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Author Topic: 43 Foot Vertical and AH-4 Remote Tuner  (Read 3582 times)
WZ2P
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Posts: 6




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« on: December 12, 2012, 11:30:29 AM »

I will be installing a 43 foot DX Engineering vertical along with an Icom AH-4 tuner at it's base.  My plan is to use many 65 foot radial around the base plate as suggested by the antenna manufacturer. For this application I will need to extend the control cable of the AH-4 antenna tuner to nearly 80 or 90 feet into the shack.  Has anyone had experience with extending the control cable to these long lengths?  The instruction manual for the AH-4 doesn't mention anything about this and the only thing I noticed is that Icom sells a 10 meter long extension cable which makes me a little concerned as I need around 30 meters.
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K3VAT
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2012, 12:14:35 PM »

I will be installing a 43 foot DX Engineering vertical along with an Icom AH-4 tuner at it's base.  My plan is to use many 65 foot radial around the base plate as suggested by the antenna manufacturer.

Nice setup!

... I will need to extend the control cable of the AH-4 antenna tuner to nearly 80 or 90 feet into the shack.  

Should be no problem, you'll need 4 conductor shielded cable.  You might look around and see if you can obtain a heavier gauge wire.  Not sure what the original AH-4 has (maybe #22?) - so you use use something like #20 or even #18.  Take a look at this control cable from DXEngineering - it is nine conductor and has 4 pairs of two #24 wires.  Simply retain the 4 pairs for your AH-4 - plenty enough for your run.

http://www.dxengineering.com/search/product-line/dx-engineering-shielded-cat5e-control-cable?autoview=SKU&keyword=control%20cable

GL, 73, Rich, K3VAT
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WZ2P
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 12:48:19 PM »

Great input.  I appreciate your reply Rich.
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KC7YE
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 05:31:42 PM »

Have used AH4 on home brew S9 type vertical, 125 ft from shack. No problem. Only have the one AH4, when set up portable must remove from mobile. The AH4 has tuned everything I have tried, random wire ,160 inverted L , couple of verticals, 40 & 80 dipoles feed with ladder line and with tuner mounted at center point of dipole on mast. My normal use is mobile feeding 5' mast with 40 mtr newtronics coil, use 40 -10.

KC7YE
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W8ATA
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 07:10:06 AM »

I'll pass on control wire comment as mine is much shorter. One thing I added to a similar set-up is a large old ceramic base knife switch in the short wire from the AH-4 to the antenna to quickly disconnect when electrical storms are in the area. It sends the antenna directly to an 8' ground rod as the AH-4's can be easily zapped. Also added a 1:1 Balun Designs choke at the coax fitting on the AH-4 with all of the above covered with a small green plastic trash can. Everybody is happy, especially me with tuning 80-6 and good performance. By the way, the antenna is solid #12 copper wire up to a limb on a big oak tree and 16 radials 55-75 feet long as this is what real estate would handle. All this ramble to tell you about the knife disconnect switch. Smiley

73 and best to you.
Russ
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W5WSS
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 09:48:24 AM »

Russ I did almost exactly the same as you described and was able to expedite one of the three quickchangeable wire verticals 22ft 44ft and 66ft.

I used a rope hoist and lowered and raised the vertical of choice.

About 2-3 minutes.

I used an elevated and sloped counterpoise of pairs of tuned radials per band.

The vertical wires were strain releived and I used a wander lead to bypass the vertical wire to a ground rod.

I worked allot of the world with this system and loved it.
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WZ2P
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 12:51:27 PM »

All good feedback guys, thank you. I like the the knife switch idea.  I'm definitely going to do that.
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WZ2P
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 12:59:12 PM »

 Question for  KC7YE .  What did you use for your control cable?  Was it shielded?  I have some 18/5 which is 18 gauge, 5 conductor cable but it's not shielded.  I happen to have some direct burial stuff a friend gave me but it's not shielded. 
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K3GM
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 01:33:52 PM »

My AH-4 control line is approximately 136' from the transceiver. It works fine.  Be careful though.  I lost my first one from what I believe was a very close lightning strike and subsequent current being induced onto the unshielded control cable.  The unit is lacking any input protection, and the control section was a total loss.  Interestingly, the antenna side of the tuner appeared fine.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 01:37:03 PM by K3GM » Logged
W5WSS
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 05:58:15 PM »

These sensitive remote controlled tuners need to be installed and isolated within a metallic enclosure.

The enclosure can be grounded to a rod.

a wander lead can redirect the hot lead of the antenna to ground.out but away some from the box.

This would put the antenna circuit to ground prior to getting into the tuner box via the feedline.

Just before entering the shack both the feedline and the remote control cable can again be redirected to an open position via a knife switch or electromechanical relay.
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WZ2P
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 06:24:53 PM »

Great input. It's becoming more obvious  I will need to consider the additional precautions for lightning and the tuner. The big knife switch is a great idea but only part of the equation. I just purchased a plastic outdoor enclosure because I wanted to keep the tuner from direct contact with the snow mostly.  If I find a metal box that can accommodation the tuner I will consider changing out the plastic one. 
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N5IL
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2012, 05:21:03 AM »

A GREAT SET-UP, THOUGH I USE THE MFJ REMOTE TUNNER THAT GET IT'S CONTROL VOLTAGE
(DC) ON THE COAX. NO EXTRA WIRE TO WORRY WITH. HAVE OREKED THE WORLD WITH THIS ANT. 120 FEET FROM THESHACK. GOOD LUCK

N5IL.
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KF5RGB
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2012, 06:56:15 AM »

I have the exact same set up that I installed a couple weeks ago, used a 4/c 18awg shielded cable, its been working great!
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KC7YE
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Posts: 97




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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2012, 07:12:39 AM »

SRI for delay, just read thread. Control cable is un-shielded 16 or 18 gage 4 conductor that a friend had in garage. Like the knife switch idea.
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