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Reviews For: TuneMatic

Category: Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories

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Review Summary For : TuneMatic
Reviews: 34MSRP: $289.95
Auto tuner for screwdriver type antennas
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KO4TLN Rating: 2023-06-06
It just works Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Got the tunematic tm1 last year at a bargain with the purchase of a little Tarheel 2. Used it for over a year now and have only had minor issues. However the owner of jt communications has always been quick to reply to messages about the tunematic and always been willing to help trouble shoot problem’s. Most of the issues I’ve had were user error. Even when the going gets tough they don’t back down. I recently had some issues where the u it would basically act like it forgot the antennas position. I called they had me send it off and they got it back to me in four days repaired and ready for use. Customer service is long gone in this world but not here they stand behind their products.

Thanks again

N0ZB Rating: 2022-01-16
Flawless tuning Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Installation of the TuneMatic TM-1 with my FT-891 and Tarheel 100A-HP was easy as cable connections are tailored to the type of radio you have when you order. More than enough cabling provided to install the remote control head in the front seat.
- Written directions were clear and walked through how to get everything working as it should. Total install time for me took less than twenty minutes.
- After setup, the tuning process is rapid and the TuneMatic, giving short Morse code feedback, lets you know when the process is complete.
- I had previously been using the TurboTuner2 for a number of years. Tuning was hit or miss with the screwdriver often heading in the wrong direction. Never happens with the TuneMatic TM-1. It makes tuning on the move so much easier.

Highly recommend!
NT8F Rating: 2021-07-25
Amazing piece of engineering. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Just an update from my prior post of a couple of years ago. My TuneMatic developed a problem with the tune button not working. I decided to send the unit back to Jim to have him take a look at it. Unit was sent via USP and I received a tracking notice that it had arrived around 3 in the afternoon on a Wednesday. At 5 that afternoon I received a call from Jim telling me the unit was fixed, tested and working fine. He explained that the connection of the control head had the RJ45 jack go bad and he had replaced it. Not only did he replace the jack but he did a firmware update also. Jim advised that even though the unit was out of warranty he would not charge for the repair, upgrade or return shipping. I had the unit back and in service on Saterday of the same week. If this is not outstanding product support then I don't know what is. The unit is working great and I look forward to many years of additional use.
Just a note, during the time the TuneMatic was out of service I had to use my older controller. The older one is a push button manual tune then store the setting under another recall button. After having to use the older one for just a few day made me really appreciate what the TuneMatic automatically does.
Thank you again Jim for the great product and outstanding customer support.

Jim did am amazing job in designing his TuneMatic. I use this connected to my Tarheel 75A and couldn’t ask for more in a controller. I have tried the single up down rocker switch, manually tuned memory controller and another manufactured automatic controller and nothing can match the operation of the TuneMatic. It’s use of monitoring several different tuning parameters is the only one on the industry to do so. Set up is straight forward with easy to follow step by step instructions. The operators manual explained the operation again in easy to follow instructions. It is fun to do mobile HF again, as a change in frequency only requires a push of a button and your ready to go. Thanks Jim for taking the time to developer an outstanding piece of equipment long need in the mobile HF world.
KE0VCR Rating: 2021-06-21
Excellent quality and customer support Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The Tunematic TM-1 is an outstanding product that greatly simplifies tuning a screwdriver antenna on the fly. That being said, I purchased a used unit, one of the earliest units produced, in fact. When it arrived, it was DOA. I called Tunematic and the owner, Jim, answered the phone. He gave me some diagnostic tips to walk through, then asked me to send him the unit. Apparently, over its lifetime, my unit had been pretty severely abused. Jim repaired it and sent it back to me for a tiny fraction of its cost, and within a week. You just don't find that kind of service very often, and when you do, you reward it. This is a fantastic product, well made, and stood behind by a company and an owner that are a pleasure to do business with. My Tunematic TM-1 pairs perfectly with my Little Tarheel II antenna. If you can find one, buy it.
K0UNX Rating: 2020-11-14
EXCELLENT Customer Service and Support! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
"WOW!" I kept repeating this, as I set a few memories for each band (80-15 Metres) that I typically use. My installation is FIXED, not mobile. I wanted a vertical antenna to complement my 20M monobander and inverted Vees at home. My installation was directly on the Power Riser on my roof. Excellent DC ground, with the riser going directly to the house fuse panel, and the ground bus to the pole behind the house, then for several kM north and south.

So I purchased a Tarheel 100, and mounted it on the power riser. While a good DC ground, it wasn't a good RF ground. So I bonded the mount to the seamless aluminum gutters on both sides of the house, and had a very adequate RF ground as well.

The next day, after reading reviews, I ordered the TuneMatic from Jim, and the interface for my Flex 6500. It arrived in 48 hours. First "WOW!"

The TuneMatic and the Radio Interface (specific to YOUR radio!) each required 12V, so I used PowerPole connectors like everything else in my shack. The entire install took 15 minutes. The TuneMatic comes with just 12 inch pigtails for everything, which was a bit annoying, but I'll lengthen them when I get around to it so that I can mount this professionally. Just a minor inconvenience.

With everything hooked up, I followed the instructions to memorize some tunings for each of my bands. It was my choice to use a 102" whip on the Tarheel, which resonates below 15M, but is sufficiently broadband that it is quite usable from 80-15. Setting several tunings for each band was a breeze, and had me repeating, "WOW!"

After setting the initial tunings, I tried the AUTOMATIC feature. Switching bands on the radio, I just hit the TUNE button on the TuneMatic controller. It BRIEFLY keyed the radio, and tuned to the nearest memory that I had set, then would go into FINE TUNE just long enough to find the SWR Null. Then sent a Morse "MM" to say that it had added yet another memory (there are 2,000 memory slots).

At this point, I had a problem. I was sure that I could find a better tuning, so I tried to "bump" the tuning up and down to see if I could lower the SWR, but the buttons on the remote wouldn't move the screwdriver. I sent e-mail to Jim, asking "how do I get this from Automatic to Manual?" Jim answered almost immediately, and worked with me until we found the problem. It turned out to be a faulty RJ45 connector between the remote and the tuner. Once replaced, everything worked as it was supposed to.

Now, every time I move to a new frequency, whether using the tuner's Automatic feature or just Manually tuning and hitting the Memory button, a new tuning memory is stored, making retuning a real pleasure!

So, I'd prefer having longer PIGTAILS (which I plan to lengthen) but this tuner works BEAUTIFULLY, and the SUPPORT just can't be beat!

de KØUNX, Jim, in Jefferson County, Colorado
K7LEN Rating: 2020-05-11
Tunematic works like a charm! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
just added a tunematic, so far i love it! I had just installed a Little Tarheel II with my Yaesu FT891 and wanted a way to make moving from one band to another while driving down the road easier, I did a bit of research and found JT Comms Tunematic controller, and I am glad I'm glad I stumbled across it, this controller works like a charm! Now, at a momentary push of a button and whatever time it takes to get the antenna to the new spot, and I am talking, VSWR is in acceptable range and I didn't have to take my eyes off the road to get it there! and from what I understand, this antenna gets better with use as it remembers more windows of frequencies, it gets better at putting the antenna at a better VSWR after it know where to go. I haven't had any experience with any other controllers (except the manual one that comes with the Tarheel) so I cannot compare this to anything, just know I am happy with my purchase and would recommended this to anyone with a screwdriver antenna! Jim Trapani over at Tarheel has been very helpful directing and offering advise during my install. great tech support.
73, Mark K7LEN
W7IAM Rating: 2018-09-15
Perfect! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this on the recommendation of Ron NI7J, designer and builder of the Scorpion line of HF antennas. I was ready to get the TurboTuner, but Ron recommended the TuneMatic based solely on the responsive and excellent customer service offered by JT Communication’s founder, Jim KA2MBE. I Am so glad I listened to Ron! He was right about Jim, but besides that, this product just can't be beat. I ordered it from HRO rather than the manufacturer’s site only because I had a store credit I needed to use with them, and the unit I received didn't have the latest firmware. No worries, Jim sent me out the chip with the most recent upgrades (v5.43) that best supported my Scorpion SA-680. It was a simple swap, and I sent Jim back the old firmware module so he could reflash and recycle. Jim also sent me a pigtail which made the connection to my Scorpion a breeze.

When I first hooked this up between my Yaesu FT-857D and the Scorpion antenna, I was having some challenges in consistently tuning frequencies on the 80m band. The TuneMatic would often ask me to reinitialize the antenna. It wouldn't require me to re-enter the tuning for the frequencies I had already stored, but it seemed somehow to lose count of the pulses as the bands--and the antenna--got higher. This didn't take me entirely by surprise, as I remembered reading that the Scorpion employed an 18v motor. A quick phone call to Jim confirmed that the TuneMatic was designed to be safely driven with up to 24v, so I spent another $15 on a DC-DC voltage converter and used that to drive the TuneMatic and Scorpion. Voila! Problem solved!

I couldn't be happier with this tuner. I usually can find something I would improve in a product, but honestly, I believe that Jim has perfected this one. I did read one review here on eHam where the reviewer was unhappy with the form, fit and function of the TuneMatic, but all it did was left me suspicious that it may have been written by a dishonest competitor. This device is very well-made and performs flawlessly. It couldn't be any easier to use. I Am proud to have this in my mobile shack.
K7KO Rating: 2018-06-27
Love my TuneMatic tuner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have been using a Scorpion SA-680 and TuneMatic tuner with an ICOM IC-7000 for several months and I am very pleased with the entire setup. I believe the TuneMatic is particularly desirable because once the low SWR tuning points have been manually programmed, all one has to do is dial in the frequency of choice on the mobile rig, hit a button on the TuneMatic controller and the antenna moves to the memorized position using pulse counts. The TuneMatic finishes up with a quick low-power SWR tune and coil tweak, and you are ready to talk. The Scorpion SA-680 weighs 18 pounds which is quite heavy. I use a buck-boost converter to feed the TuneMatic and through a process of trial and error and many calls to Jim at TuneMatic and Ron at Scorpion I determined I need 18 volts input to the TuneMatic for the TuneMatic to provide sufficient output dc to adequately handle the heavy weight of the coil. Both Jim and Ron assured me that it was no problem to boost the 13.8 dc battery voltage to 18 volts and no harm would come to any of the electronics. After some discussion with Jim, I realized I needed to adjust an internal vertical trim pot which controls the TuneMatic pulse width of the pulses. The optimal trim pot setting for my setup was the extreme clockwise position, i.e. maximum pulse width. This setting virtually eliminated myTuneMatic pulse errors. I do not know if this tweak is needed for non-Scorpion screw driver antennas, but I believe it is definitely needed for the Scorpion. In summary, I highly recommend the TuneMatic tuner to use with the Scorpion 6A-680 and Jim's technical support is excellent.
VK2EIR Rating: 2018-06-14
Great Product Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased the controller to use with my Hi Q pirahna 5/160 in my Hilux 4WD. The radio is a Kenwood 480H, and the controller has no problem handling the 200 watts the radio puts out.I use this controller to replace the semi auto controller supplied by Hi Q. It makes such a difference to my mobile radio experiences, and safety while driving.
The controller arrived with the correct pigtails to connect to the motor of the antenna. It worked first go, and setup was easy even for me a 'Mechanical Guy"
Joe (VK2EIR)
ZS6YI Rating: 2018-03-18
Brilliant Unit Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently built an HF Motorized Mobile Antenna with a 3-inch coil and motor sitting outside the hot mast below the mounting bracket.

The next step was to install an automatic motorized antenna controller to make tuning the antenna far easier and automated while keeping your eyes on the road and not on a SWR meter.

After reading up on the different types of motorized antenna controllers on the market I decided to purchase the TuneMatic from Jim, owner of JT Communications LLC as it had many advantages over any of the others I researched.

Despite Jim taking part in a Ham convention he made quick work dispatching the new software version 5.43 TuneMatic and Icom IC7000 interface to me. The longest part of the wait was for the parcel to be delivered from Johannesburg to my QTH in Three Rivers (about 35 miles South of Johannesburg).

The packaging was first class and the unit arrived half way around the globe in perfect condition.

I installed the unit on Friday and sent Jim a few emails to clarify certain things on Saturday. He responded very quickly, and I completed the installation early on Sunday as I installed the unit in the trunk of the vehicle so had to remove the rear seats to lay the controller cable and extension cable for the CW buzzer (which I removed from the unit to place inside the vehicle by extending the wires to the buzzer). JIM assured me that this modification would not invalidate my warranty.

The unit works brilliantly, tuning the antenna from 80m - 10m to a near perfect SWR (1.02:1) as read on a Power Master installed into the centre armrest with the IC 7000 remote head installed in the front centre console. I am running a SG 500 cube so had Jim install the optional amplifier relay which prevents the linear from keying while you are busy tuning the antenna. Once the antenna is tuned the linear amplifier is ready to go without having to switch on anything.

The actual installation of the unit took less than 5 minutes (excluding the routing of the cables into the vehicle). The initializing of the antenna and storing 3 frequencies per band took about 15 minutes. It is truly a plug and play set-up, BUT you MUST CAREFULLY READ the instructions so that you can initialize and match the controller to the antenna.

Some very carefully thought out and clever programming has gone into this unit and having the frequencies stored in memory then getting the antenna to move to the exact pulse count to where the antenna last resonated, shooting a small bit of RF through to the antenna to check SWR and to quickly re-tune to lowest SWR if necessary without blasting long RF overs into the ether make the TuneMatic just that more special.

I am extremely satisfied with the purchase and in particular with the service received and will most definitely recommend this unit to anyone wanting a state of the art automatic motorized antenna controller to complement their motorized antenna set-up.
Gary ZS6YI