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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Tuning - with less noise!


For some time I have been using an LDG Electronics AutoTuner here in the shack. It's been an OK experience and the ability to change bands and then have the tuner sense the RF frequency and auto adjust itself back to the previously stored settings for antenna and band appealed greatly. Set it up once and never touch it again - perfect!

The theory was fine, but it didn't quite work in practise. The device never quite matched the antennas correctly - I always found it necessary to tweak the automatically chosen settings and then store them manually plus on most bands I couldn't quite get a 1:1 match. My biggest concern with the unit was that the SWR reading on the tuner itself didn't ever match the readings at the radio or with the separate meter I have here. The net result was that I was tuning for the best match read by the radio, which was normally quite a miss-match according to the tuner.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, I have purchased a MFJ roller coaster based tuner:

Looking at this picture worried me a little. There very much looks like there is a dent in the top of the unit! However it's completely invisible unless taken by a camera with a flash but I should probably consider reporting this back to the supplier.

Anyhow, using the device as a tuner seems extremely easy. MFJ tend to have a bad reputation and are often called "Mighty Fine Junk"; however, my experience is all good. This tuner does exactly what is says on the tin. I've completed some tuning charts which I will try and print out and place somewhere near the unit itself in the shack.

The cat has taken on a whole new degree of madness; he has now taken to sleeping in the cover of my 'scope on a high up shelf in the shack:

I'll keep you posted on the tuner, looks OK though, egh?

1 comment:

  1. I think those MFJ tuners with vari coil are not that bad as the old MFJ tuners with bandswitch. I had a MFJ928 once and at one point the switch burned out. Not even had a bad SWR! I've got a Palstar now. 73, Bas