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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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W6ZIM Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2007 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Indispensible!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these new in September of 2007 to help me with the installation of some antennas. Delivery was prompt, and it came in excellent conditon - no cigarette odor, no unsoldered joints, etc. The instructions are extensive and informative.

The ability to check the SWR on an antenna on any frequency is indispensible. Unlike my transceiver, which will transmit only on the ham bands, and thus limit SWR readings to those frequencies, the RF Analyst lets you determine just where your antenna has the lowest SWR, and from there, you can make adjustments. It's also nice to set the display to where it automatically alternates between the frequency and the SWR.

The Analyst has other features I have yet to use. For the price I paid ($140) this is a real bargain. It certainly earns a "5" in my book!
 
AI1X Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2007 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Got a good one  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was initially unhappy with my VA-1 when I bought it new because it had a strong cigarette smell. After I used it a few times and had excellent results I realized that a cigarette smoking technician must have labored a long time to get it working as well as it does. I have read that they either work well or they don't. I was lucky to get one that works.

In use I cut a dipole longer than I need and find the resonant frequency by changing the frequency in SWR mode. I then cut off a chunk on each leg and take another reading. I then cut off another chunk on each leg calcuated by extrapolation to the frequency I want.

I end up with a resonant antenna tuned exactly to the frequency I wanted. I learned to remove the 9 volt battery between uses as it goes dead when sitting for a few months.
 
W1FK Rating: 4/5 Mar 10, 2007 17:17 Send this review to a friend
Autek VA-1 Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the VA-1, which retails for $199.95. For many years I used at work and at home the old Boonton RX-Meter, an industry standard since the early 1950s. Those units weighed 50 pounds and cost ten times or more in today's currency that of the VA-1. This unit is no lab professional unit, but has done the job for me. I've had it for 20 months and am still on the original battery. I recently received a custom 12:1 balun from Array Solutions with a professional SWR and Z freq. data sweep from 1.8 to 32 MHz. The Autek VA-1 came within 5% of the professional data. Yes, it occasionally acts up; yes, the freq. trimmer is quirky. I was out today in freezing weather measuring a Vee Beam. Pretty handy to have in your pocket, and make the measurements in the field. I havent had the bad solder joints some have mentioned. A fair deal for the money.
 
K4RWW Rating: 1/5 Feb 27, 2007 17:51 Send this review to a friend
Inferior to MFJ Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the digits was almost unreadable when new out of the box. This should have been detected before I got it. Service and follow-up was poor but the unit was repaired for a small cost. The adjustment pots are low quality and the fine adjustment is much too critical. Readings were sometimes influenced by the presence of a local AM broadcast radio. This analyzer is a convenient size and conceptually a good design but it falls short in terms of performance and is inferior to the MFJ 259B product. I sold it at a loss and was glad to dispose of it.
 
K4IA Rating: 4/5 Aug 8, 2006 18:20 Send this review to a friend
Good enough  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK - enough is enough. I will chime in.

The knobs are twitchy. You can not tune down to the last hertz. It is not a laboratory instrument.

IT DOESN'T MATTER! If you want to find out how your antenna system is doing, it works great. It is light weight, it doesn't eat batteries, it can be carried to the top of the tower in your shirt pocket.

It is close enough for government work and it will do the job of telling you the SWR and all the other stuff that goes with that.

Customer service is nil. Just use it and get over the unrealistic expectations.
 
VE7AJJ Rating: 1/5 Aug 8, 2006 14:07 Send this review to a friend
Buy something else  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had one for several years but it only worked for about two antennas then seemed to give very erratic readings. It appeared that there is an intermittent on the connector.

When I disassembled it I discovered that the coupling capacitor was fractured and value was unreadable. I replaced it with what I thought was a similar component but it will not work.

When I purchased this unit the cost was near to $300 for me. You would think that it might have been supplied with a schematic diagram however not so. It does state in the manual that proximity to a strong broadcast signal could cause erroneous readings and I thought for the longest time that was the problem until I found the cracked capacitor.

I concur with other comments about the cheap plastic enclosure and the pitiful tuning knobs that are barely adequate. I have a friend that likes his but I cannot give this thing a rating of better then a one. My quandary now is do I send it back to see about getting it repaired or is that simply throwing good money after bad? I see the price has come down since I bought but they can give them away if they’re no good and it still won’t be a bargain. Right now I’m inclined to spend my bucks on a different product.

 
K5MO Rating: 4/5 Feb 22, 2006 17:03 Send this review to a friend
Very very handy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine used at a local fest, and love it. I use it for everything from its intended purpose to that of a general purpose signal generator. Fits in a pocket, easy on batteries and very handy.

On the other hand, the people at Autek are impossible to deal with. Ask for an electronic copy of the manual and they'll offer to sell you one for 15$. By the way, if you need a copy of the manual, I'll scan one for you and send it to you.

Other than the Cromagnons that staff the email address at Autek, I can strongly recommend this unit. The thing itself is one of the most useful in my shack.
 
VK2NU Rating: 3/5 Jun 23, 2004 10:04 Send this review to a friend
Works Ok, but a bit shoddy !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I shouldn't complain too much as the unit works OK and does the job, but if I had built a kit or homebrew project that looked this shoddy, I would throw it away and start again.

I would imagine most owners would be happy to pay an extra $20 or so for a decent metal case, with good quality buttons, dials and display !! The unit is still going well after a couple of years, but you get the impression it would fall apart pretty easily with any rough treatment

I also own their WM1 SWR, Power meter, and again, this works very well, but presentataion is pretty poor.

If the review was based on performance I would be probably give them a 4-5, but they let themselves down on the presentation, and service is also pretty ordinary.

My next analyser would have to be one of the metal cased MFJ units !!

David, VK2NU
 
K3GM Rating: 4/5 Mar 4, 2004 13:10 Send this review to a friend
Must have tool....  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've used mine to tune verticals, dipoles and mobile antennas all with great success. If have one complaint, it concerns the "Tune" knob. The adjustment is too coarse and will jump around during adjustment. I'd gladly pay the difference if they would install precision pots. Despite that problem, the little box makes antenna work a breeze.
 
WF7I Rating: 1/5 Feb 13, 2004 18:40 Send this review to a friend
Was it just me?  Time owned: more than 12 months
The thing worked great for awhile then just up and died. The display is totally blank. New batteries don't help. Also the display appears to have developed some sort of a "leak", as the corner turned black. Was not subjected to rough treatment either. 90% of the time it just sat on a shelf. I feel like I threw $300 into the trash. Anyone else experience this??
 
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