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Author Topic: Palstar AT2K on random Wire  (Read 822 times)
WB0UPD
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Posts: 20




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« on: March 22, 2013, 03:48:18 PM »

Looking at getting a Palstar AT2K tuner, the new model without the built in Baluns.  Since I am running a 100 watts or less why can't I just hook the wire to the center post of the PL239 Ant. input marked single wire, and tune it that way? 

Palstar wants me to buy a balun $$$ and put it outside and run coax back to shack.  If I was running legal limit, yes I can see the reason for that.

  Suggestions or comments??
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 12983




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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 05:13:00 PM »

It works fine.  Put a banana plug on the end of the wire and stick it in the
center pin of the SO-238 socket.  I've done it that way lots of times.

I don't know why folks recommend a balun for feeding a random wire antenna.
That results in a high SWR on the coax and increases losses.

Just make sure that you have your ground system connected to the chassis
of the tuner.
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WB0UPD
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 05:22:33 PM »

When I was talking to Paul I mentioned  I had once had a Dentron tuner and ran it with a single wire. He seemed to indicate times have changed and we don't want all that RF in the shack. I suppose from a liability stand point that is true for something he is building and selling. Plus a 1000 watts floating around is somewhat of a big deal.

  I am not all that concerned since my 100 watt output is not going to have that big of effect on a old guy. A guy that gets on the air for a hour or so at the most 2 or 3 times a week.

  Anyway I appreciate the feed back and I also am happy to purchase a Made in USA product, we need more of this!
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 06:19:13 PM »

If i was to buy a balun i sure as hell would never buy his !!! i smoked one his and  he gave me a song and dance like a stripper in a cheap bar. I replaced his with another known good manufactures and it works flawless ... Just for giggles i tried one or two more i had and same thing works great. So my recomendation is stay far far away from his balun crap... Honestly  not to in aww over his gear period. had to fix the tuner already as well.
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K0ZN
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Posts: 1525




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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 08:19:04 PM »

Plugging into the center conductor is fine at 100W.

You still MUST have a good, low impedance RF ground with an end fed wire antenna.
(1.). The ground system is a large percentage of the antenna SYSTEM.  The radiation efficiency will be significantly reduced with a poor or lossy ground.  (2.)  Make no mistake: you can still have significant RF in the shack problems with "only" 100 watts. Don't underestimate what 100 watts of RF can do... Everything from RF "bites" from metal surfaces to distortion in audio or power supply regulation problems. 100 watts of RF energy is NOT "QRP".  You want that RF current flowing into an effective, low impedance ground system.

73,  K0ZN
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 03:56:14 AM »

A balun is not an absolute requirement.  They can certainly make antenna feed line routing easier, but they still aren't an absolute 'need'.  I agree, if you aren't using a very nice ground system with a random wire antenna you are not doing the best that you could with it.  There are several factors that determine how much 'RF' you may have in your shack.  In most of the cases I've had, that lip 'biting' or buzzes you get from equipment is a pretty sure indicator that there's more than you ought'a have.  It's also a pretty fair indication of a less than adequate ground for that type of antenna.  Using a balun can reduce that 'RF' level, but without the ground system being at least 'fair', it's certainly not a 'sure-cure'.
Nothing 'new' in this post, just the same old thing said a different way...
 - Paul
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