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W9PSK
12-19-2009, 02:02 PM
Which antenna tuner would you fellas recommend? As some of you already know, I am getting an ICOM IC-735. I would like to buy an automatic antenna tuner. Should I go with LDG, MFJ, ??? I am a total greenhorn on antenna tuners. Any advice would be appreciated.


Ooops! I forgot to mention that I am leaning pretty heavily towards getting the MFJ 1796 antenna. Will that make a difference on what tuner I should get?

ki4itv
12-19-2009, 02:14 PM
How are you at making antennas?
Manual tuners are more forgiving.


The LDG tuners seem to have a loyal following and I've used them during club gatherings. No notable problems.

W9PSK
12-19-2009, 02:17 PM
How are you at making antennas?
Manual tuners are more forgiving.

But if you're going to buy one of the wonder Wire Thingamabobs...

Wonder Wire Thingamabobs? What be dat? :D

ki4itv
12-19-2009, 02:36 PM
How are you at making antennas?
Manual tuners are more forgiving.

But if you're going to buy one of the wonder Wire Thingamabobs...

Wonder Wire Thingamabobs? What be dat? :D
Yea, I took that out....

That's my Jim Beam name for most of the "all band" wires for sale. :rofl:

W9PSK
12-19-2009, 02:59 PM
How are you at making antennas?
Manual tuners are more forgiving.

But if you're going to buy one of the wonder Wire Thingamabobs...

Wonder Wire Thingamabobs? What be dat? :D
Yea, I took that out....

That's my Jim Beam name for most of the "all band" wires for sale. :rofl:

OK. For a second I thought it was some new kind of bra for the wife. :mrgreen:


Antenna making is something I have an interest in, but no room for. This is why I am leaning heavily towards the MFJ-1796 antenna. It is only 12 feet. I can mount that on one of the 10 foot masts I have in the three foot stretch of yard behind my house. If I had my 'ruthers, I would have a nice 100' self supporting tower with a dizzying array of antennas to suit every purpose under the ham radio sun. But alas, I am but a mere renter with no land or money for such luxuries.

ad4mg
12-19-2009, 03:10 PM
I've read a little about that vertical ... 2-40 meters coverage. If possible, see if you can find someone with an antenna analyzer to help tune that puppy. I've read that they're a beast to get tuned for every band.

If you can get the tuning pretty close, even an auto-tuner should do a good job tuning it to resonance at the transmitter. Most automatic tuners give up the ghost when SWR gets higher than 3:1.

KJ3N
12-19-2009, 03:14 PM
I prefer manual tuners. They'll load things an automatic won't.

KJ3N
12-19-2009, 03:16 PM
Ooops! I forgot to mention that I am leaning pretty heavily towards getting the MFJ 1796 antenna.

P.O.S.

And I don't mean Point Of Sale, either.

W9PSK
12-19-2009, 03:21 PM
I've read a little about that vertical ... 2-40 meters coverage. If possible, see if you can find someone with an antenna analyzer to help tune that puppy. I've read that they're a beast to get tuned for every band.

If you can get the tuning pretty close, even an auto-tuner should do a good job tuning it to resonance at the transmitter. Most automatic tuners give up the ghost when SWR gets higher than 3:1.

I read about making sure to have an analyzer too. One fella said it took him three hours with the analyzer!! YIKES! I am hoping someone from the club has one. I am trying to get this station on the air with as little expense as possible. I told the wife the other day that I think I would rather spend the $200 I was going to spend on the CW reader from MFJ on an analyzer instead.

I am more interested in playing in PSKland than CWville, so I need to get started on upgrading my license. Then again, the wifey might agree to let me get both the reader set up and the analyzer, as long as I ask her "after the lovin." Hehehehehe!

W9PSK
12-19-2009, 03:29 PM
Ooops! I forgot to mention that I am leaning pretty heavily towards getting the MFJ 1796 antenna.

P.O.S.

And I don't mean Point Of Sale, either.

Well, I simply do not have the real estate to do much in the way of an HF antenna. I literally have a three foot back yard that runs the length of my house. I need to find something that fits in that limited space that doesn't require ground radials and can be mounted high enough to discourage children from playing with it, but isn't so high that wind becomes an issue. My mast is attached to an 8 foot t-post that has been driven 4 feet into the ground. I am not expecting miracles out of the 1796, but it will do the trick until I can find someplace else to rent or buy my own land.

KG4CGC
12-19-2009, 04:56 PM
Consider a tuner that will handle twinlead. Having the ability to use RS TV twinlead will open up a few possibilities. 100 feet is less than $20. Then there is the around end around, a short run of coax to a 4:1 balun connected to the twinlead.

I've researched this quite a bit over the months and an antenna made from twinlead and its variations is more forgiving. The vertical run tunes up as part of the radiator so consider cutting that run to a resonant length. Then you can easily continue from there with a dipole or inverted L configuration.

Notice that I didn't say ladder line although you could use that too. RS only sell one kind of twinlead now and it is the one made to stand up better to the weather, not that old school stuff we all grew up with. 19 dollars plus tax, it's worth looking at.

Be creative, search the net, the possibilities are endless.
And no, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

PA5COR
12-19-2009, 05:05 PM
MFJ 993B here since 3 years, works as advertised, travelled to France and works on open line, coax or end fed.

Accidentally whizzed 600 watts through it, didn't smoke or else, just told me to lower the power :roll: :snicker:

W9PSK
12-19-2009, 06:01 PM
MFJ 993B here since 3 years, works as advertised, travelled to France and works on open line, coax or end fed.

Accidentally whizzed 600 watts through it, didn't smoke or else, just told me to lower the power :roll: :snicker:

I checked out the reviews for the 993B over at eham. They give it a 4.7/5. It don't get much better than that. It's definitely on my short list.

WTKX
12-19-2009, 07:41 PM
I have an LDG tuner, and it's cool, but my Dentron Supertuner rocks. And my little MFJ unit is good for lower power and camping. Much wider range of matching impedance.

If you are willing to give up doing much on 75/80 I have had decent luck with my Gap Titan, especially on 30 meters and up. The Voyager is a little better.

That being said, wire is your friend. Any chance you can run some of your wire into a neighbors yard? I got permission to do that, and it made a big difference.

Charles is right on about the twinlead and simple antennas with a manual tuner. I go camping with that setup, and have three OCF dipoles to choose from... 160, 80, and 40 meters. They are actually all a bit "long", and are fed at about the 1/3 vs 2/3 point.

I've also played with it as a single fed long wire, by tying the twinlead together, and running some long wires on the grass.

Try putting the shorter leg vertical, and running the long leg more or less horizontal, even zig zag. This gives a nice mix of vertical and horizontal polarization. I have done this by dropping a leg down (keeping it off the ground) to work DX when camping. It made an obvious difference.

Just make sure the feed line goes off at an angle that splits between the two, or at an angle away from the feed point so it does not interact with the wires. If you have access to the antennex.com site for Cebik's info, check out his discussion of the center fed inverted L.

The MFJ antenna is even more of a compromise than the Gap antennas. :disagree:

n0iu
12-21-2009, 11:36 PM
That's not a tuner. This is a tuner!

http://www.panama-sportfishing.com/fishing-reports/May/may_fishing001.jpg

KG4CGC
12-22-2009, 12:11 AM
Nope. That's lunch.

W9WLS
12-22-2009, 08:03 AM
Some time ago I read an article about a 160 meter "helical y wound vertical" , wound on PVC and ground mounted .
I remember thinking at the time that it might be possible to add another wrap of wire to add 80 and other harmonically sympathetic related bands and feed the thing to the roller inductor tuner.

Don't remember where I saw the thing (QST maybe) but it might be worth some research.


73 & Merry Christmas, John

N2NH
12-22-2009, 08:23 AM
I've used both a Vectronics VC300DLP and a LDG which has a battery backup and latching memories. The LDG worked better, but I have had limited contacts due to a Landlord who is very ANTI-HAM.