I had the conundrum a couple of years ago. I went to Dayton to talk to
both Palstar and TT and also any hams hanging around. I got a mixed bag
of opinions, some hams hanging around the TT display who said they
owned, or had owned, the TT tuner, and about half said to get it, and
the other half advised me to get the Palstar.
In contrast, many hams on this and other TT discussion lists for whom I
have significant respect, either as a result of their long term
experience or specialized technical expertise, appear more positive,
overall, and I place greater weight to their assessment.
The universal positive is the L-Network design that generally can have
but one properly tuned, "best" setting, whereas the AT2K (which I own)
is of a different design (won't say for fear of misrepresenting it) and
I can get a really low match with multiple L and C settings. Thus,
with the AT2K, you might debate whether a high L and a low C is better
than the other way around. On the AT2K you have the two input and
output capacitors, and you can easily move one up, and the other down,
and vice versa, to obtain multiple good matches with the same L counter
setting. Change L, and you also get another rash of Capacitor settings,
This is both boon and bane, I think. The up side is you can quickly
find a match. The down side is you then open the door to debate which
of all available settings is "best" or optimum. Not an awful problem,
but an issue to consider I think.
The up side of the TT tuner is you can usually only find one setting
that works best, obviating the above conundrum with the Palstar model.
In contrast, the down side of the TT tuner is you sorta gotta figure
out whether or not your antenna has higher or lower impedance relative
to 50 Ohms. If you look on the front of the tuner, you must pick one of
multiple starting points, which I believe are based on basic un-tuned
antenna impedance. Not a big deal, but something I don't think about
with my AT2k. I just crank away for what seems like best L counter
setting, and then play with the two Input and Output capacitor knobs.
I suspect it would work the same on the TT box, once you select the
initial impedance range. I suppose, also, that a half hour with an
antenna impedance analyzer would give you a quick reference chart on
each antenna you have. This would be more or less onerous, depending
on what antennas you have on your farm.
Parenthetically, I also own a Palstar AT-AUTO tuner, and a Palstar DL2k
Having played with TT box in person at Dayton, and playing with the
Palstar box, I suspect construction quality, durability, and appearance,
are about equal. I would buy the AT2K again, and I would also consider
buying the TT box if I did not already own the Palstar box.
Service after the Sale...
I have not needed any repair or warranty service from either company's
HQ, and companies have been VERY responsive to questions before and
after the sale, regardless of what product was under consideration.
That is MY take on it, anyway... I think you would be happy with either
one, but you may prefer the design or operational differences of one
over the other.
---------------------------------- K8JHR ---------------------------------
On 1/16/2012 3:19 PM, Richard Bell wrote:
> Opinions about any of the Ten-Tec 238 series tuners are wanted. I'll take the
> the good, bad or indifferent?
> I am considering a tuner and naturally would like something to match my Omni
> VII. I see some advantages to the 238C in that it has a built-in balun.
> I've considered a Palstar AT2K but am not decided.
> For the record, I have two Drake tuners, MN-2000 and MN-2700. I'm using a
> from DX Engineering with both of them.
> Feel free to send me your thoughts, email@example.com or share them with
> everyone. Biased comments are expected and welcomed.
> 73 W5BXE
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