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

AUTEK RESEARCH  VA1-RF1-RF5 RF ANALYST Reviews: 112 Average rating: 3.2/5 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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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.
K9OF Rating: 1/5 Jun 29, 2009 20:33 Send this review to a friend
Unreliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
My VA-1 worked OK for about a year. Then the display first dimmed, then blanked out entirely. Autek wanted $60 to repair it. I had little confidence in their repair abilities, based on this lists' comments. Hoping that it might be something simple, I took it apart, but found no unsoldered connections. I think I'll just put it back on the shelf until I can buy a reasonably priced replacement display.

My conclusion -- maybe Autek is really in the REPAIR business!
I0YQV Rating: 0/5 Apr 21, 2009 07:27 Send this review to a friend
Not serious...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
after purchasing (few months) and after 10 use, units get "crazy" and no work!
I write twice to auteck (with return receive) without any kind of replay.
N3LCW Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2009 08:06 Send this review to a friend
Great value for the money, accurate.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
While the workmanship often gets negative reviews this little analyzer delivers. I also own an MFJ259B and have found the VA1 to be more accurate and stable. I compared the VA1 results to an Array Solutions 4170B and the two were surprisingly very close. As an antenna designer I need to know all the reactive values and the VA1 will tell you the sign, not just the value. It's a perfect device for those of us who design our own matching networks. I build magnetic loops and also matching networks for short verticals as well as end fed matching units and this little analyzer helps make testing very easy. I was leary after reading early reviews but I have been very satisfied. I still use the 259B, the analog meters are handy for a quick view of where the antenna is resonant, but I always switch to the VA1 for final analysis.

The application notes give many excellent uses of this analyzer and I have made good use of all of them, from testing baluns, coaxial cable, and evaluating old antenna installations for losses.

Should the unit ever require service that experience will carry the final weight of my opinion.
QRPNEW Rating: 1/5 Feb 25, 2009 02:00 Send this review to a friend
Needs help  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned both a RF1 and a VA1. Frankly these instruments do a decent job, however what lets them downs as others have indicated is the poor workmanship and parts. The things I hate about them were these.

** Very Poor stability
** Touchy controls
** Mechanical instability
** Poor pots

If I was going to suggest improvements it would be these.

1. Use multiturn pots
2. Improve quality control(soldering)
3. Better quality parts
4. Better stability
5. Improved mechanical and electrical stability.
6. Proper shielding for things like hand capacitance.
7. Ham band switch with the center in each ham band.
8. Separate buttons for MHZ and KHZ advancement.
9. Inbuilt filter for notching the broadcast band.
10. Dont use 9v batteries, use AA Nimh batteries

I would be willing to pay much more for an improved Autek. In its current form its a good electrical concept with poor execution.

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