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Re: [TowerTalk] Was "43ft Vertical Feeding Question and Balun Type"

To: Richards <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Was "43ft Vertical Feeding Question and Balun Type"
From: jimlux <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 17:35:48 -0800
List-post: <">>
Richards wrote:
> Hey -- I just say an ad in QST for an Array Solutions 800 WATT
> CG-5000 Automatic Antenna Tuner  //  Cost =  $980.  //
> Hmmm.... maybe this is robust "enough" to get the job done.  It
> would allow substantial power, while providing remote tuning.
> 800 watts should be enough power - especially if the remote tuner
> makes it all more efficient and helps cut down on coax losses.
> Whaddaya think?

Looks like a knock-off of the SGC unit.  The electrical design of the 
SGC is no secret (the schematics are on the web).. CG could either 
reverse engineer SGCs microcontroller (kind of shady, but technically 
legal) or hire someone to duplicate the functions (after a fashion). 
The SGC patents have probably expired by now.

I note they don't give any temperature specs in their manual.

As with all things RF equipment wise, there's a lot of intangibles.

Build quality, component quality, design margins, all that stuff. Of 
particular interest is EMI/EMC design, since you don't want the 
microcontroller interfering with the radio, after all.  You can try to 
copy a known good design, but odds are, the original mfr has already 
driven the mfr cost to a minimum, so it's hard to get a competitive edge 

Not to mention that the microcontroller software is pretty important 
from a usability standpoint (I learned hard lessons myself here on doing 
autotuning, when writing software to do it.. it's simple in theory, hard 
in practice, to do a *good* job tuning and to do it quickly) On the 
other hand, 3 or 4 work months from a good embedded software developer 
with appropriate test setups could get you there.

So, it could be a pretty good unit, or it could be dreck. SGC has an 
"interesting" reputation for customer support, but at least they are 
domestic and speak English. Some Chinese mfrs are great, others are 
terrible at support.


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