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Reviews For: Palstar HF-AUTO

Category: Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks

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Review Summary For : Palstar HF-AUTO
Reviews: 107MSRP: $1695. USD
* 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
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
M6LDZ Rating: 2023-09-05
Tuner is good. Reliability and service leave much to be desired Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I brought my HF Auto new from Radioworld but when I went to to use it for the first time some months after purchasing unfortunately it would not tune and clearly there was a problem. The tell tale was that the L&C values on the display would not achieve full range. Once returned from the vendor some months later it would still not work but the Palstar forum proved to be great and suggested that the problem lay with the variable potentiometer and by email Palstar concurred with this diagnosis. As directed by Palstar I then got the radio to ML&S who replaced the pot and returned it working.

So far so good. As MLS did not sell it to me I have been left chasing the cost of the repair. To be fair to MLS it isn’t their issue and they only charged for the labour (£200 ish) and not the pot. But a few months down the line with no replies to my emails to Radioworld and Palstar themselves with regards to the costs that I have incurred in getting the tuner repaired I am left more than a little bit miffed by the whole experience.

Is the tuner any good. Yes. Now it works well and I am sure with the aftermarket software that Terry designs it will be even better in being able to pre tune before transmission. Given the cost and the aggro I have had vs the benefits I get from it I would have not brought it with hindsight. I have dynamic beams and verticals up to 40m so am using the HF Auto only on 80/160. Quite a cost unless you are set on those bands or need, as I do, to pursue them for dxcc.

Would I buy another. Absolutely not. Getting this £1600 bit of kit (which has cost me £1850 so far) working has been a nightmare that I have not experienced with any other component in my, rather large, radio collection. The communication received has been, at the start, rather rude and latterly non existent. Maybe I’m the exception in looking for a good buying experience as well as a good bit of kit. But if you want both you might take some pointers from this experience.

N8WGM Rating: 2023-02-26
The Tuner to have Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've been a manual tuner user for many years. My Dentron MT2000A was my tuner of choice. It was bullet proof and did exactly what it had to do for a price that was easy to handle. I have owned the MFJ 998 auto tuner and found while it worked well, I wanted something better built and more accurate. I also wanted a tuner that had just a bit more ability to handle 1500 watts. The MFJ 998 often went down with a warning beep when I was transmitting with just a tad over 1500 watts. The HF Auto does not have that problem.
I attended the Dayton Hamfest a few years ago and saw the HF Auto there and decided that one day I would get one. That day finally came after I sold off my Heathkit SB220 to pay for the HF Auto. It was a wise decision.
The set up of the HF Auto is easy and I got it up and running in less than 15 minutes. Learning to get it set up is easy. The directions are just a small booklet and easy to follow.
The Palstar HF Auto is one of those things that when you get it, you think to yourself "Why did I wait so long to get one?" All the bands and frequencies I use are just a tone away. I have three antennas and the ability to antenna switch makes this thing a real game changer.
The only thing I have to tune now is my Amp Supply LK800.
I highly recommend the Palstar HF Auto. It was the one tuner that made me retire my Dentron MT2000A and that is saying a lot.
WO4PA Rating: 2023-01-21
Beware running in standby. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This could be a long description depending. I had the HF Auto in bypass. I had my RF2K-S in bypass, and was using the Icom 7610's tuner, Don't ask it's a long story. I was using 10 watts. Well I blew the finals on the 7610 as well as two pin diodes in the tuner on the RF2K-S. UGH.
So on page five of the Palstar operation manual. it mentions a caution about using the HF Auto in bypass, using the Transmitter's tuner. but you have to dig it out. It says the tuner in the amp can be presented with high voltage nodes whether the amp is off or in bypass. For some reason I didn't understand it. You can read it. So called Palstar and they weren't even aware that was in their manual. Whatever they were not able to understand what I was describing even though its in their instruction manual. Paul eventually told me he has spent enought time with me and said goodby. I just wanted to know how they dicovered this or how they found it. But since they didn't even know it's on their operating manual, no joy!
So beware.
W1SWL Rating: 2022-12-23
Flawless for Wire Antennas Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After 4 months of use I can honestly say that the Palstar HF-Auto is flawless and dependable. I use wire antennas and this antenna tuner can tame them all with fantastic results. It is front ended with a RFKIT RF2K-S Linear Amplifier excited by a Yaesu FTdx101MP. This combination of gear is very compatible and trouble free. At idle the tuner uses about .4 amps and when tuning with the stepper motors about 1 to 2 amps for a very short period of time. I have the HF-Auto set to the auto mode and a short burst of FM will get the tuner dialed in within 2 to 7 seconds usually. It memorizes tuning solutions and if you are near a previously used solution, it is extreamly fast in recalling and setting the VSWR. The HF-Auto allows my EFHW 75-10M antenna to be functional on all bands with a 1.0 to 1.4 SWR depending on band and bandwidth. It works very well with my 80m Horizontal Loop antenna as well. This is an excellent piece of gear... well built to over built and totally trouble free. A 5 star performer for sure.
Update: Tested out my Palstar AT4K with my Horizontal Loop... as expected it had a hard time with 10M, 12M and 17M but the HF-Auto tames those non-resonant bands with ease providing a 1.05:1 or better SWR and near zero reflected power. I keep the HF-Auto in MANUAL mode when using high power from the RFKIT RF2K-S amplifier.
DM1MT Rating: 2022-12-23
Great Autotuner Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have only had Palstar tuners in my station. An AT-1KM from Palstar has served me faithfully for many years and is still perfectly fine as a backup. I wanted to be a bit more comfortable and decided to go for the Palstar Autotuner HF-Auto.

I was not disappointed and am pleased every day with the very good quality of workmanship.

Would I buy the tuner again? Yes..immediately without hesitation.

Not a cheap device but worth every cent.

vy 73 from Germany

Michael DM1MT
G0BIX Rating: 2022-10-27
Not cheap or portable but what a tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The build quality gives you confidence, and the performance backs it up.

I have only seen two occasions where it said that it couldn't find a match and this was overcome (oddly) by changing bands and then coming back again to the one that I wanted.

I recommend it.
KK7HHN Rating: 2022-10-16
Fantastic product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very well built. Setup was very easy. Auto mode works incredibly well and manual tune is also easy to use. Has consistently resulted in SWR less than 1.5 on all bands with multiple antennas. Definitely worth the price.
NU9R Rating: 2022-07-06
Really solid piece of equipment Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
So, I've had this for just over a month now. I was not happy at first. I was having some issues that didn't seem logical. Turns out there was some RFI in the shack and the HF-AUTO didn't like it! Once I got "MY" problems solved, this thing works like a champ! It will handle full legal limit with no problems. There are a couple segments of my antenna that are like SWR of 4.5+ and this will tune it. I love the memory feature. All I have to do is give it a touch of RF and it remembers the frequency if I've tuned there before and it will automatically tune to that frequency fairly quickly. Once my problems were solved I've been getting less than SWR of 1.15 on both of my wire antennas and the 6M beam as well. Well worth the investment! Previously I had a Palstar AT1500DT which also would tune just about anything. This is automatic and makes the hobby even more enjoyable.
W0LD Rating: 2022-06-18
Excellent Tuner Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This tuner is all you will ever need to match your transmitter and the antenna. I am using a multi-band dipole with 1,000 watts. I can tune every band from 75-10 meters. Very happy with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone who wants a "no-brainer" antenna solution.
W0DN Rating: 2022-06-17
Great Tuner ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just hooked this guy up and it works like a champ !
My backup tuner is also a Palstar....
Made in the USA and it shows, typical Palstar quality, first class.

This unit should last me til I SK, but on the slim chance it
doesnt, I'll buy another Palstar before anything else.