I use the Ameritron SDC 102. I like it because I can tweak my Tarheel 75A while I am holding a QSO. If there is an ongoing QSO that you want to join, you are not going to tune on that frequency, you are going to tune on a close by frequency. When you move to where the ongoing QSO is taking place, you can transmit to join the QSO and manually fine tune the antenna. If the turbo tuner continuously monitored the SWR, then I would say it is a good choice, but it does not.
There is some politic involved as well with respect to the BetterRF vs. the Lil Tarheel issue. I won't go into detail here, but the real problem is not what it appears to be.
If you set up the BetterRF correctly, it will work with about 90% of the remotely tuned HF antennas out there. It will not work those which use a slip clutch or interrupted thread to protect the motor. This includes all Alpines, and early GS units. It will work correctly with any motor current from 40 mils, up to 4.5 amps. The Lil Tarheel is on the lower end of this range, drawing 60 mils. This requires following the BetterRF instructions to the letter. The only antennas I know of that are close to the extreme high end are Larry's Antennas. If the contact sleeve is adjusted correctly, it works fine with them too. You can even make it automatically retune when the SWR gets over 2:1, or you QSY over 100 kHz, by setting the 7000's auto-tune menu correctly. You can make the Turbo Tuner do this too, but is isn't as reliable doing so as the BetterRF unit is.
Period! The biggest single issue is proper choking of the motor leads and reed switch leads (if used). No one supplies a motor lead choke with a enough impedance. They might be adequate to protect the controller from RF damage, but RFI can and does cause all sorts of other maladies, some of which aren't noticed, or are blamed on some other "thing". If users realized how much RFI ingress there is, due to incorrectly choked motor leads, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Alan Applegate, KØBG
Alan - Again thanks. Final question before I place an order.
Do know if the '7000 Tune Control' module will cause access problems to the 7000 speaker port?
No it will not.
Icom has always recommended the use of 90° plugs on the rear panel of the 706, and 7000. The jacks are surface mounted, and a good smack can dislodge them. On the 7000, they're under the main board, and if you don't have the special tool to replace the printer circuit ribbon cables, you're in deep doo doo if you try to fix it yourself.
If you insist on using straight plugs, them buy a (very short) hard drive power Y connector, and cut off the extra plug.
I no longer have any affiliation with BetterRF, and its owner, Jerry Smith, W6TER. But that fact doesn't negate the fact, it is still the best fully automatic controller on the market for the 7000. this said, if you do not properly choke the motor leads, you will have problems. You'll have them with the Turbo Tuner too, but sooner or later when the L298 fails, rest assured it is RF that did it.
Alan Applegate, KØBG