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Categories | Antenna Tuners | Palstar AT-500 Help

Show all reviews of the Palstar AT-500

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G4FFD  Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2012 07:31  Send this review to a friend!
Well-Made, Versatile and Effective  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine was a replacement for a 30 year-old MFJ Differential Tuner, which has been excellent and reliable. It had become tired and needed a rest. The lower power AT-500 has been a satisfactory purchase. It has a well-pressed strong case that fits together well and the components are high-quality. Reading the capacitor dial is easy with a glance at the big red triangular pointer. It is like an analogue watch face that does not need figures, your reading becomes spontaneous within a degree or two. The triangle stands out in subdued light.
The design uses an inductor with increasing spaced windings. It is not quite as versatile as the old MFJ and there is one combination it finds difficult to match on 21Mhz on my centre-fed balanced line antenna. It gives a 1.5 VSWR which works well. All other bands below the design frequency of the antenna are matched 1:1 with low reactance.
I happened to have a Palstar 1/1 current balun to hand. Plugging this in to a spare coaxial socket at the rear of the ATU and attaching the balanced line allowed perfect matching on 21Mhz,
but not on 24Mhz. (The internal balun is a 4:1 current transformer.)
If you want perfection you have to seek it. If you start trimming your antenna and/or feedline, you will be at it for weeks! Using another ratio balun on an alternative entry portal is much easier.
I think this ATU is good. 
Product is in production.
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