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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | Ten Tec Model 238 Help

Reviews Summary for Ten Tec Model 238
Ten Tec Model 238 Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $445.00
Description: 10-160 L network Antenna Tuner
Product is in production.
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K6SDW Rating: 4/5 Nov 9, 2016 19:57 Send this review to a friend
Mechanically a 3  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine many years and as a stout tuner it works FB.

I gave it a 4 because mechanically it's a mess. I've had to restring the tuner a few times. There's no accurate way of resetting it as the needle is subject to string stretch especially if you run the tuner to its stops.

All in all, I would have preferred the newer "c" model with gear driven tuning, but my 238 does do a credible job of tuning most antennas so I live with its limitations......

Cheers All
OH5YU Rating: 5/5 Mar 1, 2015 08:06 Send this review to a friend
Good work horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
This tuner has served me very well without modifications for some 15 years, and I bought it second hand then. My antennas have been 160 and 80 m half wave and 1/3 wave dipoles in doublet and T configurations, and full size and double size G5RV's. The output power used has been up to 1 kW cw. The internal balun has worked well, and the tuner works as well with an external (Balun Designs') 1:4 balun. Tuning is quickly touched up once you make a note on the settings for your operating frequencies.

My tuner has never arced except for the one case when the antenna feed point was practically shorted by wet twigs up in the tree, running 1 kW. Dial cord replacement is not hard to do; I have done it once so far.

I find the construction quality good. The size and weight of the tuner are surprisingly small considering it's power handling capacity. Judging by a summary of published loss measurements compiled by DJ0IP (, this tuner is competitive in that area also. The power/swr meter on this model is nothing to write home about. However, that is not what I use a tuner for.
KC6RCM Rating: 4/5 Apr 27, 2011 23:04 Send this review to a friend
Handle the inductor knob with care.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The inductor knob can separate from its assembly if handled (slightly pulled on) too roughly. Then one will need to restring the dial which can be time consuming and will try your patience. The tuner is not a very good performer on the 160 meter band without upgrading the four 470pf capacitors.

I bought mine new in 1990. Overall, it has worked reliably over the years and it does look nice next to other similar styled Ten Tec gear.

LA8KHA Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2011 03:14 Send this review to a friend
Works fine with me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just purchased a second hand hard to get TenTec 238, and after some houres to get used to it,I,m happy with it.Tunes my loop on 3.5-3.8 Mhz flat,5.260-5.403,5Mhz and also on 7.005-7.150Mhz flat.On my Cushcraft MA5B the same result, it tunes the SWR needle flat.Handels 1KW with no problem.Cannot understand how slipping knobs has something to do upon how the tuner is working.This has to do how itīs build and checkout.
AA8KY Rating: 2/5 Jan 5, 2010 19:31 Send this review to a friend
Never worked well  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a Omni 5 and a 238 tuner. I bought the tuner new. They are both rack mounted. I have had the 238 back to the factory twice since I bought it. It seems the knobs keep slipping, and for some reason will not stay tight. I have even fixed it several times, but it keeps slipping. I never really used it because of the problem. I love ten tec, owned many of their items, but am wishing this would have worked out. It is still in the rack, but I am weary of trying to fix it. Both times it was at the factory, it was bad within several days. I didn't feel up to keep sending it back. The mfj tuners always worked fine for me. I wouldn't trade my omni 5 for any other rig. Hate to leave a bad review, sorry.
N4OI Rating: 5/5 Nov 16, 2008 05:41 Send this review to a friend
Set and Forget!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have an indoor multi-band dipole antenna in the attic that needs a little help in the reasonance department. I had used the internal tuner in my Yaseau FT-920 but it was always re-tuning itself and just gave up sometimes -- you get the picture. I converted to the Ten Tec 238 tuner and it is great! I set it one time when changing bands and the SWR is gone for the whole CW sub-band -- no re-tuning! By the way, the dial cord broke early on but I just removed the plastic indicator altogether. I found that if I set the CAP to the nominal value for the band, I can tune the inductor very quickly without using the pointer at all. (Maybe I will make a nice wood panel to fit over the now useless inductor scale.) 73 de Ken -- N4OI
KA5ROW Rating: 5/5 Dec 19, 2007 18:03 Send this review to a friend
The Best Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Ten-Tec 238 tuner I by far the best tuner I have owned. My previous tuners were a MFJ 989-C and a Dentron MT-3000 and both them worked fine, except on 160 meters. But on 160 meters Ttey would arch at about 300 to 350 watts. The Ten-Tec would not arch, even at 1300 watts. The Ten-Tec is a L network and both the MFJ and Dentron are a T network. I don't know if that had any thing to do with it are not, but the Ten-Tec has never arch. The only thing I don't care for is the slide rule dial but the new 238-B has corrected that
KG4LRU Rating: 5/5 May 9, 2007 22:14 Send this review to a friend
One of the Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 238 has been great its rated as one of most efficent as reviews by QST .The inner workings of this tuner our the same as a new 238b I own both. Also this Tuner is the same as the 229 will handle 2KW output will Tune everything my Xmatch will. The complaints of slide Dial our true usually caused by the string over streesed causing dial to go out of alingment. The meter is exactly the same as the old 229 and the new 238 B . It always works . If the tuner hasnt been abused Its safe bet. Typical price 300-375 and the best thing the factory still can service them.
N7OAY Rating: 2/5 May 8, 2006 08:36 Send this review to a friend
Looks good next to my Omni V, but less than stellar performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought my 238 from eHam classifieds after using an MFJ 949D for a number of years. On the first day the inductor knob fell off and the dial string had to be re-strung! The string and pointer arrangement with the "bungee cord" is pretty 'tinny' in my opinion. Also the unit is so light that it slides across the smooth surface of my desk while tuning unless I anchor it down somehow. In addition the lack of a meter light switch is mucho annoying. As far as performance goes this tuner has yet to outperform my old MFJ unit. I have not been able to achieve an swr of less than 2.0 on 40 and 80M. Overall a less than satisfying purchase. I see a used Dentron tuner in my future!
KE6PID Rating: 5/5 May 31, 2005 11:42 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 238 works great. Will match any of the antennas quickly that I have. Dials are calibrated for easy QSY. The antenna switch is great, allowing 4 antennas to be connected. It's also well built, being reminiscent of commercial grade equipment. It would be an asset to any shack.

A couple of nits, there is no power switch to turn off the pilot lights. Since I power this from the station supply, I use that to control the lamps, so this is not really an issue for me. To offset this, the lamps are good old American CM style bayonet type, so spares are easy to replace and available at Radio Shack. Sexy illumination? No. Functional? Very.

The other issue was that the roller inductor had a slight amount of binding when turned. This turned out to be an easy fix, but should have been caught at the factory during final Q.C.

In short, it's maximum steak, with minimum sizzle.
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