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Reviews For: ICOM AT-180

Category: Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks

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Review Summary For : ICOM AT-180
Reviews: 40MSRP: 499.95
Matching Auto-Tuner for the IC-706 Series
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
ZS5J Rating: 2005-02-03
mediocre but usefull Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased a new Icom 706mk2G and matching AT-180, from Denver a few weeks ago while on vacation to the USA. When I opened the box, I, too, was dissapointed that there was no manual (or warranty card) in the box. I called HRO, and they said none of them came with manuals. Sure, there is not much to learn about an ATU, it's pretty straight forward, but a schematic and information on the additional ports would be useful. There is a brief description about the AT-180 in the 706mk2G manual - but I was looking for more. What if I wanted to connect a non Icom rig to the tuner, I would have liked to have known what the control voltages are set at for changing bands.
Apart from the manual gripe, the tuner works fine, tunes most antenna's that are not too far off, and it's pretty quick.
Of course it's also great to have an ATU that matches the 706 so well. An MFJ tuner next to the 706 would look ugly. MFJ ATU's work well, especially the ones with rotary inductors, but the exterior finish is extremely poor. I have one, and the paint work started peeling off, and the knobs started working loose after a year.
73 John ZS5J
WIRELESS Rating: 2005-02-03
Its a line flatener Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Icom rates this tuner for use with loads of about 25 to 150 ohms. IT WAS NEVER MADE TO BE USED WITH ANTENNAS 5 TO 5000 OHMS FEED Z. This tuner works well with resonant antennas that are not resonant across the whole band. Why Icom didn't make it like the AH4 in a AT-180 box is the real question. But if buyers who blasted the usefulness of this tuner actually read the specs and understood the feed Z of the antennas they used, they wouldn't make stupid statements in this review section which makes the reviews useless.

For the Z spec'd by Icom, this tuner is fast and works great.
K7KRT Rating: 2005-02-03
Unbelievably NEGATIVE Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I thought HRO forgot to pack the manual. Who Knew!
There isn't one. I picked 20m for my first tune attempt. Whir Buzz Hiss.. Terrible SWR. Long story short it doesn't tune my dipole on 10, 20 or 80. It works great (SWR 1:1) on 40, 30, 17, 15, 12. I'm replacing my MFJ 949E which tuned all bands and if It could why not the AT-180. I think I'm going to dump it. Blast !!!!! I was really looking forward to the smooth integration with my 706.
KL7BX Rating: 2004-10-19
worthless AT-180 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
As far as I can tell this tuner is worthless. It did not come with a warranty or registration card and with very limited information.
I coupled it to a new IC-718 but the tuner doesn't seem to do much if anything. It works fine with antennas that are already resonant - who needs it then?
Pushing the "Tuner" button on the radio gives a beep sound but doesn't change anything.
I tried other modes by taking top cover off and changing the switch settings - no help.
My main antenna is an Alpha-Delta CCDX for 75,40,20,15,10 meters. Once I got the antenna trimmed on 75, 20, and 10 meters the swr was acceptable. I get about 100 khz of 2:1 SWR bandwidth on 75 with or without the antenna tuner.
I wish I'd have bought an auto wire tuner instead of spending my hard earned money on this piece of junk.
KT0DD Rating: 2004-08-28
OK- could be better Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am keeping mine just because it's a match for my IC706MKIIG, but for the money, theres better out there. I was really suprised at the limited matching range. The built in tuner in my older Kenwood TS450S matches a wider range than this.
It really should have a range of 10-500 Ohm or more for what it costs. 73.
VE7ALQ Rating: 2004-07-28
I love my ICOM AT-180 Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It matches my ICOM IC-706 transceiver perfectly 1:1 vswr from my six band ButterNut HF6V vertical mounted on the roof of this apartment building, 125 feet of RG-8/AU coax away from my shack on the ground floor (I have a friendly landlord). The Butternut HF6V has the 160 meter resonator, and gives low swr on 30 meters, 20 meters and above. On 40 meters, 80 meters, and 160 meters the electrons need some incentive as the HF6V vswr is 3:1 or better on these bands. Using the AT-180 results in a match of 1:1 in two seconds or less.
I am really pleased with my ICOM AT-180, my major complaint was that I paid CDN$1050 for the ICOM IC-706 MKIIG and about CDN$900 for the AT-180. I thought (and still do) think the AT-180 was overpriced, compared to some of the competition.

Someone mentioned trouble tuning long wires and whips with the AT-180. I concur, I have an AH-4 antenna tuner sitting on the shelf. If I have to move to a new location, I may consider the recommended "23 feet of wire" to the AH-4 for 80 through 10 meter coverage (sorry, no 160 on AH-4)
N0USR Rating: 2004-07-13
Solid unit but not so hot on mobile whips Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought a used ICOM AT-180 tuner on eBay to go with my new 706MKIIG which I have installed in my Jeep Cherokee. I did some research before buying the AT-180 and what I saw looked good to very good. The tuner arrived in excellent condition and worked fine on my bench but I ran into a snag when I moved it to my Jeep. I discovered rather quickly that it doesn't do well on whip and random wire antennas. In my research I did not see anything that mentioned this, certianly not in the limited info ICOM printed for the AT-180 in the manual for the 706 and most certianly not with the tuner as I found out ICOM doesn't include manuals and such with its accessories.

Now I'm not knocking the AT-180, its agreat, solidly built unit and works great on my various base antennas. I guess what I am knocking though is ICOM's lack of documentation. Had I known, had this information been clearly stated "Not recommended for mobile use" or "Not for use on random wire and whip antennas" I would have picked up an AH-4 which is made for random wire and whip use. What I did eventually find however was a quote from a repair slip straight from ICOM's repair depot "Not for use on random wire and whip antennas"

I just wanted to share my experience hoping it might be of some help to those who might be looking AT-180 for mobile use or having troubles with it in mobile use. I have seen some mention of sucsessful mobile implementations but please keep the repair depots quote in mind.

On the brightside though, now I can replace the old MFJ tuner in my shack... :-)
KC7GNM Rating: 2004-02-26
Good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had my ICOM IC-706MKIIG for 2 years now and was using the MFJ Versa Tuner V 949 and a G5RV dipole antenna. I had a tuning plug on the back of the radio to use the tuning button on the radio so I could tune the antenna with the Versa Tuner. Unfortunately the tuner plug only puts out power for only 8 secs at a time and you have to keep pressing the tuner button to get it to put power out. I bought the AT-180 to replace the MFJ tuner and am very happy with it now. The only problem I found was that it would drop out of tune on 40m (my fav band) in the middle of a QSO. Now the G5RV is supposed to be good for 40 and is. I found that RF was getting into the remote cable between the Radio and Tuner. I bought 2 ferrite beads and clamped them on each end of the cable. Now it doesn't drop out of tune on 40m anymore. I wish that ICOM would have put built in RF Chokes on that cable to begin with. Overall a very nice tuner that tunes almost instantly now.
K7OE Rating: 2004-02-09
Great Tuner Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm using the AT-180 with an Icom IC-706MKIIG. My antenna is a Buddipole, and although the Buddipole needs little tuning, it does help to keep the SWR 1:1 on the band I am operating at the time.

Before I had the Buddipole, I had been using a 10-15-20 meter trap dipole, and the tuner worked flawlessly with all bands 10 thru 20.

It won't match something that is way off, but then I would't expect it to. Worth the purchase.

Matt - K7OE
KC2FTN Rating: 2004-01-30
WOW ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I came VERY close to buying an LDG Z-100 tuner to use with my 706MKIIG, but went with the AT-180 instead because the LDG only had a 50 watt power rating on 6-meters. I glad I got the AT-180! This thing works FANTASTIC, and the connections are a snap. Good job Icom!