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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | HEATHKIT SA-2040 Help

Reviews Summary for HEATHKIT SA-2040
HEATHKIT SA-2040 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $150
Description: Heavy duty antenna tuner
Product is not in production.
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W4MAA Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2008 05:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this tuner for a few years now and its rock solid with just a few breakdowns over those few years. The breakdown did not require any new parts. It will tune a chain link fence to 1000 watts. It has been replaced by a Palstar AT2K but the Heathkit tuner was moved to another location and still is use tuning a Hustler 4-BTV HF Vertical. Just make sure to carefully move the controls and not max the inductor setting or it will break the center wire in the drum.
N3WXW Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2008 19:43 Send this review to a friend
A WORK HORSE  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a rock solid high power tuner. It will tune almost any thing you throw at it . It has only one small issue. Do not spin the roller inductor hard against the stops. The roller will derail. It is a easy fix. Just a pain if you forget and get carried away spinning the dial.

73 de ED
VE7AGW Rating: 5/5 Oct 6, 2007 17:05 Send this review to a friend
Bullet Proof  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased my tuner from eBay as well and it's really bullet proof, borrowing a remark made by another amateur at a swap meet. I too haven't found an antenna I couldn't tune with it. And believe it or not it tunes my 80 meter full wave loop on 160 meters. I looked at a couple of Dentrons and wasn't impressed enough to spend very much on one. Don't know who assembled it but whoever did, impresses me. I didn't even have to lubricate the bearings, all I had to do was hook it up and tune. I can reset a band or frequency in a flash now. I too like to keep my meters seperate from my tuner. Running a Kenwood TL-922 thru it and the 2040 tunes up just great.
WB8ICU Rating: 5/5 Aug 7, 2007 17:37 Send this review to a friend
like a rock  Time owned: more than 12 months
I get a kick out of some of the reviews. I prefer separate swr meters and antenna switches. It gives me more flexibility. I bought my sa-2040 on ebay for a little over 200 bucks. What a bargain! I opened it up and was astonished how well it was built. I've built a few antenna tuners over the years, but this beats them all. I have never found an antenna I couldn't tune. The nice thing's completely resettable. Most tuners, you make up your chart, but find you have to tweak a little each time to get it right. This one is dead on when reset to the same numbers. I even had it in the basement for a while , and had to run down to reset it when changing bands. Never a problem. You'll never go wrong with this tuner.
W3FLH Rating: 4/5 Jun 28, 2007 20:04 Send this review to a friend
Really deserves a 5....  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine for about 1-1/2 years now, and this tuner is rock solid. No bells or whistles, just a flat out over-designed, well built, easy to use tuner that does what it was advertised to do. I don't miss the meters, as I run a Heathkit HM-2140A (why hasn't anyone reviewed that? Maybe I'll do that next...) in-line. I'd give it a five, but it is a bit stark, and some people wouldn't appreciate it due to the lack of amenities. As far as performance goes, this is simply a straight forward, rugged tuner.

Tony, W3FLH
KB9FMV Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2005 21:30 Send this review to a friend
BEATS MFJ & AMERITRON HANDS DOWN!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I recently bought one of 6 months ago and what a tuner! This thing will take 1500 watts key down (cw ) with no problem an load my toaster! I have owned the MFJ 986 ,989 and now the AMERITRON ATR 30 AND WHAT A PILE OF JUNK THESE ARE! This HEATHKIT BEATS THEM ALL! It doesnt have all the bells and whistles but let me tell you if you use an external meter it is a real GEM! If you find one or the Heathkit SA 2060 grab it! You will not be sorry!
KA9FLX Rating: 5/5 Jan 30, 2005 07:50 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just recently aquired one of these units as a "toss in" as part of an equipment trade.

As a long time Amateur, I am familiar with Heathkit, having built and owned many of their transcievers. However, I've never before even looked at their tuners.

I've only owned two tuners previous to this one, a Dentron (traded away many years ago, due to lack of experience and appreciation for quality), and an MFJ969.

The latter I purchased primarily for the roller inductor. The MFJ969 works, and the SWR meter is nice. However, I was quite dissappointed in the quality of the construction and hardware in general.

The first night of owning the SA-2040, I spent some time cleaning the case, which clearly had seen years of use.

Upon opening the cover to check inside, I was immediately pleased with the opportunity of owning this unit. The construction and quality of the capacitors and the roller inductor puts the MFJ to shame.

I expected a kit, especially a tuner, to be a functional but rough build. This unit was anything but that. The coupler shafts, counter gears, knobs etc.. were perfectly aligned. The tuning of all the shafts smooth and easy.

In a nutshell, the internal components and quality of design puts many currently available products to shame. It makes one wonder how we as a community (amateur radio) ever started buying into the relative "crap" that is available today.

Sure, this unit is big (14"W x 14"D x 6"H), has no built in watt/SWR meter, no dummy load and/or coaxial switch.

What is has, is excellent components and a solid design proven by the obvious years this unit has on it.

I've since used the SA-2040 with a variety of wire and other antennas and am quite pleased with the performance to date.

I wish I had come across this deal years ago before buying the MFJ696.

I don't plan on doing any modifications to the unit, save for perhaps touching up the paint one day. I kind of appreciate as is.

If you can get your hands on one of these, ot is worth it just for the hardware alone!
WB7QXU Rating: 5/5 Dec 12, 2004 22:25 Send this review to a friend
Solid tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this tuner for over 1 year, I must say it is build like a tank, and well designed for a T type network, The only draw back is it is simple, no meters, and only one antenna can be connected to it at a time. and no bypass switch, or antenna selector switch.But components are supior to most tuners out there in todays market. It is really easy and tunes nicely. I bought it for use with ladder line and it works very well for that. I needed a tuner with the old ceramic post. My other tuner Ten Tec 238B has plastic post for ladder line which melted when used with ladder line. The only way to solve this is to use ceramic post they handle the heat better for the large miss-match 80m dipole ladder line for all bands use. The SA 2040 was the answer. I only regret not have gottten a SA 2060. The ten tec is a good tuner It one Major Major asset it the L network design which I think is best matching network because only one match possible no circulating currents exist in L networks as in T matching networks. BUT thank god IT's NOT MFJ. I had one once but it lasted a few months and went up in smoke. I will never buy an MFJ again, A real waste of money. I like the Heathkit SA 2040.If you can find one they are really built to last and work very well. They really take a beating and really perform. Never a problem and it performs with ease.
WA9ENA Rating: 4/5 Dec 1, 2004 11:19 Send this review to a friend
Solid beast, but lacks convenience  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my SA-2040 several years ago at an SK sale. The price was "right" because it had been the victim of some never-completed mods. In the end, that was not all bad...

I know that purists and collectors abhore "unauthorized" modifications to vintage or classic gear. Well, this tuner had been owned by someone who cared more about convenience than collector value. How do I know? Well, there was en extra hole drilled in the lower front panel, between the inductor tune knob and the antenna cap knob, at just the right location for a heavy duty ceramic RF switch. Also, there were two extra roughly 5/8" diameter holes hacked (not properly drilled or punched) into the back panel. I interpreted these major blemishes to be attempts to add an antenna selector switch and the capability to connect to multiple rigs and/or antennas, and maybe a dummy load.

I'll spare the details, but I'll sum this up by saying that my SA-2040 now sports a front panel selector knob that switches one main line (from a transceiver or transmitter/receiver combo) to either a dummy load, Antenna 1 straight thru (no tuner), Antenna 1 with tuner, or Antenna 2 with tuner. I have an external 500 watt 50 ohm load connected, as well as an 80/40 inverted-V at Antenna 1 and a 120 foot wire at antenna 2. (Note: I use an external balun on the random wire antenna, with about 60 feet of RG-213 between the tuner and the balun.) I used all of the hacker holes, made only 1 new one (using a proper 5/8 punch to mount another SO-239), and did all of the internal wiring with either #12 wire or RG-213, as appropriate.

Summary: if you encounter an SA-2040 that has been hacked, consider the possibilities, especially if you can get it cheaply. This is a very well-built tuner, with one exception: the coupling to the gears which drive the turns counter seems to like slipping, despite repeated tightening and alignment. If I don't turn the inductor knob too quickly, it works OK most of the time. The balun appears to be quite hefty, and I might remove it and use it remotely for a planned 80m flat top. (I have no desire to bring open wire feeders directly into the shack. They are an excellent means to invite lightning directly to your operating bench or desk.)

What a deal - solid performing wide range tuner and potential to become even more useful, especially if someone else committed "unforgivable" sins to the cabinet!
N4SRT Rating: 5/5 Sep 20, 2003 20:14 Send this review to a friend
Tunes the storm windows ... & more  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been a longtime owner of MFJ antenna tuners, but bought my SA-2040 on eBay when the price was right. While it isn't as fancy as its big brother, the SA-2060 (no SWR/PWR metering), it's one heck of a tuner. While matching the storm window is nice, the real difference between this tuner and other, inferior tuners is its efficiency. It seems to put more fire to the wire (a center-fed Zepp in my case). Compare the SA-2040 to some of the roller inductor tuners on the market, and you'll find there's a reason the SA-2040 and the SA-2060 sell so high on eBay -- they're built with quality components that work. If you can find one of these tuners under $175, consider it a bargain. You won't regret your purchase, and I suspect you'll get your money back out of it if you ever decide to sell it.
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