I'm planning to build a 5W PWR/SWR meter very similar to this design by G3YMC, but with two meters:

enter image description here

I'd like to put it in this metal box, and use the box as ground. However, the bottom of the box would then also be ground, and I may accidentally touch it. Would that be a problem?

Or does that depend on how I will use it? For now I'll use it for 40m/20m, up to 5W.

enter image description here

  • I would ask myself whether the transmitter itself is properly grounded, which should make the coax shield grounded. If so, then there should be no problem. But if it is running on a battery at a floating ground potential, then you might get a tingle from it. Grounding is not just for the antenna system; it is also for safety, in other words. Without knowing the answer to that question, I wouldn't be able to give a definitive answer. – SDsolar Apr 23 at 0:34
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's no problem with what you're proposing, usually.

Most of your other equipment probably has exposed metal connected to “ground”. If it's not causing trouble, this won't either.

But if you have the problem known as “RF in the shack” — your transmitter's RF coming back to you on the outer shield of your feedline — then the metal will be RF-hot, but you should fix the problem rather than trying to insulate this particular piece of equipment.

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