I like AutoTuners. They're simple and reliable and fit in well with my modus operandi - KISS. Pressing a single button and achieving a 50ohm match within a few seconds, is right up my street! And if the autotuner is dedicated to your radio, great!
I've had these tuners before and feel good about them. I've actually got one connected to my Icom IC-7100 and I've never experienced any problems. I get the impression from their construction and materials that they are a good quality item. So as soon as I started to look for an ATU for my Yaesu FT-818ND, I had no hesitation looking for an LDG.
The Z-817 is specifically designed as a QRP tuner and it is referred to (by LDG) as Zero Power meaning that it consumes almost no power when in sleep mode. It basically doesn't have an on/off switch - it just goes into a deep sleep when not being used. Power (when needed) is supplied in the form of 4xAA internal batteries which last approximately one year.
The Z-817 interfaces with the Yaesu FT-817/818 via a CAT cable. This makes it an integrated tuner powered by the interface; no extra power cables are needed. Just press the tune button on the tuner and the mode is set to carrier, the RF power is reduced, a tune cycle runs and the radio is returned to the original settings. A CAT pass through port is provided for computer control, which is a great feature - one which Yaesu's own tuners always omit!
The Z-817's are around £129 new, which I think is a bit choppy, so I looked on eBay for a used one. Unfortunately, most sellers on there had the opinion that their used devices were worth almost as much as a new one, so I looked elsewhere and soon found one on a Facebook 818 Group.
The guy wanted just a fraction of the new price and his included a very nice waterproof carry-case, so the deal was done! I do like a bargain :-)
Since writing this little review, I’ve added a Z-100PLUS to the shack which can be seen HERE.