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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | LDG RT-11 Help


Reviews Summary for LDG RT-11
LDG RT-11 Reviews: 28 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $209.00
Description: hf/6 meter antenna tunner
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ldgelectronics.com/
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W4KPA Rating: 5/5 Jun 12, 2003 23:08 Send this review to a friend
This product works  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The RT-11 works like a charm, and it really helped me work with a tough antenna location. Mine is mounted a little over 100 feet from the station operating point. I feed it with 110 feet of RG-8. The tuner connects through the 4:1 LDG balun to another 100 feet of 450-ohm ladder line. This all connects to a 130-foot dipole on the back end of my lot at about 35 feet above ground. I can't get the system to tune 160 meters, but other than that, I get better than a 2:1 match on every band (better than 1.5:1 is typcial). In all cases the match is good enough to keep the SWR protection circuit on my IC-706 mk2g happy.

There are a couple of caveats that need to be passed along.

(1) I found I could not use the custom cable for direct connection to the ICOM. When I did, the unit was erratic and sometimes required three or four starts to get the unit to tune. It would start momentarily and then go into bypass mode. I attribute this to the 110 feet of DB-9 cable that I'm using to control the unit. When I bought and installed the LDG control box, all these problems went away. The unit now functions flawlessly, and frankly, I don't think the direct connection to the ICOM offers any particular advantage.

(2) Antennas fed with ladder line are a little more finicky than those fed with coax. Pay particular attention to how the ladder line is routed. You need to keep it several inches away from nearby metal objects. Rain, snow, or ice will cause a difference in how the whole system behaves. When the leaves come out in spring, the system will also be affected. Keep the system as simple as possible. I found I had problems from even a short coax jumper between the tuner and the balun. I replaced it with a double male, uhf connector and had better results from the tuner.

Finally, I got great support from LDG. Dwayne answered a series of e-mails from me on Saturday and Sunday, and gave me suggestions that helped me fine tune the antenna system. They get my vote.

 
WA3FAE Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2003 15:52 Send this review to a friend
Just as advertised. Fast, compact and it works.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this unit because I was contemplating QRP in the future and it will tune with low power. I got the 706MKIIG cable so that I could give a thorough checkout with my full power rig. I placed it at the bottom of a G5RV (102') with about 45 feet of 300 ohm ladder line. It matched from 80m to 6m with 1.8 or less SWR. I tested from my picnic table using an RS232 extension cable on the control cable - total length about 50 feet. No problems.

I used it during rain and snow by placing it on top of 2 concrete blocks and securing it with a large black tie-wrap. It worked fine in all conditions except when the antenna was iced up, snow reached the balun terminals, or the ladder broke at the 5-way terminals. I did purchase their balun.

I use it mobile now with the 706 and a Hamstick antenna. I can't get a good match on bands other than the proper band, but then I probably don't have the best ground system for my roof-rack mount. I have worked DX and several states mobile, both on CW and SSB.

I made a control box using switches and 2-9V batteries that will power it continuously for about 3 days if you leave it powered up. If you make a switch for the auto-tune mode, you can leave the unit powered up and it will autotune when you change bands. After tuning, just turn off the control unit and you have zero power consumption. This was to give me the ability to tune it with a QRP rig without using the QRP battery.

Problems? Just the RS232 connector screws kept loosening, so I put small split washers on the nuts inside of the cabinet - problem solved.

One note, if you power it with your 706, the tune button must be pressed to get the initial tune. The unit is NOT left engaged in the last latched tune position. If you band change, even for a moment, the tune light will go out and the unit is taken out of line. If you build a manual control box, you can change this behavior.
 
K7AAB Rating: 2/5 May 21, 2003 21:47 Send this review to a friend
LDG RT-11  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought an RT-11 for my new FT-897 and G5RV, previously I used the older AT-11 and an Icom 718 with the same G5RV which worked flawlessly. Due to the Ft-897 only working with newer software versions of LDG tuners I sold the AT-11. Unfortunately the RT-11 didnt perform as I hoped it would as its' forefather did, and swr was very high at 20 meters and would taper down at 80 and 10 meters. Also lower swr's were possible if the tuner was retuned 4 or more times, 20 meters just wouldnt tune so I sold the RT-11 and remote at a loss. I did send it in for evaluation and adjustment but it was tested on a dipole and not a G5RV. Getting any help after that was difficult.
 
AF5U Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2003 00:03 Send this review to a friend
Lazy Ham Antenna Tuner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have two antenna tuners - one for high power and the RT-11 for low power. I believe that having a 100 watt or less automatic remote antenna tuner provides me with a quick solution to being able to QSY fixed or mobile. And, when I am at home I am able to put the tuner where I want it to be. Case in point, I can place the tuner even at the top of my tower or any place in between to my rig. Long DB-9 extension cables for control purposes is available at most computer stores. And, with the addition of the remote balun, I can even use ladder line 450 or 300 ohm for lower loss and wider bandwidth. The remote balun is also in a water tight enclosure like the tuner is. A pigstail length of RG-8X from the tuner to the balun is all that you need other than the ladder line from the balun to the antenna. Many of my fellow hams are using it with 88 foot long dipoles feed with ladder line (22 ft or 44 ft long). In this time of poor mother nature sun spot activity, an all band antenna is the solution to being able to work the low frequency bands and the RT-11 will help you do it.

Some guys say the relays in the tuner chatter. The noise only takes place when it is tuning for maybe 3 seconds. Once the tune is complete, there is no noise and the tuner holds its tune even when no in use. When I am using the tuner in my car I can hear it chattering. No problem - I know it is doing its thing. When you don't hear the noise - something has gone wrong.
I would say it will tune just about anything between 160 and 6 meters that MFJ or Autek antenna analyzers will read. If the Z is too high to read, the RT-11 wont tune it. However, there are other tuners that will tune it - but they are not automatic and at $200. Dave Little AF5U@arrl.net
 
AG9M Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2003 23:40 Send this review to a friend
Fun and fast  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I ordered mine over the phone from Dayton while at the Hamvention. Everyone was sold out. I built the kit in about 8 hours I think. The hardest part was keeping my magnifying glassed on over my tri-focals!. Torroids were challenging but OK. This unit works great mobile with my Icom 706. I use a Comet CA-HV antenna. The only glitch is that the 706 does not autotune on 6 meters, not LDG's fault. I get around that by tuning up on 40 meters and then switch to 6. Works every time. If I had it to do over, I would not have bought an autotuner radio (FT-920) but would have bought another RT-11 and mount it on the feedpoint of my base antenna. That way I could be more flexable with my choice of rig. The RT-11 tunes a G5RV much better on 17 and 15, than the FT-920 internal tuner. Get one and buid it, you will be happy with the results.
 
KC4EOE Rating: 4/5 Sep 3, 2002 22:17 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised  Time owned: months
I purchased the tuner to enhance the bandwidth of my Texas Bugcatcher and Kenwood TS-140 mobile. After a couple of hours of experimenting with different bands, I was pleased with the results. The only negative comments I have is that the company does not include a ready made power cord with the unit. You have to make your own using the d.c. plug provided and the tips are very tiny to solder a d.c. cable onto. Much to my chagrin, none of the adapter plugs I had from Radio Shack that mate with the nice cigar lighter cable I had would fit into the power slot on the remote head of the tuner. You would think that LDG would at least provide a complete power cord for the price I paid for the system. I was almost dismayed when I removed the two screws to move the mounting bracket to the bottom and the nuts fell off inside the remote unit, but I opened it up and reset them in place. Other than all that, I am pleased so far.
 
WN9PIQ Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2002 11:19 Send this review to a friend
Nice Accessory  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this unit to combine with my Alinco DX70-TH for mobile work, touching up the antennas on thier band edges, retuning in the rain, etc. I was impressed with the RT-11's feel of quality and the ease of installation. One cable hook-up, attach the coax and your done! Performance is smooth, fast and accurate. I'm sure this tuner would work nicely in the shack too. A nice accessory for any ham station.
 
KG4PWC Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2002 18:56 Send this review to a friend
I would buy again  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This tuner is wonderful. I have it hooked to 280 foot horizontal loop 30 feet off the ground through a 300 ohm twin lead into the LDG Electronics 4:1 Balun. The balun is directly connected to the tuner with a male/male connector from Radio Shack so that there is no coax to worry about radiation loss between the balun and the tuner. The tuner tunes to <1:1.5 SWR on most bands and < 2.0 SWR on all bands except 160 meters (antenna is not long enough). The tuner is mounted outside, so I can't hear the racket. The tuner works very well with the Alinco DX77T which has a cable that allows you to use the tune button on the transceiver to activate the tuner while dropping the transmit to 10 watts. Short of building a balanced line tuner, I'll stick with the RT-11. It is much cheaper than other auto tuners on the market.
 
N4KZ Rating: 4/5 Apr 3, 2002 12:42 Send this review to a friend
A nice tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the RT-11 to use with my IC-706 MkllG in the car. Using the RT-11 gives me multi-band capability with my monobond Ham Stick antennas. For instance, I can now use my 15 meter Ham Stick on 17, 12, and 10, in addition to 15 meters. The autotuner is fast, typically finding a match in 2-5 seconds. Some other reviewers have talked about the tuner being loud (like quarters in a blender) but I don't think the noise is bad at all. After the big build-up about the noise, it was a let-down because it's so quiet. Although I have other Ham Sticks for other bands, now I don't have to change antennas so often and I like that convenience.
 
WD8BMP Rating: 5/5 Mar 8, 2002 21:37 Send this review to a friend
Excellent tuner; outstanding tech support  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello,all. Bought this tuner here to add too the mobile setup which consists of Icom Ic706MKIIG and hamstick antenna with Lakeview license plate mount. When first installed the antenna that was conncted was 17mtr ham stick. The purpose of the RT-11 was too be able too use other bands +/- a band i.e....17mtr antenna run on 20mtrs and 15mtrs. The manual states that this is quite do able, however when I tried too hit the tune button on the Icom, the RT-11 would tune up and down and all around and not find/lock-in a match. I tried other antenna's 20mtrs,15mtr antenna with same results. Started too think I had poor ground,etc so called LDG. They said that it sounded out of calibration and to send it in and they will review. I USPS overnight too them, they recieved the next day and within the same day had a new unit being overnited too me at there cost. They appologized for the non-calibrated RT-11 and confirmed that indeed it was a tuner misalignment. I installed the new RT-11 in vehicle today, and can say this tuner tunes with a 17mtr antenna connected 17mtrs,20mtrs,15mtrs,12mtrs and 10mtrs with swr of no more then 1.5! I want too pubilicly thank LDG for such stunning service and assistance. This tuner works as it should now and the reports are all excellent. If you're looking for a good auto tuner for the 706MKIIG then I would suggest taking a very close look at this unit and you will not be disappointed in the quality of unit and customer satifaction is next too none. Thank you again LDG for the service and respones that are simply A+.
 
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