Using a tuner.

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N3VEZ, Feb 24, 2021.

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  1. N3VEZ

    N3VEZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Has anyone here found a need for an antenna tuner even though their transceiver has an automatic tuner. If you did what did you use and how did it work out.

    I have a Kenwood TS 890. The internal tuner is satisfactory on 20 and 40 meters. It’s connected to a Buckmaster 7 band OCF wire antenna at 35 feet, which is installed per Buckmaster directions. I can’t tune to ten meters even though the antenna should be resonant.
    My planned solution is to install a Mosley TA32 this spring. I’m waiting on the weather. But I still might need a tuner . I’m looking at LDG tuners. I don’t use an amplifier.
  2. AA5MT

    AA5MT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most built in tuners will only tune up to 3:1, and not beyond. Most LDG tuners will tune up to 10:1 swr. Most MFJ tuners will tune up to 30:1 swr, both manual and automatic.

    With an external tuner, you never use the internal tuner of the radio. If you do, they will fight each other and not tune at all.

    Anytime you have a question about why it won't tune, ask yourself if it is beyond the tuner capability. If within, then ask yourself if the antenna(system) is good. Check the swr curve.

    AK5B likes this.
  3. KI4IO

    KI4IO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can't add much to AA5MT's response except to note that building an antenna tuner used to be
    one of the "rites of passage" for new hams. It seems that Lew McCoy (SK) had an antenna tuner
    or related technology (reflectometer, etc.) in each issue of QST. I use a rather simple home-brew
    tuner - you can see it on my QRZ page.

    Enjoy the process.

    Warrenton, VA
    AK5B and W2VW like this.
  4. W4HWD

    W4HWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    External tuners typically have wider matching range than built-in tuners. That's one reason why you would use one. The other reason is with an amplifier. The tuner would go between the antenna and the amplifier.

    Do not use both tuners at the same time. When using an outboard tuner, disable (or ignore) the internal tuner.
  5. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    ignore this bs, its an assumption thats not true...
    he said...
    "you never use the internal tuner of the radio. If you do, they will fight each other and not tune at all."

    you need an ext for wire antennas. i routinely use both. guys who dont just guess to sound like they know something and i get tired of it...
    ive used 3 different tuners for my wire antenna and it tunes 160 thru 6 mtrs, just rechecked it monday...
    i often use the internal to get 1/1 when the ext is happy with 2/1+

    you guys who say no, should just do it so your own real knowledge of operating is expanded...
  6. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This antenna, installed according to the manufacturer's instructions, should not need a tuner, except perhaps at band edges, where the internal tuner in your rig should do the job.
  7. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I guess you can use both if the external is a manual tuner. Putting two automatic tuners in series is a recipe for extreme confusion - there is a semi-infinite number of solutions and it is impossible to predict which it is going to settle on each time.

    Actually, these days with external "system tuners", it is usually impossible to use both. My ICOM is connected to an MFJ autotuner via the system cable and the internal tuner is disabled.

    AK5B and PU2OZT like this.
  8. N3VEZ

    N3VEZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok. Thanks the SWR on my wire antenna is high on the following bands. Ten meters almost 10:1, same with eighty and 15. Think I’ll use the internal tuner where it works now, 20 and 40 meters. I think it won’t be hard to turn off the internal tuner. I’ll check the manual tomorrow. (Just got back from eye doctor) can’t see s****!
    I’ve made over 5,000 FT8 QSO s on twenty and forty, but 10 meters is going to be open soon I hope. And there is a Sunday net I’m missing on 80.
  9. W9WQA

    W9WQA Ham Member QRZ Page

    if you ever actually try this then you will know what you are talking about.
    you are making up stuff with no actual knowledge and you are misleading people .

    you use one,then the other. no way to use both at exact same time.

    if /when i change freq my autotuner may retune but the internal tunes only when told to...
    they cannot ever fight...
    auto tuners ah4, sg230, now mfj 998 rt inside 2 nd floor shack..
    just try it so you know what you are talking about...

    ps, if things happened as you "guess" it would be fascinating to witness...!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  10. N3VEZ

    N3VEZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok. My go to technical guy at HRO says that if I want to bypass the Kenwood internal tuner that should try the MFJ 939K so I asked him to find one for me. He doesn’t think I would like the LDG. I know some amateur equipment isn’t laying all over the place but he thinks that’s the way to go when one can be found. I’ll provide a follow up here when I can, good, bad, indifferent.
    The MFJ gets good reviews on Though I know there are lots of different opinions.
    There are contacts out there on ten waiting for me.

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