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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | Palstar AT4K Help

Reviews Summary for Palstar AT4K
Palstar AT4K Reviews: 60 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $895.00
Description: The AT4K is a premium quality American-made matching network
Product is in production.
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KI3R Rating: 5/5 Oct 31, 2018 20:46 Send this review to a friend
Works as expected  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used the unit for 5 plus years and have been fortunate not to have any manufacturing errors. A previous reviewer noted that he did not use high power levels to tune. I however feel that a lot of ops use high power on tune up procedures which results in component damage. The unit has tuned all frequencies on my 135 foot doublet save for 40 meters which was resolved by lengthening the window line feed by 10 feet or so. I wish that an LED was installed on the inductor counter window as this would make things easier in a darkened shack at night. I will replace the meter lights with LEDs and add the lighting to the roller counter in the future. The unit has been used with 500 to 600 watts CW for nearly a year now with no complaints. God Bless .... Tom KI3R Belle Vernon PA
N1FG Rating: 2/5 Oct 31, 2018 11:26 Send this review to a friend
Update: Intermittent faults and removed from use  Time owned: more than 12 months
An update on this unit Oct 2018. I have removed it from use in the shack as it continues to exhibit intermittent faults (whether arcs or switch issues I have not determined). This results in bad SWR faults on the amplifier which is, of course, very frustrating during a DX or contest contact.

Previous Review: Aug 2017

Just received the AT4K tuner (via HRO) and at first glace was impressed with the layout and apparent ruggedness of the unit.

After removing it from it's packaging (fairly well protected although the cardboard box itself wasn't as rugged as some) I noticed that the roller inductor control on the front panel had a good feel to it, but the index counter indicated ~200 and wasn't moving at all with the control.

I opened up the unit to find that the bevel gear which couples the inductor adjustment shaft to the index counter shaft was not engaging due to not being positioned correctly on the inductor shaft. Positioning it correctly only took a few seconds, but the force required (a good thing) indicated that it hadn't slipped during shipping, it had never been positioned during manufacturing - or even more importantly, during testing or inspection. This means that *nobody* at Palstar had ever verified the counter moved at all when using the roller inductor. Strike one.

Following my repair of this manufacturing oversight, I made space on the operating desk to put the unit into operation. Routing LM400 coax to/from the antenna switch and the OM 2000A+ amplifier was accomplished and I was finishing up by attaching a braid strap from the tuner ground lug to my station ground bar. When I placed the ground braid on the AT4K's ground stud it became evident the ground stud wasn't tight on the unit itself. Of course this led to disconnecting the coax runs, bringing the unit back off the operating desk all the while thinking of all the money that Palstar must be saving by not having utilizing quality assurance protocols and just letting all of us customers fix their manufacturing defects. I tightened the ground lug and put the cover back on. Strike Two.

The good news is that the unit seems to utilize heavy duty components and once you're inside of it (which you likely will be should you purchase one) there is a lot of space to work.

The jury is still out, of course, on how this unit will perform over the long haul and what other latent issues will come to light after some hours handling RF and will revisit this review in 6 months to update the community.

I don't intend to buy another Palstar product and don't recommend them based on the poor quality control as shown by this unit.
N0SP Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2018 20:18 Send this review to a friend
Many Years, Solid Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can't remember how many years I've had this tuner in service. (at least 6 or 7) I operate mostly on 160 through 20 meters, and this tuner has never flinched while putting legal-limit power in to 600-ohm balanced feeders. I've operated the tuner on occasion with the cover off while running full power and never noticed heating of any components. The peak-reading watt meter does an excellent job in reporting peak power output. I even use it as a percentage-of-modulation while operating in AM mode. It accurately indicates peak power letting me know when I'm near 100% modulation. The watt meter tracks perfectly with my Bird equipment and the peak-reading display is far more useful than the Bird. (meter ballistics and hold time are far more desirable) There is an internal D.C.-powered relay that engages circuitry for balanced operation. It's a solid-sounding relay that has been energized at my home for thousands of hours and still works fine. I also have a Johnson Kilowatt Matchbox which works well, but it's larger, has no real useful metering, and does not have the matching range of the AT4K. The AT4K is a solid, well-built unit.
KM5VI Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2017 22:59 Send this review to a friend
Update...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Update - disassembly & closer inspection revealed a short circuit across the switch plates apparently initiated by a visiting insect... not enough remains left to identify. The switch cleaned up nicely and the tuner is back in action.

Truly build like a tank!
G4VGO Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2017 11:52 Send this review to a friend
Does the job  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have two Palstar antenna matching units, the AT4K and the AT2KD. The AT4K is just what is advertised - a well built full legal limit 160 to 10 meter antenna matching network. I run legal limit power to it on 160-80-40 and not a problem at all. Sure it costs more than MFJunk, but you get what you pay for. Don't hesitate, buy it and you will have it for a long time. Service is second to none and Paul (the owner) will work with you if you have any issues. 100% USA made and a rock solid piece of station accessory!
KA4KOE Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2016 07:42 Send this review to a friend
Works  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased recently to use with my QRO HF2500DX. No issues to report....usual high quality construction from Palstar. The meter appears very accurate.
KK4CRY Rating: 3/5 Sep 11, 2015 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Ok tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Its an OK tuner, product is good, the meter sux, went out about 2yrs in, palstar customer service -5 it was that bad. tried to get calibration notes. Palstar wasnt having that. so now the meter is covered with electrical tape. Now have a MB-1 from meterbuilder

Would i buy another palstar tuner Yea, just wont expect much from customer support.
K5DSQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2015 08:42 Send this review to a friend
Work Horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like WM5L's review below, I feed my AT4K each day with my Alpha 91B at or near legal limit power on 160, 80 and 40 meters. In a year or so of operating into a 600 Ohm balanced line dipole I have never had a problem. I am not a big fan of roller inductors but this one seems to work well and I do make it a point to clean it as suggested about every 6 months or so. No complaints here with this brute work horse!
WM5L Rating: 5/5 Aug 15, 2015 08:07 Send this review to a friend
works great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I feed my AT-4K daily with a Alpha99 near wide open on 15,17,20,40, and 75 without any problems. It is a big tuner so it takes up a lot of space but I can not complain about its performance. I would but again and recommend to others. Mine was bought used From HRO as an open box 2 years ago.
W8MQW Rating: 2/5 Oct 29, 2014 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Confused excellence  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My unit is one week old (S/N 23419). They have redesigned the front panel controls without rewriting the manual or rewiring the indicator lights. As a result you will have to remove the cover to trace the circuit to discover how to operate the unit. The manual and the controls are in direct contradiction. For instance, the "COAX" pilot lamp lights when the tuner is switched to balanced line mode. A work in progress. (Works great once you understand how.)
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