The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

January 2, 2012

An Improved Antenna Tuner

Filed under: ham radio — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:49 pm

In the continuing saga of my antenna tuner, I think I’ve come to a place where the tuner is close to as good as it gets with my limited knowledge.

I’ve added shorting switches to short out one or the other capacitor. I doubled the inductance on the coil, and I built a second home made air variable capacitor. This allows me to tune my G5RV to all of the HF bands and 6 meters.

160m is a little dicey. I can sometimes tune it in. The only common reason I can find is that it’s easier to tune during daylight, but my sample is small. When I do manage to tune it in, I get a bit of arcing in one of my capacitors some times. On the other end of my radio’s capability, I can tune to 6 meters, but I’ve never heard any activity across the band. I assume this means the G5RV won’t work well that high.

In the air variable cap, I used a thicker gauge of aluminium. If you do this project, I suggest going with the roof flashing. It’s much easier to cut, and I spent about the same amount of time aligning the rotors and stators. Flashing is also much cheaper where I am.

Below is the required picture of my improved antenna tuner.

It's very lime-green, but it works

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