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[TenTec] 238 tuner on 160? (long)

To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Subject: [TenTec] 238 tuner on 160? (long)
From: Reid_W_Simmons@ccm2.hf.intel.com (Reid W Simmons)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 98 08:56:00 PST
Text item: 

   I have only had my 238 for a little over 4 months but I really like it.  I 
   was tired of the "T-type" tuner circuits and all their problems.  Sure the 
   T-type tuners are VERY wide range, but what combination of control 
   settings per frequency is really best... there are several on all bands.  
   My 238 replaced an MFJ Differntial-T tuner.  The Diff-T reduced some of 
   the problems encountered with the 'T' circuit, and had only 2 controls to 
   adjust.  Overall it was a very good performer.  BUT... it didn't "match" 
   my OMNI 6 stuff!!!  The 238's configurable 'L' circuit has been a 
   refreshing change and it does not produce the multiple settings per 
   frequency.  I use it on 160 through 10 meters with a 200 foot end fed 
   wire.  The ONLY complaints I have are that, yes, you DO need the dial 
   lights to see where the pointer is (more lights would be better here), and 
   the unit's light weight causes it to move when the somewhat stiff roller 
   inductor is cranked.
   Reid, K7YX

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: [TenTec] 238 tuner on 160? (long)
Author:  owner-tentec@contesting.com at SMTPGATE
To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Date:    1/18/98 5:04 PM

Hello all:
I'm looking for a tuner, one that will enable me to cover more of 160 
meters with my dipole and CTSVR antennas.  I have been thinking about 
pouncing on one of the #238 tuners that pop up here from time to time.
While waiting, I dug up the review of tuners in the March '97 QST.  No 
TenTec there, but coverage on 160 seemed to be a problem for most of the 
commercial products reviewed, unless you were willing to spend a grand or 
so.  Frankly, I was hoping to spend much less.
I then reviewed the archive for the TOPBAND reflector and read messages 
associated with that same QST tuner review.  There seemed to be a strong 
anti-MFJ sentiment, but significant disagreement about what was better. 
Someone favorably mentioned the #238, and that message was answered by 
another ham who offered an unfavorable analysis - mostly about the 
Here is a portion of his message about the #238: 
I don't like:
* the anemic range (capacitor) switch--a conventional ceramic wafer easily 
destroyed by a hotswitch at moderate power.
* the roller inductor--the coil form is ceramic, and the coil has a 
variable pitch, but the end plates are epoxy/glass PC board, and the roller 
tap wheel is skimpy. I wore mine out (the tap wheel literally wobbled on 
the shaft) and replaced it with a roller inductor and counter mechanism 
from a BC375E.
* the sliderule dial mechanism--I repaired it countless times until I just 
threw it away, and it was not readable without the dial lights--nor was the 
* the SWR/power meter--very inaccurate and nonlinear. Good for relative 
indication only.
* the case--typical TenTec. Frequent disassembly lunched the end trim 
pieces--I threw them away. Coax connectors were pop-riveted, but worked 
loose over time, creating intermittent ground connections. Replaced all 
rivets with screws, starwashers and nuts.
* the balun, a 4:1 unit. Most baluns in single-ended tuners---if not 
all--are useless unless operated near the design center. This one smoked 
early on, and I tore it out. If you want to use balanced line, build a 
balanced-line tuner.
General construction reminds one of a homebrew project--useable but 
cheaply-made couplings, shafts. knobs and other components. In short: good 
electrical concepts, mediocre execution. This unit has helped dissuade me 
from buying other TenTec gear.
My question is - are these comments valid?
Are any of you running the #238 on 160?  What are your experiences?  I'm 
running only 100 watts but have managed to work 31 countries from the RF 
sinkhole that is the upper midwest, and a good tuner might help me work a 
few more.  Someday I might even buy an amp!
I'm told that Ameritron builds a good tuner, but the skimpy literature I 
find seems to imply that it lacks a roller inductor and I'm assuming that 
I'd prefer the roller type to the tapped variety.  Dentron, according to 
local legend, also built a good tuner but no one I've spoken to actually 
owned one.
73, de Mike, K9UW
Amherst, WI
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To: <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 17:04:30 -0600
Subject: [TenTec] 238 tuner on 160? (long)
To: <tentec@contesting.com>
From: "Lara & Mike Pagel" <pagel@wi-net.com>
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