

1 watt - 27,500 watts  (91 settings)

High Power
Trip Points

1 watt - 30,000 watts  (92 settings)

Number of SWR Alarm threshold sets

7 – A different group of trip settings can be stored in each of the seven Configuration sets.

Alarm Trip Reset – 3 modes

  • Manual
  • Auto Reset
  • Conditional Auto Reset

Auto Reset - unconditionally resets alarm after user specified interval.

Conditional Auto Reset - resets alarm after user specified interval only if none of the monitored parameters exceed defined trip thresholds.

Auto Trip Reset Interval

Adjustable from 50 ms - 30 secs

SWR Alarm "Snooze" mode

Adjustable from 5 – 99 seconds

SWR Alarm-Low Power Bypass

Adjustable from .1 watts – 10 watts

SWR Warning Feature

Independent of Trip feature. Provides non-latched LED indication when SWR warning threshold is exceeded. SWR "Trip" and SWR "Warning" thresholds have their own settings.  

Alarm Functionality available when used with RF Ammeter and Generic Meter Applications

Full report and alarm trip functionality using the low and high level trip points.


(Power Cube included with Expansion Kit)

12 – 15 volts at 800 mA max (base meter) 

12 – 15 volts at 1.2 amps max (with external Hi Visibility Display Modules connected) 

Power connector - 2.5 mm
coaxial power plug (Tip +) 

Single Button access to commonly used menus


Firmware Field Upgradeable

Bootloader and PC utility provided

PC-Based Utility - to Backup and Restore MB-1 EEProm settings


PC-Based OEM calibration Table Update Utility 

Allows updating of the preloaded OEM coupler calibration tables to add updates to currently supported couplers and to add support for new coupler types.


Backup/Restore Configuration sets


7 Sets:

Default Set – with one button restore

User-Defined Startup Set – (One button save and  one button restore)

5 additional User-Defined Configuration Sets

Baud Rate for Firmware Upgrade and EEProm backup/restore/update utilities


Integrated Diagnostic Mode

Interactive Hardware diagnostics with results displayed on LCD

Demo Mode with Integrated Simulator and four Virtual Coupler Ports

6 Demo Modes  

Three Virtual power couplers - with programmable Full Scale Power and programmable SWR. One of the virtual couplers generates “variable SWR” values.

One Virtual RF current coupler with programmable Full Scale current. This virtual coupler can also be used to test and exercise Generic Meter Applications.

Min/Max Function

Select the parameter to be processed by the Min/Max function (e.g., SWR). The Min/Max feature will then capture the Min and Max values of that parameter and display the Min/Max values on any of the available display devices.

This feature is similar to the Min/Max feature found in the Bird 4391A Digital Meter.

 Prototyping Features

Auxiliary Power (5 volts) - 100 mA max

50 uA, 200 uA, and 1 mA current source (for determining the full scale value of External Analog Meters)

Variable output voltage (0 – 5 v) controlled from front panel pot


Adjustable Activate time - 1 minute to 9 minutes.

Screensaver can be completely disabled.

LCD Brightness
LCD Contrast 

7-Segment Brightness (internal 7-segment modules)

9 Settings
9 Settings

9 settings


Performance Metrics

Measures Meter Update Rate and displays the values on the LCD

Size (Width x Height x Depth)

8.9 x 5.5 x 7.7 inches


10.2 lbs