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Author Topic: Tuners, Low or High Price  (Read 2865 times)
KB3FFH
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Posts: 162




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« on: June 01, 2012, 04:16:11 PM »

Can anyone tell me the deference between a low price tuner and a high price tuner,other than the power it can handle and the higher price ones able to do up to 10 to 1 swr. Thanks Bill
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13334




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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 04:28:04 PM »

Some lower priced tuners can handle well above a 10 : 1 SWR.  Some higher priced ones might not.

Power handling is one difference (though take the manufacturers' ratings with a large pinch of
salt.)  Adding an antenna switch or power meter will add to the price.  Using a rotary inductor
rather than switched coil tapes makes it easier to find the exact match, but isn't always as
convenient, especially if the tuner is light enough that cranking the coil lifts the tuner off the
table.

Then you can get into auto-tuners, and ones designed specifically for balanced line, and
other sorts of differences.


If you give us some examples of the tuners you are considering, that might help us to point
out differences.
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2392




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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 07:59:38 PM »

Some switched-inductor tuners use air-wound inductors, and others use iron- or ferrite-cored inductors.  I bet the air-wound inductors are more efficient.  And I know they're bigger, and more expensive.

Opening up an SG-230 is eye-opening.  The coils are air-wound, and there are lots of them.  An LDG Z-11 Pro looks like a toy in comparison.

They both work -- the SG-230 has a larger matching range, and will handle more power.

       Charles
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W5FYI
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Posts: 1046




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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 11:30:13 PM »

High-dollar tuners often contain extras not found in lower-priced units, such as gear-reduction controls and turns counters, baluns, power output or SWR metering, silver-plated inductors, bypass switches, etc. And some of these extras don't come cheap; tapped air inductors don't cost very much to make, but roller inductors are a lot more complicated, which increases the man-dollars required to make and install them; cheap baluns are common, but teflon-insulated "optimized" baluns are not; nickel-plated sockets and plastic switches are a dime a dozen, but good silver-plated brass sockets and ceramic switches cost somewhat more; and there's a similar difference in the quality of meters and other components, and in the skills of those who assemble and calibrate them.

Then, too, there's the "name brand" recognition and manufacturer's reputation that are sometimes factored into the costs. The old saying, "You get what you pay for," pretty much applies to tuners as well.

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 09:44:56 AM »

I also think there's no "rule" about this at all, but in general high-power tuners (ones that can really handle legal-limit power) usually have less insertion loss than lower-power rated tuners because the inductor, which creates most of the loss, is a lot larger (made of larger diameter conductor material).  It seems counterintuitive, but a big, fat 3kW tuner can be the "best choice" for QRP operation at 5W or less, purely because it will likely be more efficient.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 09:56:02 AM »

Even cheaper is to build your own. Measure the impedance you want to match and build it.
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1553




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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 09:54:06 PM »


Antenna Tuners are just like any other product on the market. Price is *usually* relative to the number of features, quality of the product, etc. Normally, you pretty much get
what you pay for. An exception might be some of the older Tuners on Ebay etc.   SOME of the old ones are "cheap" (relative to new ones) but have very high quality components (compared to new production Tuners) however, many of them do not cover the WARC bands.

Things that affect the price of a Tuner can be: does it have a balun/balanced output; meter or meters, back lighting, quality and size of internal components,
multiple antenna switching capability, size of chassis/cabinet, quality of mechanical components, complexity of circuit, Roller inductor vs. switched L,
size of the Caps, quality of finish/paint, etc. etc.

Bottomline:  YES ! There is a difference in tuners.

73,  K0ZN
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KR4HV
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 10:13:07 AM »



   
Quote
SOME of the old ones are "cheap" (relative to new ones) but have very high quality components (compared to new production Tuners) however, many of them do not cover the WARC bands.

73,  K0ZN


Antenna impedance matching devices manufactured for Ham Radio that cover 160 or 80 through 10 meters continuously (and most do) will cover the WARC bands.  Wink
73, KR4HV
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4799




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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 10:44:30 AM »

Can anyone tell me the deference between a low price tuner and a high price tuner,other than the power it can handle and the higher price ones able to do up to 10 to 1 swr. Thanks Bill

Usually, power, auto or manual, quality. More power handing, auto tuners are more expenive.
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NO2A
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Posts: 800




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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 02:03:05 PM »

If you use one multiband dipole you`ll really appreciate the advantage of a wide matching range tuner. Especially on bands like 160,80,and 10 meters. Regardless of what the ads say,any tuner will arc if pushed beyond its limits.
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 05:24:08 PM »

Having priced out building a homebrew tuner from new stock parts, I can definitely appreciate the cost of a beefy tuner. Big inductors and vacuum variables aren't cheap if you want them now.





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K0ZN
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Posts: 1553




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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2012, 09:43:35 PM »


Respectfully, *somewhat* disagree with KR4HV. 

There are a number of older tuners that are "band switched", they do not have roller inductors or continuous tuning
of the inductors. To wit:  Johnson Matchbox, Millen and several others. Depending on the load presented, those units likely will not work on 30 M. They
*probably* will work on 17 and 12. A number of other tuners have multiple position taps on the coil and in some cases you simply cannot get a dead 1:1
match with some loads because you cannot get the exact, precise amount of L needed. This doesn't mean these Tuners are not good units, but they
are not "continuous" tuners like a more modern T network with a roller inductor.

73,  K0ZN
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9910




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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2012, 09:55:04 AM »

One thing, if you get a tuner, get one with a dual cross needle meter.  when tuning this gives you so much more idea of which way you are going when tuning. otherwise get a dual cross band meter and put it between the radio and tuner.  there are manual tuners and  auto tuners and tuners that go at the antenna,  where are you going to use this one , on what bands and what type of antenna, and what power level, and auto or manual tune, switched  or roller inductor?Huh
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