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Re: [TenTec] Tuner Questions

To: tentec@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Tuner Questions
From: Jim Brown <k9yc@audiosystemsgroup.com>
Reply-to: k9yc@arrl.net, Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment <tentec@contesting.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:52:14 -0800
List-post: <tentec@contesting.com">mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
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

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