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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | Ten Tec Model 229 / 229B Help

Reviews Summary for Ten Tec Model 229 / 229B
Ten Tec Model 229 / 229B Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $175 - 225 used as of 2/2002
Description: Antenna Tuner
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Ten Tec Model 229 / 229B.

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KC8HXO Rating: 4/5 Oct 3, 2016 15:53 Send this review to a friend
Works great, except that string.....  Time owned: more than 12 months
Not sure how we can give this thing a '5" with that plastic-string-toy-pointer-thingy it has. I deleted that. Turns counter installed. Mine was a kit (4229), and the original builder had SCORCHED some of the ceramic capcitors, and I bought it cheap. After tearing it apart, and looking at the schematic, it just didn't make sense to me. I would stare at it, and shake my head. Ruminate for a few days, and get back to it, going through the same thing. Until one day it clicked. The original builder had installed one of the wafers of the capacitor switch BACKWARDS. I installed higher rated, paralleled capacitors, and rebuilt the switch wafer, flipped it 180 degrees, and it all made sense. It DO work. And it is UGLY. But, it was cheap, and the OM, or YL, on the other end doesn't have to look at it!! Been running it for years.
VE3TMT Rating: 5/5 Aug 13, 2014 12:07 Send this review to a friend
Great tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked this tuner up for $90. Case needed repainting, but the interior looked like the day it was made. Dial string was broke, and am awaiting a new kit and pointer from Ten Tec. In the meantime I bought elastic cord and sheet string from the local hobby shop. Going to replace the lamps with LED's. Tunes both my sloper and end fed on all bands and the tuning is pretty broad. No need to retune with every frequency hop. Run about 600W through it without breaking a sweat. For me, this tuner was the deal of the century.
WD4PG Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2011 04:06 Send this review to a friend
Great tuner, rock solid!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Been a ham for over 10 years. Like a lot of hams I got into HF using MFJ's fine products. My first tuner was a VersaTuner. I've owned a few MFJ models, a Heathkit and a cheap no name tuner. After discovering TenTec's radios and the purchase of an amplifier I started looking at high power antenna tuners. After reading reviews and talking to other local hams I went on the search for a TenTec tuner.

I picked this one up at the TenTec Hamfest 4 years ago. I carried it home and opened it up. It really is built like a tank. I added a 12v phono jack and lights.

The thing I like best about this tuner is it's repeatability. Select your antenna, match it, write down those settings for your frequency. Come back a month later set it to the settings you wrote down and bingo... a perfect match.

All these reports about floating and shoddy capacitors and extra capacitance... 99% of hams will never see any of these issues. It's a tuner, not a miracle worker. It can match a broad range of antennas but it cannot account for poor antenna design. G5RVs, 135 dipoles, loops, fan dipoles, it matches all these with ease and extra capacitance.

Built like a tank, accurate, effective and repeatable. If you can find one, pick it up, you won't be sorry.
KE6YX Rating: 2/5 Oct 17, 2011 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Not good on lower HF bands  Time owned: more than 12 months
I must be one of the few owners reviewing Ten Tec 229 that was initially unhappy with it.

As it comes from the factory, I would give it a 0 or at best a 1. I use a home brewed loaded dipole which is very much like the one that Alpha-Delta sells for 40 and 80 meters, but mine fed with 450 ohm window line. Using the 229, the SWR would drift all over when key down for a short time on 40 and 80 meters running only 50 watts! The tuner was basically unusable on the lower HF bands.

I was about to sell the tuner, but as a last resort I went on Google and did a search, and sure enough others have experienced the same problem.

There is a ham that came up with a modification for the 229. He replaced all of the cheap crummy disc caps with high voltage doorknob caps screwed into the lower shell of the cabinet, and connected them with heavy wiring. I did the same. I purchased Russian doorknob capacitors off Ebay, and installed them in the 229. It was a good amount of tedious work, but well worth the effort. I even replaced the optional disc cap on the rear panel with a doorknob capacitor and used a short length of wire with an alligator clip to get extra capacitance on the lower portion of 80 meters. It also allowed me to tune the antenna on 160 meters which was never possible before.

The string slide rule dial is just a minor nuisance, and the tuner is very repeatable after doing the modifications.

I am now able to run my Tokyo Hy-Power amp on the lower bands and the SWR never moves even a tiny little bit. Had the tuner come from the factory built like it is now, I would have given it a strong five, but in the stock configuration it is at best a two if you stay away from the lower HF bands.

If you are willing to do the modifications, you will be very pleased with the 229, otherwise you may end up with a real dog.
KE4BFG Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2011 10:01 Send this review to a friend
great Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Ten Tec Model 229 Antenna Tuner
Hard to find model 229 Tuner in excellent condition. Matching unit
is adjustable reactive network for matching unbalanced 50 ohm output
impedance of xmitters and xcvrs to a variety of loads, either balanced
or unbalanced. Provision is made for selecting on of four antennas or
for bypassing the tuner. A dual range power and SWR meter is included.
Circuit: Modified "L" network, RF Power: 2kw, Frequency Range 1.8mhz to
30mhz, Output matching range: At least 10:1 SWR, Max Balanced Load
(through the balun): 500 ohms. Input Impedance: 50 ohms: Capacitor
Voltage Rating: 3.5kv, Inductor: 18uh silver plated roller inductor,
Size: HWD 5-1/2" x 13" x 11", overall weight is 9 lbs.
KE7SZC Rating: 4/5 Mar 9, 2011 20:01 Send this review to a friend
A fine piece of equipment.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This tuner is nearly indestructible, and easy to work with, it'll tune wet string!!!

My only complaint, the string (not the aforementioned wet one) that indicates the position of the roller inductor is not wholly reliable since it wraps the inductor shaft itself sometimes hanging up on the retaining pin, mine has seen a few repairs, but it's always been a reliable tuner.
W4AIN Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2010 14:18 Send this review to a friend
Doesn't Get Any Better!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my 229B on the used market for $280.00 and never regretted a dime of it! Built like a tank and smooth to operate. It is permanently in-line with my other Ten-Tec gear and is a true gem. I use it to match my verticals and wire antenna without a hitch. I get constant 59 reports using the 229B with my Corsair running 110W into an old 11m 'Starduster' ground plane. Matches the Starduster with 1:1 match on all bands from 10m-80m. Let's see you do that with an MFJ! If you can find one, in good condition, buy it...You won't be disappointed.
WA3HVR Rating: 5/5 Feb 25, 2010 12:25 Send this review to a friend
Matches almost anything  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm the original owner of a 229B and have used it on all sorts of antennas over the years. It has never let me down and, other than a new dial cord which Ten Tec supplied at no charge, it has been perfect! They appear for sale from time to time, but I don't know why. Go get one.
SV2BWM Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2008 11:45 Send this review to a friend
One of the BEST!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got it second-handed and the first impression was: IT'S REALLY BIG! I have worked it with 1KW CW amplifier and it didn't even had a single sparkle from inside. It tunes my vertical & dipole antennas from 80-10m easily, but it needs that extra external capacitor to tune for 160m. The instrument is pretty aquarate all over the HF band. The quality is very good, too. Well done, TEN-TEC!!
N7ING Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2007 18:55 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have tried many tuners but I keep going back to this sweet little gem. The 229 out performs the Nye Viking and the rest. I will never part with my 229B. By the way, the improvement one can make for normal bulb burn out/replace, is to replace them with the LED types now availible. You'll probably never crack the box open again!
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