Palstar AT2K

I’ve been using an LDG AT-11 to tune my various antennas. I’m the second owner of the AT-11 and it has served me very well. But, it’s time has come… It’s almost completely given up on me so I’ve been using the internal tuner on my ICOM 756ProIII. It works, but it’s limited in what it can do.

I’ve been planning for a linear amplifier and part of this would be to upgrade to a newer and more capable antenna tuner. Having looked around and read a number of reviews on eHam, I decided to go with the Palstar AT2K. I recently purchased a Palstar PM2000A meter from HRO and was very impressed with the quality of the meter. When I decided to go with the AT2K, the fine folks at HRO Atlanta accepted the PM2000A back in exchange for the upgrade to an AT2K. Bear in mind I had only used the PM2000A a couple of times over the course of about 2 weeks. Since the AT2K has the same meter built-in, I had no need for the separate PM2000A.

The AT2K was backordered to Palstar and it took about three weeks for it to arrive. I knew immediately, when picking up the box, that this was going to be a quality piece of equipment for the shack. The fit and finish of the AT2K is excellent. It’s built like a tank and I expect it will last a long time. Not like some of the cheaper ones that have flimsy cases that make you question the quality of the internal components.

Having only used auto tuners in the past, I found the AT2K very easy to use. I was able to tune up without problems on several bands. The instruction manual has a well documented tuning process and some suggested starting values.

Now that the Ameritron AL-80B is here, I can really say that this tuner is great. It easily handles the power I’m putting through it and finding a good match is rather easy. I can get a very good match (= 1:1) on 80m and up. I can get a match on 160m, but it’s not that good. I’m going to run a long wire and utilize the binding posts on the AT2K with some balanced feedline.