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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | LDG AT-200PC Help


Reviews Summary for LDG AT-200PC
LDG AT-200PC Reviews: 7 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $259
Description: The AT-200PC will handle up to 250 watts SSB or CW on 1.8 – 30 MHz, and 100 watts on 54 MHz. It features LDG’s state-of-the-art, processor-controlled Switched-L tuner. It will match virtually any kind of coax-fed antenna, including Yagis, dipoles, inverted Vs, slopers, loops, just about anything. It will typically match a 10:1 SWR down to 1.5:1 in just a few seconds. You can also use the AT-200PC with longwires, random wires and antennas fed with ladder line with the optional LDG balun. The AT-200PC includes an internal antenna switch, controlled from the PC, that lets you select between two different antennas
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ldgelectronics.com/
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K9CTB Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2011 21:06 Send this review to a friend
Nice tuner - outdated now  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like others, I bought the AT-200PC for use with an ALE system. At the time I bought the '200PC, the issue was that other autotuners available did not have a bypass feature that the ALE system could address. So what happened was that when scanning, the ALE transceiver had to listen through the matching network the tuner chose for the "last" frequency on which the rig transmitted. Not good when you are scanning several frequencies a second, and transmitting on several different bands all within the span of a minute or so. Today, there are several other choices that perform the bypass function, so the AT-200PC is no longer the "only game in town". Still I have to commend LDG for stepping up (and rather quickly) when the need was identified!

The AT-200PC allowed complete software control of all tuning functions, including bypassing the network during receive conditions. I have found that for use with an ALE system, this tuner works perfectly. I use the '200PC exclusively for ALE, along with a BWD-90 folded dipole, so I have to say that for me, the tuner performs as and deserves a "5".

I'd like to offer a conjecture on the reason I believe the AT-200PC tries to retune during SSB voice transmissions. I do have the source code for the control features of the tuner, but I am not a programmer, and as such, I couldn't identify a "for without next" problem if you paid me a programmer's salary!! So what follows is only a guess! It seems to me however, that once tuned, The AT-200PC remembers the signal level from the forward and reverse power sensing loops. If for some reason, a particularly high signal from a voice peak drives the sensing loop beyond the level it "remembered" from the tune cycle, it could thus force a retune. I can't believe that every single user of an AT-200PC has "stray RF" in their shack! But I also can't see how, if my guess is correct, an autotuner like the AT-200PC or any of the competitors, could work around the issue without some very fast signal processing. You can easily substitute "expensive" for "fast" and still be correct, imho.

When I had tuner problems (before I bought the AT-200PC), I brought a field strength meter into the shack. It was nothing more than a coil, a diode and a meter, but whenever I transmitted, bingo! Meter reading! Almost full scale! I knew I really had RF in the shack. I immediately went to work on my ground system. I disconnected my "cold water pipe" ground and drove an 8 foot ground rod into the earth right outside my shack (narrowly missing the septic feed line). I connected every piece of gear I could DIRECTLY to this ground rod. No more field strength meter reading in the shack -- and to my added surprise, the tuner stopped re-tuning on its own!!

73,
K9CTB
 
SA3AYF Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2011 07:45 Send this review to a friend
All U need, and moore  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used this tuner for about one year now, and I am very pleased with the fast and reliable tuning that it provides.
It is a great tuner, in fact I sold my other (M**) tuner since this unit outperforms it by far !
There is a lot of different software free to download from the web, even for Linux.
The tuner also gives you a very detailed info on your antenna performance as well as telling you the C and L
(and a bunch of other parameters too) which is very useful should you wish to build a matching network for permanent use.

Good tuning range and power handling capability makes this unit a keeper that will stay in my shack a very long time.

In short, this is a winner !
 
KT8DX Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2010 19:53 Send this review to a friend
KT8DX  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine is a new old stock unit. I had problems with it until I flashed it with the version 2.0 firmware available on the LDG website. It works perfectly now with both Supercontrol and N4PY software. Tunes my 40/20 dipole on 30 meters also!

Very happy with the purchase and I would replace it if something were to happen to it.
 
N0PWZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2010 11:50 Send this review to a friend
Still Working Nicely  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ok, so I'm overdue on my promise to give a one year followup on this tuner (overdue by two years). In any event, this box has been in operation for three years without a bit of difficulty. It continues to purr along 24/7 in a HFLINK pilot station. It really is a wonderfully reliable bit of equipment.

It simply does what it is supposed to do continually, hour after hour. Yes, it is not fancy by any means (no external lights). If I had anything to gripe about, it would be that this tuner is actually selling for less than it did three years ago. It was a bargain three years ago.

I am happy enough with this unit, that I bought another. :-)
 
N2CKH Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2009 11:50 Send this review to a friend
The AT-200PC is a computer controlled only AT200PRO.  Time owned: more than 12 months
As to the AT-200PC, it is based on the AT-200PRO but as a computer controlled only version for automated applications or remotely controlled applications.

The AT-200PC although providing the same antenna system matching capabilities as the AT-200PRO has no competition when it comes the to the command and control as well as the data that can be provided the user on the antenna system.

I have used an AT-200PC on a 24/7 basis in ALE operation since November 2005 and done so using various antenna types without failure to tune them all. I could not be happier with the AT-200PC.

/s/ Steve, N2CKH
 
N3ZH Rating: 2/5 Apr 8, 2009 06:58 Send this review to a friend
Get something else  Time owned: more than 12 months
The only reason I purchased this tuner was for MARS/ALE use - as it is the only relay operated computer controlled tuner available.

This tuner is listed as "discontinued" on LDG's website. However you can still buy new ones from W4RT for $169.

From the moment I purchased it, the auto-tune function would not work. I call LDG, they say I have stray RF. After spending hundreds of dollars on stray RF suppression products - this LDG tuner still won't work with auto-tune turned on.

The Ham Radio Deluxe team gave up on supporting it. Among the many problems they had, they also stated to me that LDG blamed problems on "stray RF" in their shack, but other tuners work perfectly in their same environment.

So, I am certainly not alone - not the only person to have difficulty with this tuner - and why do you think LDG discontinued this tuner? Obviously because very few people want it! One doesn't discontinue a good money-maker.


This is the problem. It will auto-tune a frequency fine using RTTY. Now you talk on LSB/USB and within a minute it will start clicking, SWR will go through the roof, the free supercontrol software will show the tuner no longer knows the correct frequency. Instead of 3.990 Mhz, it will show over 61 Mhz. It will never retune because I can't talk long enough without stopping to take a breath of air. This problem does not exist with digital modes - only with voice SSB transmissions. I usually use the 2.8Khz XMT bandwidth on my 746pro radio, but the problem occurs even at more narrow XMT bandwidths.

I now use a Palstar AT-AUTO tuner. It works flawlessly in my supposed "stray RF" environment. Guess what? I don't have "stray RF". My palstar works great, my computers, TNCs, USB hub, etc.. all work fine.

I know the symptoms of stray RF. I once tried bringing ladderline into the shack to connect to the Palstar tuner balanced connector - now that was stray RF - caused my laptop to freeze up and USB devices to go haywire. No more ladderline in the shack anymore for me. That was a 1 day test I won't repeat.

I even sent the AT200PC tuner back to LDG to check it out - they say it works just fine.

Now, one can use the LDG AT-200PC with auto-tune disabled. This requires always having your computer available when using the radio and tuner. Click on Full tune or Memory Tune, then start transmitting a RTTY signal - wait for the clicking to stop (usually 30 seconds for a full tune).

I keep the AT200PC for the times that a play with the MARS/ALE mode. All other radio work, I use the excellent Palstar AT-AUTO.

The Palstar AT-AUTO is almost silent, tunes much larger impedance mismatches, has buttons to control it, has a computer interface, can auto-tune based on measuring the frequency, can connect to the ICOM tuner jack for tuning, can connect to the CIV for auto-tuning. It does everything one can think of and does it well. What it can't do is ALE since it can take 30 seconds maximum to do a memory tune moving from 10 meters to 160 meters via its stepping motors.

There was no software written yet to control the Palstar AT-AUTO, so I have written software to control both the AT200PC and the Palstar At-AUTO tuner.

Bottom line - skip this tuner. You don't want it. You may never get it working right. Only buy it if you want to use Mars/Ale, and get something else for all your other modes.

For $169 it's a good deal and the best tuner for Mars/Ale work. Buy it for ALE work, but keep a good tuner around for all other modes.
 
N0PWZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 14, 2007 14:21 Send this review to a friend
Great ALE Component  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I acquired this unit for an ALE project (though of course you can use it for non-ALE applications as well). It really is ideal, but no pretty lights or meters (You can pop the top off and watch the two LEDs if you !REALLY! need the fix). This unit has capabilities that are far beyond the needs of the station, but it's nice to set the unit and walk away from it. I'll admit that I've been a fan and user of LDG products all the way back to the 11MP.

The unit reliably sets my windom for soundings on 80-10 meters on a 24/7 basis. I'll be happy to update this evaluation at the one year anniversary. So far it's standard LDG quality, which makes it pretty hard for me to find anything wrong with it.

From a quality standpoint, this product is closer to being an "agricultural appliance", than to the legion of fragile electronic accessories that we hams are faced with in the market. It's nice to be using equipment that will probably outlast my carcass.

Good stuff for those that want something that just does the job, without blinking at you.
 


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