LDG IT-100 Autotuner for Icom, a Hands-on Review
I was tired of my manual tuner. I change bands too often.
I used to use my MFJ-945E manual antenna tuner with my Icom-718, but it was just too much work. I’d have to re-tune it 100+ times a day.
However, the LDG IT-100 Autotuner appealed to me because it is designed for Icom transceivers. It simply plugs into an accessory port on the back of my IC-718. No external power required — it gets its power from the transceiver. One caveat though — you must go into Icom settings and select autotuner. That tells the 718 there is an autotuner present.
Operation of the LDG IT-100 couldn’t be simpler. Go to a frequency. If it’s in memory, do nothing. If not, press Tuner button on the 718. It does its magic very fast — you’re never left waiting endlessly. It will even tune my G5RV Jr to low SWR on 80 meters (my G5RV is only designed for 6-40 meters).
I couldn’t be more pleased with my LDG IT-100. It simply works. Here’s a bit more on the tuner from the manufacturer:
The IT-100 is the ideal tuner for your shiny new Icom radio. First, it matches up to 10:1 SWR (3:1 on 6 meters), so just about anything you can feed with coax is good to go. And, it has 2,000 (not a typo; that's 2,000!) memories, enough for every Dxpedition, RTTY spot and radio buddy you've got, and then some. Just hit the tune button on the radio, and your IT-100 will set tuner parameters in less than a second if you've been there before. If not, it kicks off a full tuning cycle that will be over in about 3 seconds. Don't need the tuner just now? Then just tap the Tune button briefly, and the tuner goes into bypass. Press it again to bring the tuner back on line -- it's just that simple.
The IT-100 is just 6.5" long, 6.5" deep and 1.5" tall. It weighs only 1.5 pounds, and gets its DC power directly from the radio; no separate power supply needed. The IT-100 works with any Icom radio that supports AH-3 or AH-4 Icom antennas. The list includes: IC-706, 703, 718, 7000, 7100, 7200, 7410, 746, 756, 7600 (and all variants).
The LDG IT-100 comes fully assembled, aligned and ready to use. The package includes a 14″ Icom radio interface cable; you’re ready to operate right out of the box. And LDG tuners are priced very competitively. The LDG IT-100 is available from Amazon or the other usual sources such as HRO. LDG also manufactures other brand-specific tuners and generic tuners.
Followup: I’ve had the IT-100 in operation for several months now. It has worked flawlessly. I relegated my MFJ-945E manual antenna tuner to my pickup truck for my CB radio installation — made a huge difference to finally get the SWR low. The CB radio now really works well!