COULD USE SOME GUIDANCE - AUTO ANTENNA TUNERS

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K1KTF, May 9, 2020.

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  1. K1KTF

    K1KTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Ham Friends -
    (Disclaimer: Not a technical guy)

    I’ve had for years the MFJ 962-D Roller Inductor Antenna Tuner for matching my G5RV Jr. which still works fine. Just getting kinda tired of manual tuning between frequencies and bands. My rig is a Kenwood TS-570 with Ameritron ALS-600.

    Is there any recommendations for automatic antenna tuners that may work well with G5RV dipoles?

    Not that I’m lazy, but I’d thought after all these years I’d upgrade the shack a bit.

    As always thank you for your assistance.

    Stay healthy and God bless everyone!

    73 ~ Steve (K1KTF)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
    KF5KWO likes this.
  2. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do have a budget in mind ?
    Also , is used or new in your choice ?
    Any other shack antenna upgrades possible ?

    Depending on above you could be generally $1,000 - $3,000 .
     
    K1KTF likes this.
  3. K1KTF

    K1KTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    WOW! $1-3k! I didn’t think about price at this point but maybe I should.

    No other upgrades at this point. I’m a simple operator...SSB + CW.

    Thank you for your insight.
     
  4. K1LKP

    K1LKP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    HELLO STEVE,

    YOU WILL FIND THAT THE FOLKS HERE ON THE QRZ FORUM
    ARE GOING TO BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP YOU SPEND
    YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY.

    THE ONLY THING I CAN SUGGEST IS TO TRY AND READ THE ARRL PRODUCT REVIEW
    ON ANY TUNER YOU WANT TO PURCHASE.

    ALSO, CHECK TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY ON LINE COMPLAINTS AGAINST A COMPANY YOU DECIDE
    TO DEAL WITH.

    ALSO, CONGRATS ON YOUR MANY YEARS OF HAM RADIO.

    THANKS TO OUR FRONT LINE HAPPY CONTESTING.jpg

     
    K1KTF likes this.
  5. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    If the budget is an issue , used helps and I would look at LDG and MFJ could be in there .
    Having 600 watts makes for getting 1000 watt tuner , this is another future upgrade issue , if you ever want to go to 1500 watts then buying once and getting a larger tuner - but that is a bump in price .
     
    K1KTF likes this.
  6. KC8QVO

    KC8QVO Ham Member QRZ Page

    LDG AT-600ProII starts at about $350, 600w PEP capable SSB/CW

    The AT-1000ProII is about $520 with a 1000w PEP capability = a bit more head room on power.

    If you want to get fancy - Palstar makes nice gear. The HF-AUTO is about $1600, legal limit. It uses stepper motors to tune the inductor and a capacitor (L style tuner with a roller inductor).

    The drawback to the LDG's is they use heavy relays and are loud.

    I own 2 LDG tuners - a Z11Pro and an AT-200Pro. They both are fantastic tuners. The AT-200Pro is set up as a remote tuner outside in a plastic box (storage box with a snap on lid that also latches closed, cheapie from Lowes I believe, not really an outdoor weatherproof enclosure but it has worked great). I have power to the tuner running down the coax and I have the tuner programmed to power on in Auto mode with the power supply turning on. The threshold, I believe, is set to 1.7:1. I have adjusted that several times - depending on the tuner and the antenna (the Z11Pro has the same programming) the threshold is nice to be able to adjust so as to hang on to a match when the impedance of the antenna changes much (like a wire antenna swinging in the wind in the trees, or a balanced line swinging around in the wind getting close to a branch or a gutter).

    If you have the money to spend and want a nice desktop tuner - go with the Palstar. Other than that, the LDG's are really nice. Just be aware that they are really loud when finding a match.
     
    KD0CAC likes this.
  7. K1KTF

    K1KTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for getting me educated. Very helpful!
     
  8. K1KTF

    K1KTF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Appreciate the insight!
     
  9. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A big plus is having the tuner outdoors at the base of the antenna. I'm happy with my MFJ remote tuner.
    I made a 31 foot vertical on a ground mount, added a 4:1 Un-Un and the MFJ 994. Tunes all but 80 es 160.
    The G5RV is a venerable wire antenna! Ko8L near Cleveland Ohio uses his everynight on 80m QRPp CW.
    His power is 2 watts from a homebrewed transmitter. Routinely he is RST 599 + 10db over s9 here in Columbus.
    Many fine tuners can be found on eBay reasonably priced.
     
    K1KTF likes this.
  10. W6MK

    W6MK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another alternative not mentioned, I don't think, is a manual tuner with just two controls
    to be reset when changing frequencies. Only two knobs makes retuning significantly simpler with
    your tuning chart at hand. Manual tuners like likely to be more reliable and tolerant of
    upset conditions than autos.

    An L-network tuner might do the job, as also might a Palstar or MJF differential tuner (one knob
    operates both capacitors in a T network).

    I use a Palstar AT2KD differential tuner with my 125 ft. doublet.
     
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