I have found Paul Schrader's XMatch Antenna Tuner to be the perfect solution for my high powered HF operation. I needed a tuner that I could preset for each antenna, that presents low SWR for matching between my linear amplifier and antennas during tuneup, that avoids tuner bandswitching (switching takes time and switches wear out), and that can handle full power efficiently, in order to get maximum signal power thruput out to my yagis. With my XMatch I can tune to any HF band segment within 5 seconds and load full power at 1:1 SWR! It beats all the other high-powered antenna tuners (and I have tried most of them) hands down, as judged by the great DX signal reports I am now getting.
The tuner is really unique in that it is what I call a very placid unit. It does not have the sudden spikes of most tuners that I have used. I think that I have used just about all of the commercial tuners. I have certainly used many military auto tuners and great big shipboard tuners. I am currently using the unit with my Collins 380, TENTEC Omni and ICOM 746. My antennas are one Dipole for 80M and 40M plus two loops for 40-10M. My other tuners had a real problem with the 80M and the 10M antennas. My favorite tuner before the XMatch is the Drake MN 2000. The Drake is an outstanding tuner, but it is a slouch along side of the XMatch. I just cannot believe how smooth the XMatch works. This is really wonderful. It is so easy to control what is taking place with the matching. I do run high power at times. The XMatch has made it possible for me to leave the Alpha 91B turned off.
My XMatch Antenna Tuner is a very good station and running well as the result of connecting with my radio system.
I'm very satisfied with my XMatch Antenna Tuner.
I'm very happy to get a beautiful equipment in the world.
I'm very glory with contacting with you.
It is running very well....It's fine O.K.
It took me a little while to get back to you as I had decided to upgrade my radio and it took quite some time. I'll share some interesting experiences. I use a large amplifier with power output capabilities which no ham should actually use. I have used it in the past at no more than 1Kw into my shortened 160 metre dipole. I never had a problem. The other day I tuned it up and put in no more than 1KW pep and in a couple of minutes' time, I had a wild VSWR reading and the amp shut itself down with its protection circuit. No hard fault, no arcing....I finally located a problem, a basement connector which ties in the outside coax run to the upstairs radio area. I replaced it, but was cautious and am using an alternate amp with about half the above-mentioned output. The problem answers its own question, really....the "tuner" in the past had been an XXXXXXXX with such loss that the feed line at the frequency I was using, with an impedance of about 20 ohms, an SWR of maybe 3:1, never saw enough power...the tuner used to get hot, however. With the XMatch, the efficiency is so great the line simply could not handle that kind of power at that SWR on 160. The caution for any users of this tuner should be to be careful of the additional power one puts into their line..any pinhole weakness, mine was a pretty good but not good enough ground at a PL259, will probably show up...unless one has a really low SWR, I would not recommend any serious power on frequencies such as 160...what you thought you were doing OK with another tuner is not relevant...the tuner was swamping that output, the heat generated proved it! So, Paul, am I happy with my XMatch? Yes, it is a superior product; incomparable. Commercial quality....I am a broadcaster, I know. Rugged, capable...No matter what one's power, and preferably it should be REASONABLE power, it is recommended...as a matter of fact, the obvious is true, a rig with a 100 watt output will, with a 3:1 or so SWR, lose a lot of power with its built in tuner or with an external unit as is normally available. The loss is easily translated into 2-3 db....In many cases the use of the XMatch obviates the need for an amplifier in the first place. But, if one has high power capabilities, don't worry much about the XMatch, worry about your antenna system!
Certainly you may use the letter. The only thing I would ask is that you refer to the XXXXXXXX as "another brand"....one never knows and I don't want to have any liability. I am sure you understand. Yes, the loss is so very minimal it must be considered. Most hams have been so used to major losses in these so-called "tuners" that they forget just how much power they were dealing with...I'm a professional and I forgot as well! I'm shaking my head.... wondering what went wrong...then the "light bulb" goes off..."Hey, I'm putting 800 watts into a high VSWR, if something is marginal it is going to fail!" Actually, an Alpha 89 with a 4KVA XMFR and a pair of 3CX800s on a band with high efficiency such as 160 is a BAD way to check an antenna!!!!! I am getting better reports "barefoot" than before when I was using an amp, now that I have installed the XMatch! I re-checked after the letter I wrote to you...I was into an SWR on the frequency when the damage occurred of, and I am embarrassed to mention it, 6:1!!! I looked inside the XMatch last night...wondering what more than 300 watts of reflected power might have done...yes it was a spike and the Alpha's circuits shut down...but anything? Nothing...not a mark... the XMatch was as perfect as the day it was built. This is "not your father's tuner!" This is one to be careful with; I now consider it to be the single most valuable station accessory I own. The brilliance of its design is evident. I congratulate you...It isn't just a couple of caps and an inductor thrown together in a standard tried and true "modified dummy load", this is industrial grade quality and engineering!
This is an excellent no frills tuner. The quality of the components and construction is very good. The fit and finish is better than I expected, it as nice as any commercial product (or better). There are no cheap meters (in fact there are no meters at all) but its not a problem. I used an SWR analyzer to set it up and have a reflected power bar graph in my amp. An external SWR meter is suggested but I didn't need one in my setup. The tuner works very well with my 3 band 2 el quad that has always been a little quirky. I'm running an Alpha 87A amp with AlphaMax (automatic tuning software) that is very happy to provide full power on all the bands. The Alpha'a tuner works but doesn't have the range to get a great match on all bands. I'll be trying some other antennas soon since the quad worked out so well. The settings are easy to come back to and it just sits there and works. I can't find anything to complain about except maybe to ask Paul to consider a discount for repeat customers. I think I'd like to get a second one someday.
I would like to purchase another XMatch for my second station. Also, I need to decide which one, the one I have is the larger version. (Vacuum variable unit purchased - N4XM)
I completely agree with the other reviews. I've had mine for about a year with the same excellent performance as quoted by others. His units are not inexpensive, but I have no doubt that N4XM builds the best amateur tuner on the market. I've used an older Nye Viking (also very good) and the high power Vectronics tuner (and it arced over on 160m with 1kW just like the QST review said it would!), and I am very pleased with the XMatch. His minimalist approach is very efficient and robust.
I've had the N4XM "Classic Lowbander" XMatch tuner for over two years now, and it is by far the beefiest commercial antenna tuner I've ever seen! Excellent construction techniques throughout, and beefy quality parts throughout. The QST review (March '97: available on the ARRL web site), which compared this tuner to all the other full-power tuners on the market at the time pointed out that this tuner was the best out there in terms of efficiency and tuning range ("...goes where the others feared to tread."), especially if your interest is in the 160/80/40 meter bands. Coax only (no balun), no power/SWR meter. A weekend sending 1.5KW on 160m doesn't make this case warm *at all*. Tuning procedure is a bit different than a traditional tuner, but once a setting is found for a band, it's an easy matter to mark it on the plexiglass (really Lexan - N4XM) cover on the front panel. I've never had an "arc-over" occur, even when tuning some pretty odd antennas! Paul Schrader, N4XM, builds these tuners by hand for you.
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