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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | LDG Z-11 Automatic Antenna Tuner Help

Reviews Summary for LDG Z-11 Automatic Antenna Tuner
LDG Z-11 Automatic Antenna Tuner Reviews: 42 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $179.00
Description: QRP (30W Max) Automatic Antenna Tuner with latching relays for zero power draw once tuned.
Product is in production.
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MM0HRL Rating: 4/5 May 19, 2017 07:36 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My example of this elderly model of matcher was obtained "used" via my local dealer (Jaycee in Glenrothes, Scotland - now sadly defunct!) and in initially it seemed to me to be less automatic than I'd imagined one would be - but now I've used it for some time I have to say that first impression was pretty wide of the mark - and I'll be very disappointed indeed when or if this little device should fail from sheer old age! Although it was a used item, I can't determine that it looked any more perfect when it was new. So either its first owner was very fastidious or else LDG's standard of finish is extremely high. To be fair I think it's maybe a bit of both.

Mine is not upgraded - yet. Just emailed LDG on the offchance they still have the upgrades in stock on some dusty shelf at back of the storeroom!

My experience of using it is - like many others, with an FT-817nd. I'd wrongly assumed its power handling capacity was in the 5-10 watts range so it was an excellent surprise to see it's able to handle 60w SSB. Not that I'd push it quite that hard, but I also have an FT857d for mobile/portable HF work and finding I can run this same matcher with a bit more power than the 817 is very welcome news. I do have a couple of excellent little manual matchers, but the easiness/quickness of the auto matching is seductive!

Now it's so old I wonder if anyone will be reading this review but even so I feel it's fair to report that this is a good product, built to a high standard to my eyes. Solid switches, solid casing, decent looking board inside that looks like it's been assembled with some care. (not a comment I feel universally able to make with other kit in my posession)

If and when this unit dies I'd be tempted to get whatever LDG is making as a model replacement - I've seen the one with sloping sides, very distinctive appearance - and pictured very widely so I guess it's also been a success. And deservedly so, if the duty mine's done for me is a measure of how the modern one performs.

So far it's been used with a Hyendfed 4 band long wire (for 17m tuning only) - a half size G5RV at home, and a full size G5RV I've used for portable work hoisted up on three 40ft masts. And apart from an odd foible with 40m on the home antenna where I have to nudge it to a low SWR with the front panel switches - it works just fine every time.

If pressed for a point of crit, I suppose I could gripe that being tied to an external source of power's a bit of a pest - but hardly a pest worth calling such.

There's not been a whole lot of ham tackle I have that's pleased me quite as much as this little device - and if you wonder why four stars instead of five, well - five stars is a fairly rare score from me; four stars is praise indeed as far as I'm concerned!
KL7KN Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2015 14:27 Send this review to a friend
outstanding tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had one of these for years and found another one, used, for $50, snapped it up. Just a note - if you plan on using this with an end fed half wave, get the 4:1 BALUN.

I feed a 58 foot EFHW and this will tune 40 M to 10M without missing a beat.

The customer service from LDG is noteworthy for its excellence....
N6OSB Rating: 4/5 Dec 4, 2013 03:20 Send this review to a friend
Its ok  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
At first I had problems with it not tuning in auto mode with 1.5:1-3:1+ swr. I emailed LDG and they said it was normal. After reading the manual more closely I realized I could change the threshold setting. Once I did that the tuner worked a lot better and most of the time I got 1.1:1 swr. On some occasions it would have to manual fine tune it. Overall I'm pretty happy with it. I'm planning on installing a AA battery tray to do play with different antenna configurations including a 31' vertical.
KC2GYP Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2004 23:13 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
What can I say that hasn't been said. This tuner (particularly with W4RT's One Touch Tune option) is one amazing tuner. You switch bands. Touch the little button. Listen to the chickita chackita of the latching relays do their thing and voila! you're tuned to a totally resonant antenna. What could be better? Perfect for low wattage rigs like the Yaesu 817 or the Ten Tec Argonaut.

Highly recommended (if you can find one)


NA5XX Rating: 4/5 Oct 27, 2004 12:00 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am using the Z-11 with an SG-2020 mobile. Love the setup and is easy to operate while driving. Easily tunes Hamsticks 1 band above/below antenna band. The tuner tunes within 2 seconds and the noise is not objectionable as some claim. I would by LDG products in the future. I say a 4 rating because nothing is perfect.

SV1ENS Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2004 06:34 Send this review to a friend
Nice companion to my FT-817  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Works well, fits nicely under my FT-817, I'm very happy working QRP DIGI with it...

LNXAUTHOR Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2004 16:37 Send this review to a friend
Z-11 + Upgrade = New Tuner!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
- just finished installing and testing my 'new' LDG Z-11 autotuner with the LDG Electronics CPU upgrade..

- the upgrade is inexpensive, and is accomplished in a few simple steps:

1, remove cover of tuner and remove folded ribbon from front panel and main board (the ribbon is held by pinned connectors, and is not the flimsy mylar ribbon, so it's pretty sturdy)

2. remove old CPU (i used a paperclip with bent edges)

3. insert new CPU (just pop in and push gently to seat)

4. tack-solder an electrolytic cap to one leg of a disc cap and a diode next to the CPU... then reassemble!

- upon powerup, you'll immediately notice that the old 'flashing' of the LEDs has been replaced by a left-to-right cycling of the LEDs...

- tuning works as before, but now your Z-11 has 200 tuning memories! you can also force a full tune cycle by pressing the CAP/IND switches up simultaneously...

- the result? a great little tuner made even better! you can send your Z-11 in for the upgrade, but heck, i'm pretty 'ham fisted,' so anyone should be able to do the upgrade without a problem!
W3ZV Rating: 5/5 Nov 26, 2003 19:23 Send this review to a friend
Nice little tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great tuner especially when coupled with the FT817 and W4RT One Touch Tune. Too bad LDG is replacing it with the Z-100. But there is good news. LDG has an upgrade for the Z-11 CPU that adds memory tuning and supposedly speeds up tuning greatly.
KG0WX Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2003 11:14 Send this review to a friend
Great but......  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There is little I can add to what is posted here about this great little tuner except for 3 things:

1) The noise from the relays is louder than I expected - I'm getting used to it but man - it's loud! How loud? Cricket loud - rattlesnake loud (almost).

2) When I first got the unit the tune button didn't work - I looked at the schematic and came up with no ideas so I called LDG - they suggested I short out the pins on the bottom of the switch with a coin. It worked! Turns out the switch is a relativley low end unit and the contacts needed to be broken in. With hard pressure the switch worked and now, 2 months later, it works just fine.

The only other thing I wish it had is a ground lug. I'll probably install one someday (I'm using the SO-239 bulkhead mounting screws now)....
NE1RD Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2003 20:31 Send this review to a friend
Solid and great support  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Sometimes you can look at something and feel the elegance. The Z11 is a simple, elegant, and rock-solid piece of engineering. I've been using the tuner with my FT-817 for over 6 months where it has performed flawlessly. Yesterday, I packed up the radio and the tuner and accidentally damaged some of the switches on the front of the unit. A call to LDG support went something like this (paraphrased):
Me: "I did something stupid. I screwed up the switches."
LDG: "That's OK. Drop me an email and I'll send you a new front panel assembly right away."
Me: "But, this was kind of my fault. Are you sure?"
LDG: "That's OK. Let's just get it fixed."
OK, I took a bunch of liberties in the above transcript but the thrust of it was there: they wanted to make it right, whatever that took. How refreshing!
Great product. Great support. Need a QRP tuner? This is it. Period.
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