I’ve been thinking for a while about how I might get my antenna to load up on 160m. It’s a 104′ dipole fed with ladder line. I decided to try connecting both sides of the ladder line together and driving it against ground. To match it, I whipped up this tuner in about an hour:

160m tuner


The primary coil is about 8 turns on a CD case, and the secondary is about 50-60 turns on a 2″ PVC pipe. There’s a series varicap at the top of the secondary.

If I had another turn or two on the primary I would have been able to get a perfect match. As it is, I got an SWR of about 2:1 and used the autotuner in the radio to match that.

The band was dead, so no contacts – but I did transmit some PSK31 CQs and used pskreporter to verify that I had been heard up around the Canadian border.


About Steve

I'm Steve Conklin, AI4QR I'm employed by Canonical, Inc as a Linux Kernel Engineer. Interests include Linux, open source software and hardware, electronics and music, and amateur radio.
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2 Responses to Frankentuner

  1. wb5rmg says:

    YeeeHaaa – You should mount an un-connected mini flourescent tube in there.
    Or a sprinkling of neon bulbs . . . Just Sayin . . .

  2. Rob Mott says:

    And I thought my tuner was a frankentuner! Well the new one is anticipated to tune everything from a 6ft whip to a longwire-Shades of Lew McCoy and the windowsill semivertical! 73 Rob

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