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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
WA9AFM Rating: 2004-01-23
Outstanding Addition Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Took delivery on an AT-180 I found on EBay. I opened the case to check the position of the DIP switches; as mentioned in a previous review, those switches are WELL hidden. Hooked the unit to my 706MKIIG and the 180 took off! It matched my GAP Challenger within a second or two on all the popular HF bands. It's as quite as a mouse. The 13 pin connectors are in parallel so the control cable for the tuner went in one 13 pin slot and the interface connector for my sound card went in the other; works like a champ. Regarding docuementation, the 706 manual has a goodly amount of info on the 180, but it's scattered about the book. I may look back on this as one of my better amateur radio equipment purchases.
KB1JGW Rating: 2004-01-04
Reasonable Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
the AT-180 is very easy to use, and works as advertised. I have a 706MKIIG, and it was a simple plug 'n play installation. The tuner operation is quiet too, and it usually tunes rapidly and successfully.

The tuner will only match impedances from 16.7 thru 150 Ohms on HF. This is not a very big impedance tuning range, and many multi-band HF antennas will exceed this on some bands. I have 3 HF antennas, and I have measured their impedance, resistance, reactance on each band, so I know where the tuner will not work.

The tuner will not match much that is outside it's published range. It will attempt to tune, and then drop off line - probably to protect itself - a good feature. The tuner will sometimes suddenly off line in the middle fo a QSO when the match is borderline.

The specs cover down to 1.9MHz - so the lower half of 160M is out of the official range of the tuner. I have used it down to 1.820Mhz successfully for CW, but it doesn't like phone or continuous operation below 1.9MHz, and it will occassionally drop off line. If I go to 50% power on the 706, the tuner will stay on-line. I am surprised the designers didn't think enough of 160M to cover the whole band, but such operation is difficult in a small encolsure.

I'm generally pleased, these few small glitches notwithstanding.
VE7AGW Rating: 2003-09-04
Excellent Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought this unit shortly after I purchased my 706MKIIG, and I am very impressed with the performance. The AT-180 tunes my 10 year old full size G5RV on all bands from 160 to 10 meteres. And it even tunes my Mosley Ta-33/Jr from 10 to 20 meters. I've had great signal reports all the way from Mexico, Europe, Australia and even Japan. It's quiete and takes up very little space. Nice match for the 706MKIIG. My next step is to try it out mobile, but from what I've seen and heard it will not have any problems.
N3MX Rating: 2003-05-30
Good solid tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have been using it in the shack connected to 706MKIIG and it matches antennas very well. Very reliable and fast. I highly recommend it!
73 DE N3MX
KH6DC Rating: 2003-04-29
Excellent Accessory to the 706MKIIG Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Used the AT-180 to tune 10-160m on my 40 Hamstick with no problem. Should have gotten this accesory earlier instead of trying to tune antenna manually by adjusting stinger or using a MFJ tuner. The item is worth every penny.
W1PPJ Rating: 2003-03-08
Average, Nothing Great! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Antenna used: G5RV
Rig new 706MK2G

auto tune tracking
swing out stand
Quiet operation

will not tune on 160,17,30 bands using G5RV
Cheap Junk interconnect connectors (loose connection)
Hard to access DIP switches.
Cheap Junk interconnect COAX cable
WAY over priced.
No power on/off indicator
No Manual or Warrenty info.
Can not reg warrenty online
needs labels near dip switches for settings

Overall: Works fine when it does match some bands on the G5RV.
KE4IZA Rating: 2003-03-01
Unbelievable Performance Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.

I bought my IC-718 about 5 weeks ago and just could not take the MFJ-949E tuner another day. I bought the ICOM AT-180. This tuner is almost the size of a cigar box. Interfaces with my IC-718 perfectly. All I do is press the tune button to activate the AT-180 and away I go. Tunes only when required. Such as changing frequencies or bands or anytime the SWR goes above 1.5:1 and it does it in less than 2 seconds. All I hear is a soft click and it is done. I have heard stories of other brands of tuners sounding like pennies in a blender. Not so with the AT-180. I made a CliffDweller clone from a Centaur 1:1 balun and 2 slinkys from Walmart. Tunes this antenna to less than 1.5:1 in less than 2 seconds from 10m to 80m. all window of frequencies. Best $333.95 I have spend on ham equipment to date. Buy the way I got it from Ham Radio Outlet, New Hampshire. If you have an ICOM IC-718 or 706, may work with others, and want an auto tuner get the AT-180. You will never be sorry. Even though it does cost about $130 more than the popular brands.
K2ANE Rating: 2001-10-26
A Nice Addition for the 706 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have had 706's since they first came out in "95". I was always attracted to the AT-180 but found the price at $499 too much. The Kenwood TS-50 matching tuner was around $350 and that became the standard I set my sights for. Finally, a little over a month ago I purchased a new one (AT-180) from KJI Electronics for $349. I was finally in my glory and had my patience rewarded.

I use it now to primarily match an 80 thru 6 meter G5RV antenna to my 706 G radio. It gives me no problems anywhere but on 40 meters. The SWR meter in the 706's, both indicated matches as close to 1 to 1 as possible, but after a minute or two of transmitting the tuner begins to unlock and go into bypass mode. I have fanagled with grounds etc., and it still does this. Granted the G5 is somewhere off the wall on its own SWR wise, but when I press the tune button on the 706's, the AT-180 will again match down to almost 1 to 1 and after a minute of transmitting it will again unlock. I have played with the default settings and still have this situation.

I use the same antenna with my IC-736 and the internal tuner is rock solid on the same 40 meter band. So this is an idiosyncracy I suppose for the time being. All in all I am quite satisfied with the unit but give it a 4 rating due to the 40 meter problem, which may or may not be unique to me.

I am also quite impressed with its construction. I did not expect to find a fan inside the unit, which is quite helpful in cooling down componants subject to heating while maintaining a high SWR tuning condition I suppose. The fan starts up when turning the transceiver on and then quietly slows down. It speeds up with transmitting. I noted that the AT-180 unit consumes about an amp of power. The fan by the way, is rated at .21 A at 12 volts. Its a Panaflo DC brushless fan.

The one drawback to this purchase is the lack of any documentation provided by Icom for this unit. No blurb sheet, no warranty cards etc., nothing, nada, zip. When I contacted the dealer about this in writing, he responded that this is what Icom does with its accessories. He forwarded a copy of my letter to Icom to show them that we, the ham consumer, would like to see documentation with what we buy. Its not exactly chump change we spend leaving us undeserving of a little extra attention to written details about the unit.

Fortunately its a very simple setup and the 706 manual covers the details. Still it would be nice to even have a schematic diagram and a thank you for buying Icom (HI HI). I am still pleased however overall with the unit. With the current price hovering in the $350 dollar range it becomes a great addition to making a 706 as full featured as possible.

de Bill K2ANE
WOUFF_HONG Rating: 2001-08-19
Great !! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well worth the money. Shopping around got me
an excellent price. Easy to work with and
very fast to tune. I have had others but they
can't hold a candle to the AT-180 for ease of
operation and speed of tuning. Very glad I got
W1WOW Rating: 2000-07-01
A great match for the IC-706 Series Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.

I have a Icom AT-180 auto-tuner matched up with an ICOM 706MKII. I purchased this unit used, but in mint condtion for $350.00. Works perfect and matches quiet fast...even faster after the "tune" is set in memory. I believe it has 70 presets for matched frequencies. The Icom AT-180 tuner is about the same size as the IC-706, maybe a little longer. They look great together and makes the IC-706MKII comfortable to use in the home...