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Author Topic: Ant. tuners without meters  (Read 1303 times)
KJ4RQV
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Posts: 130




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« on: January 24, 2013, 11:20:23 AM »

I have acquired a Kenwood TS-520 and have a tuner question. The MFJ tuner I have been using does not have a meter on it. This was ok because the TT Scout I have it for has a SWR meter to show what the tuner is doing. I don't think the 520 has a SWR meter so how do I know how to set the tuner for my multi-band, 130 foot dipole?

Do I just need to buy a SWR meter to put in line? I have a list of settings that I determined with my tuner and antenna analyser for mid band positions.

What did someone do back in the day if all you had was something like a Johnson Match box with no meter?

I am not ready to buy a new tuner if I can help it.
Don
KJ4RQV 
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 11:34:10 AM »

Some versions of the Matchbox did include an SWR meter.

The simple solution is to get an external SWR meter.  I got by for years using the cheap
ones designed for CB use, which I often find for $5 at the local ham swap meet.  (They
do require more power to reach full scale on the lower bands, so aren't as suitable for
QRP on 80m.)  Obviously you can buy better ones as well, but for adjusting your tuner
(especially with a tube rig) it will be close enough if cost is an issue.
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NJ1K
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 12:00:41 PM »

Does your rig have a relative output meter in it?  Adjust the tuner for max output power...
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KA4POL
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 12:13:18 PM »

The manual of the 520 recommends a field strength meter for antenna tuning.
As it is not about very accurate measurements I'd get a standard SWR meter.
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WD8KNI
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 12:14:34 PM »

haven't used a 520 since I sold mine about 20 years ago.. look at the bottom scale on the meter, I think that says swr with the set adjustment below the cover on the left.   Fred
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WD8KNI
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 12:16:14 PM »

forgot, if you already know the tuner settings, set them there, load up the 520 and have some fun.. Fred
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KJ4RQV
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 12:20:10 PM »

I know these rigs are pretty forgiving on the match to antenna. I just didn't want to burn it up somehow with a wildly mis matched SWR.

I plan to keep it at 75;80 watts out and just coast along the bands.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 12:25:39 PM by KJ4RQV » Logged
KE3WD
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 01:01:03 PM »

The old hybrid rigs that featured vacuum tube outputs can load a pretty high mismatch, much higher than what is needed to keep a solid state rig happy. 

Since you already have your tuner settings, you could easily just use those and then tune up the rig to suit. 


73
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KQ6Q
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 04:49:00 PM »

with tube finals and a Pi-network output, you essentially had a tuner built into the rig. Unless you were running an end fed wire, just tune and load to get the proper final current at the dip, and you're on the air. Only the new solid state final rigs without tuners, need an external tuner. My 746Pro does just fine with the built in tuner. I sold my old tuner when I got the new rig.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 05:08:28 PM »

If it was me I'd spring for an external SWR meter.  Any time you change a cable or cable length in a system it's going to affect the SWR and settings on the tuner.  Maybe not much but some.  How much you don't know unless you have something to monitor it.

As those pointed out, the 520 can handle a mismatch but as one who is somewhat anal retentive, I have to have something to TELL me for sure what is going on in the system.
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KJ4RQV
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 06:00:48 PM »

Thanks to all of you for the replies.
I just finished a tune up and had a good QSO on the TN Phone Net.

Truly, these are good, forgiving radios. I tuned up off freq. into a dummy load like all good hams should do. But, like a DUMMY I managed to get into the Net using the dummy load! I forgot to switch back to my dipole.

What an idiot. When you read my post about dipping the plate you will see how amazing that was.
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 02:28:48 PM »

that was a poor radiator, not a dummy load Wink

back in the old days, when tubes had one number and everybody was lucky to have that, I'm told they tuned for deep, sharp dip and not wide, broad, barely visible dip that indicated you had one harmonic in tune, but not much else.  and then you adjusted your tuner until the amps stopped coming back to you.  then you advanced your loading and retuned, and checked your wavemeter or your pencil-arc instrument to be sure there was power headed out.

I think it wasn't until the 40s or 50s when they had the Monimatch circuit to read SWR at affordable cost, at a glance.
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