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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | 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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KC8HXO Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2005 14:59 Send this review to a friend
Simply outstanding  Time owned: more than 12 months
Matches all my wires on 10-160M, whether running QRP, or with the old 3-500Z's just a glowing! No problems. Good quality, and MADE IN THE USA!!!
AA8VE Rating: 4/5 Jan 31, 2004 14:48 Send this review to a friend
Good tuner but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my 238 for several years, bought it new and never had any problems with it as far as tuning it would get a solid 5, I've matched all sorts of antennas and feed lines with no problem even with over 1 KW power. However there are a few things I'd have liked to be different which have been changed in the newer 238B version. The lack of a DC power switch has always bothered me, what would be so hard about putting in a small switch to turn the lights off? I can add a switch or replace the SWR set pot with one that has a switch to turn off the lights but this should have been included. Once the tuner is set I'd like to be able to turn off the lights to make them last longer. Another thing I don't really like is the elastic band they use as a spring for the turns counter, these rubber bands only last a few years and then they fail and replacement is quite a chore. I rebuilt mine with a long metal spring and a pulley that won't wear out or fail. A tuner in this price class shouldn't need any mods to get it to operate properly for the long term. This type of slide rule indicator has been around a very long time and there are plenty of better systems than an elastic band. These are minor complaints but could have been done better in my opinion, the 238B is an improvement in this regard. I do like the tuner and it sure looks great in line with my Omni V and Centurion. It's nice to have just one setting combo that will give a proper match and the settings can be logged for easy QSY. The controls work well and I like the 4 position antenna switch plus a bypass switch. I've never had any arcing or failure and would recommend it to any one who wants a high end antenna match network but would recommend finding a better method for tension of the turns counter. If the elastic fails at a critical time the string can get tangled and lock up the inductor which can be very frustrating. At least make frequent checks to be sure it's in good order before a contest or something so you don't have any problems. It would be best to add a digital turns counter of a sort if the original appearance is not too important. All in all I would buy it again if it was the only model T*T had available, I think the new 238B is quite an improvement as far as the turns counter system. The L network is much better than any T match I've used and it's faster to tune. The circuit design is probably the best offered in any modern commercially built tuner and I'm glad to have it, I feel no need to look for anything else since it covers the entire HF spectrum with great result. The ballun can become hot and saturate in high miss match conditions but this is the nature of all balluns and this one is well built, just keep an eye on the SWR when running high power with the ballun in line, if it starts to rise the core may be getting hot and some change may be needed in the antenna system.

73 Jeff aa8ve
KA1YUW Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2003 01:52 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had mine for a few months now and have been able to load up on all bands and get 1.1 swr at all times. Even on 160 meters. With all kinds of wire antennas. Good quality workmanship also.
KE5GK Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2003 09:21 Send this review to a friend
Best Manual Tuner I've Used  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like many others, I used at least six MFJ tuners before I purchased the 238 from an SK estate.

No comparison....This one is the real deal.

Yes, it's in Heavy Duty. Easy to go back to previous settings. With MFJ tuners every day is like an "Easter Egg Hunt!"

Like all of the Ten Tec gear I have owned----it works great.

VE2DC Rating: 4/5 Dec 2, 2003 01:13 Send this review to a friend
Decent. Handles power  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had mine for 10 years. A little tricky to tune the first time on any given antenna... never sure whether to start with the low-Z or high-Z position. Limited matching range on 160 without attaching external capacitors. Handles power without arcing. Inductor "turns counter" a bit unsophisticated. The lack of a switch for the meter lamp is irritating... if you leave it on, the bulb burns out. I just don't use the meter. One of these days I'll install some high intensity LEDs...
AC5E Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2001 18:46 Send this review to a friend
11 years/ no problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my first 238 in August of 1989, just after I got back into ham radio. Having gotten used to Harvey Wells Z Match, and homebrew units from the 1950's I took it pretty much for granted. Until I tried other antenna tuners!
The 238 tuned to the same place each and every time. None of the others did. The others arced and sparked with even moderate power on 160, the TenTec tuned to 1:1 with no fuss or feathers. I even had one tuner with a tuning coil that was self resonant on 17. Bonfire!
So after 11 years, I own four 238's, one for each of the rigs I keep on line. Except for dial lights they have all been bricks. I build a tuning chart for each station - and anyone can be tuned and ready to go in seconds.
To sum up - A first class product from a first class company.
N8MIS Rating: 5/5 Oct 29, 2001 06:25 Send this review to a friend
GREAT!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have recently revisited the Ten Tec 238 tuner. I find that it works very nice. I have a beam that requires some help. I also use it on my dual coax feed 1/2 wave for 160. This is where it really shines. If you read up on the type of network I am sure you will be impressed. Most tuners are easy to use by the operator but when you are tuned it is sometimes not the best circuit for you antenna. The 238 will reconfigure the circuit to match the antenna. hence HIz and LOz. And it is built quite using high quality components.
VA7TT Rating: 4/5 Dec 10, 2000 12:41 Send this review to a friend
Works GREAT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've recently taken delivery of the TEN TEC model 229 Tuner. I presume that it is the father of the Model 238.
I've read some negative points of view on the 238, but I've taken the hood of this tuner and no yellowing was found inside as someone else had mentioned. My antennas are the usual tribander/inverted vee setup and the tuner makes the rig and amp happy with a nice flat SWR for them to work into. I found the tuner a little awkward at first to operate, but this problem will go away the more it is used.
As for the lights/or lack thereof, you must remember that the tuner was designed by Ten Tec, and probably for use with Ten Tec radios. I've got an OMNI V that has a 12v outlet on the back. The lights in the tuner are either on or off depending if the Omni is on or off.
It's not an automatic tuner for sure, but it does what it is supposed to do at this QTH.
Would I reccommend one. You bet.
K5PSO Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2000 22:02 Send this review to a friend
works for me  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
but yes, it is impossible to use w/o a power supply for the dial light. I used a flashlight when I first got mine. A switch would be nice, but otherwise, seems to be a great tuner, not really anything to ruin the company's credibility, but, hey, yeah, maybe a little oversight.
W7JBB Rating: 3/5 Oct 27, 2000 13:25 Send this review to a friend
Disapointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The ratings are in whole numbers otherwise I would have rated the 238 as a 3.5
The L network has alway made a very good transmatch. Historically, switching the configuration has been the manufacturing turn-off.
I have no problem with the Ten Tec tansmatch working well and matching antennas. It matches very well. What I have a problem with is the "little" things. For instance it has no switch (cost a couple of cent) to turn the internal power off or on. One has to either plug in or unplug an electrical male fitting from the power in order to switch the tuners electrical power on and off. It comes with no power plug for its electrical needs. At $450 one would and should expect Ten Tec to provide the power plug and a switch with which to turn the units lights on and off.I never expected to pay $450 for a turner and have to run to radio shack and purchase a power plug only to discover that there was no switch for the power--just pluging in and unpluging the power. Now every time I wish to use my shack I need to plug in the tuner and remember to unplug the tuner before leaving. (And all this convience for $450.)
When my order was placed no mention was made of the factory being out of inventory nor was it mentioned on their web pages or in their advertisments. A couple of days later I was notified of their being out of the product. Because I had ordered early in the week I had specified and paid extra for 2 day freight. I requested that before shipping (because they had no idea of when the shipping would now take place)that I be notified so that I could change my shipping instructions to regular UPS service and not be charged for the extra service. They acknowledged that they Would Notify Me prior to shipping and we could change the delievery instructions at that time. Some weeks later, I discoved that my tuner had been sitting in a Fed Ex warehouse for 5 days. I was never notified of the shipping date nor was I ever given the opportunity to change the order back to regular UPS ground. Not only did the tuner sit in a Fed Ex warehouse for many days cause Ten Tec NEVER notified me of the shipping date, but I was still charged for 2 day Fed Ex.
I expected better customer service from Ten Tec.
I would rate their customer service as NON EXISTENT.
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