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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | Ameritron ATR-30 Help


Reviews Summary for Ameritron ATR-30
Ameritron ATR-30 Reviews: 56 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $600
Description: True Legal Limit Edge Wound Roller Antenna Tuner
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ameritron.com/ameritron/products.php?prodid=ATR-30
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KB4YHO Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2016 04:59 Send this review to a friend
Excellent tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This big Ameritron tuner works better than advertized. Of course when I picked it up new I like most open these things up to check the build quality. Here's where I was blown away. This ATR-30 had no loose or missing hardware. All solder joints where shiney and well flowed. The internal cabling and small PCB's were all well made and routed smartly through the unit. Both the cross needle meter and the turns counter have very nice LED lighting. Now the roller inductor was well made and the silver plating appears very robust. The gears for the turns counter were meshed properly, which means somebody actually took the time to properly position the large roller inductor. It shows in the fact that turning the crank is relatively smooth and with constant and repeatable settings. Best part is the out of the box calibration of the SWR and PWR meters. In both peak and average they where within about 5% of my PowerMaster readings at every power level. Now many have appearntly had issues with this tuner but I'm here to tell you that the one I just picked up from HRO is of superior quality. As a matter of fact this ATR-30 is replacing a Palstar AT2K that's becoming intermittent again due to roller inductor wear. The Palstar is on its second roller inductor as I've worn off the silver plating in certain areas on these cheaper silver plated #12 wire inductors. The ATR-30 is a beast compared to the AT2K. Bottom line is this tuner is less expensive than most other high power types, build quality is much much better than expected. Haven't found anywhere it won't tune and it definitely has lower insertion loss than some of the high tier tuners. Would buy again and agin if the quality is similar to my recent purchase. Good job Ameritron/MFJ!! My perseption has changed. Happy customer.
 
KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2016 02:05 Send this review to a friend
One of widest range(160 thru 10)--lowest loss tuners available.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two of these tuners that serve me well in legal-limit operation with my two aesthetically matching Ameritron AL1500 Amps. They feed a variety of antennas including a ladder-line fed G5RV (200'long overall plus common fed 40 M dipole) cut for 160 thru 10 M Operation,480' 160 M Horizontal Loop, and a Mosley Pro 57 Beam. Please note the following comments/observations regarding my experience with this tuner:

1)As frequently noted in many other reviews of this tuner--the heavy gauge copper edge-wound rotary inductor which is largely responsible for the tuner's exceptionally high and broad-banded efficiency can be troublesome if out of alignment. Because of the heavy-duty construction of the inductor, there is necessarily heavy felt "drag" when rotating the inductor. This heavy felt "drag" is a sign of good electrical contact at the tapping point of the inductor/coil! The "trick" is to make sure that the "drag" is uniform around all 360 degrees of rotation from one extreme end of the coil to the other. If possible, personally test the Tuner prior to purchase. Otherwise, make this check IMMEDIATELY upon receipt of a new Tuner. My experience has been that an initially good inductor will give many years of good service. Also, tuning/rotating the inductor ONLY at relatively low power (100 watts or less) insures good contact for years without maintenance other than occasional light lubrication of moving parts. The Rotary Inductor's OEM "Crank Handle" is somewhat cheap and flimsey (I.E., not on par with the general good quality of the rest of the unit) and aggravates the perceived heavy "drag" when cranking. A slightly larger, much more attractive and robust "mil-spec." Crank Handle made by Raytheon [Part # (KNB)175-6-2G @ $24.00 ea.] is available from Surplus Sales of Nebraska (www.surplussales.com). This Knob not only eases cranking effort/feel, but looks great!

2) Note that the SWR/Power Meter is dual powered by an internal-to-the-tuner 9 volt battery and/or an external "Wall-wart"(WW). The Tuner will indicate SWR with power obtained from the signal being measured (I.E. NO external or battery power is required)--but Power Measurements DO require battery or external WW power. Don't do like I did and think the Power Meter has failed when the 9 Volt Battery died and NO WW was in use. Also, I have had to replace the SWR/Power Meter Diodes due to voltage surges caused by lose coax connectors and a bad antenna selector switch. Ameritron charges "peanuts" for replacement diodes that have a higher voltage rating than they used in earlier ATR30 Tuners.

3) I own and am a big fan of the great looking and buttery-smooth-tuning Palstar Tuners. However, no ONE Palstar tuner works as well on ALL Bands with as broad an Impedance Tuning Range as the ATR30! The Palstar AT2KD (with only two knobs to adjust thanks to d differential capacitor) is faster to tune but has a more limited Impedance Range relative to the ATR30. The only other competitive (to the ATR30) tuner) are the high-powered Ten-Tec Tuners (238A, Etc.) which have similar high efficiency and in certain limited cases an even broader tuning range. However, without somewhat difficult internal modifications, observed reliability is somewhat marginal above 1200 Watts PEP into difficult-to-tune antennas. For a great evaluation of most current antenna tuners including those I have mentioned in this review, get "THE ARRL GUIDE TO ANTENNA TUNERS" by Joel Hallas, W1ZR. The ATR30 is the most compact, broadest impedance matching, and highest power handling manual tuner that I know of!
 
WZ2P Rating: 4/5 Sep 10, 2015 12:36 Send this review to a friend
Very good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My setup is: 160 meter full wave horizontal loop. Antenna fed with 450 ohm ladder line right into the shack, connected to the ATR-30. No RF issues at all on all bands. I run legal limit almost always, never had an issue. This setup provides a commanding signal on all HF bands with a single antenna. This tuner works as advertised. Build quality is ok but not excellent. The value is also good for anyone looking for a high power antenna tuner. I would purchase another ATR-30 and recommend it. Don't forget, you need a reasonable antenna period. Anyone who expects a tuner to make up the difference needs to rethink things.
 
KB9RZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2015 08:54 Send this review to a friend
It Works Fine  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I believe this thing could tune up a chain link fence. I can tune up fine on 10, 17, 20 using my 40 meter dipole just fine. Running a AL-811H 800 watt amp into it. No problems at all.
 
N2EIK Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2015 03:43 Send this review to a friend
BEAST  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two super tunes in my ham years. One was a Murch UT2000a and this ATR-30. I have owned this one for maybe 7 years now. This is a beast. I have fed it with full legal RTTY into some crappy loads and its have never arced. Just for kicks I dumped 2500 watts through it into a dummy load and it stood up tot he test. No arcing at all. As others have reported, the roller inductor is less than smooth but it works ok. I like the antenna switch built in.
I woul like to have an automatic but I really have a lot of confidence in the ATR-30.
 
KE6EE Rating: 4/5 Nov 6, 2014 17:16 Send this review to a friend
Works!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently acquired a used one. QC sticker inside says made in 2012. Got it to augment a Palstar differential tuner which is very well made, easy to use but offers fewer tuning solutions due to differential capacitor setup. I also suspect that the Palstar is somewhat less efficient at the margins.

Put the ATR30 to work to discover that the inductor roller had intermittent contact when using my usual 3 to 5 watts of tune-up power. Adjusted roller. By the way inside of tuner looked fine with competent assembly and soldering.

I can now tune my resonant feeder multiband dipoles on bands which before were not tunable.

ATR30 controls not as smooth and easy in operation as the Palstar but still plenty easy enough. I think this, overall, is an excellent tuner if its properly set up and adjusted.
 
NW3Y Rating: 1/5 Aug 19, 2014 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Poor Quality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased the ATR30 and out of the box it felt very light for a tuner that says it can handle what it claims. The inductor would not make one full revolution without hitting something inside. I was not about to fix this problem and because of this and its apparent cheap feel, I sent it back the next day. I replaced it with the Palstar AT4K. (see my review of it)
 
K2VI Rating: 5/5 May 20, 2014 11:08 Send this review to a friend
superior tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned the atr-30 since 2002. Never had a problem , arc nothing. It just tunes everything and with much less loss that the palstar tuners. This tuner is the beast. The only thing palstar has over the atr-30 is there smooth inductor. I will sacrifice that small nit for a tuner that could handle and power you throw at it , low Q equates to little loss and huge tuning range. This tuner could tune a bobby pin. Good job ameritron.
 
K4HYJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2013 11:57 Send this review to a friend
Works great!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have not owned an amplifier for a very long time so my experience with "high power" tuners has been limited. I first owned an Ameritron AL-811H which easily produced 800 watts PEP. I bought it and an old MFJ-986 differential tuner. They worked great together. I sold them both after several months of use and bought a non-working Henry 2k-4 amp. After it was up and running and putting out 1300 watts key down with no sweat, I bought another old MFJ tuner (989B) and they worked great together.

After some testing and self learning of how the amp worked etc, I realized there was decent loss through the tuner - which I've learned is just the way it is. However, a local ham told me that his ATR-30 had very little loss and if I wanted a good efficient tuner this would be the one. After borrowing it and doing my non-scientific testing, the ATR-30 gave me almost .6db more throughput than the 989B. So I set out to find a used one for a good deal.

I came across one on QRZ.com and purchased it. It performs just as my friend's one does. The meter is comparable to my LP-100A meter for both power and SWR. The LED meter light is a nice touch. The capacitor controls through a gear drive are nice and smooth and the settings are repeatable. Same for the inductor - the counter is repeatable and the control is smooth and quiet. Much better Q than the old 989B.

I've used it at almost 1500 watts PEP on 80/75, 40, 20, and 10 meters and 800 watts on 17, 15, and 12 meters with no issues or arcing etc. I can't really test on 160 meters since the old Henry does not support that band. It works great on 160 with only 100 watts.

The worst match it has seen is on 60 meters - my OCF dipole is no where near compatible for that band. It is almost 7:1!!! The ATR-30 tuned it down to 1.8:1 and it works great (with 100 watts of course).

The fit and finish is very good (realizing this is a used unit). Very clean on the inside - good solder joints and tight screws with solid looking construction. The Lexan front is a nice touch that MFJ has moved to. The case is heavier than most other new MFJ gear reminding me of the older MFJ days - good Ameritron holdovers!
 
N0DQS Rating: 3/5 Feb 18, 2013 10:11 Send this review to a friend
just ok  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Tuned all that I wanted but had to solder 2 spots that the factory missed, have had this with other products as well so nothing new, inductor was a bit rough and noisy, meter was inaccurate. Did the job but was not for my shack, a bit rough in the asssembly also. Fit and trim a little rough.
 
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