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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | Vectronics HFT 1500 Help


Reviews Summary for Vectronics HFT 1500
Vectronics HFT 1500 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $459.95
Description: Roller inductor Tuner with peak-pwr bargraph
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.vectronics.com/vectronics/index.php
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DPATEFIELD Rating: 0/5 Nov 14, 2008 13:29 Send this review to a friend
Sent It Back  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had high hopes for the HFT 1500. Got the first unit in July. First thing I noticed, the roller inductor crank was just about impossible to turn without the unit moving. Second problem, the bar graph was missaligned. Cantacted AES and sent the unit back for replacement. Received the second unit approximately a week later and when I hooked the unit up, the cross needle meter does not function what is ever. Called Vectronics and went through a cleck list of things but still nothing on the meter. Sending this one back to AES and will look for a different tuner.
 
K9CTB Rating: 4/5 Oct 3, 2007 00:02 Send this review to a friend
Great KW-class Tuner!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wanted to make a point to review every piece of ham gear I own. To sort of repay how useful I found others' reviews here.

The GOODS:

The HFT-1500 has performed wonderfully for me. I have always had only one or two HF antennas at each QTH. Usually they are a G5RV-type antenna. I like the ladderline fed antennas best, but I usually just throw up as much radiator as I have space. The bigger the yard between trees, the longer the antenna. But no matter the size of the antenna or the other particulars, the HFT-1500 would match it! At one time, I had a Hustler 5BTV (vertical) installed with radials. I don't wish to make anyone cringe, but during that time, thanks to the '1500, I was able to run 80 meter PSK-31 on the 75 meter resonator, which was tuned to work in the phone section.

The cross-needle metering is very nice. Vectronics has designed a nice little directional coupler, which includes some balance and compensation adjustments as well as calibration potentiometers. It reads pretty close to what my Bird 43 says. The "peak reading" multi-LED output indicator is very nice as a go-no-go power-out indicator.

The REAL GOODS:

Recently, I had an incident where a feedline shorted, right at the PL-259 connected to the HFT-1500. This occurred during MARS operation with Bertha, my Henry 2KD-5 amplifier, in operation. This was not pretty. I could see the light show through the gaps in the chassis of the HFT-1500. I had guessed that a length of shield on the RG-213 had somehow touched the center conductor on that PL-259 and - voila! - lightshow! I mention this because of the service I received. I sent the tuner to the Vectronics repair station, which is now MFJ down in Mississippi. My experience with their service was OUTSTANDING. The resident tuner expert down there, a Ms. Janet Brown, spoke with me at length by phone. She had explained that the roller inductor (the victim in my arcing problem) had to be replaced, and the new one was a bit different. Different mounting holes and insulating technology, so she had the tuner a few days. In that few days, she replaced the meter movement(s), the roller inductor and the directional coupler! The total service bill was MUCH less than I expected. Janet, if you're reading this, you're awesome!!! Although the review is about the HFT-1500, I could not help but include a note about the service, since nowadays it is always a part of the pre-purchase consideration.

The box does what it says it will. Up to and including 6 meters, It matches all sorts of bad antennas. Works with good ones, too. Although the HFT-1500 is rugged, it is enclosed in a very flimsy chassis. For the money - about $450 - I'd like to see a more substantial chassis. But that would be the only real downside to a nice, capable tuner.

I've just never been very good with antennas, and the HFT-1500 never seemed to mind helping me out.
It is definitely a keeper.
 
K3ICH Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2005 04:20 Send this review to a friend
Nice Modern Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Likewise, I like the HFT-1500. The LED output meter is very handy for tune-up and I've never had any problems with it. It tunes smoothly and seems to have a wide matching range, although I haven't used it with balanced line. An earlier review down-graded it because an input connector was "zorched" by a previous owner! This hardly seems fair.
 
LA5SJA Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2005 00:00 Send this review to a friend
Good Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I Have had the HFT 1500 for over 6 years now and it has performer very good no errors using it on a Fd4 Windom antenne and a inv L and to flatten the swr for the beams never used the Balanced input It works great on High Power im using it with an Ameritron Al-82 BX
great tuner
73 de
LA5SJA/Geir
 
W3PH Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2004 10:44 Send this review to a friend
Wide range, easy to tune  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hadn't used my HFT1500 for a good while, but dug it out when I put up a new antenna with open-wire feeder that neither the LDG Z100 or built-in tuner in my TS-940 could handle.

After being in storage for several years, I found that the contact between the rolling coil and the contact that moves along it was flaky, so I opened the case and cleaned the coil with a paper towel and alcohol. Turned the paper towel dark, the coil shined up nice and bright, and the tuning was smooth again. While inside the case, I found the construction to be very good - clean layout, quality components.

Once you've figured out the right coil position for each band, tuning is very quick, and the built-in meter works well even at 5 watts so you can turn power way down, do your tuning, then crank the power back up. I can change bands and tune up within about 5 seconds after cranking the coil to the right position. Seems to have a very wide range of impedance-matching ability.

Haven't used it with more than 100 watts, so can't speak to what happens when you feed a tricky antenna with a KW, but at 100 watts it's very reliable.
 
WA3VJB Rating: 2/5 Dec 30, 2003 03:45 Send this review to a friend
Build One Instead  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was in a rush to get a wire tuner together for the "Heavy Metal Rally" this past weekend featuring the specialty of AM on the shortwave ham bands.

AM, with modulation peak voltages twice that of your plate voltage, and a continuous carrier during transmit, places the toughest demands on antenna tuning components. Consequently, I searched for what I hoped would be the most rugged contemporary wire tuner around.

I also realized it would not compare with anything I might build, had there been more time, nor would any of today's tuners stack up to the Johnson KW Matchbox that I also have. The matchbox however does not have 160, which is an essential part of the "Heavy Metal Rally."

With my operating circumstances now presented to you, imagine my disappointment when I unboxed the Tucker-labelled Vectronics (purchased used) and saw the main COAX 1 feed SO-239 zorched from center conductor to the outer ring !

I've been afraid to open it up. I also felt a clunky sort of action in the roller inductor, and had to rock the crank back and forth to find a conductive spot to take a reading while matching the antenna to 50 ohms.

Bottom Line, build your own out of salvaged coils and capacitors from junked broadcast transmitters, and get a sheet metal shop to make a nice box for it all.

 
WB7G Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2002 23:29 Send this review to a friend
Very happy so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have had the tuner for a week now. Can tune up any HF band and 6 meters ! Most bands tune to 1:1 but a few 1.5:1. The antenna is a 80 meter size G5RV fed with ladder line all the way to the tuner.
Repeatablility is very good. Took the cover off and it looks good inside. The balum is well built. Will try 800 watts very soon. I had a MFJ 969 and its roller was clunky and jumped windings.
 
DK8LS Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2002 10:22 Send this review to a friend
great piece of kit  Time owned: more than 12 months
ive had my HFT-1500 for 2 years now and i'm made up with it. It will tune anything and the roller inductor is silky smooth. Its better than any MFJ that ive seen or used or any other tuner for that matter. If i can find some, i'm going to replace the insulators with ceramic ones, but other than that i would recomend this tuner to anyone. I got mine second hand, but unused and paid 500 Marks for it ( about 250 Dollars). Ive used it on G5RV's both long and short versions, on inverted L's for 160 mtrs, dipoles, symetrical and assymetrical feeder, you name it, this tuner has mastered them all without any problems

vy 73 de steve
 
WA6IPD Rating: 3/5 Dec 21, 2001 15:54 Send this review to a friend
An OK tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my tuner for many years it was one of the first made in Scarborough Ontario. It works ok but has required a little re-engineering. First the crank drive coupling to the coil always came loose and would start to spin. The reason was that the coupling only had two set screws and they would come loose, so I removed the coupling and taped it for two more 6-32 set screws and since then there has not been a problem. But then about two years ago the coupling from the ANTENNA knob to the variable condenser broke and I had to replace that. They really missed it in the design, had they added one more set of LED bar lights they could have also monitored reflected power. If not that they should have added a switch for forward and reverse readings. Over all itís not all that bad but I think the current price is out of line, they should make them in China where costs are low and they kill engineers who screw up.
 
W8OB Rating: 3/5 Oct 30, 2001 06:59 Send this review to a friend
so so tuner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
i have had this tuner for a year now. the roller inductor is noisy very clunky sounding. although it does a pretty good job on 80-10 meters you will be hard pressed to put more than 500 watts into it on 160 without a 4th of july display. its also very hard to tune lots of playing around to get a match. i have sent various emails to vectronics for info on this unit and have never received a reply from them.
 
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