Disappointed with FlexRadio ATU

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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I am really disappoined with the spec of the FlexRadio ATU considering its price. I can get a much better specced external automatic ATU with loads of memories, with a much wider tuning range and a higher power rating for a few dollars more (LDG AT-600 Pro II) . The FR ATU would have to be half the current price for me to consider it; unless I am missing something.

What do you all think?

Thanks,

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steve N4LQ

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True but it wouldn't fit inside the radio. It's like the GPS in my new car costing $700 when I could have bought a little Garmin for $99. It's too complicated to even use! Accessories are where the profit is.
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Jay -- N0FB, Elmer

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To be fair, most built-in transceiver ATU's (ICOM, Yaesu, Kenwood) are not designed to circumvent large impedance/reactance differences either.  That's just how the business seems to deem the need.  I understood this when I got my 6300.   I did not purchase the 6300 Antenna Tuner module.  Instead, I purchased an LDG AT-200 PRO II at about $100 less than the built in option.  

The only thing I give up is the ability to switch between antenna's via the GUI.  On the other hand, I gain the ability to tune a much wider mis-match (I have a 80 Meter loop fed with home-made ladder line).   My LDG tuner also has 2000 instantaneous frequency memories per Antenna Connector (2).

There Pro's and Con's in either path.  Pick the path that works best for you!
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pa0bie

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I had have bad experience with the LDG AT-200 PRO. The relais wich to select the two antenna inputs did not give enough attenuation. I could hear the noise/QRM from the antenna wich was not is use on my receiver. The solution was another relay , shortening the unused input.

Jan, pa0bie.

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Andrew Russell

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The FRS ATU works well in my 6500 and does everything my LDG tuners do on my 80m loop. It sounds great while tuning too.
The main thing missing is memory tuning. That is due to come in the future. One could use an LDG and upgrade later.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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If I buy something for £300/$500 I would be upgrading to something better and cheaper - so why waste the initial outlay. I would say the the FRS internal tuner is worth half the price that they are asking for it. The handles should be about a third of the price.
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Reggie-k6xr

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I use an LDG Z-11Pro II which tunes my non-resonant ladder line fed antenna 3.5-50 MHZ down to 1.1.  MY FRS ATU will not tune this antenna!  I wish it would!
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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An internal ATU in any new radio seems an added feature for portable convenience and light barefoot duties.  Ditto on the convenience and light duty for the tuners in most amps that have them.

A transceiver internal ATU not required if running a QRO station of course.

For what it is worth between LDG and FRS, I trust FRS testing protocols and engineering more than LDG.  At the W9EVT/WI9DX mega-shack the LDG gear (tuners and switches) have not been durable and candid discussions with LDG not very reassuring.  That said LDG gear is widely available, popular, and serviceable for most stations - just it had a hard time holding up in a multi/multi QRO setup that is on at times 24/7 and mots days 12 hours +/-.

Had had decent luck with Palstar tuners for QRO - AT4K, AT-Auto and HF-Auto models. 

I've the FRS ATU's in my Flex-6700 and adding it to the Flex-6300 as "just in case" units for the times I do take one of them out to another location.  But then I have them in my other radios too.

73

Steve

K9ZW

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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Thanks for that Steve. I just want an auto tuner like Reggie (above) has as I want to experiment with antennas. If the FRS tuner would be half the price it is, I would buy it in a shot, but for £300/$505 fergeddit. All the FRS price does is make me look for a better deal. Don't get me started on the price for a couple of handles. The only thing nicely prices is the FlexRadio 6300 I intend to buy.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Your situation is a pricing issue by your suppliers, as the UKP price if priced the same as FRS prices the tuner would be £180 plus VAT.

The UK sans-VAT main unit pricing is fair .. Perhaps even keen, but the tuner is priced in UKP at the same number as here in USD, which is a disadvantage for the UK market if the tuner is the same.

In comparing prices we should be careful if there are other requirements the UK version may need to meet that could escalate the cost.

The circa £60 price for handles is comparable, and they are lovely billet cut works of art.

I'm good at qrz if you wanted to drop a note.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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