- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Antenna Analyzers | AUTEK RESEARCH RF5 RF ANALYST 35 - 75 & 138 - 500+ MHz SWR Help

Reviews Summary for AUTEK RESEARCH RF5 RF ANALYST 35 - 75 & 138 - 500+ MHz SWR
AUTEK RESEARCH RF5 RF ANALYST 35 - 75 & 138 - 500+ MHz SWR Reviews: 7 Average rating: 2.1/5 MSRP: $229.95
Description: RF5 VHF Analyst
( 35 - 75 & 138 - 500+ MHz )
SWR, True Impedance (Z), Automatically Finds Minimum SWR or Z

The pocket-sized RF5 is designed to check and adjust antennas, feedlines, and RF networks. It includes a microprocessor, A/D converters, and a low-power "transmitter" with 4 digit frequency readout.
The RF5 goes beyond the frequency range of the RF1 to cover all remaining ham bands to the 440 MHz band beyond, plus most frequencies in between. Frequency coverage is 35 to 75 MHz and 138 to 500+ Mhz continuously . This is in three bands of approximately 35-75, 138-290, and 275-500 MHz. It measures RF values of true impedance (0-600 ohms), SWR (1 to 6:1).

As with all analysts, the RF5 has a standard UHF coax connector. The screw you see near the coax connector is an alternate coax ground connection, or can be used to attach the safety cord in our (optional) carrying case. (You must obtain an adaptor if you need to use N connectors. Sorry, we do not have adaptors, or have a model with N connectors.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
The unit is tuned up or down in frequency by holding down the "UP" or "DOWN" buttons, and with a fine tuning knob. In addition the RF5 includes an INSTANT SWR mode which finds the frquency of lowest SWR or Z automatically. Simply hold down the UP/DOWN buttons together. The RF5 microprocessor scans across the entire band and finds the lowest SWR in about 5 seconds, then tunes the unit to this frequency.
--------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
The RF5 is truly pocket size. 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 in. The battery pack on other units is actually larger than the entire RF5! The RF5 runs off a single 9 volt battery in a real battery compartment on the back with a pushoff cover...similar to a TV remote control.A standard 9 V alkaline battery has a life of about 5-10 hours, and can be replaced in seconds. In addition, the unit turns itself off after about 20 minutes if no buttons are pushed. (The auto-off feuture can be disabled if desired.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
All parameters are read out digitally for highest accuracy. The RF5 is extremely easy to use. Its large 1/2" LCD display is not washed out in loves sunlight. And it can cycle between several measured values so you can watch them together.
--------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
The illustrated instruction manual discusses many applications in detail, not just instrument operation. Whether you're an expert or novice, the manual will show you many of the things you can do with the unit.
--------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------
Besides its use by Amateur Radio operators, this unit is in use all over the world at antenna manufacturers, production lines, and laboratories.
Product is not in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the AUTEK RESEARCH RF5 RF ANALYST 35 - 75 & 138 - 500+ MHz SWR.

NS0W Rating: 4/5 May 28, 2015 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Not bad back in it's day  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this unit more than 10 years ago to get 70cm coverage. At the time it was one of the few units that did that. Later years I used it for 220Mhz - once again one of the few units covering that band at the time.
I never had reason to complain about anything, except that you have to make sure you have a good battery in the unit. The readings will go totally haywire as the battery starts to fail with no indication as to what the real problem is. In today's world with all the graphical units available, I would not pay too much for one of these - but it did the job in it's heyday.
SM0VYI Rating: 0/5 Mar 5, 2011 10:11 Send this review to a friend
just junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My mistake was to shake it sligthly. Components fell apart and next time used it went just dead. It turned out a lot of components were just put in place but not soldered! expensive toy but no value.
W1RT Rating: 4/5 Jan 18, 2011 10:07 Send this review to a friend
Useful  Time owned: more than 12 months
Other than the 'only works with a fresh battery' problem, this box meets my needs just fine. I use it to verify that everything is sane on the low 4 bands in the Intergalactic Roving Battle Jitney and it serves that purpose adequately. I've not experienced the problems others have reported on UHF, nor any diode failures ..
KZ1X Rating: 3/5 Apr 5, 2005 09:06 Send this review to a friend
take in context, RF-5 not for all hams  Time owned: more than 12 months
I agree, the RF-5 could be a very useful gizmo, if it wasn't for its very peculiar performance glitches.

I also had to replace my HP hot-carrier diodes. They are good in terms of accuracy, but for-the-birds in terms of being able to withstand the RF fields we hams often work in.

I was able to find them (someplace, on line, I forget where, sorry ... Dan's Small Parts?) for cheap.

The RF-5 really must have a completely fresh 9V battery. Even a slightly off battery will cause funky readouts.

If you smoke them, put in new diodes (it uses three but usually only one or two fail) and keep a fresh battery in it, the RF-5 is without peer for less than 4-figures in cost.
KA3NXN Rating: 0/5 Apr 5, 2005 08:29 Send this review to a friend
Don't buy this unit  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had the unit for less than a year and the display often fades in and out. The biggest problem is the inaccuracy of the unit at UHF frequencies. No matter what you plug into the unit it will not read below a 2.8:1 SWR in the UHF band. I work for a large military contractor who produces antennas & radar gear for the government, and I brought the thing into our RF lab and connected it directly to a dummy load that covers to 18.0GHz., still the RF-5 will only read an SWR of 2.8:1. Enough to drive one mad when you think the problem is in your antenna. I contacted Autek and they acted like the unit was no longer in warranty and I had to send it in with 68.00 to get it repaired. Or I can replace 3 obscure diodes in the unit that are almost impossible to find to see if this will fix the problem. The diodes are HP5082-2835. Does anybody know where I can get these without having to place an order of $200.00 minimum? Remember this might fix the problem.
N6JSX Rating: 0/5 Mar 26, 2005 07:09 Send this review to a friend
BEWARE of JUNK  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just over two years ago I bought a RF-5 to use on VHF/UHF antennas that I design & build (J's, Quads, Quagi's). Check eHAM for my how-to-build antenna articles.

I found The RF-5 to be "highly inaccurate" when compared against a Bird/Philco-164B, MFJ-259 (2m only), or Diamond SX40C meters especially in the VHF/UHF ranges!

I returned the unit within 30 days. The company could not be contacted (as they use a telephone service to answer their calls) nor would he return any of my calls/messages. Autek would not communicate to me - I wanted to know if the unit was defective, it was just got a lemon, if they would replace it, or refund my money. I sent the unit to the indicated company address within 30 days or purchase. Yet, I got nothing in return. I called Autek once a week for nearly two months and left a query message about my RF-5 each time. On the 55th day after the return I asked my credit card company to get my money back - which they got it all back except for the return shipping.

I do not recommend the RF-5 to anyone - and advise ONLY use a credit card when dealing with Autek - for your own protection!!!

Kuby, N6JSX /8
Sr. Electronics Test Engineer
KB9YZL Rating: 4/5 Jan 9, 2005 07:49 Send this review to a friend
Very Useful Tool  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The RF-5 arrived in good condition, and worked properly right out of the box.

The instructions were fairly clear, and operation is simple and straight-forward.

My first experiments showed a remarkable level of repeatability; particularly when you consider the sensitivity of the unit. (You can easily see the reading change if you stand just a little too close to the antenna you’re testing.)

The only reason I am giving it a 4 instead of a 5 is it’s construction. The plastic enclosure is only average, and the switches have a “light duty” feel to them. Being a realist, I know that sooner or later, this guy is going to get dropped; and I hope it survives that test. I would have gladly paid $50 more for an aluminum case and heavy duty switches. (Autek………Are you listening?)

The vast majority of the installations I work on are mobile “antenna farms” (6 to 8 antennas per van). Interaction between antennas under these conditions is unavoidable, and tuning is always a matter of dealing with the whole “farm”, rather than just one stick. Now, with the RF-5, this job that used to inspire psychotic behavior, has become fun! (Well, almost.)

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.