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Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | AUTEK RESEARCH VA1-RF1-RF5 RF ANALYST Help

AUTEK RESEARCH  VA1-RF1-RF5 RF ANALYST Reviews: 106 Average rating: 3.1/5 MSRP: $129.95
Description: The pocket-sized RF1 is designed to check and adjust antennas,
Product is not in production.
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You can write your own review of the AUTEK RESEARCH VA1-RF1-RF5 RF ANALYST.

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KB1QBZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 3, 2010 07:46 Send this review to a friend
Does A Good Job  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had the RF-1 for about a year and mainly use it to tune portable antennas in the field (Buddipole, TAK-tenna, Buddistick, MP1). I've also used it to set up base station antennas (various multi-band dipoles, an inverted L, and a low-band vertical).

The RF-1 works well. It's easy to use. It's nice and portable. It gives me good results (I've tested the results against MFJ antenna analyzers and against MFJ antenna tuners as well as the built-in SWR meters on things like the Yaesu FT-897, Icom 746, and Elecraft KAT100.

I have two complaints with it. The first -- an easy one to deal with -- is that it's too easy to accidentally turn it on when not using it (just take out the battery when not using it and the problem goes away). The second is that the workmanship is not great out of the factory. I had to repair two solder joints soon after I received it. But once repaired, it has worked well.

Unless you're really an antenna guru, the RF-1 is all you really need as an analyzer.
N8WXQ Rating: 4/5 Oct 28, 2010 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Small and Portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own an RF-5 and RF-1. My units are several years old. The RF-5 covers VHF and UHF bands including 222MHz. I also own a MFJ-259B which has more functions but the Autek units are smaller and thus more portable. I have these for their UHF coverage and portability. Recently, I noticed inaccurate readings with my RF-1. Repair is expensive so I opened the unit to discover many unsoldered connections and a few that were questionable. I resoldered the connections all works fine now. I did get the diode story from Autek but the diodes were just fine. If you have problems be sure to check under the hood. Be sure to check your unit with a set of non-inductive resistors.
N4CT Rating: 2/5 Oct 20, 2010 05:45 Send this review to a friend
EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR  Time owned: more than 12 months
KF6U Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2010 22:08 Send this review to a friend
No Regrets!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my RF-1 over 15 years ago. It is one of the most versatile devices I have owned and has
always been reliable. If this one ever quits, I will not hesitate to buy another one.
KC9ECI Rating: 0/5 Oct 19, 2010 14:07 Send this review to a friend
Garbage  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This thing didn't work out of the box. Someone complained about cold solder joints in an earlier review. Cold would have been a step up from what I got. There were a number of connections that hadn't been soldered at all.
W1RT Rating: 4/5 Jun 21, 2010 13:52 Send this review to a friend
Rover-certified  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's a battery eater for sure, but if you throw a new one while prepping for each contest you don't have a problem. I picked up the RF-5 for my v/u/shf rover, and I use it for the four low bands. Works great (as long as the battery is fresh!!), helped find numerous problems, I store it in a plastic carrying case with all the other delicate stuff so it doesn't take too much abuse .. but it's been dropped numerous times over the last year and its still hanging in there. I don't know what the people who claim it doesn't work at uhf are talking about, I use it for 222/432 and it works fine
K5UNY Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2010 08:24 Send this review to a friend
No Issues Yet  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this small field handy analyser for a couple of years with absolutely no issues. It does what its designed and supposed to do.
I guess there are reasons for the issues some guys are having or have had but I have had None.Its a real handy small instrument to take out on my Portable QRP field adventures and check out my antennas if need be.
One thing I will note is this, if my MFJ 259B reads a 1.2:1 swr the Autek will read 1.3:1, no big deal when you are setting up a portable antenna.
PG00023016 Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2010 12:55 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Tool  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm very pleased with the RF-1 Ananyzer. It helped to check my vertical, to add optimum number of radials and even used it to check the coax itself. I keep mine "dust free" so the intermittent problems described by some is a non-issue. It's light weight, small and easy to carry along. One nine volt battery? (someone was thinking here!) It's a useful tool that I'm pleased to own. I prefere this over my bulky MFJ-269. I would reccomend it to my friends.
Sincerely WW0JD Kevin
KD7S Rating: 1/5 Nov 20, 2009 23:01 Send this review to a friend
A continuing disappointment  Time owned: more than 12 months
As a general rule I don't bad-mouth equipment but I'm going to make an exception in the case of the Autek RF-1. Like so many others, mine bit the dust early on. It was intermittent, inaccurate and unusable within a few weeks. I sent it back to the factory and they supposedly replaced some switches but the problems persisted. I wrote it off as a loss and stuck it in a drawer. Sometime later (a couple years) I needed to check and antenna and thought about the RF-1. Needless to say, the device hadn't repaired itself in the drawer. I opened up the case and found what could only be described as a mess. I have never seen such shoddy workmanship. To call the electrical connections "soldered" was laughable. In all fairness, the few times the RF-1 did work it was a delight to use, but the cost/benefit ratio is much too low to consider it a viable piece of equipment. Shame on you, Autek. You'll never see another dollar of mine.
N5IKG Rating: 5/5 Sep 23, 2009 07:59 Send this review to a friend
I like it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Nice to have an analyzer that gives me fast SWR info, is reasonably priced, and the batteries keep working.
I had a more expensive, "sophisticated" analyzer that I had to send back to the manufacturer twice. The second time the guy in Ohio told me that I hadnt grounded the antenna wire before I used the analyzer. Since the antenna was a Pacific that I was assembling as I analyzed that made no sense but he still charged me for putting some new parts.
Enuf of that, the Autek is nice.
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