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Author Topic: Why do people take "minutes" to tune up?  (Read 1424 times)
VE7ALQ
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Posts: 349




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« on: August 29, 2005, 07:24:28 PM »

I have an Icom IC-706mkiiG and it takes all of two seconds on the "tune" button (automatically reduced power) to match the transmitter to the antenna, through the Icom AT-180 fully automatic antenna tuner.  Even this is unnecessary, as the AT-180 will automatically engage if the SWR into the transmitter is above 1.5:1

I am just curious, why do people throw carriers and go on and on and on?  If they are running amplifiers, either they have lots of plate dissipation or they are ruining their tubes.  I know my FL2100z linear won't put up with more than 10 seconds of QRO without a break.  With logged settings it takes all of two seconds to manually tune this linear!
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KU4UV
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2005, 08:25:31 AM »

It is pretty silly with some of these guys.  I don't have a linear amp, so I can't comment on that, but I agree, it shouldn't take all day to tune up.  First off, tune up once, and then record your settings on your tuner/amp, so you shouldn't have to do this again.  Secondly, tune up on low power so half the world doesn't have to listen to you carrier.  Simple enough.

73,
KU4UV
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2005, 11:18:43 AM »

Some may be doing it intentionally.

Many high powered amplifiers will take "tune up" 24 hours a day, forever, because they're conservatively designed for RTTY use, etc.  I know most of mine will.  So, the only limitation I have in tuning up is "common sense" and QRM mitigation.

Autonotch via DSP works really, really well...
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VE7ALQ
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2005, 11:24:22 AM »

Unfortunately, I am a CW operator, and DSP "Autonotch"
is not helpful to me.  Autonotch  will look for the
loudest Morse signal around and try to null it out.
Now a manual notch filter can be adjusted to null QRM
but I don't have a manual notch filter on my rig.
I do have passband tuning and a selection of filters
{500 Hz, 250 Hz} and these usually suffice for me Smiley
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W5ESE
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Posts: 550


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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2005, 06:38:18 AM »

Not sure what you mean by "how long", but some
manual tuners take a bit of fiddling to get right.

I think fewer hams than you might expect have
autotuners.

I use a Z match tuner when I operate portable,
and it takes a fine touch. I'm better at getting
a match quickly now than I used to be. I do
write down the settings, but when I operate
portable with a portable wire antenna, the tuner
settings will always be somewhat different.

I do try to peak it first while just receiving,
before doing any transmitting.

73
Scott
W5ESE
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AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2005, 07:46:26 AM »

Try the auto notch on the SGC DSP unit. It will notch out a steady carrier while leaving CW signals alone. It requires that the carrier be on for a certain amount of time before deciding to notch it out. The down side is that on SSB you hear the carrier for a half second or so before it is notched. The Icom notch is nice in this regard because it can take out a carrier before you even hear it. Really wierd tuning around the CW bands with the auto notch turned on :-)

I propose that radios with built-in DSP have two notch modes, one for CW and one for phone. The proper mode would be selected for the mode that the radio was set to.
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AB7RG
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2005, 01:31:41 AM »

They are probably trying to squeeze every last single watt out of their amp. Like those extra few watts will be noticeable! Their tubes, not mine... However, it ends up being everyone's QRM.

Education is the key to solving this problem, although I seriously doubt most would listen.

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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2005, 09:09:39 AM »

Digital wattmeters!

It's not bad enough that people used to tune for the last tenth dB using analog meters, but now that many have digital meters, they can squeak out the last 10mW out of a kW amplifier.

Personally, I usually "tune up" as I'm sending on CW or speaking on SSB, and don't actually transmit a carrier for this at all.  Using a true PEP wattmeter helps a lot, as you can send 40 wpm (or any speed) or speak normally as you tune up, and you're all done in a few seconds without transmitting a "tune up" signal.

WB2WIK/6
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G7HEU
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Posts: 261


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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2005, 10:46:03 AM »

Have a look at the picture of my manual a.t.u:

http://www.m0heu.co.uk/atu.html  ( scroll to bottom of the page for a photo ).

You'll see four crocodile clips and two variable capacitors. Even with all the possible combinations it takes me about 2 seconds to tune on any band - because I have a little chart showing settings for each band.

'Tuning' for minutes is the work of idiots.

Steve.

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VE7ALQ
Member

Posts: 349




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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2005, 12:57:46 PM »

Maybe I should entitle this "Why I'm hooked on automatic tuners".  I remember in my younger years flying in the military on board an aircraft, and being allowed to contact people on 80 meters SSB.  The airplane was not very big, and the automatic antenna tuner went "Kerchunk-Kerchunk" for a few seconds.  Then I made one contact and was astounded at the good signal report.  Ever since I have been sold on a good automatic antenna tuner and a decent counterpoise (in this case, the airframe)  The less knobs I have to twiddle, the better, and my Icom IC-706mkiiG/AT-180 combo require zero tuning when I QSY within a band or even switch bands(!)  Amateur Radio has come a long way in the past 30 years...
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G7HEU
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2005, 03:40:15 PM »

VE7ALQ

Yes, an automatic a.t.u. is quick and easy. My main H.F. radio has one built in and I understand your sentiments.

Consider this though - I live in England, land of the tiny garden. With my compromise aerial I need to make sure I am radiating as much r.f. as possible. So, I have a modern transceiver ( with the auto a.t.u. switched off ) connected to an enourmous balanced manual a.t.u.

It works for me.

Apologies for being off topic.

Steve.
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HA5RXZ
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Posts: 380




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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2005, 03:14:37 AM »

The only reason I can think of is that people are looking for a perfect 1:1 match every time. What doesn't help are hams tuning up using full power, remember that your amplifier is LINEAR and tuning up is just as easy using minimum power (then you can turn the power up).

HA5RXZ
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KN7T
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2005, 01:02:30 PM »

The long-term tuning stuff is getting ridiculous.  I hear it more and more frequently now than I ever remember in the past.  Much of it appears to be deliberate, which is really a sad situation.  Most guys should be able to figure out that you can get your tuner set using 5 watts and loading up the amp into a dummy load first.  Seems like a serious no-brainer but nothing surprises me in this day and age.  It used to be that amplifiers were employed only as an intermittent means to facilitate communications - nowadays they're treated as "must use" no matter what.
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WT0A
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Posts: 922




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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2005, 02:18:27 PM »

because 501 watts is better than 500 and 1.08:1 is so much better than 1.1:1. HI HI
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KG4SPA
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Posts: 32




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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 08:48:51 PM »

They might be using a tube transmitter that they are tuning first then they tune the antenna.

My Eico 720 takes awhile to get properly tuned (I do use a dummyload first) then I tune the antenna.  Using a manual MFJ tunner would sometimes take me 45 seconds or more to get a low SWR.

 I bought an LDG Z-100 for my FT-817 and after using it for one night I went out the next day and bought an LDG AT-100Pro autotunner for the Eico 720.  Best money I've spent!

I now have 3 LDG tuners.
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