LDG Z-817 vs. Manual tuner with a random wire?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KB3LOM, Apr 24, 2020.

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  1. KB3LOM

    KB3LOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm slowly getting my new FT818 set up for portable and base station use. I've been taking a look at the LDG tuner and while the youtube vids make it look good on a random wire, I would like hear from operators that have actually used this tuner in the field on such an application. Is this auto tuner the hot setup? Or should I stick with something manual?

    For the time being, I intend to work 10m and 6m phone, and CW on lower bands eventually.
  2. K5DH

    K5DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many years ago I used an FT-817 with an LDG Z-11 tuner for some portable ops. I used it from 40m through 10m with a 50 foot end fed wire. No problems at all.

    You might look into using an end-fed wire with a 9:1 UNUN. Lots of good information on the web. Pay attention to the length of the radiating element, though. There are some "magic numbers" that people have found to work well. The trick is to use a length of wire that is non-resonant on all ham bands. By the way, this is not the same as a EFHW (which works best with a 49:1 UNUN).
  3. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The LDG tuners can tune up to a 10:1 mismatch on HF. For my 857D I have the YT-100. I do use a 9:1 Unun myself (my current one happens to also be from LDG) and I have experimented with different lengths of wire and different counterpoise lengths. I think if you have the 817 and looking for a good time you can't go wrong with the LDG. A manual tuner is workable and I have used my MFJ-971 portable in a similar configuration but the LDG auto tuner makes band switching so much easier.
  4. N6MST

    N6MST Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used a Z-817 with my FT-817nd and a number of different antennas. It is a great little tuner. Currently I use an IT-100 with my IC-7300 feeding a 9:1 end-fed vertical and a few different EFHW wires and the tuner always gets a great match. Not really needed on the EFHW's as the internal tuner on the 7300 is more than adequate for them but the memory of the LDG is nice to have.
  5. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page

    check with ldg. I don't think a bare (unshielded) wire is recommended for the 817.
    they might recommend this:
    The RU-9:1 Unun was designed to allow easy interface of vertical and end fed antennas to the LDG line of Automatic Antenna Tuners. The 200 watt Unun also operates “stand alone”, thus does not require an LDG Tuner for resonant verticals. It may also be used with many of your antenna projects where a 4:1 Unun is needed.

    Price – $29.99 US

    • Configuration: 9:1 Unun
    • Frequency Coverage: 1.8 to 30 MHz.
    • Power Range: to 200 watts PEP
    • Easy to weatherproof
    • Enclosure size: 5 x 2.5 x 1.25 (measured in inches)
    • Weight: 6 oz (with enclosure)

    LDG Balun and Unun User’s Manual
    Introduction Congratulations on your purchase of an LDG Balun or Unun. These quality units greatly expand the utility of your LDG Automatic Tuner, allowing much greater flexibility in the type of antenna and transmission line you can use. LDG’s Baluns and Ununs are inspired by the designs of Jerry Sevick, W2FMI (SK) in his classic book Transmission Line Transformers.
    All LDG Baluns and Ununs are rated at 200 watts PEP, and are water resistant; they are intended for outdoor use. Each weighs 6 oz, and measure 5”x2.5”x1.2”. Baluns and Ununs Balanced antennas are electrically symmetrical and do not rely on connection to the ground; an ordinary dipole is a good example of a balanced antenna. Unbalanced antennas are asymmetrical and rely on a ground, such as a ¼ wave vertical antenna operated against a ground plane. All modern radios have unbalanced outputs, and all coaxial cable is unbalanced.
    Feeding a balanced antenna with an unbalanced transmission line can lead to unwanted RF current distribution that degrades performance. Baluns are circuits that match an unbalanced transmission line to a balanced load, and can adjust the impedance ratio as needed. Ununs match unbalanced transmission lines to unbalanced loads, also adjusting impedance. RU-9:1 The RU-9:1 is a 9:1 Unun that allows you to easily match an end-fed long wire antenna with your LDG Automatic Antenna Tuner. Connection is made by a 5-way, twist-on binding post; connect the red post to the antenna. A ground terminal connection is available for an optional counterpoise or radial system. The RU-9:1 is intended to match a long wire antenna of 30-135’, with or without a ground.

    in the 'docs' section there is a drawing I am unable to copy here. take a look.
  6. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    During my first tour as a ham, '74-'96 I used manual tuners only.

    When I returned in '2016 I was hesitant to try auto tuners..the LDG Z-817 was my first and converted me over to auto tuners. I would't be w/o one now. My manual tuner sits on a shelf.
  7. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Send your manual tuner to me lol. ;) I have auto tuners for my two 857s. But I really like the cross needles readout and the control my manual tuner gives me. (I use it with my 817) Does not take long to know your tuner. (I can get tuned in on bands I use all the time fast) I can also tune for the best receive on none ham frequencies. Something my auto tuners wont do.
  8. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page

    you da man!
    i bought a z817 when i got my ft-817, used it a couple of times and realised the fun factor (as well as irritation, sometimes)
    and learning, went away.
    i have an mfj-259b analyser that i use for tuning and discovering other cool uses. like distance to fault and loss.
    the auto tuner sits in it's box (without batteries! don't leave the batteries installed!) for maybe future use.
    i hope ldg electronics doesn't get mad at me. good product, is useful, but my brain needs more stimulation.

    knobs and needles, baby. knobs and needles.

    i'm one of the 15% of car owners who prefer to shift gears myself.
    KC7JNJ likes this.

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