Manager


Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Palstar HF-AUTO

Category: Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Palstar HF-AUTO
Reviews: 80MSRP: 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 Display...no analog metering

* Remotable... up to 400'!

Product is in production
More Info: http://www.palstar.com/hf-auto.php
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
34.3804.8
IU1MNY Rating: 2019-09-29
The best Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
If you buy a HF auto you havo to remember its DNA: is not a RAM access is sequential.
Super fast but sequential. You have to MAP some points (as manual suggest) of your antenna, after this operation the machine is like an old faithful dog, it follows all your tuning operation with little, low noise, sharp steps.
You forget your tuning operation you made in the past, forget the noise of your ATU, you are in the best condition to follow you DX. Many, many thanks to Paul&Eva of Palstar, IU1MNY 73.
K9ZE Rating: 2019-06-20
Best investment ever Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
If this tank cant tune it you have a bigger problem. Well designed and build. What wonderful service. Call up and talk to people that care and are super helpful.

Stop buying the cheap garbage and buy a lifetime investment.

I'm buying the new la-1k to pair with my HF-auto. Tag, you're next.
KF6E Rating: 2019-05-23
Finally Works Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This is an update of the review I did last November.

After spending a couple of weeks trying unsuccessfully to make the tuner work, I called Palstar again. I said the tuner wouldn't tune automatically. The Palstar rep said, "There's nothing automatic about the tuner." Why do they call it HF AUTO? Why isn't it HF Manual?

Then I described what I thought the tuner would do by reading directly from the manual. The Palstar rep said it wouldn't do that, and they didn't have the capability to write software to do that. But I was simply reading their product manual.

I told him that it made a grinding noise when it was tuning. He said I have to send an unmodulated carrier to the tuner when tuning. I pointed out that I was. I mentioned that in manual tune mode, the SWR jumped around instead of smoothly coming to a minimum. He kept trying to explain away the problems. He finally said I should send it back, which I did.

After I received the USPS notice that it had been delivered, I waited a couple of days and called. The tech was just about to work on it. When he opened the cabinet, he said that the roller inductor screw was loose. That would explain why it wouldn't tune, the grinding sound, and the erratic SWR. They repaired it and returned it to me. I paid the postage both ways.

Now it works according to specifications. Note that it only tunes 8:1 SWR, not 10:1 as stated in the intro for these reviews.

It works OK, but other than the power handling capability, it's not as good as the MFJ-998, which will tune an SWR of 23:1 with no trouble.

By the way, I've been a ham since 1962, have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and have designed and built equipment more complex than this tuner. I know how to use it and when it isn't working.
GI0ZGB Rating: 2019-05-12
Awesome Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Awesome, lazy ham atu, swiftly matches on all bands, HF & 6m. Outstanding build quality, reliability is not an optional extra.
This is my second HF-Auto and I would recommend it to anyone, I'm very pleased with its performance.
KA1VT Rating: 2019-02-03
BEST ADDITION TO ANYONE'S STATION - IMO Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have this tuner for well over a year - still the original firmware. Tune up is a snap, low power abt 20 watts FM carrier, on any band less then 15 seconds. I grant you the initial setup took a bit longer but once the band and frequency is in memory a simple pulse sets up the antenna choice and tunes for low frequency. I have had it tune with 1200 watts when working a DX station and make the contact with antenna changes.
Since I have gotten this tuner many additions have been made to supplement the Palstar. Never found it necessary to flash the tuner or use software for my use.
It is a game changer in the auto tuner market, easy, fast, and rugged!
NN6EE Rating: 2019-01-09
KICK-ASS TUNER !!! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I would NEVER BUY MFJ CRAP AGAIN, especially as concerns antenna tuners "Low or High power"!!! And I've taken a CHANCE ON A FEW OF THEM!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!

I've got the AT-500 manual & NOW THE "HF-AUTO"!!! NO COMPLAINTS, THEY W O R K AS SPECIFIED!!! And can handle the legal-limit to perfection!!! Maybe some negative USERS didn't know how to operate them to begin with!!!

HAM since 1962 (and counting!!!)
K4MJO Rating: 2018-09-29
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: 2018-07-24
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.
KD0ZV Rating: 2018-03-30
Decent tuner Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Updated review.

I am a big fan of Palstar products owning at least 5 tuners over the years. I currently have the HF-AUTO,HF-AUTO-R, BT1500a and the original AT-AUTO, not to mention speakers, dummy loads, analyzers, etc.

Having the AT-AUTO for well over 10 years and using it on several antennas at two different QTH gives me a pretty good base to judge the HF-AUTO.

The HF-AUTO is an improved version of the AT-AUTO in almost all areas. The display is much improved and the internal balun has been eliminated giving you three coax outputs. In my opinion the interface works better than the original and the larger display gives you more usable information.

What I don't like:

1) The setup menu is located on the mode switch sequence. The mode switch is used to switch between AUTO,MANUAL and BYPASS. But you have to toggle through setup to switch between modes which makes no sense to me. You should have to press and hold the button to go into setup.

2) The tuner takes off and tries to re-tune during phone QSO's after achieving a 1.2:1 match or less. The only way to get it to stop is put it in manual once it achieves tune. Course as mentioned in complaint #1 you have to scroll through the setup menu to change modes.

The AT-AUTO does not do this. I talked to Paul and the only thing he had to offer was that it was probably RF in the shack. I really don't think that is the case as I can run CW at 550 watts and it will never re-tunes. But switch to phone running 50 watts and within seconds I hear the tuner take off again trying to retune which will continue randomly until you put it in manual. I tried adding balun designs CMC on the input and output with no success.

I know its not just me because three local hams I talk to on 160 have had the same issue with the HF-AUTO and their only fix was put it in manual.

3) And finally I have had some issues which required repair. The SWR board burned up and a relay board went bad the first go around. I am guessing the SWR board caused the SWR board to go. I only have 550 watts to run and it is connected to a SteppIR antenna which does not need tuned and an inverted L for 160 which has a decent match to start. Second failure was it would not bypass so another Relay on another board.


Hoping Palstar comes up with a firmware fix to address both of my complaints. Based on my conversations with Paul, he does not think any of this is fault of the tuner..

----------------------
Earlier 4-star review posted by KD0ZV on 2017-08-22

I am a big fan of Palstar products owning at least 5 tuners over the years. I currently have the HF-AUTO, BT1500a and the original AT-AUTO, not to mention speakers, dummy loads, analyzers, etc.

Having the AT-AUTO for well over 10 years and using it on several antennas at two different QTH gives me a pretty good base to judge the HF-AUTO.

The HF-AUTO is an improved version of the AT-AUTO in almost all areas. The display is much improved and the internal balun has been eliminated giving you three coax outputs. In my opinion the interface works better than the original and the larger display gives you more usable information.

What I don't like:

1) The setup menu is located on the mode switch sequence. The mode switch is used to switch between AUTO,MANUAL and BYPASS. But you have to toggle through setup to switch between modes which makes no sense to me. You should have to press and hold the button to go into setup.

2) The tuner takes off and tries to re-tune during phone QSO's after achieving a 1.2:1 match or less. The only way to get it to stop is put it in manual once it achieves tune. Course as mentioned in complaint #1 you have to scroll through the setup menu to change modes.

The AT-AUTO does not do this. I talked to Paul and the only thing he had to offer was that it was probably RF in the shack. I really don't think that is the case as I can run CW at 550 watts and it will never re-tunes. But switch to phone running 50 watts and within seconds I hear the tuner take off again trying to retune which will continue randomly until you put it in manual. I tried adding balun designs CMC on the input and output with no success.

I know its not just me because two local hams I talk to on 160 (WW0Z and W0VOX)have had the same issue with the HF-AUTO and their only fix was put it in manual.

Hoping Palstar comes up with a firmware fix to address both of my complaints.
N6TCO Rating: 2018-03-29
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!!