- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | Ameritron ATR-30 Help

Reviews Summary for Ameritron ATR-30
Ameritron ATR-30 Reviews: 60 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $600
Description: True Legal Limit Edge Wound Roller Antenna Tuner
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Ameritron ATR-30.

Page 1 of 6 —>

K1VCT Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2018 00:36 Send this review to a friend
Does what they say  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had an ATR-30 for about a month, zero issues.

Things I like:
It works well
Easy to use
Very usable size meter
Great lighting, even on the inductor readout, Large controls
Decent amount of antenna switching options
Great power handling
Cleanly made - inside where it counts

Thinks I dislike:
The SO-239 connector in the back are a little funny to work with - mine don't seat the PL-259 male cable ends unless you fiddle with them a bit. Could just be they're new and tight
The cabinet cover was just a little crooked (lifted) at one side, but easy to correct
The index mark on the antenna selector is a thin white stripe, and a bit hard to see in the dim shack lighting (corrected with dab of enamel).

I've got an end fed long wire that is 72 feet long. I can tune for 1:1 for 80 meter frequencies. Works great right on up to 10 meter operation. Haven't tried it on 6 meters yet.

Looking inside, everything looks nice and cleanly made - aka - no solder globs, no flux splatter, clean connections. I found two loose screws, which may have loosened in shipping (even though the ATR-30 comes in a huge box). Obviously, hand assembled, so there is bound to be the occasional human error in solder joint quality or other minor thing. I don't find those objectionable, so long as they're minor and easy to fix. My mis-aligned cover took all of 10 minutes and a few swipes with Mr. Dremel on the holes to allow the cover to seat better... no big deal.

Does what they say. No issues. Time will tell on overall ruggedness.
W5NM Rating: 3/5 Jan 8, 2018 19:26 Send this review to a friend
Sort of  Time owned: more than 12 months
I think like one of the other reviewers...
The ATR-30 is a good design, but implementation
is poor.
Rotary inductor is flaky as the day is long.
Lost some components in the wattmeter. Had to
repair this, and the meter lighting is troublesome.
If you have the money, pick something else.

W5DXE Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2018 10:52 Send this review to a friend
Can Tune a Bed Spring  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my ATR-30 now for over 10 yrs and only thing I can complain about is the light in the meter went out. Soooo replaced with bright blue LEDs and voila let there be light. As far as QC issues go. MFGs all have had issues in the QC department. My FTdx5kMP's OLEDs died after a year and my IC7600 screen died after 18 mos. So they all have problems. Some more than others.
K3PA Rating: 0/5 Mar 6, 2017 16:15 Send this review to a friend
Avoid at all costs!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Utter garbage.

While the basic design is fine, the implementation is a nightmare. After some intermittent problems, I opened mine up to fine the SO239 coax sockets completely unsoldered. Gee, wonder why it was intermittent? Many other poor construction issues. Quality control is utterly lacking; avoid all Ameritron/Hygain/Cushcraft/Mirage/Vectronics and other MFJ company products like the plague.
KB4YHO Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2016 04:59 Send this review to a friend
Excellent tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This big Ameritron tuner works better than advertized. Of course when I picked it up new I like most open these things up to check the build quality. Here's where I was blown away. This ATR-30 had no loose or missing hardware. All solder joints where shiney and well flowed. The internal cabling and small PCB's were all well made and routed smartly through the unit. Both the cross needle meter and the turns counter have very nice LED lighting. Now the roller inductor was well made and the silver plating appears very robust. The gears for the turns counter were meshed properly, which means somebody actually took the time to properly position the large roller inductor. It shows in the fact that turning the crank is relatively smooth and with constant and repeatable settings. Best part is the out of the box calibration of the SWR and PWR meters. In both peak and average they where within about 5% of my PowerMaster readings at every power level. Now many have appearntly had issues with this tuner but I'm here to tell you that the one I just picked up from HRO is of superior quality. As a matter of fact this ATR-30 is replacing a Palstar AT2K that's becoming intermittent again due to roller inductor wear. The Palstar is on its second roller inductor as I've worn off the silver plating in certain areas on these cheaper silver plated #12 wire inductors. The ATR-30 is a beast compared to the AT2K. Bottom line is this tuner is less expensive than most other high power types, build quality is much much better than expected. Haven't found anywhere it won't tune and it definitely has lower insertion loss than some of the high tier tuners. Would buy again and agin if the quality is similar to my recent purchase. Good job Ameritron/MFJ!! My perseption has changed. Happy customer.
KZ4B Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2016 02:05 Send this review to a friend
One of widest range(160 thru 10)--lowest loss tuners available.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two of these tuners that serve me well in legal-limit operation with my two aesthetically matching Ameritron AL1500 Amps. They feed a variety of antennas including a ladder-line fed G5RV (200'long overall plus common fed 40 M dipole) cut for 160 thru 10 M Operation,480' 160 M Horizontal Loop, and a Mosley Pro 57 Beam. Please note the following comments/observations regarding my experience with this tuner:

1)As frequently noted in many other reviews of this tuner--the heavy gauge copper edge-wound rotary inductor which is largely responsible for the tuner's exceptionally high and broad-banded efficiency can be troublesome if out of alignment. Because of the heavy-duty construction of the inductor, there is necessarily heavy felt "drag" when rotating the inductor. This heavy felt "drag" is a sign of good electrical contact at the tapping point of the inductor/coil! The "trick" is to make sure that the "drag" is uniform around all 360 degrees of rotation from one extreme end of the coil to the other. If possible, personally test the Tuner prior to purchase. Otherwise, make this check IMMEDIATELY upon receipt of a new Tuner. My experience has been that an initially good inductor will give many years of good service. Also, tuning/rotating the inductor ONLY at relatively low power (100 watts or less) insures good contact for years without maintenance other than occasional light lubrication of moving parts. The Rotary Inductor's OEM "Crank Handle" is somewhat cheap and flimsey (I.E., not on par with the general good quality of the rest of the unit) and aggravates the perceived heavy "drag" when cranking. A slightly larger, much more attractive and robust "mil-spec." Crank Handle made by Raytheon [Part # (KNB)175-6-2G @ $24.00 ea.] is available from Surplus Sales of Nebraska ( This Knob not only eases cranking effort/feel, but looks great!

2) Note that the SWR/Power Meter is dual powered by an internal-to-the-tuner 9 volt battery and/or an external "Wall-wart"(WW). The Tuner will indicate SWR with power obtained from the signal being measured (I.E. NO external or battery power is required)--but Power Measurements DO require battery or external WW power. Don't do like I did and think the Power Meter has failed when the 9 Volt Battery died and NO WW was in use. Also, I have had to replace the SWR/Power Meter Diodes due to voltage surges caused by lose coax connectors and a bad antenna selector switch. Ameritron charges "peanuts" for replacement diodes that have a higher voltage rating than they used in earlier ATR30 Tuners.

3) I own and am a big fan of the great looking and buttery-smooth-tuning Palstar Tuners. However, no ONE Palstar tuner works as well on ALL Bands with as broad an Impedance Tuning Range as the ATR30! The Palstar AT2KD (with only two knobs to adjust thanks to d differential capacitor) is faster to tune but has a more limited Impedance Range relative to the ATR30. The only other competitive (to the ATR30) tuner) are the high-powered Ten-Tec Tuners (238A, Etc.) which have similar high efficiency and in certain limited cases an even broader tuning range. However, without somewhat difficult internal modifications, observed reliability is somewhat marginal above 1200 Watts PEP into difficult-to-tune antennas. For a great evaluation of most current antenna tuners including those I have mentioned in this review, get "THE ARRL GUIDE TO ANTENNA TUNERS" by Joel Hallas, W1ZR. The ATR30 is the most compact, broadest impedance matching, and highest power handling manual tuner that I know of!
WZ2P Rating: 4/5 Sep 10, 2015 12:36 Send this review to a friend
Very good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My setup is: 160 meter full wave horizontal loop. Antenna fed with 450 ohm ladder line right into the shack, connected to the ATR-30. No RF issues at all on all bands. I run legal limit almost always, never had an issue. This setup provides a commanding signal on all HF bands with a single antenna. This tuner works as advertised. Build quality is ok but not excellent. The value is also good for anyone looking for a high power antenna tuner. I would purchase another ATR-30 and recommend it. Don't forget, you need a reasonable antenna period. Anyone who expects a tuner to make up the difference needs to rethink things.
KB9RZ Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2015 08:54 Send this review to a friend
It Works Fine  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I believe this thing could tune up a chain link fence. I can tune up fine on 10, 17, 20 using my 40 meter dipole just fine. Running a AL-811H 800 watt amp into it. No problems at all.
N2EIK Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2015 03:43 Send this review to a friend
BEAST  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two super tunes in my ham years. One was a Murch UT2000a and this ATR-30. I have owned this one for maybe 7 years now. This is a beast. I have fed it with full legal RTTY into some crappy loads and its have never arced. Just for kicks I dumped 2500 watts through it into a dummy load and it stood up tot he test. No arcing at all. As others have reported, the roller inductor is less than smooth but it works ok. I like the antenna switch built in.
I woul like to have an automatic but I really have a lot of confidence in the ATR-30.
KE6EE Rating: 4/5 Nov 6, 2014 17:16 Send this review to a friend
Works!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently acquired a used one. QC sticker inside says made in 2012. Got it to augment a Palstar differential tuner which is very well made, easy to use but offers fewer tuning solutions due to differential capacitor setup. I also suspect that the Palstar is somewhat less efficient at the margins.

Put the ATR30 to work to discover that the inductor roller had intermittent contact when using my usual 3 to 5 watts of tune-up power. Adjusted roller. By the way inside of tuner looked fine with competent assembly and soldering.

I can now tune my resonant feeder multiband dipoles on bands which before were not tunable.

ATR30 controls not as smooth and easy in operation as the Palstar but still plenty easy enough. I think this, overall, is an excellent tuner if its properly set up and adjusted.
Page 1 of 6 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.