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Best Antenna Tuner / Analyzer for under $100

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Peter Walker, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Peter Walker

    Peter Walker W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    I am looking to purchase a Antenna Tuner / Analyzer and would like to keep my cost to $100 or less. Does anyone know of a quality unit for that price range? If that is not an option, what would be the next step up as far as cost? $150-$200?


     
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  2. KE3W

    KE3W Active Member

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  3. Moleculo

    Moleculo Administrator Staff Member

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    You're not going to find an Antenna analyzer for under $100, but you certainly can find SWR/Power meters in that price range. Although you didn't say what frequency range you're looking for, I'm sure MFJ makes one that will fit your needs. I've tried a couple of them and they're work pretty good. I've also used the Daiwa cross-needle meters, which are a little more expensive.

    An alternative to an analyzer is a Noise Bridge. Think of a Noise Bridge as an "old fashioned" antenna analyzer. They take a little bit of learning to understand how to use, but once you know how you can get a lot of the same info that an analyzer will tell you. You can find them pretty cheap on ebay:

    EXCELLENT PALOMAR WIDE RANGE ANTENNA NOISE BRIDGE - eBay (item 380322656211 end time Mar-14-11 20:01:30 PDT)
     
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  4. KE3W

    KE3W Active Member

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    [​IMG] I assumed he was talking about a SWR/PWR meter based on his "$100" prefer'd limit.
     
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  5. Peter Walker

    Peter Walker W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    I'm really new to all of this so I apologize if I wasn't clear on what I was asking. I'm going to build a multi band dipole antenna and would like a meter of some type to analyze it and tune it if need be. I would like to keep the cost to around $100 but could spend more if needed.
     
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  6. North Texas Mudduck

    North Texas Mudduck Active Member

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    well for starters the Antenna tuner is not going to tune your antenna
    its going to show your radio what it wants to see
    and the rest is going up in heat
    so the probelm still exists
     
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  7. Peter Walker

    Peter Walker W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    I am bidding on an MFJ 259B on eBay. I think that might help accomplish what I'm wanting to accomplish.
     
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  8. wavrider

    wavrider W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    259B is good analyzer and can do so much more than just analyze impedance matches.

    I have one in the shack, One of the most used tools in the shack.

    Fan dipoles are great, or multi-band dipoles.
    I have built one that covered 15 meters through 160 meters. the analyzer was a BIG plus when building multi-band antennas with one feed point.

    Not knocking the auctions sites but? Some of the junk on the auctions sites has been pretty well used and may not function properly.

    An antenna analyzer is something that needs to function properly so that when you do finally key in to the antenna you know it is correct match.

    An analyzer is one of the pieces of test equipment that is worth the $$ to get a good one. One that does HF and VHF is a plus, never know what band you may want to experiment on next.
     
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  9. n8fgb

    n8fgb Active Member

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    Just keep in mind they retail new for 235. Ebay retailers inflate there prices.Rich
     
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  11. North Texas Mudduck

    North Texas Mudduck Active Member

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    why not buy it new
     
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  12. Peter Walker

    Peter Walker W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    I just got outbid on the one so I will go ahead and buy a new one.
     
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  13. Lazybones1222

    Lazybones1222 W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    Up in heat? Fools the radio? Really? Amazing.
     
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  14. MrSuburban

    MrSuburban Guest

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    Ok so it shows your radio what it want's to see, it is the same as any other matching device for a antenna. Nothing going up in heat all the power gets radiated.
     
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  15. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    Peter Walker,
    Those antenna analyzers are certainly handy little thingys! Of course, you have to know what they are telling you to do any correcting, but that's not all that difficult to learn. The hardest part about that learning is getting rid of some misconceptions about what you're doing.
    It's also a fairly good idea to have a new one rather than a 'used' one, unless you are sure about it's prior use, being dropped, 'screw-drivered' a little, whatever. The likelihood of it being correctly calibrated is just better. (Unless you find a REALLY good deal, right?)
    - 'Doc
     
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