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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | Palstar HF-AUTO Help

Reviews Summary for Palstar HF-AUTO
Palstar HF-AUTO Reviews: 78 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1495.00
Description: * 1 Watt to 2500 watts....average, peak, and peak- hold
* Load into a 10:1 SWR from 1.8 to 54 Mhz
* NO CI-V cables required
* Tunes on SSB
* Digital analog metering
* Remotable... up to 400'!
Product is in production.
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KF6E Rating: 2/5 Nov 15, 2018 21:59 Send this review to a friend
More Trouble Than It's Worth  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got the Palstar to replace my MFJ-998 so I could run full legal limit with some overhead. (I got a new Alpha amplifier.) The MJF-998 tuned 160 to 30 on my sloping vertical with no problems, and did so almost instantaneously. I figured I was willing to wait 15 seconds for the Palstar to tune in order to run 1500 watts comfortably.

Unfortunately, the Palstar has difficulty in tuning automatically. On 40, for example, it will grind for a minute or so, and then report "Unable to tune," with the SWR showing 6:1 or 7:1. I then tune it manually and save the tuning parameters.After that, it tunes 40 fine, until I turn it off, at which time it loses all the tuning parameters, and I have to start over again. (Yes, I have "Save tuning" turned on in Setup.) I realize the antenna isn't easy to tune, but for $1500, the Palstar should be able to load up on the box it came in. For $699, the MFJ is a much better investment. It tunes everything I throw at it and never complains.

I called Palstar, and they said I should modify the antenna so the tuner would work. They also said, "If that works, don't call back." Even if I get a tuner that doesn't tune, for $1500 I'd expect better customer service than that.
K4MJO Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2018 22:45 Send this review to a friend
A Dream answered,  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have always wanted to do away with all the Button turning and setup for tuners and amps. I bought the HF-AUTO and love it. It does exactly what it is supposed to do with No problems and NO hesitation. I run a couple of antenna but since the HF-AUTO I most times use my 160 Dipole at 60 ft for all modes and all bands. Everywhere it comes down to near or at 1.1. I Now tune at 10 watts instead of full on. Much better. No interference. I am happy to have this dream come true. I connected it to the LA-1K and the dream is Complete. Thanks Paul and PALSTAR. WELL DONE!
Sammy K4MJO
K9ZTV Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2018 20:34 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Engineering  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have four Palstar tuners: AT-AUTO, AT2KD, AT-500, and now an HF-AUTO. It is as well-built and well-designed as Palstar's other tuners and justly deserves the excellent reviews herein reported. It employs RF-sensing to determine the transceiver's frequency. This differs from the older AT-AUTO which derived its band-data from an RS-232 link with the transceiver. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. The only "huh?" moment was the discovery that the ON/OFF rocker-switch was installed upside down, a minor issue easily corrected by removing the top cover and three front panel screws.
N6TCO Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2018 17:43 Send this review to a friend
Best Tuner Out There!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well the title says it all!!
Spoke direct with Eva & Paul (owners) at Palstar regarding a serial # on a used rig. After our talk and their honesty about possible upgrade expenditures on the used rig down the road, they made me an offer on a new Tuner Factory fresh.

Being a vet and on disability my budget is tight but they came through for me. Thank You Paul& Eva.

The tuner is absolutely amazing in performance, ease of operation, construction and is the best tuner out there I have no doubt. It looks damn good in the shack also!!

My only regret is that I did not pull the trigger on purchasing this years ago. You will not be disappointed with this tuner so pull that trigger!!
N7ZM Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2018 09:02 Send this review to a friend
Best tuner around  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this tuner now for over two years. Performs flawlessly. Only question I have is, " Why did I wait so long before I got one"?
K3MEJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2018 17:04 Send this review to a friend
love it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had it for over a year. Works great. Just keep up with the firmware and make sure you familiarize yourself with its operation and it will work great.
W2PP Rating: 0/5 Mar 9, 2018 09:16 Send this review to a friend
Unreliable   Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this about 18 months ago. I have as well the HF Auto Remote box. The tuner was set up remotely at the tower inside a NEMA insulated enclosure. I lost the ability to talk to it and have it talk back to the HF Auto Remote. I sent it in and Paul refused to address this. Instead no matter what I said I got "I work six days a week and I don't want to deal with this"...I offered to pay him for his time, no problem at all, I just needed it fixed, money was not the issue. Instead Paul said "I don't need your money and I'm busy" so that's that. I have a unit that will not talk to the HF Auto Remote and their is no where to turn. I will never do business with Palstar again
VE3VCV Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2018 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Amazing tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Only been using the Tuner 1 month so far but I am impressed, Quiet and fast operation.
Once you use it a bit it is very fast getting the tune. Very well built. I have been using auto tuners for years and this thing has them all beat.
It is a joy to use and I had it setup in minutes
AK9S Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2017 07:06 Send this review to a friend
Better Than Expected  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After using the HF-AUTO, I found myself questioning why I had not purchased this fine piece of equipment years earlier. The answer, of course, involves the cost. What I can say is, one usually pays a premium for quality and reliability. The return for spending big money must result in the equipment exceeding performance expectations given the investment.

I love this tuner. I can click on the PTT on my transceiver for a fraction of a second and the tuner will remember the best settings for the frequency I am on and tune. Also, the sound from the tuner is delightful, unlike the loud clanking sound of other tuners such as LDG (which require continuous RF until the tuning cycle is completed.)

In terms of power output, I have run 1.2 KW SSB and 700 W RTTY into the tuner without issue. The only problem experienced is the tuner arcs on 160M when using my short 45-foot vertical antenna, so I am limited to just 375 W on that band. Obviously, the voltage inside the tuner reaches several thousands of volts due to the relatively short antenna length. The manual should discuss cases involving high voltage which can result in potential arcing to minimize surprises.

All in all, I am extremely happy with my purchase.
W2IRT Rating: 2/5 Nov 1, 2017 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Well-built but some critical flaws  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First the GOOD. This is an exceptionally well-built tuner that easily handles legal limit.

The BAD, which may not be bad for everybody: Be aware, this tuner will *NOT* read band or frequency data from your transceiver. If you need that function, look elsewhere; I discovered this the hard way. As a contester and DXer, changing tuning solutions on the fly as I QSY up and down a band is mission critical. This unit won't do it without a 3rd party app called HF AUTO APP, which at the time this review is being written, has some problems. Nothing insurmountable, I suspect, but it's got a few glitches that need to be worked out.

The way this tuner works is you have to apply a constant RF carrier, wait about 30 seconds for it to chug its way through L/C solutions until it finds the best one, and memorizes it. Not a problem if you're a casual operator or ragchewer, net operator, etc. You're ready to roll in a minute or less. If you're a contester with a non-resonant antenna, however, this will frustrate the hell out of you, and you may find a manual tuner far better in the heat of battle. But as someone who needs to remote my own station, that's not an option.

I don't care what it costs, If I ever find a tuner that handles legal limit (with headroom), can tune a 10:1 mismatch, and reads frequency data CORRECTLY I will buy it in a heartbeat.
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