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Author Topic: Bliss Tuner Sick  (Read 43916 times)
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flintstone mop
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« on: October 15, 2005, 01:41:48 PM »

Hello Fellow Amers
Looks like Murphy is still around the house!! I discovered last night that my wonderful Bliss Mat Master Tuner is not happy. It took an hour and a half to disassemble the Dam thing. Ole' John Bliss didn't want anybody to figure out how he obtained a truly balanced system using two coils. The coil winding have come loose and it's destroying the finger stock on the one side and there has been some heating on the other side so there are windings touching each other.
 
Anybody have a suggestion for a replacement tuner........balanced......NO 4:1 BALUN on the outpoot?Huh High power, wide range, low loss on 160M. I can check ARRL product reports.

Additional Bandwidth: The design of the Bliss tuner was unique. He has two indentical coils mounted on a single coil form. Through some maze of mechanical wizardry he slides these coils back and forth and there is fingerstock surrounding the coil form on both ends that short out whatever is needed for the tuning process. There is a nice vac cap in there also and small knife switch to switch the cap before or after the coil.
The pix should tell it all
Any advice from my radio buddies???
thanks
Fred


* Bliss.jpg (19.15 KB, 320x240 - viewed 1882 times.)

* Tuner.jpg (15.22 KB, 320x240 - viewed 1748 times.)
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Fred KC4MOP
Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2005, 02:34:06 PM »

Fred;

Homebrew the Richard Measures balanced tuner. Lots of folks have built it and are using them sucessfully.
Uses a pair of roller inductors. I don't have the link handy, I'll see if I can find it later today. I'm sure someone will chime in on this one. Pretty sure Joe N3IBX and others here on the list have built them. Supposedly, the Bliss tuner is based on the Measures design but after seeing your photos, and doing a little reading, it is apparently different and doesn't seem to be as robust as a homebrew construct of the original design,




 

Hello Fellow Amers
Looks like Murphy is still around the house!! I discovered last night that my wonderful Bliss Mat Master Tuner is not happy. It took an hour and a half to disassemble the Dam thing. Ole' John Bliss didn't want anybody to figure out how he obtained a truly balanced system using two coils. The coil winding have come loose and it's destroying the finger stock on the one side and there has been some heating on the other side so there are windings touching each other.
 
Anybody have a suggestion for a replacement tuner........balanced......NO 4:1 BALUN on the outpoot?Huh High power, wide range, low loss on 160M. I can check ARRL product reports.

Additional Bandwidth: The design of the Bliss tuner was unique. He has two indentical coils mounted on a single coil form. Through some maze of mechanical wizardry he slides these coils back and forth and there is fingerstock surrounding the coil form on both ends that short out whatever is needed for the tuning process. There is a nice vac cap in there also and small knife switch to switch the cap before or after the coil.
The pix should tell it all
Any advice from my radio buddies???
thanks
Fred
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Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2005, 02:42:39 PM »

Here is a link to the tuner info;

http://www.somis.org/bbat.html


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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2005, 06:43:37 PM »

The tuner you have looks hard to beat once you fix the weak links. Pardon the pun. That style tuner and the Measure's design don't  really need a roller inductor. You can homebrew pairs of coils from copper tubing to save cost and hassle looking for the parts. Inductors can be matched using a dip meter, MFJ antenna analyzer or inductance bridge. Tap the coils every turn and use a ceramic switch setup to short the unused coil. To go even one step cheaper, construct the tuner with no coil taps and just figure them out after installation. Solder lugs onto the taps and switch them when needed. I have one tuner that happily works on 2 bands without changing the 2 coil's inductance so the taps are fixed. I switch to a second tuner with roller inductors when going to other bands.
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flintstone mop
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2005, 07:06:01 PM »

OK Fine!
Thanks for the replies.
I have made temp repairs on the loose windings. I cannot repair the shorted windings from whatever meltdown took place. John Bliss thinks he can scrounge up a replacement coil for me. All he makes now are motorized versions of these tuners and MAN.......are they expensive!!!! The PalStar tuners were highly rated but some unhappy Hams for some mechanical problems. I know you builder guys are wondering why I don't build one. Lazy??? I'll go out and buy all the components new from $urplus $ales of Nebraska??? My junque box stinks.

I also moved the tuner to the wall where the LL comes in and cut off about 30 feet and the tuner gives indication of working now. Almost 1.5:1  match at 1820 and 50 ohms to the Radio side. The first effort to light up the station was  2:1 SWR and 35 ohms on the radio side.  I will test during Dead Band conditions during the daytime to see if the system can take power without meltdown.
Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2005, 09:42:20 PM »

That's a great Idea Dave... but if you experiment a lot with different antennas, you may have to move those taps around when you put up a different ants as you mentioned (you'll need a lot of switch positions to put a tap on every turn) although I do like the idea of using copper tubing for a pair of coils instead of the roller inductors...

Fred, no need to buy from fat wallet sales of Nebraska, get the copper tubing cheap from your local Home Depot and buy the variable caps used on E-bay. A vacumm variable is nice, but not necessary. All you need besides that will be a double pole rotary switch, also available cheap on E-bay.

I know you builder guys are wondering why I don't build one. Lazy??? I'll go out and buy all the components new from $urplus $ales of Nebraska??? My junque box stinks.
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2005, 12:15:28 AM »

Being thrifty can take extra time! Those tuners take extra patience to figure out settings. It can be especially frustrating without some test gear! I used to have a JSed one here for 160 that had many hours of Edison guess and guess again engineering. This included cooking many TV type capacitors and a few coils. I'd stick with the vacuum variable as the tuner will then have the ability to feed power very close to Voltage nodes at it's output. You can load a wet noodle or a farmer's fence. Who knows where the power goes but it does get transferred to the load!
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K1JJ
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2005, 12:32:01 PM »

Fred,
Take that vacuum variable, get some 1/4", 5/16" or 3/8" copper tubing to coil and mount them on a flat aluminum plate. Mount it on the wall. You will have a great tuner.

See the details below:

http://amfone.net/ECSound/K1JJ13.htm

I've built five of these and they work FB. Only needs a single ended vac cap, like you have, and 30 turns of copper tubing that can be accessed via big copper alligator jaw clips.  Have the taps premarked to switch bands 160-10M in seconds.
Match ANYTHING.

Be the first on your block. Amaze your friends. Be the talk of the neighborhood. Outstrap Brentina.

I can send you a FAX schematic of it if you are serious and cannot understand the written description in the url above.

T
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2005, 02:35:42 PM »

Getting back to Fred's original post, there must have been several complaints about that tuner. Tom Hix, W4TH who mostly sells Russian tubes, used to sell and shill for Bliss. He even had a link to Bliss's website. Now there isn't even a mention of the tuners. I agree with Mr. Vu, the best ones are the home made ones. Look inside those MFJ 'things' and prove that there is a fool born every minute. Even the Ten-Tec's are pretty wimpy.
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Mike(y)/W3SLK
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Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2005, 07:48:46 PM »

Fred's original post says.... "Anybody have a suggestion for a replacement tuner"

Build it youself Fred, as I mentioned before, Home Depot is your friend... the ham's motto... "cheap, cheap, cheap".... A big ass air variable will do just as well as a vacuum variable. Clips are cool, but get a nice high power ceramic rotary switch and you won't have to screw with the clipy clipy dance.  Grin Grin



Getting back to Fred's original post, there must have been several complaints about thuat tuner. Tom Hix, W4TH who mostly sells Russian tubes, used to sell and shill for Bliss. He even had a link to Bliss's website. Now there isn't even a mention of the tuners. I agree with Mr. Vu, the best ones are the home made ones. Look inside those MFJ 'things' and prove that there is a fool born every minute. Even the Ten-Tec's are pretty wimpy.
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K1JJ
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2005, 08:49:39 PM »

The good thing about using four giant copper alligator clips is that you can tap either the capacitor OR feedline to the 40 different coil taps. This turns out to be hundreds of possible combinations, so that once you find the PERFECT four tap positions for each band, you can premark them and switch instantly.  You can match anything from max voltage to max current peaks on the line.

Using a pair of tiny 6V bulbs, one for each feeder wire, you can also tap in or out a turn on the coil to bias one side that has a slight inbalance - and get the lights [or current meters] to compensate the antenna's imperfections. I found that many antennas I thought were perfectly horizontal had slight inbalances for whatever reasons... different ground across the antenna's path, openwire nearer one thing or another.... and it was different for each band.

With the tuner I mentioned above, the four clips are equivalent to a rotary switch with about 165 different positions.... Grin  Either way is FB, but I like simple with the minimum amount of parts and max flexibility.

73,
T
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Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
flintstone mop
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2005, 09:33:12 PM »

Hello again,
Has anybody built the tuner that Tom K1JJ mentioned several posts up??? I would like to see some pix of the beast. A picture is worth a 1000 words to me. I read the link Tom gave and it's not getting through my retired brain cells.............sorry.
I don't have FAX and Tom doesn't have a scanner.


73            Fred
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Fred KC4MOP
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2005, 09:43:25 PM »

I've been using the balanced measure's tuner since I built it in '83 about 7 years before Rick discovered it. I have a pair of 22 UH 5 KW rollers and a pair of 300
pf 10 KV Cardwells. A Vacuum cap would work fine.You could use 2 tapped inductors or do the tom vu thing. Commecical stuff is mostly crap. Stay away from anything having a balun on the OUTPUT  because is is lossy junk! The balun belongs on the 50 ohm side of the network.
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K1JJ
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2005, 09:53:57 PM »

I could FAX the schematic to anyone who could scan it and post.  Anyone have the capability out there?

The tuner is just a single section variable - floating. It is across a 40 turn copper tubing coil.  There is a 5 turn 50 ohm link wound inside or outside the big coil that connects to the rig and goes to ground.

The feedline taps onto the coil, evenly spaced, and the capacitor clips to the coil, evenly spaced.  That's it.  Infinite tap combinations to match anything.

I don't have any tuners left here to take pictures of anymore - went to all hardline/coax. But there's been at least six guys that I've emailed with from this BB over the years who have built them. Maybe one of them will have a pic. But, with the schematic, you can't miss Fred.  Worst case, I'll Fax it to your work QTH.

T
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2005, 10:50:33 PM »

HOPE THIS WERKS...TIM...SK..


* K1JJ TUNER.jpg (110.02 KB, 850x1100 - viewed 2378 times.)
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K1JJ
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2005, 11:31:41 PM »

Thanks for posting it Tim!

Did you ever build it up?


Here's the handwritten notes I made so that you can read them:

1) Add a variable ~1400 input cap if needed in series to ground with the 50 ohm input link. Most guys don't bother.

2) Big coil is 40 turns to cover 160M. Less for 75M. NOT critical. Any coil will work if it has enough inductance. The bigger tubing diameter, the better for losses. 1/4" - 3/8" is FB.  6" high X 15" long is typical.  Wind it on a quart paint can as a rolling  form and suspend on stand off insulators. [remove can... Grin] Many ways to do it.

3) Solder copper strips onto coil for EZ access with big copper alligator clips, and pre mark for fast QSY to bands.

4) Move around the taps of these four spots to achieve a perfect match on any band in conjunction with C1 variable tuning. Keep both open wire taps and capacitor taps equal spaced from coil ends. [ symetrical - balanced]   The taps can be anywhere, as long as balanced.

5) Move one openwire tap in or out one turn to achieve equal feedline balance as shown by tiny bulbs or RF meter current if desired.

6) Both C1 and big coil float above ground. Use insulated shaft/knob since RF voltage is on the capacitor shaft.

7) 50 ohm, 5 turn  link is suspened inside, outside or on top of center of big main coil.  Use Teflon insulated wire if it touches main coil.  #12 wire is OK for link or whatever the diameter of your coax inner wire is. Some use copper tubing because it is easy to support inside big coil. It can be a smaller coil inside and still get good coupling, but keep the coils within an inch or so of each other's diameters. Facing the same plane, of course.

Cool Use input SWR meter to adjust the taps and C1 for 1:1.

73,
Tom, K1JJ

SAVE THIS PICTURE TO YOUR DRIVE AND THEN BLOW IT UP BIG to VIEW.


* JJTuner2.jpg (40.63 KB, 550x425 - viewed 1807 times.)
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Use an "AM Courtesy Filter" to limit transmit audio bandwidth  +-4.5 KHz, +-6.0 KHz or +-8.0 KHz when needed.  Easily done in DSP.

Wise Words : "I'm as old as I've ever been... and I'm as young as I'll ever be."

There's nothing like an old dog.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2005, 07:11:10 AM »

..TOM..GOT ALL THE STUFF FER IT,GOING DO IT SOON....BTW,THERE IS A SEPARATE SECTION,IN THE FORUM WHERE THIS COULD BE STORED,FOR OTHERS TO VIEW IT,ISNT THERE?..TIM...SK..
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Glenn NY4NC
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2005, 10:50:10 AM »

Sorry, yes, I should have mentioned to use the clips to find the correct positions,(initial setup)  THEN install a switch..... My brain no work too good.... no sushi this past weekend!  Grin Grin


The good thing about using four giant copper alligator clips is that you can tap either the capacitor OR feedline to the 40 different coil taps. This turns out to be hundreds of possible combinations, so that once you find the PERFECT four tap positions for each band, you can premark them and switch instantly.  You can match anything from max voltage to max current peaks on the line.

Using a pair of tiny 6V bulbs, one for each feeder wire, you can also tap in or out a turn on the coil to bias one side that has a slight inbalance - and get the lights [or current meters] to compensate the antenna's imperfections. I found that many antennas I thought were perfectly horizontal had slight inbalances for whatever reasons... different ground across the antenna's path, openwire nearer one thing or another.... and it was different for each band.

With the tuner I mentioned above, the four clips are equivalent to a rotary switch with about 165 different positions.... Grin  Either way is FB, but I like simple with the minimum amount of parts and max flexibility.

73,
T
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K1JJ
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2005, 11:31:00 AM »

Hmmm... not a bad idea, Glenn!

I never thought of installing a large, 4 pole, 6 position switch to do the job after the taps are optimized. It wud work and be very fast.  I'd like to see someone do it.

The switch wud have to be a good sized one with both heavy contacts for current maxs and wide spacing for the voltage peaks that will randomly be found across the various bands. That's assuming a KW.

Once the switch is installed in place, the leads going to the various coil taps cud be soldered in a way to be easily moved as antennas and requirements change. It certainly wud be something to look at once finished with 24! various leads for 6 bands. 

In my case, I simply built five different tuners that hooked to various antennas to be instantly switched at the 50 ohm coax input.

T

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There's nothing like an old dog.
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2005, 12:32:07 PM »

OK Guys,
Thanks for the posting of the scheezo. A Pix would help me to assemble the components better, but let this be a challenge for me to get the mechanical part configured so that it doesn't look like an RF nighmare. I have a lot of those nice ceramic insulators that can be used and I'll mount this tuner on 3/4 inch plywood.
See youins on 160 tonight?Huh


73        Fred
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2005, 12:52:18 PM »

Hello Guys,
The Bliss Tuner is definitely sick, I can hear a little fizzle inside doing dead band testing. So, the JJ tuner starts construction soon.

My + noise level has disappeared since I moved the tuner to the outside wall where the LL enters into the house. Running long lengths of LL around house wiring, even though is seemed spaced far away, or any where near flourescent lights may have been giving me my evil noise problem.

Now the IF strip in the 390A has an AGC problem. Dam!!! when can I start using this stuff instead of fixing all of the Murphy crap?Huh

Getting a little worn out I hope I NEVER move again!!!
Fred
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2005, 12:59:34 PM »

My + noise level has disappeared since I moved the tuner to the outside wall where the LL enters into the house. Running long lengths of LL around house wiring, even though is seemed spaced far away, or any where near flourescent lights may have been giving me my evil noise problem.
Fred


Hmmm... normally, the open wire line will cancel and be balanced, so you shud not be picking up any stuff like that.  Perhaps there is an inbalance in the system. When you get the new tuner going, try the old 6V bulb test with one on each feeder leg, set at low luminence to see if they are the same brightness. If not, then we can talk about it.

Build the tuner and you will learn a lot and have total control over all parameters of the feeding.

73,
T
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There's nothing like an old dog.
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2005, 04:43:40 PM »

Fred said:
Quote
Getting a little worn out I hope I NEVER move again!!!

I feel your pain Fred. I moved and have a sick Valiant blowing fuses when keying, a Viking I with a LVPS transformer heading south, and a DX-100 with a bad fuse holder! I got so fed up I managed to find a new fuse holder, got my soldering gun, (couldn't find the Weller iron), and used my fingers as needle-nosed pliers to do the soldering. Now I can't find the front panel for my electrical sub. Parts and tools are here and there, and it seems anytime I need something, I have to go on a nature hunt to find it. What really sux is you saw where you put it but can never remember where when you need it!
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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2005, 05:50:02 PM »

...mike,..that's why i have probably the largest collection of screwdrivers,and pliers...cant find them,so i go and but more,then lose those...when i become a SK,and the estate is cleaned-out,someone will find a massive supply of hand tools...sk...
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2005, 08:29:22 PM »

...2) Big coil is 40 turns to cover 160M. Less for 75M. NOT critical. Any coil will work if it has enough inductance. The bigger tubing diameter, the better for losses. 1/4" - 3/8" is FB.  6" high X 15" long is typical.  Wind it on a quart paint can as a rolling  form and suspend on stand off insulators. [remove can... Grin] Many ways to do it...
I'll play the newbie and ask: What value for C1? Huh
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