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 Salesforce, on the SRE team for Heroku. 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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