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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | BetterRF Yaesu Tune Control Help


Reviews Summary for BetterRF Yaesu Tune Control
BetterRF Yaesu Tune Control Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $45
Description: Tunes your FT-100, 897, 857 with a screwdriver antenna. Makes the radio think the FC-30 is attached and emitts a low wattage carrier when the tune button is hit for easy tuning. Works Great!
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.qth.com/betterrf/yaesu-tune.html
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AB0RE Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2007 10:50 Send this review to a friend
Great interface!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've always been impressed with the performance of my Icom AH-4 tuner. Recently I sold my Icom HF radio and picked up a Yaesu FT-857D. I wasn't thrilled about the hassle of removing the AH-4 from service and selling it, so I was delighted when I stumbled upon the Yaesu Tune Control.


Here's how it works:

- You specify in the 857's menu that you are using the Tuner/CAT port for "Tuner"

- Menu "K" has a "TUNE" button to activate the tuner. You can also set "TUNE" as one of the options on the personalized menu.

- If an Icom tuner is connected, you press the "Tune" button for one second. It will cause the radio to switch over to a low powered carrier, complete the tuning process with the AH-4, and then switch back to the previous mode/power automatically after tuning is accomplished.

- If an Icom tuner is not connected, pressing the "Tune" button for one second will cause the radio to switch over to a low powered carrier to assist in manual antenna tuner or screwdriver antenna adjustment. The radio will stay in this state until the "Tune" button is pressed a second time.


A couple opportunities of the Yaesu Tune Control:

1) Better instructions. There was a little mystery regarding what the interface actually did and what settings had to be changed on the Yaesu FT-857. I had to call the manufacturer for clarification on how the Tune Control worked before I purchased it. Then I had to spend a little time in the 857's manual to determine what settings to change. This should've all been better documented in the online instruction manual so people have it figured out before it arrives. (... and you know how hams are at locating/reading the manuals that come with their radios...)

2) The 4-pin molex-type connector (to the Icom tuner) is very difficult to connect / disconnect. Additionally the 4-pin connector on teh Tune control seems a bit wobbly. I heard a cracking type noise when I tried to seat the tuner's connector on the interface's connector. Upon opening the unit up I found the board was only held into place with 2 screws, diagonal from eachother. I'd prefer to see a more stout enclosure with at least 4 standoffs for the board (this is a generic enclosure from Hammond manufacturing, I believe). A heartier enclosure would permit worry-free attachment to the Icom tuner's connector. (Oh, by the way, don't open the enclosure up. You'll feel foolish when you see you just paid $50 for a basic circuit board, small IC chip, and a handful of resistors and capacitors. After spending a little time with the Tune Control you'll find out it was worth every penny though). It'd be nice if the enclosure also had some type of mounting tabs - right now mine is just dangling from the back of the desk. Also, it'd be nice if there were a "tuning status" LED indicator on the tune control

3) The Yaesu Tune Control plugs into the CAT port of the FT-857D. Unfortunately the CAT port is used for other functions as well (Rig control &/or Programming), so just be aware of this trade-off if you order the Tune Control. Ideally, there would be a second CAT port on the Tune Control module, switcheable with a toggle switch. Then one could switch the function of the port via the 857's menu and flipping the toggle switch, instead of having to disconnect everything.

As you can see, the opportunities mentioned are pretty nit-picky. The BetterRF company saved me a TON of headache by not having to swap out my tuner. The tuning process to the AH-4 couldn't be easier and it's a delight to simply hit the "TUNE" button and watch the AH-4 do it's thing. People, in general, appear to be much happier with Icom's AH-4 than with Yaesu's random wire tuner.

BetterRF actually have a sales line you can call. The person I spoke to was very polite and I had my Tune Control in hand within a couple business days.

So, despite there being a couple opportunities I think this is the best thing we've got going and feel obligated to give it a "Great! / 5" rating.

73,
Dan / ab0re
 
AE5EH Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2007 08:37 Send this review to a friend
Great interface to the AH-4  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really like my 706MKIIG, and AH-4. I also really like my 897D I recently acquired. I can now use my AH-4 with my 897D no problem. I thought about making my own interface, but this unit is cleaner, and cheaper than what I have on hand to making some sort of interface myself. For me it was well worth the price.
 
N7ZM Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2005 18:48 Send this review to a friend
Yaesu Control Tuner works super!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This Yaesu Control Tuner, makes tuning a scredriver antenna simple as it omitts a low wattage carrier for tuning when the tune button it hit. Other tuners also use the internal Yaesu program, but are limited to 40 meters on HF. This unit lets you tune 75/80 meters using your screwdriver up and down switch while reading the radios SWR meter. Takes only a few seconds to go from 40 to 75/80 meters.
Only way to describe this is fast easy and simple.
Well worth it's low price.
73 Ron N7ZM
 
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