Bitcoin donations to: 1CE9UfWJcHBYkWPns7iqBqZgKhd5xfqEaM thanks!
Buy Bitcoins easily by clicking HERE and get $10 in free bitcoins!

Author Topic: $21 Full Function QRP tuner - Don't Buy  (Read 19022 times)

Lamewolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
  • SMeter: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2013, 11:29:57 AM »
Quote
Sounds cool. Photos?

I'll see if I can get a good pic of it and then figure out how to upload it.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 11:40:07 AM by gil »

Lamewolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 269
  • SMeter: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2013, 09:45:47 AM »
Good price, but I just finished building a T-match tuner from parts I had on hand.  I had an enclosure that is almost the exact same size as my Yaesu FT-817 so it looks like it was made for the 817 and I even had room on the front panel to add a 3/8" x 24 thread antenna mount so I can put a telescopic whip on the tuner for manpack operation.  With a 6' whip it will tune 10 thru 40 meters and with an add on coil at the base of the whip it will also tune 60 & 80 meters !  Haven't made any contacts with it yet, but the weather is nice this evening, so I'll take it to the back yard and give it a try.


Sounds cool. Photos?

Here ya go with the pictures of my manpack tuner.

AC0AX

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
  • SMeter: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2013, 05:47:18 PM »
IT ARRIVED:

At first I was quite pleased.  I defenitly got my money's worth in parts.  Complete and all good quality.

But then I noticed it was missing the best part....THE INSTLUCTIONS WEREN'T INCRUDED :( !  I can figure out how to build it from the pictures on eBay, but I was looking forward to learning how to weld standing waves for best octopus interface 8) .

The good news is that reading their eBay feedback implies it was an oversight for me as no other customers compalined about this.  I sent them a message and that afternoon I got a leply with instluctions on where to downroad what I needed.  The bad news is the page was almost all in Chinese.  I figured out what to crick on and was able to see the instluctions in a viewer, but I could find no way to downroad them without lisking cricking on some Chinese chalacters that might subsclibe me to Chinese farm porn.  I had get it with screen captures  :P
Overall I'm pleased.  It's got good hardware and a PC board for the standard 50ohm bridge & LED type SWR indicator.  The box is just a little bigger than I'd hoped, but there's room in the box to add a 4:1 balun so I can use it on twin-lead fed antennas too.
 
I'll post pics in a week or 2 when I get around to building it.

So did you get it built Bob? I've been thinking of getting one myself.

cockpitbob

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1160
  • SMeter: +39/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2013, 08:12:18 PM »
Hal,
Nope, the kit has been sitting collecting dust.  Family life keeps getting in the way.  It's good looking kit though.  Defenitly worth it just for the parts.

I'm thinking the first day I get snowed in this winter I'll build it.  Meanwhile I think I'll run a feed line from my backup shack (home office) to the gutters so I'll have something to tune. 8)

cockpitbob

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1160
  • SMeter: +39/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner - Don't Buy
« Reply #49 on: December 16, 2013, 11:05:43 AM »
DON'T BUY THIS KIT unless you have a lot of time and a high threshold for fixing other people's mistakes.

This weekend I finally started building the kit.  As said earlier, it looked complete and with reasonable quality components.  However, the kit is about as good as the engrish translation of its instructions.

* Hole spacing for the resistors on the SWR indicator PCB are too small.  I had to make big bends to shorten the lead spacing.

* The holes in the PCB for the switch are too small and have the wrong spacing.  I had to drill out the holes a little and bend and clip the switch's leads to get it to fit.

* There's a 0.1uF capacitor in the SWR indicator circuit.  The board is layed out wrong.  It has that cap directly across the secondary of the bridge's transformer creating an AC short across the SWR LED.  I had to find a place on the board to dead-bug it to.

* Their drilling template places the BNCs too low and they interfere with the variable capacitors.  I trimmed the BNC's tails to fix that.
* Their drilling template had the anti-rotation hole for the rotary switch in the wrong location so I had to turn the hole into a slot.

* The knobs are strange collet type and the way they attach to the capacitors is "creative" but I had to glue the collets into the knobs in the fully retracted position for it to work.

* The variable capacitors are junk.  They make a plastic crackeling sound and one cap only turns 60degrees while the other turns 90. One appears to have an intermittent short across one section.  I've ordered some polyvaricons to replace them.

* The magnet wire is good quality stuff with high temperature insulation.  But that means it won't melt with a soldering iron.  On the switched inductor, for each of the 12 taps I had to scrape the insulation before twisting into a pigtail.  Very time consuming.
 
In summary, this was frustrating and took more time than it was worth.  Add the new variable capacitors and I'll have almost $40 into this box.  Not worth it!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 11:08:13 AM by cockpitbob »

TexasRadio

  • Guest
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner - Don't Buy
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2013, 08:50:50 PM »
Aww.
I was hoping that you found ET's comm link.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

extra_class_ham

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • SMeter: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2014, 01:51:42 PM »
No, you have to weld octopus to frog interface............... sheesh! 8)

I have a nice Snap-On MM-250 MIG welder, I can weld the crack of dawn, weld a broken hear, but  I can not weld shoes on an octopus.  ;D
ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member|NRA Benefactor Life member|BRC Life Member

cockpitbob

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1160
  • SMeter: +39/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner - Don't Buy
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2014, 09:06:14 PM »
EPILOG:
The polyvaricon caps arrived and I installed them and finished it.  It works.  It it will tune my 180' long random wire on 80M thru 6M and the SWR indicator works.  I'm pleased with what it is, but the annoyance factor was way too high.

demej00

  • Guest
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner - Don't Buy
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2014, 08:38:42 PM »
Hi. I am not a ham but I build the kits and radios in anticipation of getting my license this summer (am currently teaching English in China). I bought this antenna tuner here in China for 48rmb (about 8$) and discovered as you did the cap is routed to the wrong side of the diode, so wired it to the other side and low and behold it works.
Electronics are cheap here, Pixie2 kit is 3$, and am now building the Super Octopus V3 Rockmite kit that cost 15$ plus a nice aluminum case for 8$.
As to the tuner, I sent the seller the news that the circuit board is wrong but no response. Oh well.

cockpitbob

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1160
  • SMeter: +39/-0
    • View Profile
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner - Don't Buy
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2014, 09:37:11 PM »
Demej00, you have an admirably high threshold of pain  ;) .  The seller has lots of negative feedback, but nothing recent on the tuner.  Maybe they've improved some of the other issues I had.  Get your ticket so you can tell me how it works ;D

Archangel320420

  • Guest
Re: $21 Full Function QRP tuner
« Reply #55 on: March 15, 2014, 12:20:52 AM »
Good price, but I just finished building a T-match tuner from parts I had on hand.  I had an enclosure that is almost the exact same size as my Yaesu FT-817 so it looks like it was made for the 817 and I even had room on the front panel to add a 3/8" x 24 thread antenna mount so I can put a telescopic whip on the tuner for manpack operation.  With a 6' whip it will tune 10 thru 40 meters and with an add on coil at the base of the whip it will also tune 60 & 80 meters !  Haven't made any contacts with it yet, but the weather is nice this evening, so I'll take it to the back yard and give it a try.


Sounds cool. Photos?

Here ya go with the pictures of my manpack tuner.


Great pictures! Thanks for posting and great job.