07 October 2013
LDG RT-100 - new 100W remote tuner
RT-100 is the codename for the latest automatic antenna tuner from LDG, and this one is the sweetest thing yet: small, compact remote tuner, handles 100W and goes into tune mode automatically when it detects a mismatch, so no need to even know it's there. Just install it at the base of the antenna and feed it with 12V via the coaxial cable that also brings RF and you're set.
Why do I think the LDG RT-100 is so great, you might ask ? Because all tuners should be remote. The transmitter is 50 ohm, the feedline (coax cable) is also 50 ohm, the only thing that is not matched is the antenna, so normally the matching must be done where the 50 ohm feedline meets the not-so-50ohm load. Sure, you can use a tuner between the transmitter and the feedline - like most people do, because it's much more convenient to have the tuner inside the shack, but this means you will have reflected power going back and forth trough the feedline since it's not matched with the load. Reflected power on the feedline creates standing waves, wich means 1. the feedline is now a part of the antenna (antenna radiation pattern deteriorates, noise pickup and interference increases) and 2. more transmit power is wasted on the feedline (6:1 mismatch doubles the feedline losses for example).
Anyway, back to the RT-100: it is already listed on the LDG website, Ham Radio Outlet has it on preorder for US$200, and there is also a thing called RC-100 wich is LDG's way of charging US$50 for a (rather ugly) box with a button, a capacitor and a choke coil.
Yes, it's meant to power the tuner via the coax cable but at least that you can build yourself - remember we're geeky tech-savvy hobbyists, dammit, LDG are nice enough to provide the schematic in the RT-100 manual.
Pictures are taken from the LDG website. I also found a review of this thing, looks good.