1) Connectors and Cabling: (Jan 2007)
I have found a reasonably priced watertight connector (SwitchCraft EN3) that I recommend for use with the Hi-Q antennas as well as a recommended wiring scheme. PDF Drawing
This includes in-line ferrites that can be used on both the control lines and the coax returning to the controller.
2) Interim TAD solution: (Apr 2007)
If you want to control your TAD today, without the new controller, the best solution I know of is to use a PAIR of MFJ 1924's.
Early model TADs may need to be sent to me to add and/or upgrade the position sensor inside one or both of the antennas.
Charlie and I have recently worked together to improve the position sensor for TAD antennas to generate additional information. The improved position sensor allows my controller to directly read the antenna position in quarter turns. (My controller uses other techniques to achieve greater positional accuracy than quarter turns.)
3) Use of Baluns:(Apr 2007)
There have been several designs of the center support for the Tune-A-Dipole over the years. It is very important that the coax-shield and antenna mount (tripod) NOT be part of the antenna. This requires the use of insulating washers to insulate both parts of the antenna from the mounting bracket AND the use of a balun on the antenna feed line.
I recommend the #8232 or (8332 kit) from the wireman ON BOTH ENDS OF THE FEED LINE! You will be amazed at the drop in noise levels when you remove the coax as part of the antenna. You can use the Kit on the antenna side to terminate the connection in ring terminals to each antenna. Be sure to waterproof the baluns.
4) Offsetting the Antennas:(Apr 2007)
One interesting trick I have learned in working with the Tune-A-Dipole is to slightly offset the antennas to get the best SWR. As the tuning of the antenna becomes more and more critical (e.g. 160/80 meters) offsetting the turn count of the antennas can result in a lower SWR. Setting one antenna to 107 turns and the other to 105 turns can result in a better SWR than setting both antennas to 106 turns. The new controller makes this very easy as you have an up/down control and an offset control -- the offsets are recorded in the memories as well.