"Antenna Tuner?" -- TenTec -- Palstar -- Ameritron -- MFJ ?? Appreciate suggestions.

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KM5YE, Aug 31, 2012.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unless you're mounting the tuner right at the feedpoint of each antenna (outside, right next to the antenna) the things you mentioned here are irrelevant. If you're using a length of coax to feed each of these antennas, then you're not matching an antenna, you're matching a system: Which is the antenna fed by a length of coax, and whatever that coax does to change antenna loading.

    If your antennas are perfect, resistive 50 Ohm loads, then the coax does absolutely nothing to change loading, and you also wouldn't need any kind of tuner. When the antenna's mismatched, the coax will act as a transformer and how it transforms the impedance is based entirely on the load impedance, the coax length, and the operating frequency. It can all be calculated, or measured; but for coax-fed antennas I can't imagine any time you'd want any other kind of balun at the tuner other than a 1:1 current balun; changing to different kinds of baluns won't buy anything.
  2. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did not get a chance to read the review , spotty internet , I will down load else where so that I can read it .
    Sounds like the old accounting saying , figures do not lie but liars can figure , referring to the published ratings .
    Then as far as the application of baluns , the way I understand it , is to add a balun at any impedance change , as an example from a ladder-line fed dipole , when going from the ladder-line to coax into shack ?
    At this time I only have one HF antenna up at a time .
    And with the Butternut , I do not remember but in the manual for the CPK kit it said to remove the 75 ohm matching coax and the 80m loading coil [ which are normally at the base without CPK ] and as memory serves adding the 1:1 , so in my mind the 1:1 is keeping common mode off the feedline and would be best at the antenna ?
    As for what the coax does to the antenna , could you remind me [ I should have something some where ] for doing the calculating ?
    I would imagine that it may get complicated with a multi band antenna ?
  3. N4JE

    N4JE Ham Member QRZ Page

    sorry think this was an error on my part.
    did not see the previous deletions notices by administrator.

  4. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Amertron is not what they used be since they were bought out by MFJ like a lot of other companies. The Palstar tuners have the highest favorable rating of about all the manual tuners built today and the AT4K and 5K are both cream of the crop. I have used a AT4K for sometime now and it has one of the lowest insertion losses of any I've had. As far as tuning I have tuned some very poor mis-matches from 10-160m both ends can be problems 10 and 160m for sure. For power levels I'm using it for QRP because of the very low loss all the way up to my Alpha with 1500++ and it had never missed a beat. It is one tuner that should last you for a lifetime and be considered as an investment in years of service. It was cheap after I had bought many others before MFJ (2) Ten Tec (1) LDG (2) Palstar (3) AT1KP, AT4K, AT-Auto and (1) Alpha 4040 on order.

    Tuners are long term investments buy the best you can afford and look ahead as you may add more power later I started with 600w.
  5. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had several also , MFJ man. , LDG 200 pro auto and now this Palstar AT2K .
    All used , the MFJ worked but had some bad connection issues that when tuning , that I would see on both the digital & analog gauges when I use a MFJ 269 analyzer switched in line for tuning off air [ I think you can never have too many gauges :) ]
    The LDG I never really got a chance to use , 1st off it did not seem to work with my FT-897D refurbished , but I found out later that the issue was not enough power , a couple yrs. after buying ,
    I tried using a couple amps that I bought both dead and repaired SB-201 & Collins 30L-1 no reaction from 897 so more testing and found that it was QRP on HF 2 1/2 watts max on 20m and less on other bands as little as 3/4 watt on 80m , by then I had worked 46 states on OMISS net mixed bands .
    By then I traded off the LDG and traded into the Palstar .
    And then bought a complete station from a SK estate , Kenwood TS-850Sat with leaking caps and repaired that , I like it so much that when I can afford I would like to buy a 2nd for a spare .
    I am not going to repair the 897 until I get the last 2 states QRP .
    All this the last few yrs. with the low sun spot numbers .
    I would like to try a larger auto tuner and was leaning toward the Palstar either the earlier model or the new model , but not sure how they compare to each other ?
    And I am keeping an eye out for anything that is broken , do some online research [ bothering you guys here & else where ] and do the repairs , half the fun I think .
    Thanks for the site Fred .
  6. WB3BEL

    WB3BEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    What tuner is best depends on what your antennas will be.

    Many antennas presenting a marginally ~ 50 Ohm Match to 50 Ohm transmission line will be tunable with the PI output match of a tube amplifier.

    I'd recommend also the AL80B. I find it will tune many 3:1 VSWR without complaint.

    Maybe you don't need a high power tuner at all. It all depends on your antenna. Maybe add it later when you know more about your operating habits and antenna selection ?

    As far as running the AL80B on 120 VAC. It works better on dedicated circuit. If you are careful of other simultaneous loads on the circuit you may be able to co-exist. There is always the option to run lower than maximum output power say 400-600W which may be a good idea anyhow...

    I prefer homebrew antenna tuner myself, but the ATR-30 is a pretty fair value.
  7. KM5YE

    KM5YE Ham Member QRZ Page


    Antennas are OCFD @35 Feet in inverted-v confiduration. Below it an Inverted-V for 75 Meters. Both tune well with internal tuner and external tuner when needed. Without a tuner the OCFD has acceptable VSWR on most bands and the 75M 'V' is tuned for my favorite part of the band. Playing with wire is fun and wheile I might not need a tuner with the current antennas -- I'd bet I will as I add new twists, turn / directions to make longer wire fit my city-size lot of 1/3 acre.

    I DO HAVE TWO 20 Amp circuits - BOTH are run with #12 directly to the electrical panel with NO other outlets between. I would LIKE TO have these two "side by side" circuits which run to the room just opposite the wall where my amp will be located wired as a 220 VOLT OUTLET; the #12 should be adequate considering the low amp draw. There are "ground fault interrupters" at the electrical panel for EACH 110 Volt line - and I believe this would be a plus as well. Still kicking around the idea of 220 volts IF it can be done with the existing 110 volt dedicated wire runs. I've done a lot of 110V in the garage and am comfortable with it; yet, 220V while just an additional line from the opposite buss -- not so much comfort. I look funny "smokin'"!

    John / KM5YE
  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    If your 120V wiring has three wires (phase, neutral, ground) as it should, you can use the same wiring for 240V by just changing the outlet and the circuit breaker and wiring up at the service panel for 240V. This should take ten minutes, if you want to do it. A 240V breaker normally takes up the space of two 120V breakers, but the service panels I'm familiar with are very easy to make changes on the fly.

    However if you have 12AWG dedicated 20A 120V lines, the amp should run fine on that and making changes may not buy you anything.
    K1JK likes this.
  9. N3JBH

    N3JBH Ham Member QRZ Page

    WIK i question the idea of what your saying on the idea of the legality of doing that? As i will think the ground would be a bare wire yes. I agree it work indeed but if the unforeseen problem such as a fire would start would not that type wiring pose a big red flag today? Now if all 3 conductors where insulated individually i think it might not be as big a issue. How ever not up on the NEC any longer or for that matter many years.
  10. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not an electrician and never played one on stage, but my wiring is all through conduit using insulated individual wires pulled through. I use black, white and green.:eek:
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