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Author Topic: QRP antenna tuner  (Read 7213 times)
KG4YBH
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« on: November 21, 2016, 01:29:51 PM »

OK I have a Ten Tec Argonaught 6 with a maximum output of 10 watts. I want to use a variety of new antennas and see what works best. I need advice on picking a good antenna tuner, and was thinking an LDG as they have a couple that will work with a QRP rig. Any thoughts or suggestions would be very welcome.

Thanks
Karl
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 17185




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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 01:45:41 PM »

I rather liked my old Ten-Tec AC-3 antenna tuner, though I don't think they've produced them
since the original Argonaut 505.

I may have to build my own copy...
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KL7KN
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 02:39:08 PM »

I have several LDG tuners.  LDG builds a quality unit, made in the US, fully documented and the company offers fantastic customer service.

Other than that, not much to recommend them... Grin
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KG4YBH
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 09:56:04 PM »

Thanks, I will probably go with the ldg, and some form of vertical, I'm tree poor.  Sad
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VK3YE
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2016, 12:51:25 AM »

I'd got with some sort of manual tuner.  An L or pi network made from a couple of variable capacitors and a toilet roll coil with taps every few turns would be fine. 

Automatic tuners are expensive and divorce you from the feeling of adjustment - ie if it's sharp or not and how critical L and C are for your particular antenna.
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Peter VK3YE

TOP-SELLING RADIO BOOKS: 'Minimum QRP', 'Hand-carried QRP antennas' & 'Getting back into Amateur Radio'. 
Paperback and ebook editions. See http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/vk3yebooks.htm or search titles in Amazon.
KB1GMX
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 10:49:37 AM »

My favorite low power tuners is a simple home made manual variable
L-network.  Lots of designs to follow on the net for those.  The other is
a ELecraft T1, small, battery powered, and automatic.

Note they all run second to a tuned resonant antenna.

Allison
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K7DXT
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 11:07:48 AM »

If you wanted to go with a manual tuner, the Emtech ZM-2 is highly rated here:  http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/445

I like mine.
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KU3X
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 04:13:24 AM »

The MFJ-929 auto tuner has a much broader tuning range and does a much better job than the LDG tuners. But, it does not mean you have to use an auto tuner.
I use to use a Kenwood AT-130 manual tuner. It is small in size, does a great job and is super easy to use.

Barry
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K5LXP
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2016, 08:38:28 AM »


I have an elecraft T1 and what I like about it is it's very compact, and serves as an SWR/wattmeter as well.  It is smaller than the other manual QRP tuners I've tried or owned.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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AK4YH
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 01:59:33 AM »

I have a ZM-2, which works great, but I ordered an Elecraft T1 because it can handle the 30W of my RT-320 and you just have to press the button :-)

Gil.
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AA4OO
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 11:40:14 AM »

The BLT+ tuner from qrpkits.com is a nice one.



I reviewed it http://www.hamradioqrp.com/2016/03/i-will-have-blt-please.html.

Richard, AA4OO
http://hamradioqrp.com
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Lower your Power and Raise your expectations
KC8MWG
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2017, 04:53:23 PM »


I have an elecraft T1 and what I like about it is it's very compact, and serves as an SWR/wattmeter as well.  It is smaller than the other manual QRP tuners I've tried or owned.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
I second that on the T1. I built mine from a kit, and it did excellent duty Field Day weekend with my mcHF SDR transceiver.
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VK3YE
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 04:51:10 AM »

Something I neglected last time was to ask about the antenna type you're using.

An L-match will be OK for end-fed wires of most lengths on most frequencies. But you will have difficulties when trying to match a short wire on a low frequency.  Other coupler designs have a wider range. Although even though you might be able to match a short wire with a better coupler performance won't necessarily still be that good with the shorter wire. 

One possibility to cover all or most HF bands is some form of tuned feeder dipole with open wire or ladder line going from the antenna's feedpoint right to the tuner. People try to do things with baluns but a proper balanced tuner is good (though not as widely available commercially).  The main penalty with some is that band switching can take a fair amount of time with clipping leads onto coils and making several adjustments. 

Since my previous post, I've put together a website on various antenna couplers for portable use, including designs and demonstrations http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/projects/projcoupler.htm

Hope it's of help. Peter
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Peter VK3YE

TOP-SELLING RADIO BOOKS: 'Minimum QRP', 'Hand-carried QRP antennas' & 'Getting back into Amateur Radio'. 
Paperback and ebook editions. See http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/vk3yebooks.htm or search titles in Amazon.
AE0Q
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2017, 08:51:01 AM »

I used my LDG Z11Pro with an Argo V, I like the ability to manually tweak it over the auto tuners with no C and L controls.  Makes a nice combo.

Glenn AE0Q
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Glenn and V-NATCH Katie,
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KC8MWG
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2017, 02:07:00 PM »


I have an elecraft T1 and what I like about it is it's very compact, and serves as an SWR/wattmeter as well.  It is smaller than the other manual QRP tuners I've tried or owned.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
Ditto on the T1. I use mine every day, and I love it! Mine was built from a kit, which was a fun project in and of itself.
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