Antenna Tuners

Why are there so many different Types of Antenna Matchboxes?

THE SHORT ANSWER:

  

Because we wish to use so many different kinds of antennas on many different bands.

 

AND

 

It is impossible for one matchbox technology to do all of this efficiently!

 

A DETAILED ANSWER:

 

WE HAVE A LONG LIST OF VERY DIFFERENT MATCHING REQUIREMENTS:


  • MATCH FULL SIZE ANTENNAS (i.e. DIPOLE) ON THE BAND ENDS
    • Very easy task.  Most matchboxes do this effeciently - except on 160m.
  • MATCH TRAP BEAMS (YAGI's) ON THE BAND ENDS
    • Very easy task.  Most matchboxes do this efficiently.
  • MATCH LONGWIRE ANTENNAS WITH VERY HIGH IMPEDANCE
    • Many matchboxes, especially those built into the transceivers cannot do this.
    • Many matchboxes that can do this, do so with high internal losses.
  • MATCH PHYSICALLY SHORT ANTENNAS ON 80m AND 160m (VERY LOW IMPEDANCE)
    • Very common task, but unfortunately most matchbox have very poor effeciency on 80m and fail to find a match at all on 160m.
    • If they do manage to find a match on 160m, then it is usually with significant power loss within the matchbox.  
    • The reason for this is the physical size (and cost) of the components that are necessary to do it right.
      • This is the weakest point of most matchboxes.
  • MATCH ANTENNAS ON 10M.
    • The task is easy, but many matchboxes do not have a low enough minimum capacitance or minimum inductance.  As a result they have high power loss on this band.
  • MATCH OPENWIRE-FED ANTENNAS
    • Most matchboxes are not very good at this.
    • Obtaining a good match on all bands is due more to luck than to the quality of the matchbox.  Length of antenna and feedline play a significant role here.
  • AND MORE . . . 

 

TECHNICALLY, we can solve any of the problems above.

However we cannot do it all with just one matchbox technology;

we need different technologies for different tasks.


IN PRACTICE, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DO IT ALL IN JUST ONE MATCHBOX. 

 

THE BOTTOM LINE:


IN ORDER TO HAVE GOOD EFFICIENCY IN YOUR MATCHBOX,

YOU HAVE TO SELECT THE RIGHT MATCHBOX TECHNOLOGY FOR THE JOB AT HAND.