Thursday, April 10, 2014

LDG Z100 Plus Autotuner

I've been getting a little tired of manually tuning up the K2 with my Tokyo HC-400L tuner. I know it’s me being lazy and I should know better, but hey when there’s an auto tuner out there that will do the job for you well, what the heck! 

Having my three transceivers connected up at one time means that my set up is a little different. I have three antennas, the cobweb, my 30 meter vertical and my W3DZZ trap for 40 and 80, so I have all three connected up to my Tokyo ATU and then to a homebuilt connector box which switches over to each individual transceiver I want to use. 

When operating with the Yaesu FT1000MP MkV I can bypass through the Tokyo and use the auto ATU from the FT or when using the K2 or OHR100A I can use the manual override and manually adjust the ATU for each radio. Complicated? No once you get used to the idea it works fine! 

The LDG Z100 will be set it up through the K2, so it will be K2/LDG/ with the bypass set on the Tokyo, and then through to the connector box on out to the antenna. To be honest I wasn't sure it would work, but it does and I'm getting out OK. I’ve only tried QRP as I don’t want to tempt fate just yet but the ATU is tuning up nicely against the K2 and so far so good. 

In the UK the LDG Z100 retails for around £140 which is a fair sum, but I've been meaning to purchase one for some time and I thought I’d probably have to go down the 2nd hand route. Luckily I found a site on Ebay, a Greek radio dealer who was selling the ATU for under £120, a fair bit cheaper than the UK, so I bought one. 

It arrived well packaged and only 5 days from ordering, so first impressions on opening the packet are pretty good. Nice clear instructions are provided and it’s dead easy to connect up with the usual TX and RX coax inputs, a ground and a power connection for 7–18 VDC 100ma. I’ve connected power via my PSU for the K2 and it works fine. 

Initial tuning is pretty easy, you have to select the required band, transmit a carrier and hold the tune button whilst the ATU does its business, all very quick and efficient. I've done a couple of QSO's and all is behaving as it should so touch wood I'm very pleased with this little ATU. Now I’m looking forward to having a real play and thankfully no more trying to remember the settings for each band and adjusting the manual controls on the old Tokyo.

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