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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
KD5NDU Rating: 2016-05-11
Does good job with tunning an antenna Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I haven't own my tm-1 very long. I using it on a tarheel 100 antenna and ts-480hx radio. And it has work perfect. And The customer service is very good.
KB1N Rating: 2016-01-23
Excellent screwdriver tuner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I installed an Icom IC-7100 TXCVR, and mounted a Tarheel Model 100-HP antenna on the rear ladder of my RV. The TuneMatic was chosen mostly due to excellent reviews found at eHam, and my appreciation for an excellent small company making a niche product that works well. After installing everything I then needed to wrap my aging 71 year old brain around THREE new ham products, and get them working correctly, without going nuts!...a daunting process sometimes.

I contacted Jim, the TuneMatic owner/designer, by phone, because I was unable to obtain a SWR <1.5 on 20 mtrs. Jim offered help in tweaking a PCB pot to adjust SWR sensitivity levels to accept a slightly higher SWR. I did not adjust the pot. The Occam's Razor part of my brain suggested that I look at a more simple process, before mucking around with a well-designed item.

My Tarheel 100HP installation included their CH-1 cap-hat, as I wanted to favor the lower freqs. I removed the cap-hat, then discovered that the 20 mtr tune problem disappeared. Some RV's "may" enjoy a good ground plane with their aluminum roof rafter system. My RV has welded aluminum framing and rafters throughout, and seems to have a decent ground return, albeit skewed, even with the rear-mounted vertical antenna.

TuneMatic is an excellent product and comes complete with outstanding and knowledgeable product/customer support.
KK4YDR Rating: 2015-12-13
Absolutely OUTSTANDING!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just installed this a few a days ago my truck. I have an ICOM version coupled to my IC-7K radio. At first I was a little confused. After all a good HAM doesn't read manuals right?? So I read the manual and was up and running in no time flat. The more you use it and save spots you found good tunes the faster it will move your antenna to a desired part of the band, quickly activate your rig, xmit a little, check the SWR, give a Morse indication it is successful and you are off to the races in rag chew town.

What I like the most is how it fully makes use of the reed switch installed in the more high end antennas. I use a Scorpion SA680 by Ron Douglas of AZ. and I have never found tunes faster than before because the Tunematic will move the antenna based on memory of antenna coil location, then shoot a little RF through it to confirm a match, and you are off working the band in no time flat. I like that while it's moving you can hear the received signal increase until BOOM you are there. It doesn't need to ride your transmitter non stop hunting in the dark for a low SWR. You have to do a little of the work at first then it remembers and does the rest from then on and each time you use it. All in all an excellent product and I highly recommend it for any screwdriver. Especially ones with a reed switch capability to monitor coil location.

Lastly the thing is constructed very well in a hard metal case, not flimsy plastic like other brands. Out of the limited controllers out there, don't let the sticker shock send you away, get it, its the best I have used.
KE6IB Rating: 2015-10-17
Fantastic! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just installed my new Tarheel 100HP onto my RV. Tarheel recommended the Tunematic so I checked the reviews and decided to give it a try. I'm here to tell you that it's worth every nickel. A lot of thought went into the manual. I did mention to the TuneMatic owner that the schematic diagram was a bit vague and there could have been a better explanation of some of the parts I found in the box. Some pictures like you see in the Tarheel antenna manual would be a great help. He agreed and assured me that they are working on that.
I have three recommendations before you begin the installation 1. Read the manual 2. Read the manual and 3. Read the manual again. There is no casual approach to installing the Tune Matic so make every effort to get it right the first time. When in doubt, give them a call and they are very helpful. I called several times and it was time well spent because it worked the first time I powered up which had me dancing in the isle of the RV. The Tune Matic talks to you with about 25 stored messages. What you need to know is that it's all in morse code so for all you non- code hams it would behoove you to have a code proficient fellow ham near by or consider learning the code. 5WPM is all you need.
Bottom line is this is one the best products for mobile operations I've seen.
TJ Mackle KE6IB
K4XD Rating: 2015-08-28
Great product and support Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I installed a Little Tarheel HP on my RV ladder and bought a Tunematic to tune it. Bottom line - it works as advertised and easily tunes my Little Tarheel HP to under 1.5:1 SWR in every band from 40M to 6M.

Since I'm running this in the RV, I was able to use this with two different radios - a desktop-sized Icom 756 Pro II, and a more typical mobile-sized Yaesu FT-857D. You need a small interface box for each radio type - I bought the Icom with the Tunematic, and ordered the Yaesu interface from Jim Trapani, the designer and manufacturer of the Tunematic.

The setup process involves tuning for lowest SWR on at least one band and pressing a button on the Tunematic controller to memorize that position of the screwdriver antenna. It's recommended, but not required, to do this for each band where you plan to operate. Once initialized, you tune the radio's VFO to where you plan to operate, then push a single Autotune button on the Tunematic. The Tunematic will position the screwdriver antenna based on the stored position for that band, and then key the rig and adjust the screwdriver for low SWR - and then memorize that position for next time. As you tune to different frequencies over time, the Tunematic has more stored screwdriver positions in its memory and the tuning process gets even faster.

The Icom interface worked out of the box for me. I had a problem with the Yaesu interface which Jim Trapani was able to work through with me completely. The interface sends an ALC voltage to the FT-857D to set your tuning RF power in the 10W to 20W range. According to the FT-857D spec, -4V should be enough to control the RF power output to this range. The Tunematic Yaesu interface, out of the box, can be varied from 0 to -4V, but with my FT-857D, the RF power never got lower than 57W.

Jim was very fast to respond to my emails and even provided FT-857D schematics with color coding and explanations about what was happening during the tune cycle. He offered to modify the Yaesu interface with a different Zener diode so it would output a larger negative voltage. I sent the interface back to him and he provided same day turnaround and 2 day priority mail shipping. The modified interface worked perfectly and now I can use the Little Tarheel HP with both my Icom and Yaesu rigs without a hitch.

Highly recommended!
AF7KE Rating: 2015-06-14
Absolutely stunning performance and ease of use. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Installed a Yaesu FT-987D, a Little Tarheel HP, and a Tunematic antenna controller in my truck. Followed the installation and set-up procedures to the letter. When powered on, the Tunematic properly performed the initialization, tuned all bands from 40 thru 6 meters with a near 1:1 SWR. From Huntsville, AL, I have communicated all over the east coast, and westward all the way to Hawaii on 100 watts mobile. To see the installation please examine my QRZ page. JT Communications will rapidly assist you with any set-up issues you may have. I will purchase one of these again and highly recommend the product, as well as the Little Tarheel antenna. 73s de AF7KE
KF2GQ Rating: 2015-06-11
best tarheel antenna tuner on the market Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I followed the direction's that came with the Tunematic, and my Tarheel Screwdriver antenna, model 200, gives me a 1 to 1 on all the frequency's that I use.
K7JGM Rating: 2015-05-14
Great product! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just installed this unit with my TS-480HX and a Tarheel 400A. What an incredible setup! One touch tuning and antenna parking from the control head are very convenient. The unit uses Morse Code to let you know a number of scenarios, i.e., high swr, already stored, not stored, ok, etc... And if you have any questions, Jim in their tech support department is most helpful!
KA4WJB Rating: 2015-05-05
Easy to use! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I’ve had my TuneMatic for about 4 weeks now and am very impressed with its operation. My radio is an Icom IC730 and my antenna is a Hi Q screwdriver almost 20 years old. My mobile station is far from state of the art, yet the TuneMatic is a great match. My old antenna tuner was a SAM that was a semiautomatic tuner and had only a number display for antenna position. I had to carry a chart for band positions. The TuneMatic is fully automatic using stored memory and reading frequency. Installation is easy and the instructions are very thorough, but read the instructions. It’s nice to own a product made it America, and nice quality enclosed in a metal case. It’s great to operate while on the road with one touch tuning.

KC7FPF Rating: 2015-01-14
Great Product Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Previously. I was using the Turbo Tuner. Radio is a Yaesu FT857D installed in a F150. Had issues with the device on and off since I owned the unit. At one point I was ready to throw it our the window. I installed the tunematic. Followed the user manual. After installing the tuner. It's like the radio and the antenna are in sync. I believe that the setup is now working as it should. To me. The radio seams to hear better. Transmit better (better swr match) and overall the radio seams to be quieter in operation. One of the best features of the unit is the fact that it does not to actively need to transmit RF over your antenna to tune. Also it recalls and tunes much faster from Band to Band. Overall A great auto tuner for any type of screwdriver HF antenna.