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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | West Mountain Radio TARGETuner Help


Reviews Summary for West Mountain Radio TARGETuner
West Mountain Radio TARGETuner Reviews: 4 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $235
Description: TARGETuner Mobile Antenna Management System provides a
controller with intelligent automatic controls for the
tunable mobile screwdriver antenna, and a Remote RF Module.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=targetuner&navcode=/fpTARGETuner2
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VK2HL Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2015 15:58 Send this review to a friend
Great product  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Installed in my caravan and using the Tarheel 100 antenna with it. Performs flawlessly once it is tuned and frequencies are memorized. I don't use the auto tune function, just use the memories and it never misses. One MUST remember not to run the motor on the antenna if the Targetuner is not connected, that is the main caveat, as it obviously loses sync. I had the Turbotuner before that, but found it a bit of a nuisance to use as it sometimes does not stop in the right place or not at all, especially if the SWR has changed slightly. There is also no way to override unless you fit a switch. The TT makes it easy to fine tune if required.
Purchased the Targetuner secondhand and mine is the early version without a CAT interface, but I find it really is not needed in my situation.
 
K4MNJ Rating: 2/5 Apr 14, 2015 13:56 Send this review to a friend
I want ot love this tuner - but not yet  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I drive a lot and wanted a tuner that combines the best of the autotuner with the pushbutton manual tuner for my tarheel. The TargetTuner appears to meet the needs. I setup everything and, after plugging in everything nice and tight, successfully tuned and saved everything from 27MHz to 3MHz. I thought WOW, this is the one.

Then, somehow my home position shifted from 100 to 428. I assumed this happened when the unit got unplugged while extended. Unfortunately, there is no way to reset this without doing a full reset and reprogramming everything. If West Mountain support can update their firmware, I would happily rate this 5 out of 5. As it currently works, I'm going to revert back to my manual 10-button tuner.
 
K5KNM Rating: 4/5 Jan 11, 2015 10:16 Send this review to a friend
Works Great but not perfect  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased this antenna controller to replace the Better RF tune controller that burned out recently. I also used the MFJ-1924 for a short time before giving this one a try.

This one does have a bit of a learning curve but once you understand it, it really isn't all the difficult.

The features I like is it can interface to most modern Icom or Yaesu HF mobile radios using a CI-V/CAT control cable. I use it on my Icom IC-7000. This sends band data from the radio which will display frequency and SWR information on the controller display. Interfacing with a radio also makes auto-VFO tuning possible.

However, you must use a antenna like Tarheels and others that have sensors installed and 4 wire antenna control cables to use the auto-memory and auto-VFO features(auto VFO applies to interfaced radios only). Other antennas that don't have sensors can only use auto-tune and manual tune only.

Other good features include selectable user menus like programmable LCD back-lighting control, selectable alarm on/off to let you know controller is moving the antenna for tuning or a high SWR is detected, and I like to be able to easily choose from auto modes to manual modes right on the control head with one button push.

After initial setup, I can now use the auto tuning mode with a low watt carrier to find the resonant point for a given frequency. This is where the flaws are I could find in this unit.

It's not that the auto tuning doesn't work, it's just that it finds the resonant point then moves away from it making several passes back and forth before it finally locks.

Also when auto tuning, it sometimes goes the wrong way when doing a QSY to different bands. I would have rated this device with a 5/5 otherwise.

All is not lost though because of the auto memory modes. Most mobile screwdriver antennas should have enough band width to use 1 memory for each of the upperbands but below 40 meters, the bandwidth decreases where it will take multiple memories to cover each of these bands.

I find this device works best if I use the auto tune to setup the initial memory points and then use the controller in memory mode. Then I really don't have to use auto-tuning again.

For this I tune to the resonant point in the middle of each of the upper bands and save 1 memory frequency on each band from 10-20 meters. I use multiple memory points for frequencies on 40-80 meters along with using 5 memories for the 60 meter band. These memory points are now stored in the units 35 memory channels.
I can then use auto memory mode which will automatically tune to the frequency selected that I already programmed to it's resonant point, or on the lower bands tunes to the closest multiple memory frequency I pre-programmed in that band. This will auto-tune from memory even when changing bands.

Also in auto-memory mode in the lower bands, as you move the VFO in that band, the antenna controller will automatically move the antenna to the closest multiple memory points accordingly. This is only possible with radios that are able to interface using the CI-V/CAT connections.

There is also manual memory mode which requires manually scrolling to find your memory points then requires hitting the center button on the controller and it will tune to that frequency selected. This is useful too since it can be annoying sometimes when changing bands or moving the VFO and you don't want it to auto-tune.

I sometimes switch to manual mode to temporarily turn off auto mode. This way I can manually scan around the bands and find somewhere I like, and just hit the auto tune button and it's now automatically tuning to the radio's frequency.

There is a selectable true manual mode which lets you use the up/down buttons to move the antenna manually or can be used to fine tune if necessary.

Unlike the MFJ-1924 memory controller, this one truly stops dead on every time where your programmed memory points are and doesn't lose it's place if you use the manual up/down buttons to fine tune. On the MFJ, if you use the manual up/down buttons, it needs to be reset to back to 0 to recalibrate.

If you are looking for a auto-antenna controller for your mobile and you have a modern HF mobile radio that has CI-V/CAT connections along with a screwdriver antenna that has built in sensors and a 4 wire control cable, I would say that this controller is the best one out there. It also cost less than the other auto-controllers that I found.

If you don't have a HF mobile radio with CI-V/CAT connections and/or a 4 wire antenna, you may want to consider other controllers since you won't be able to make use of it's many excellent features.
 
WD0FIA Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2014 02:03 Send this review to a friend
Works great.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
There was a bit of a learning curve setting it up, but after that the unit is ready to go. Follow the instructions, and you will not be unhappy. I run mine with a TS480HX and a Tarheel II. It tunes quickly, and by using the pf button for low power tuning on the TS-480 it is working great.
 


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