Icom Compact Antenna Tuners AH-705



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Customer Reviews

Nearly perfect
Review by Julian OH8STN
I ordered the Icom AH-705 around February March 2021. I already had the Elecraft T1, MAT-705, and LDG z100+ for use with other rigs and my Icom IC-705. The Elecraft was a no-go with the IC-705 since it requires a control cable for the 705 which doesn't exist. The battery life of the MAT-705 was so poor, there was no point to even trying extended field communications with it ny further. That left the LDG z100+ which was totally compatible with the IC-705, had great battery life, but wasn't weather sealed. Still an option though.

When the AH-705 came out, I was a little surprised by the price. I ordered it anyway, and glad that I did. The AH-705 is completely integrated with the IC-705. Push one button to enable then the tuner and radio does the rest. Not happy with the tune, just trigger tuning manually with one touch. The battery life was also incredible. Two double AA batteries power the AH-705. After hundreds of hours of field time testing the AH-705, those two AA batteries are still powering the tuner. So ridiculously low current consumption making it FB off-grid friendly.
Some rarely if even mentioned about the AH-705 is its weather-sealed housing. This is something none of the other tuners offer. I like to attach the AH-705 about twp thirds the way up a fibreglass mast. I use two 20 foot elements in inverted vee configuration for 80-6 meters coverage. I run RG-316U and the control cable back down into the tent to winlink on almost any band. I have also tested with some loading which also seems to work extremely well.
The other configuration I enjoy with the AH-705 is endfed inverted vee. I place 5 ground radials roughly 6-9 foot long each at the base of the tuner. Then run a 30 foot long wire up about 15 feet into a tree branch and back down the other side. Using a fiberglass mast for this also works. This one gets me 160-6 metes, but probably isn't very efficient on 160. Still, it works!

The best feature of the AH-705 i that it is weather-sealed. The enclosure is weather-sealed for moisture and dust ingress. The antenna and ground ports are completely airtight! They won't allow any moisture or dust ingress inside the unit. Tis means I can deploy the AH-705 up a mast or from a tree branch without worrying if the tuner will get damaged by the weather.

As far as the LDG Z100+ goes, it has all of the control functionality of the AH-705. What it lacks is the ingress protection of the AH-705. If you're on a budget and can live without ingress protection, the LDG is the only real alternative.

Ultimately what we are paying for is the engineering which went into giving us a pragmatic AH-705 design. They didn't have to do all those little things, but it made a better, more reliable, field deployable tuner.

Julian oh8stn

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