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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | Palstar AT-500 Help


Reviews Summary for Palstar AT-500
Palstar AT-500 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $$439.95
Description: 600 Watt PEP Antenna Tuner
Covering 160 to 6 Meters, the AT-500 features a differential tuning capacitor with 2 stators and 1 rotor, a precision ceramic body roller inductor, and a 4:1 ferrite current balun for balanced line feeds.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.palstar.com/at-500.php
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G6YGZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2011 11:43 Send this review to a friend
This is a wonderfull piece of kit.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have been using my Palstar AT-500 for 7 months now, and I am really pleased with it. It is very easy to use and very quickly tunes my Homebro cobweb antenna with my Ts-570D and my 500W PEP linear Amp on 20,17,15,12, and 10 m with good clean transmisions. I would recomend this as a wonderful piece of kit.
 
WB4TJH Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2011 07:11 Send this review to a friend
Solid piece of American made gear.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have only had this tuner for a few days,but after an initial familiarity period, I have to give this tuner a very high rating, It is very well built and tunes easily. I especially like the 6:1 vernier drive on the capacitor. This makes it easy to change bands using my previously written down settings,This very accurate repeatability is what really makes this unit so easy to use. Once tuned, it's rock solid, and easily handles my SB201 amplifier on all bands.I have used an external automatic tuner for several years, and while convenient, sometimes the autotuner will not give a a good enough match, and the transmitter will cut back power. That forces you to have to get the autotuner to retune, hopefully for a better match. I find that a bit frustating at times.Also, myu autotuner only handles 200 watts, so I was unable to use my amplifier with it. Yes, the manual tuner takes a little bit longer to adjust, but the the AT-500 is so well designed, it is easy to refer to my list of settings, dial them in and ony have to do the slightest adjustment to the tuner for a perfect match. The At-500 is a bit expensive, but it's quality of construction and design add up to a superb, easy to use piece of gear, and best of all, it's American made. It was a good choice.
 
G6YGZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2011 06:28 Send this review to a friend
TOP CLASS TUNER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a very well made tuner. There as been no skimping on materials used. the workmanship is first class. All the lettering on the front is perfectly readable, even the tuning numerals are perfectly readable even at arms length, but then again, I do ware my prescrption glasses. I think one of the earlier reviews was a bit arsh on that subject. It tunes my homebrew cobwebb to flat needle on reflected power,on 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m. With the forward power needle showing the exact forward power. The legal power limit in the UK is 400 watts and a lot of people throughout the world are happy to run less than that. So there is a very large market for this excelent tuner. Worth every penny.
 
VE2OL Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2010 03:45 Send this review to a friend
very good tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi,In my long career in the hobby I have built many tuners and I give a 5 to this one because it is very well built and it tunes my 265 foot OCF down to 1:1 on all bands 1.8 to 30mhz.I cant tell for 6 meters as my radio and interest don,t go there. I bought it primarily because it is fast and easy for quick band changes because there are only 2 controls.I ordered direct from Palstar and the gang there answered my queries and shipped promptly.It helps that they are all hams. I would recommend it to anyone.It,s a solid addition to my shack, 73, Ray VE2ol
 
KA4SSH Rating: 5/5 Nov 2, 2009 08:21 Send this review to a friend
WORKS AS ADVERTISED  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
THIS IS MY THIRD PALSTAR-ALL WERE BUILT LIKE HEAVY TANKS AND HAVE USA AS PART OF THERE RESUME-IHAVE THE 600 WATT [ALS-600]AMERTRON AND LONG WIRES- IF I TUNE TO THE MID RANGE OF THE BAND WITH THIS TUNER I CAN WORK THE WHOLE BAND WITH LITTLE OR NO ADJUSTMENT ON THE TUNER' THEY ARE MORE MONEY THAN MOST BUT YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR-PAY THE EXTRA AND YOU WON'T BE SORRY - GREAT MATCH TO MY 756 III AND 160-10 WIRES AND AMP--
 
K1TN Rating: 3/5 Aug 6, 2009 16:01 Send this review to a friend
Not impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rate this a three because of poor ergonomics and poor value for the money.

My 60-year-old eyes are pretty good for their age, but this unit still puts them to the test. The numbers on the inductor turns counter and the numbers on the front panel for the capacitor tuning are very hard for me to read. And even the light in the meter is dim and a sickly yellow.

To me, these are real issues on a unit that requires a lot of fiddling to change bands and even more to move frequency within a band.

The manual also says to clean the roller coil with isopropyl alcohol every 4-6 months. It doesn't say if this is necessary even if the tuner sits mostly unused. This will require taking the cabinet off, of course.

I am comparing the AT-500 to an MFJ-993 auto tuner, which I also own. The MFJ will do everything the Palstar does, faster and automatically. This includes ANT A/B switching, matching coax, balanced line, and end-fed wires. Both will match 160 to 6 meters. (The MFJ is not rated for 6 Meters but I know for a fact that it will, indeed, match at least some loads on that band, as will many tuners not rated for 6 Meters.)

I bought the Palstar for this winter, to get a little more matching capability and bandwidth on a short, end-fed wire on 160 Meters. I will use a counterpoise wire and an MFJ "artificial ground" box for that, too. The Palstar has the ability to switch in inductance on 160 Meters, and the bigger components may be able to add some bandwidth (over the MFJ auto tuner).

This $439 was a lot of money to spend for one application and I thought about it. But, the Palstar may be a keeper for a spare tuner and/or other applications. I do think that on some really oddball excuses for an "antenna" the Palstar should, in theory, find a match when the MFJ won't. We shall see.

I also thought about spending another $50 or so for a higher power Palstar, but the AT-500, while rated at 600 watts, probably will handle a KW key down after it's tuned up. I may never run that kind of power again.

I rate this tuner poor value for the money because I guess the price is because its components appear to be pretty sturdy. My experience with tuners, more than 40 years worth, is that you can exceed specifications all over the place if you do your adjusting carefully, at low power levels. I am not the only person who, for years, ran 600-700 watts output key-down CW into a Johnson Low Power Matchbox, "rated" at 275 watts.

The Palstar has ceramic stand-offs for various applicatons, too (balanced feed line, random wire), sturdier than the ones on my MFJ-993. These are appropriate for the Palstar's higher power rating. But, I wonder, just what is the purpose of a tuner rated at 600 watts? Seems to me that either you run a barefoot transceiver at 200 watts, max (which any 100 watt tuner will handle), or you run full KW heat.

I just bought the AT-500 on August 5, 2009, and I suppose I'll keep it, but if anybody wants one for a few bucks off the new price, look me up and drop me an e-mail.

Jim Cain, K1TN
 
KK7XE Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2009 16:38 Send this review to a friend
Quality Tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The tuner is fairly new to the market, but I wanted something smaller as I operate with 100 watts or less. It tunes my Windoms, and Doublet antennas anywhere I want to go. I also have a vertical and it does excellent with it too. As with all of their products, it works as it should and is very easy to use. My 570 tuner does just ok, but this tuner opens things up as they should be. Thank you Palstar.
 
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