Recommendations on Automatic Antenna Tuners that works well with FlexRadio?

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  • Updated 6 months ago
Just looking for recommendations for an automatic antenna tuner. I currently have an LDG YT-1200 that works well with my Yaesu. Any recommendations? Manual??
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Dwayne - NA6US

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Posted 7 months ago

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Photo of Larry - W8LLL

Larry - W8LLL

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Palstar HF-AUTO, they just work!
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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+1
I also have the Palstar HF-Auto, and it is the best auto-tuner
I have ever used, period.   Since it is somewhat large, I also use
their Remote display head at my operating position so I can
see all the info and control when I desire.
Not cheap, but neither is Flex, and you only live once :-)
Have fun!

Cheers,

Neal
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Rick - N4RZ

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I also use the HF-Auto and it works great!.   But instead of the remote, I use two W1TR computer programs to control the tuner.  The HF-Auto program controls the tuner remotely and the only time I have to touch the tuner is to turn it on. The Rig Control program gets the radio frequency from the Flex and sends it to the HF-Auto Control program so the tuner is always set for the transmit frequency of the radio.  The only caveat with this method is antennas do change and it is always a good idea to hit the tuner with 10-20 watts after changing bands just to ensure the antenna is presenting the same load as before.  
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Justin - KL2D

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I also have the HF-Auto and it works great, remote or local. Super easy to use, as Larry said they just work!
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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I too have the Plaster HF-Auto.  It works brilliantly and seamlessly. I cannot recommend it highly enough!  Top notch bit of kit!

David G4NRT/Z21NRT
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Dave - W6OVP

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My old LDG Z-11 Pro works flawlessly with the 6300.
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HCampbell WB4IVF

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Flex/4O3A are developing an autotuner for use with Power Genius, the Flex amp.  Not much information available yet, and it won’t be available for a while, probably a long while, but I bet it will be well integrated with the Flex radios/SSDR.  Here are a few preliminary specs:

http://www.4o3a.com/solid-state-to-the-limit/

An optional remote kit for the tuner has also been mentioned.

Howard
(Edited)
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KF4HR

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Palstar HF-Auto here too.  Works great.


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MIchael Ryan

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I note a number of FLEX users like and use the Palstar AT-Auto Tuner. I had enough trouble getting my SteppIR antennas to play with the FLEX 6700. What is needed to get the AT-Auto Tuner playing correctly?  - Mike
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Pat - WH6HI

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Just to be different, the KAT500 is a tuner that integrates well with the Flex and is useful for mid power amps.
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Dave - W6OVP

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I use an Elecraft KAT500 tuner and KPA500 amp with a FLEX 6400 and it works well. A nice combination.

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David Warnberg

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Ditto here... KPA500 and KAT500 combo works like a champ..  I also have a Palstar AT2K manual tuner something I played with prior to the KAT500... the AT2K will tune up the gutters if you want, it's what I use for any new antenna I am playing with.
(Edited)
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Erik Mellgren

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Acom 04AT tuner with Acom amplifiers 600S or 1200S. Tuner controlled from amplifier through the coax, no other cable needed. Works seamlessly together with the Flex via CAT.
First tuning sequence must be manual, automatic tuning proceedure needs some software updating.
(Edited)
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Duane, AC5AA

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I use a Palstar HF-Auto also.  It handles legal power and I have not bothered to connect to any CAT control software.  I just "pop" the Tune button on the Flex when I change bands/antennas or make a large frequency excursion.  A second of 10 watts is enough for the tuner to sample frequency, and pre-tune itself.  Since my antennas are a bit 'flaky' I usually give it another longer bump once it has reached its pre-tuning position to fine tune it, if needed.  Works great, and no reliability problems over the past few years I've owned it.
(Edited)
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N5LB - Lionel B

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The MFJ993B works fine for me.  Autotunes, on 10W from the Flex. Wide range.
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Zack Schindler - N8FNR

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There is an alternative type of tuner that you may consider. I have an SGC SC-239 Smartuner in a waterproof box attached to a tree. The SGC tunes at the antenna rather that at the rig. I am not sure of the long wire length of my antenna as it loops up over a tree.  Also have 4 buried radials. It will only do 80W continuous but I learned to live with that. For most CW and WSJT work this is just fine. http://www.sgcworld.com/239ProductPage.html https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/1509 HRO sells them for $185 BTW https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-005662

For me it has been a great tuner. I worked a lot of DX with this tuner until I installed a SteppIR BigIR vertical with the 80M coil. Strangely the SG-239 antenna hears better on 80-30 than the SteppIR. Also it is still the only way I have to operate on 160. Going to put up an inverted L for 160 to improve performance on that band. Sadly the tuner failed recently but I don't really feel that bad about this as it has been in use since 11/2000. 

Zack
N8FNR
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N5LB - Lionel B

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I have a SGC-230 that was not working when given to me.  With these tuners, I assume all SGC, a common failure is one or more of the sensor diodes on the front end(xmtr input).  I found 2 open and 1 shorted. I replaced and it works great. 

The 239 probably has a similar design for the sensors. Unless the processor has bricked it should be a straightforward repair.

I have 2 more 230's left to repair, though one seems to have been hit by lightning; that one is parts.  I got these from a marine service company guy at a hamfest. These were used for HF on ships, and were pulls for throw away.
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Tom

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   A quality tuner,  classic design, without toroids. Somewhat expensive , however.

http://ha8du.ham.hu/du_3000_eng.html

Tom, SP7WT


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Dwayne - NA6US

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Palstar HF-Auto. I don't have any data connection between radio and my Palstar tuner. I change the radio band and hit tune button with 5W briefly on the radio and PalStar HF-Auto will tune based to previous memory. A second hit of tune or xmit will confirm. If it's not tuned on the second hit, I will leave tune on until it settles on correct tuning. If I added an Antenna switch, I would connect it to the radio so that the correct antenna is chosen at time of tuning.



(Edited)
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MIchael Ryan

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I'm not using the Palstar HF-AUTO Tuner. I have a Kessler Engineering (previously a PALSTAR) AT-AUTO Tuner. It has a serial port on the rear for CAT control. I've used for many years with my Yaesu FT-5000D. But now using a 6700, the method of communication will no doubt be different. It has version 2.14 software currently. I sent a note to Don Kessler asking him if there is a more current version and also what he knows about how to interface. Hopefully I will get some joy from his response. I have tried the FTDI USB to Serial Cable. No communication was apparent. The tuner is set to KENWOOD CAT only / no tuner, 19200 baud (as I am using that speed for SteppIR interface) and 8N1.  -Mike, K4CVL
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Don seems to have dropped the prior information on an updated new production Kessler AT-Auto.

Knowing that he is involved in a lot of non-ham projects hopefully the demands on his time haven’t killed off a new automatic tuner.

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I should mention I have one Kessler upgraded AT-Auto and one original.

73

Steve
K9ZW

http://K9ZW.wordpress.com
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Dwayne - NA6US

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Manufacturing and sales are tough. Takes considerable financial and business commitment to get a box out the door.
(Edited)
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Dwayne - NA6US

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Im happy with the result. I initially went with an LDG tuner but although effective, the relays were noisy. As shown above, the auto tune is working well.
(Edited)
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Rick - N4RZ

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I have a Palstar HF-Auto tuner and use W1TR programs to send the operating frequency from the radio to the tuner and it works very well.   

I also had the DU3500AL automatic tuner and was unable to get it to read the frequency from any of my radios at the time (Flex 6500, Yaesu FTdx5000MP and Kenwood TS-2000).   I ended up returning the tuner to HA8DU. 

I have been watching to see if Kessler ever finishes the AT-Auto II and puts it into production.  It is a remote tuner capable of 5KW that he demonstrated at Dayton several years.  It would definitely be the best tuner around for me.
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MIchael Ryan

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Rick, Is yours one of the older AT-Auto Tuners not the current Palstar HF-Auto Tuners?  The older AT-Auto Tuner has a serial port on the rear and responds to CAT commands. My understanding is that the HF-Auto Tuner by Palstar has the serial port but it is used for UPGRADING the software only, if what I have read is correct about that one.

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Rick - N4RZ

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Mine is the HF-Auto and it can be controlled by the serial port because Palstar uses the connection for their remote control head.   They let W1TR have access to their API and he wrote a control program for the tuner and a rig control program that will pass the operating frequency to the tuner.   I never touch the controls on the tuner and just use the remote programs for everything.
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Dwayne - NA6US

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100% sure the rs232 port can be used for more than upgrades. I believe Palstar have at least one partner they share software control info with.