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Accessories reviews

Category for all accessory reviews to appear under.

Review of the Palstar AT2KD Tuner

Over time I have had both auto tuners, and manual tuners. I have used differential tuners, and standard tuners… I always return to manual tuners, using roller inductors, and large caps every time… An auto tuner is simpler to operate, but the power levels just are not there yet for me on anything I can afford, nor have I been able to get an autotuner, (of the ones I have used), to tune to an exact 1:1, every time, on every band. It is always something like 1.x:1, I have seen as high as 1.7:1, which can cause issues with the new solid state amps, such as the ALS-1306, which I own. See the section under “Conclusions”, for more on that subject. Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Info, Palstar AT2KD, Reviews | 1 Comment

I have RFI, now what– Locating it

This allows me to verify I am working with the same RFI source. I record the audio from the FT-900, and then I can play it back into Spectrum labs, and see if it matches the RFI I am hearing at home. Once I have a match, I know without a doubt I have the same source. I then look at the map, and it becomes pretty obvious where the RFI is most of the time. I next start running the frequency up as high as possible and still hear the RFI. I then grab a Google Map of a smaller area, around where the signal is strongest, and do the drive around again. I repeat this process moving ever higher in frequency. Continue reading »

Categories: ARRL, Direction Finding, DX, I have RFI: Series, Info, Legal Actions, MFJ: MFJ-856, Quantification, Reviews, RFI Mitigation, Setups, Software information, Station, W8VVV: S-meter Lite | 2 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s ALS-1306 Amplifier

I decided that I wanted an auto tuning amplifier, as opposed to the manual tune, AL-82 I was using. So I sold the old AL-82, (see my review here), and purchased an Ameritron ALS-1306. I was a bit worried when I bought the ALS-1306 for several reasons– to be totally honest, my main reason was that MFJ was the owner of Ameritron– the quality, and service reputation of MFJ worried me. Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: ALS-1306, Info, Radios reviews, Reviews, Service reviews, Setups, Station | 22 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s RCS-4 Coax Switch

I remembered my RCS-4, sitting on the floor for the past two years, and decided to move it outdoors. Given I don’t have a tower, but I had an outdoor building, I elected to mount the switch on the side of the building, giving me the ability to run the feedline to the building in the event I wanted to add tuners, or anything else that needed to be in a covered environment. The included U-bolt mounting hardware made this a simple task, I drilled two holes in the wall of the outbuilding the width of the U-Bolt, straddling a stud in the wall, and fed it through the holes and into the RCS-4. Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: RCS-4, Info, Reviews, Station | 1 Comment

Review of West Mountain Radio’s RIGrunner

What this means is that the device has the Powerpole connectors pointing horizontally out of the side, as opposed to pointing up out of the device. I was going to mount my RIGrunner 4008H on the side of a vertical desk support, and I wanted the power cables pointing downwards, and not out towards the wall behind the desk, so the H model was the model of choice for me. As can be seen from the photo at the left, the H version did exactly what I needed. I wanted to move the desk as close to eh wall as possible. I also wanted a pigtail so I could add ferrite snap on cores for RFI suppression to each 12 VDC lead.. All of this just screamed downward pointing cables. Hence the choice of the H version, so I ordered it and it arrived a few days later. Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Construction, Reviews, Station, WMR: RigRunner 4008H | 1 Comment

Review of Ameritron’s AL-82 Amplifier

After several years of use, this review of Ameritron’s AL-82 amplifier seems in order! I have owned the AL-82 for three years now, and it has given me incredible performance on all bands. This review will not be a technical review, it will be a general observation, and usage review… Does the amp hold up, does the amp work, does it run hot, etc., that sort of review… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: AL-82, Info, Reviews, Station | 4 Comments

Review of DX Engineering’s Radial Plate

This review of DX Engineering’s Radial Plate was prompted by the installation of a Four Square array, and a two element 40 Meter vertical array at NK7Z. I decided to evaluate each item in the building of the arrays separably, then review the entire system as a whole later. Years ago I had promised myself I would never spend fifty bucks on a piece of metal with holes in it. After making the decision to build a Four Square for 30 meters, and a two element phased array for 40 meters, I decided to revisit that decision, as I had a lot of ground radials to lay and connect to antenna bases.

My plan was to buy the needed parts for a single monopole, construct it as perfectly as I possibly could, and then duplicate that process for the other five antenna. Part of that process was to buy a radial plate for the ground radial system so I could keep all of the wire under control… I bit the bullet and bought one! I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived, it is so pretty… So perfectly built… So heavy… I actually didn’t feel so bad about spending fifty bucks on a piece of metal with holes in it! Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Station | 2 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller

This review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller was written as a result of perhaps 5 months of use of a new Ameritron SDC-102, in a 2004 Tahoe four wheel drive sports utility vehicle. The Tarheel 100HP antenna is mounted on the stock Tarheel antenna mount, which in turn is mounted to a Tarheel trailer hitch mount, which lives on the rear of the Tahoe in the trailer hitch receiver I am working on a quick weatherproof disconnect for that setup. When finished I’ll add it to the review section, or start a new section on homebrew stuff… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: SDC-102, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 2 Comments

Review of LDG AT-1000 PRO II Autotuner

The size of the boxes is very close, with the AT-1000 PRO II being the larger of the two… This caused me a bit of pain as my setup is VERY tight… The PRO II is about 1/4 inch wider… It almost did not fit. I had to remove the carry handle from my Icom IC-756 PRO 3 to get it to fit, and it was tight… I do miss the meter, and the thought of paying $130.00 for an external meter makes me take a deep breath and say… It’s OK… I have not bought the meter yet… I hope the meter takes power from the Icom like the tuner does… See the review for more on this… I will add to this review on the meter if I decide to shell out another $130.00… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, LDG: AT-1000 PROII, Reviews, Station | 4 Comments

Review of the LDG AT-1000 Autotuner

I had always wanted an Autotuner, and for the price I could not pass it by. Over the past 4 or 5 years this tuner has performed flawlessly. So far I have connected it to a GAP vertical, an 80 Meter Dipole, a B&W BWD-90 antenna, and a random length wire, about 250 feet long. In all cases it has matched them fine… In fact, it will take my GAP Challenger and match it on 160, a band it was not designed for at all… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Antenna Reviews, Info, LDG: AT-1000, Reviews, Station | 6 Comments