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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | Autek Analyst Help


Reviews Summary for Autek Analyst
Autek Analyst Reviews: 28 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $199.95
Description: Model VA1 The Autek analyst is the only low priced antenna instrument that permits you to perform complex analysis of the antenna system. The MFJ cannot do this.( read their manual). If you want more than just VSWR, go Autek.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.autekresearch.com/va1.htm
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K7PEH Rating: 2/5 Apr 21, 2012 07:23 Send this review to a friend
VA1 is not worth the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently purchased the VA1 and was surprised when I opened the box. It is like a little plastic toy you might find at a kids cereal box. The switches look like they will break at any moment and after reading some of the reviews here (now) I see that is a likely outcome. I should have read through these reviews first.

I had a question about the display and sent off an e-mail answer. Fairly quick response but totally useless. My second follow up message has not been responded to.

Does it do what it is supposed to do? Well, possibly. I bought it mainly for complex read-out of impedances and I would say that about half the readings are good enough. The other half are suspect.

I also own an MFJ 259 and that comes across as a professional lab instrument compared to the Autek VA1.

Would I buy another? Easy answer: NO. OK, I would buy another but for a lower price, maybe for the cost of a box of Coco Puffs.
 
K4IA Rating: 2/5 Feb 23, 2011 18:45 Send this review to a friend
Sad  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great tool. But .. . . it has been compromised by some really poor implementation.

The controls are "switchy" and unreliable. The frequency jumps around. The settings don't hold.

I use it on Field Day for a rough idea if my antenna is in the ball park. Otherwise, I can't use it.

This could be a great piece of equipment but it is not a piece of lab gear. It is a rough estimate of where you are - very rough.
 
HA4ZD Rating: 2/5 Feb 23, 2011 15:41 Send this review to a friend
poor quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have mine for about 7 years. Used for L, C measurements, antenna settings. Universal tool. LCD is a joke, needed replacement, about 50 USD plus shipping. New one is not 100%, sensitive on battery condition. Buy only if you need it on the mast for antenna setting.
 
KI7DG Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2010 15:04 Send this review to a friend
It's used more that you think  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my unit for about 10 years and have had no problems except as previous posters have commented it eats batteries. But I always keep an extra one in the box. I have over the years used this to tune my home brew antennas as well as friends who operate in another radio service within the frequency range of the unit. Fine tuning requires a steady hand. I have used the MFJ but found its size a little bulky. The Autek can fit in a pocket and when up on the tower nice to have something manageable. In all the years I have never used all the features available. It does what I want and I use it often, I rate it a 5. Would I buy another one YES. Would I recommend it to a friend to keep them from borrowing mine YES.
 
N0XX Rating: 4/5 Nov 17, 2010 11:23 Send this review to a friend
Good for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I found myself in need of an antenna analyzer and working part time these days money is tight. Despite some of the critical reviews I decided to go ahead and try the Autek unit. It was shipped promptly, arrived in good shape and works flawlessly.

Yes, the buttons feel a little flimsy, so I won't abuse them. It tunes smoothly, has a good frequency display and gives accurate results.

In addition, it's a great little L/C meter. I've been building a new four square array and used it to cut the phasing lines, to wind the hybrid coil and to measure and tune the caps. It works great in the low end of inductance and capacitance that we need for RF, most of the commercial meters don't do well at low values.

For the price of an L/C meter you get a free antenna analyzer. No complaints here. It's not a "deluxe" unit, but neither is the price.
 
W8NCZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 20, 2010 06:40 Send this review to a friend
great  Time owned: more than 12 months
well bought mine used 3 years ago for $70 off ebay has dark spots in display but perfectly readable very reliable, works all the time. I use it when building antennas and also for setting up my antenna tuners after building a new antenna if needed. been dropped off bench 30" several times still works perfect. THE DOWNSIDE it does eat batteries I keep a spare new one on hand at all times when display starts flickering I change battery. I have also used it to check inductors and capicitors and find it fairly accurate within 10%. would definately buy another
 
ON7PAT Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2010 03:48 Send this review to a friend
nice piece of kit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this analyzer for while now, and I have used it on several occasions.
It is a lot lighter then the MFJ range, and it fits in a pocket, which is a consideration, if one is climbing antenna towers!
Several tests were done at some stage, and I compared the results (of measurements) to the results of (the same measurements)
made with the Mini-VNA.
The Autek was precise enough.
Don't knock the fact that it is significantly cheaper then the MFJ range!
Going on some reviews, I opened it up to have a look, and I couldn't find anything wrong with the
quality for the soldering.
I use it with a rechargeable P9,and it seems to last a lot longer then any MFJ with a charge.
In short, it is a good piece of kit, that is affordable,and easy to work with.
 
W4LJM Rating: 0/5 Nov 22, 2008 05:40 Send this review to a friend
Buyer Beware!!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
When it worked, it was fine, but I spent most of my time trying to get it too. Intermittent operation, one minute it would work, next time the LCD would quit working. Sent the unit back for repair, got stiffed for $65.00. Guess what, didn't work! The on/off button is a joke. Breath on it and it comes on. Got so bad, had to disconnect the battery to keep it from running down. Got it off the shelf yesterday to try to
see if it would work long enough to tune a antenna
and got so fustrated and smashed it to pieces and threw it in the trash. Biggest piece of crap I have ever purchased. $275.00 for purchase and repair and never got a hours worth of use out of it. Buyer Beware!
 
W0RKU Rating: 4/5 Dec 30, 2007 18:26 Send this review to a friend
good, needs external power  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
get Radio Shack multi volt power cube and install socket for one of the 6 plugs - readings more reproducible this way - socket I got needs a 7/16" hole in the side wall of the battery compartment; required enlarging a 3/8"hole - otherwise unit eats up 9v batteries in about 2 hours even with shutting it off after each reading - good results with steady power. Tested it against known coils and capacitors with exact results obtained. Average readings - use a 1K ohm resistor across leads makes this easier.
 
W1CUN Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2007 07:23 Send this review to a friend
Slick Little Unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently ordered a VA-1 and I am pleased with the unit. I was not expecting a laboratory grade unit for a $200.00 price tag. My unit arrived in good condition, did not stink of cigarette smoke and worked correctly out of the box. I did not expect one Hz resolution on the tuning knobs but I find that it is not difficult to tune the oscillator to the desired frequency. All functions work as advertised. Here is the bottom line: It is a great shack companion and I found it to be accurate and it saved me a lot of guesswork as to the reactive component of the antenna I was trying to resonate. All the horror stories I have read in the other reviews i.e. switches donít line up, intermittent operation, erroneous display, tobacco smell etc. do not apply to the unit I received. Again, it is not a laboratory grade instrument but Autek makes no claims that it is. My unit does everything I expect of it and it eliminates multiple trips in and out of the shack. Itís a slick little unit and I am very satisfied with mine.
 
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