Screwdriver controller suggestions - What are you using?

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KF7NUA, Apr 7, 2012.

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  1. KF7NUA

    KF7NUA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Screwdriver controller suggestions - What are you using?
    I am going to need a controller of some sort and I have seen a few on line but nothing gets rave reviews!
    I have a Hi-Q 4/80 antenna system that I am about to install.
    What controller are you using?
     
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You only have three (real) choices, depending on the radio. If you own an Icom 7000, then the better RF is about as good as it gets. Otherwise, look into a Turbo Tuner. I'd stay away from the 2 or 3 products MFJ offers, unless you have no other choice.

    Might was to pay a vista to my web site, and look under Automatic Controllers.
     
  3. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A switch that returns to center. One way is up and the other way is down. Listen to the signal coming back on receive, when it peaks key up quickly and tune for low SWR. Doing this while driving is something you might want to reconsider. There are screwdriver controllers that have memories. All you have to do is push a button and the antenna moves to that spot. There are several manufacturers of these. Just shop around, some are made by amateurs as a sideline.
    73
    Gary
     
  4. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of the slickest manual systems I ever used, incorporated an LDG, TW1 talking wattmeter (alas, no longer made). The wattmeter has a squeal mode which was pulsed and/or was steady and/or changed frequency depending on the reflected power. I just flipped on the RTTY mode, and adjusted the antenna for the lowest steady tone, and wallah! Didn't even have to look at the transceiver.

    Why Dwayne doesn't make this unit anymore, is a surprise to me. I think it would still sell well. Heck, it even spoke in Spanish, and German! Maybe if it had also spoken Chinese or Japanese.....
     
  5. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used to manually tune my screwdriver with a little practice it was pretty easy, even when driving. I now have a Turbo Tuner and it works great. One simple press of the tune button and it does its thing automatically. I've been using one for a couple of years now with no problems.
     
  6. WX7G

    WX7G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use an Ameritron for the backyard screwdriver antenna. It works but does miss counting a turn here and there. After several band changes it doesn't return to the exact spot it was programmed to.

    In the car I use an ATAS-120 with an FT-857. I like the fact that it tunes automatically as I QSY from band-to-band every few minutes. The Turbo tuner would give you this ability.
     
  7. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Having read about the Turbo Tuner and checking it's operation, it would do a good job. It doesn't care about the counts and is immune to anything that slips. It just tunes for low SWR and that's it. Now the down side. Geesh....this thing is expensive. You can look to spend over $300.00 for one and that makes your mobile antenna system much more expensive then a lot of home station antenna systems.
    Look for details at; http://www.n2vz.com/.
    73
    Gary
     
  8. K2KTB

    K2KTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Folks - I'm looking for a tuner for the Icom 7000 as well. It will be used with a Tarheel 200A-HP. I've already limited my focus to the BetterRF and Turbo Tuner. It appears that the BetterRF has far more flexibility :). However, on the Tarheel website, they don't have BetterRF listed as an approved tuner :confused:?

    Additionally, BetterRF appears to consist of two components (7000 Screwdriver Control and 7000 Tune Control). My concern is the latter 7000 Tune Control module. The size of the module appears to block access to the four 3.5mm ports on the rear of the 7k. I use an external speaker which uses one of these ports. Perhaps a 90° 3.5mm would clear the module, but would need this confirmed.

    Something else I wonder about is it looks like BetterRF uses 30 watts for tuning. Isn't that a bit high? I've heard Turbo Tuner uses 15 watts, which still seems a bit high, but (I would think) safer for the transceiver. The BetterRF website indicates that a 'pulsed (50% duty cycle) output at user selectable power' is another option. But this seems designed for secondary amps which I'm not currently using.

    Thanks in advance for any feeback on this, as I'd like to order one of these quickly.

    73
    K2KTB
    Kent
     
  9. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    No, but the BetterRF will work just fine with the 200A. There is an issue with the Lil Tarheel when the instructions are followed.

    There are two things you need to know, however. First, do a decent job of winding a motor lead choke. The one that comes with the 200A isn't nearly good enough. If you want to know how to do that, go to my web site.

    Number two, follow the instructions explicitly, and you'll be rewarded. Oh. And do worry about setting the SWR threshold.
     
  10. K2KTB

    K2KTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alan Thank you for the information. Per your website, I already replaced the stock choke with the DX Engineering 3/4, mix 31 (part # DXE-CSB-750P). Then followed your procedures for wrapping the motor lead, exterior mount, within 4"of antenna. Took a bit of time to get 13 untwisted turns without overlap, but I now know it done correctly :). Coax was also choked (per you site) with the same DXE-CSB-750P, 7 turns RG8x, exterior mount.

    Is the reason that Tarheel doesn't list BetterRF as an approved tuner because of the issues specific to the Little Tarheel?

    Would you know if the BetterRF '7000 Tune Control' module will cause access problems to the 7000 speaker port? If not, I'll contact BetterRF directly and ask.

    Again, thanks for your ongoing assistance to the mobile ham community :eek:.

    73
    K2KTB
    Kent
     
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