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Author Topic: Low-Cost Antenna Tuner  (Read 1715 times)
KG6LJQ
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Posts: 11




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« on: September 25, 2002, 12:31:13 PM »

I'm a newbie ham, and I just purchased an ICOM 706MKII on eBay.  It's a spectacular radio, and I love it's versatility.  I bought a dipole called the CliffDweller II (you can search for that and see the specs on it through yahoo), which is the perfect antenna for a dorm room.  From that, you can tell I'm a college student and live in a dorm on campus.  Aside from size constraints, I'm also on a college student budget.

For this HF all-mode and 6 meter antenna, I obviously need a tuner for it.  This is where I need your help.  I am looking for a tuner that will do the job, but is very inexpensive.  I'm looking for something hopefully under $50.  Does anyone have any advice on this?  It needs to be easy to learn and use.  My focus and interest in the hobby is more on the communications side rather than the electronics side, so I'm not as knowledgeable in the electronic stuff as other hams.  

Thanks!!!!!!

Randy
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N4GX
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2002, 11:46:14 PM »

I use a manual MFJ VERSA Tuner II 949E. I bought it at a ham fest for $65.00. I know MFJ makes some that are cheaper than the 949E and maybe you can pick one up on eham classifieds.  My 949E tunes up everything pretty well. My antennas are mostly inverted Vee's but I also use a Vertical. It will tune the various ham bands up on all ham freqs except 160 meters. (I don't have a 160 meter antenna). It actually tunes a greater range  than the built in tuner in my Kenwood TS 930 SAT.
If I you get enough money for an Automatic tuner, I would go with the LDG AT-11 or RT-11.
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KG6LJQ
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2002, 01:36:24 AM »

After doing some research, I did actually find out that, as someone mentioned, the antenna actually does not need a tuner.  The ICOM 706 has some sort of tuner built in, which is good enough for this antenna.  So, I think I found my solution.

Thanks!!!

Randy
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K3WVU
Member

Posts: 491




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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2002, 01:42:57 PM »

The 706 doesn't have a tuner built in.  It has a button to tune the optional Icom autotuners.  Don't use it with the Cliffdweller without a tuner!
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NG1J
Member

Posts: 26




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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2002, 09:23:54 AM »

You may want to consider the Drake MN-4 which I've seen on Ebay for $50-75.  It'll tune 80-10, but no WARC (although I'm told you can tune the WARC bands with it).  There's several of the MFJ tuners as previously mentioned.  I've also seen a Dentron Jr. Antenna Tuner, which covers 1.8 - 30 MHz, on Ebay for around $30.
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KU4QD
Member

Posts: 59




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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2002, 11:55:07 PM »

First, to repeat what someone already said but which really needs to be stresed:  the IC-706 series of rigs does *not* have a tuner.  It has a tune button for an external, optional tuner.  Extended transmitting into your CliffDweller antenna without a tuner will fry your finals.  That will be one expensive repair that will not be covered under warranty.

I really like the antenna tuners that Tokyo Hy-Power made back in the 80s and early 90s.  I have two HC-200 tuners.  These are manual tuners, so they'll tune just about anything.  The HC-200 handles 200W, so it'll be fine with your '706.  It has connections for three antennas, two coax and one wire antenna, and has bypass positions on the switch for each antenna.  The SWR/wattmeter has both 20W and 200W scales, so if you ever decide to run QRP you're set.

Typical used prices are $40-$65, depending on condition.  
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KG6LJQ
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2002, 12:17:27 AM »

If I didn't reply to this earlier, which I could have sworn I did, my issues with a tuner have been resolved.  So, thank you all, but I have gotten all my answers and, essentially, this case on my end is closed for me.  So, in terms of answering the questions at hand, I've gotten all my answers  and I appreciate everyone's help.


Thanks!!!


Randy
KG6LJQ
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WA4PTZ
Member

Posts: 528




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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2002, 08:25:13 AM »

I found a Kenwood At-200 for $40.00 a few years
back, but it won't help you on 6 meters. If
you decide to build one you might get lucky
and get the parts for $50.00. What I have
found that works is the SGC-237 automatic
tuner I have used it for field day, in the house
and it is now mounted in my truck. It works
exactly as advertised. I can work 80 - 6 on my
40 meter hustler coil and 160-10 on the 80
meter coil. I also have a screwdriver antenna
for long trips and it will tune 160 - 6 meters.
It is worth every penny not to have to try to
tune an antenna and drive. Once I ran it through
the bands and let it preset, it will change by
momentarily keying the mic. Fast and safe.
Save about $200 more dollars and do it right the
first time.
73 - Tim
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N6AJR
Member

Posts: 9910




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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2003, 07:57:38 PM »

Any mfj with the black face and dual cross needles should be ok  $50 to $75 on ebay and good to around 300 watts.
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