On 1/16/2012 12:19 PM, Richard Bell wrote:
> Opinions about any of the Ten-Tec 238 series tuners are wanted.
The Ten Tec 229 and 238 series of tuners are essentially the same
electrically, but the latest model(s) of 238 substitute a turn counter
for the dial cord, which is a very move.
I LOVE these tuners -- I currently own seven of them, six of which are
active in my contesting station, each dedicated to one or two antennas
for fast switching between them. They are more efficient than most
tuners, their switching logic is superior to all the other tuners I've
seen -- the tuner bypass switch is separate from the antenna selector,
so you can use the selector to replace an outboard switch, saving you
the cost (and desk space) of the switch. Another plus is that thanks to
their L-section design, they tend to stay tuned over a wider frequency
range than most other tuners. And except for the fixed capacitor noted
below, their components are well rated for legal ham power. I run
1.5kW for contests more than a dozen weekends a year, and I've never
arced a variable capacitor. I consider them a real bargain, especially
if you can find one used in good shape. 229s go for $250-$275, 238s
before the turn counter for about $50 more.
Shortcomings: 1) The dial cord eventually drys out and/or stretches,
and doesn't work very well when that happens. It's a real PITA to
re-string. This only affects the INDICATOR, so that's not possible to
repeatably come back to a previous setting without retuning, but it
doesn't affect operation otherwise. In other words, the tuner tunes the
antenna just fine, but the indicator for the inductor doesn't mean
anything. 2) One of the fixed capacitors tends to blow if you run max
legal power for long periods into certain load impedances, as you could
in a contest. It will tell you when that happens by releasing smoke.
It's an inexpensive part and easy to replace.
Bottom line -- IMO, these tuners offer the best electrical performance
and features you can buy in a manual tuner.
73, Jim K9YC
TenTec mailing list