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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | LDG AT-600Pro Memory Autotuner Help


Reviews Summary for LDG AT-600Pro Memory Autotuner
LDG AT-600Pro Memory Autotuner Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $359
Description: The LDG AT-600Pro Memory Autotuner is another great LDG product!
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.ldgelectronics.com
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You can write your own review of the LDG AT-600Pro Memory Autotuner.

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AI4HO Rating: 5/5 May 11, 2012 08:03 Send this review to a friend
Still a great tuner!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my LDG AT-600Pro for about 18 months now, and have had nary a problem. I have since retired my G5RV and replaced it with a 40 meter double bazooka. This tuner goes great with my Ameritron ALS-600, as I only do 500-600 watts, even my 811H I only do 600, on a rough day..maybe 700 watts. This tuner goes great with the various 500-600 watt solid state amps on the market these days. Use some common sense and this tuner will do the job for ya. Are there some bad ones out there..of course..just like there have been bad batches of rigs on the market. Over all though..I find LDG to be a stand up company, I've been buying tuner from them for 9 almost 10 years now. Hopefully I'll be able to do another 10 or 20 years worth of business with em. See ya on the air!

73 de Mark
AI4HO

Formerly W3LZK
 
K6JEY Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2012 14:50 Send this review to a friend
With a KPA500  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been using the AT600pro with an elecraft KPA500 and everything has been going fine. I use a beam and R7 vertical on 40-10m. I have the station well grounded. I preset the default antenna to Ant 2 and I have pre-tuned the tune to the typical places I operate. I put the amp in standby and put a bit of carrier through the tuner and it snaps in. (I have done pre tunes with the minimum SWR setting)I put the amp in operate and I am ready to go. Between the two units, I can change bands in a contest very quickly and ready to go in a very short time. Lots of hard hours at 500-600w and no problems.
 
PY2XB Rating: 1/5 Mar 6, 2012 11:44 Send this review to a friend
Design and quality issues. Terrible support  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am terrible sorry to write this bad review, but unfortunately my experience with this product and with the LDG support are quite poor.

I have bought an AT-600PRO unit to be able to use multiband antennas along with the Tokyo Hy-Power HL-450B amplifier in DXpeditions. The THP HL-450B is a 400W class amplifier.
After tests in the home station I have used the antenna tuner in an IOTA expedition (August 2011) on a remote island in northern Brazil. The antenna was a center fed dipole using 450ohms ladder line with a 4:1 balun at the tuner side. Power applied to the tuner was around 400W.

*First problem*: one of the tuners toroids exploded after few minutes of operation. Then I have realized that some of the others toroids ran hot as well. I have returned home and checked on the internet. I verified that other people had the same issue (some made reviews here). I have contacted LDG and I was asked to return the unit. I have asked them to check my unit in order to verify toroids quality, but they do not have RMA tracking system to check on specifics of a returned unit. I doubt if any of my comments ad requirements were addressed.
I have returned the unit to the factory and I have received another one. Same toroids and assume that their quality is doubtful.

Anyway I decided to give it another try and wait to write the review after a second experience. I prepared two stations for an IOTA operation that took place on February 2012. The station that used the AT-600PRO had the same THP HL-450B and the antenna was a S9V43 coaxial fed Vertical with an UNUN at the base of the antenna. The second station ran 500W to a BigIR from SteppIR. The Antennas were mounted on salt water and they were about 45 feet one from another.

*Second problem*: When the 500W station transmitted, the AT-600PRO hooked to the S9v43 went mad (sometimes even barefoot we had the issue). The AT-600PRO was clearly picking up RF from the second station which was completely disturbing its operation. It started to tune up by itself and/or detuned completely. We have tried to decouple the RF by means of RF chokes and beads, but no luck. Again another operation spoiled by LDG.

Interesting is that we had an IT-100 LDG tuner (100W) that worked fine in the AT-600PROs place.

*Third Problem*: The LDG support is close to useless. In the second event, after explaining the case, I received an email stating that the problem with close by station is normal. They confirmed RF picked up. They also confirm that due the way it works, I would not see the problem with their LDG IT-100.
I intended to work along with them to find points in the circuit where RF could be decoupled. No way. I have also asked for the schematics so I could work myself on bypassing stray RF that may be making the microcontroller go crazy. No way.
Their suggestion was to use band filters in the output of the tuner. They send me a PDF of a 150W band-pass filter to be connected where we had 400-450W!

So, even though LDG firmware is very clever, my relation with this company ends here. Issue with products is not a problem. The way the company face the issues makes the difference. Unfortunately they face them very unprofessionally. The company is not oriented to fix and/or improve their products working closely with their customers. LDG seems to be a sale/replacement company.

Fred -PY2XB
 
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2012 20:35 Send this review to a friend
Follow up Review 18 months  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still tunes quickly, now assigned to a DX Engineering 43 foot vertical (great antenna!). I wonder if others who are having problems have bothered to GROUND their rigs and tuner to a good earth ground outside the shack? Guys, if it ain't well grounded, it ain't gonna work well for you !

(used this since the first review with Flex-3000, Icom PROIII, Yaesu FT-950, Icom IC-7200, Icom IC-7000, Yaesu FT-897D)

de KK8ZZ
 
W1NEJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2012 10:32 Send this review to a friend
A Nice Little Box  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great little tuner. I got it after I switched from an AL-1200 linear to my Elecraft KPA-500 solid state linear (another sweet little box).

It has worked very well to clean up what I would call minor SWR issues (not worse than 3:1 SWR at the band edges) of my two antennas, which were OK with the AL-1200 but I wanted to run the solid state amp with very low SWR.

But I cannot say that this tuner will work with any antenna or random length of wire. It is advertised to work with coax fed antennas, which should be more or less resonant to begin with.

The tuner has 16 relays, 7 of which switch capacitors to ground and 7 of which control the inductors to be in or out of the circuit.

The inductors are wired in series between the input connector and the antenna relay.

These are shunted by the 7 inductor relays. The relays are switched in a binary progression that starts with the lowest value of inductance, and works up to the highest value, and so on, in a binary progression, which gives 127 different values of inductance that can be switched in with a high degree of resolution since they are toroidal inductors that are wound with from 2 turns to many turns of wire, but I do not know the value of the inductors.

Each capacitance that is switched to ground is made up of 4 500 volt 5% mica capacitors connected in series. This gives each capacitor a 2000 volt rating, so don't worry about the comment that was made elsewhere that the capacitors are not big enough.

The combined values of each bank of 4 capacitors are 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320, and 640 pf. These are switched to ground by the 7 relays in a binary progression that starts with the lowest value, and works up to the highest value, and so on, in a binary progression, which gives 127 different values of capacitance that can be switched in with resolution to 10 pf.

Besides the 7 inductor relays and the 7 capacitor relays there are two additional relays. One of these is the hi/lo z relay. This relay switches the capacitors so they are connected to the input connector or the output connector so it is possible to tune antennas that are either more or less than 50 ohms, and antennas with either leading or lagging "j".

The last relay is the antenna relay that will switch the antenna tuner to two output connectors. Since I use a DX Engineering antenna switch located out doors to switch between my antennas, I use position one on the antenna tuner to feed the DX Engineering antenna switch, and position two to switch the antenna tuner to my dummy load.

The antenna tuner has not failed to find a match on my 40 meter OCF on 40, 20, 10, and 6 meters, and my 17 meter dipole. Of course, these are not difficult antennas to tune, and as stated I cannot vouch for this tuner using any other style of antenna or random length of wire. It tunes quickly, and the memory tune function works as advertised. When doing a full tune, you can hear those 14 relays clacking, but after it learns a frequency it is just a quick click of the appropriate relays.

LDG uses a very clever way to control and see what is going on in the tuner that once you play with a few times is very easy to learn. And you can press and hold the "function" button and then press the "tune" button to see the position of all the relays.

The tuner is in a nice metal box that has a good fit and finish, and the circuit board is very well made with mostly surface mount parts. This is not something that I would want to try and fix unless it was one of the wire lead components such as a coil or mica capacitor, which are installed through-hole on the circuit board.

As of this writing, I would recommend the AT-600 to anyone with a lower power linear, but be sure you do not exceed its power ratings if you use a continuous mode of transmission.
 
W4FCC Rating: 1/5 Dec 16, 2011 10:02 Send this review to a friend
Nice idea, but...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just took delivery of this tuner from Cheapham to replace an MFJ 962-C for use on a center fed doublet-- the MFJ tunes it just fine but I thought I'd join the 21st century and get an autotuner. From the tuner there's a 15' jumper to a DX Engineering balun, then their 300 ohm window line (92.7 feet, as they recommend) to the feedpoint.

The MFJ is a bit touchy on the low end of 80, but it DOES tune the antenna. I just spent a half hour with the LDG tuning with 10W, and the ONLY place this thing will match is 40 meters. Maybe it's defective-- since I dont have a known good one to test with I can't say, but this is a huge disappointment and it's going back for a refund. Hopefully I can win the argument over that silly restocking fee.
 
KG0MN Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2011 07:37 Send this review to a friend
Love this unit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Prior to picking up a refurbished AT600 PRO from Cheapham.com I was using the MFJ 989D, if I had of know how well this little unit worked I would have purchased one a long time ago. I am using it with my SB-200 and it works perfectly. Just remember to go to AM and use reduced output to get the initial tuning done and then switch to full power 600 watts or less and you should be good to go.
 
WN6J Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2011 08:37 Send this review to a friend
GREAT TUNER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
When I got my Yaesu FT-450AT, with the built in tuner last year, I thought who needs a tuner, and sold my MFJ on ebay. Did I have it wrong! After figuring out the problem was with the tuner and not the antenna I purchased the LDG-AT 600Pro at HRO in Oakland. Tunes quickly and works well with my Ameritron ALS-600.
 
N4NDX Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2011 17:18 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I`ve only had this tuner for 8 month but I have made DX contacts with more than 40 countries and used 600 Watt in most cases and it works great for me, easy to use with no complication what so ever. Hope it continues to do a good job.

73`s de David/n4ndx
 
AE5X Rating: 2/5 May 22, 2011 14:01 Send this review to a friend
Smoked...at only 500 watts  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After a 20-minute run during the ARRL DX Contest, an aroma in the shack left no doubt that some electrical component was hotter than hell. It turned out to be L3 in the AT600Pro charred black and smokin.

An exchange of emails with LDG resulted in a replacement inductor a few days later but I knew Id need to make changes to the antenna or Id simply cook this inductor as well. The addition of 7 feet of RG8X going from the tuner to the outdoor balun fixed the problem. The tuner now ran cool on 40 meters at full power.

But not on 20 meters! The problem had now QSYed and a few CQs at 500 watts on 20 meters resulted in two charbroiled inductors in the photo above.
I realize that my antenna is asking a lot from a tuner, however LDGs 100-watt tuner handled things perfectly at 100 watts, yet the 600-watt tuner cant at 500 watts.

For a moment I considered contacting LDG and asking if theyd let me return the AT600Pro and pay the difference for their 1000-watt autotuner but I doubt that tuner would work either, given the amount of heat obvious in the 600-watt version.

In the meantime, a Ten Tec 238C is on its way here. Not a cheap item by any stretch (and manual to boot) but a quality piece of gear with the highest rating in a QST review that measured losses & efficient of several popular high-power tuners a few years ago (Feb 2003).

Photos of the tuner's internal's are at:
http://www.ae5x.com/blog/qro/review-ldg-at600-autotuner/
 
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