QRP autotuner options?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by N0FN, Oct 11, 2019.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Subscribe
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-3
ad: Left-2
ad: L-MFJ
  1. N0FN

    N0FN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm getting excited about putting together a pedestrian mobile rig. I've got a Mountain Topper and a backpack frame and a collapsible fiberglass mast to hold up an antenna wire. Following WA3WSJ's advice in http://w3bqc.homestead.com/WA3WSJ_s_PM_Handbook.pdf I am looking for an antenna tuner to go between the radio and the antenna. For ease of use while walking, I think it's best if the tuner is automatic.

    I'm interested in suggestions for portable autotuners. I have found the Elecraft T1 at $140 and the LDG Z11ProII at $180. Are there other options? I see lots of homebrew and kit options for manual QRP tuners, but nothing on the kit market for autotuners, nor any other options besides those two.

    Are people here using portable autotuners? Are there other models that I should be looking at?

    -Neil N0FN
    WW2PT likes this.
  2. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Elecraft T1 will match damn near anything, as do all of the built-in ATUs in their radios.
    AJ6KZ, KU3X and N0FN like this.
  3. N8AFT

    N8AFT Ham Member QRZ Page

    What ... You can't stand still long enuff to tweek a manual tuner against a SWR ??
    MFJ makes a FB tuner and SWR meter set-up Cheap and durable.
    Stand Still and Tune!
    Walk and QSO...
    That's about it...
    KA0USE, K8AI, N8TGQ and 1 other person like this.
  4. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think that is about it for auto tuners. T1 seems to the standard to beat.
    AJ6KZ, KD8ZM and KU3X like this.
  5. W4ZNG

    W4ZNG Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Though it is not a auto tuner the Emtech ZM-2 is fast, lite and will tune about anything.
    KA0USE, WD4ELG, KB2SMS and 2 others like this.
  7. N0FN

    N0FN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Man, that is a beautiful tuner for sure, but I don't think that it fits the HFPack setup very well. The setup I'm imagining has the antena and tuner mounted on a backpack frame, while the radio and key and log sheet are mounted on a clipboard in front of me. More research on the T1 shows that it has an accessory port that can activate the tune button just by closing a switch.

    But the ZM-2 would need to go on the front so that it can be tuned and the antenna would need to be connected with a short length of coax at potentially a very high impedance.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I'll keep hoping for an Elecraft T-1 for Christmas ;)
    WW2PT likes this.
  8. M6AGL

    M6AGL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been thinking about the same thing, although vehicle mobile and not pedestrian. I was thinking back to military radios and one I have basically has a whip or can use long wire. The built in tuner is manual and you tune for most power output. The simplest thing I can think of is a homebrew tuner using switched coils, geared capacitor and a nifty SWR meter for show to see where you are. Maybe add an attenuator for when you are tuning if you don't want to keep dropping output power through menus all the time, and switch it in as a DPDT switch that supplies power to the SWR display. So when operating it is off and saves power.

    UR4QBP & R6NT made something good, but I like the small square Oled displays.

    Good little project to make something to match your radio and battery pack.
  9. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You're not spending enough! You need a KX3 with built in tuner and lithium battery and their AX antenna.
    Its not miles per watt-its dollars per mile.
  10. N0FN

    N0FN Ham Member QRZ Page

    You're right, I'm definitely not made of enough money for that! Diminishing returns seems to apply to all manufactured goods. Is a KX3 six times better than a Mountain Topper with a tuner? (maybe, just maybe.)
    N1RBD likes this.

Share This Page