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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | 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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WO9B Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2015 12:45 Send this review to a friend
Upon this Rock I will Build my Station  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up the SA-2040 for a song from an internet used gear ad. No picture. Short description. Felt right so I rolled the dice.

What a deal. Spent some time cleaning and doing repair to the slipping roller inductor. Then dropped the key down and sent some RF up the ladder line. This thing cranks it down to 1:1 across the board. With repeatable settings. Spent some time indexing frequencies and now it is twist, spin and bang.

What a treat to get hooked up with a piece of gear that I can hand down to the next generation. It is that solid. Can't decide if I want to repaint the cover and destroy 30 years of "character building".

If you run across one of these units, buy it. With out hesitation.
K4TIN Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2013 07:06 Send this review to a friend
Best 125 Skins....  Time owned: more than 12 months
....I ever spent. Mine was on a hamfest table with a $150 sign on it. Offered the man a hundred. He said "let's meet in the middle."
Tunes most anything; 700 watts the most I've ever used.
Doesn't do 160, but neither do I, much. I heard you can by placing a cap in parallel with the others.
WA7EQX Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2012 14:00 Send this review to a friend
great tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
great tuner but my counter gears are bad. need to find a new set any sugestions. Would still buy one.
KE4ZHN Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2010 17:48 Send this review to a friend
A Beast  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine for over 10 years now. Bought it used from a friend and this thing just wont quit. I wish MFJ would build tuners of this quality. This thing is built to last you a lifetime. Yeah, it doesn't have an internal switch or meters but who cares? It will practically tune up your bed springs and never arc or fuss. If you need a good solid tuner that usually sells very reasonable on the used market this one won't let you down.
KU6RT Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2010 14:50 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just finished building my new in the box SA-2040. Assemble was straight forward. The finished product looks and works great. It certainly does not have all the “bells and whistles” of a modern off the shelf unit, but the SA-2040 is built like a tank.

I took some hints from these reviews, and took precautions when assembling identified problem areas. The balun took some time and patience to wind correctly, but when finished it looked great. While sitting at my bench with 1970’s rock playing on my stereo I could almost imagine it was the late 70’s again. It is too bad that kits of this quality are not currently available.
AC8DE Rating: 4/5 Jul 20, 2009 13:52 Send this review to a friend
Good old tuner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently rebuilt the SA-2040 (s/n 01005) for a friend and put it into service in my shack for a few months. I can't review it on 160, but everywhere else it is a champ. I think you could tune a dead cat with it. And it is definitely a beast with big heavy components.

Being fair, I won't compare it to the geared down capacitor drives on a Palstar, as that is hardly fair, considering this tuner's vintage and the market they went after back then. Of course, this tuner would benefit in operation from an aftermarket crank and take off the original adjsutment knob on the inductor.

My biggest beef with it concerns the drive shaft for the roller inductor and the gear drive for the indicator. The nut that holds the roller inductor to its drive shaft slips too easily. A better arrangement could have been used here. There was also a problem with the blind hole that allows the small setscrew that holds the bevel gear in place that drives the indicator. This setscrew is clearly supposed to just nest into this hole with no slop and not be tightened per se. It just keeps the bevel gear from slipping around the shaft and locates it properly. The blind hole in the shaft was drilled too small and would not allow the setscrew to slip into it. Therefore the orginal owner had overtightened this screw slightly and still did not have the bevel gear held in place well. So he used sealing wax to hold it in place, which worked weakly. I removed all this and simply opened the blind hole up .015" and now the setscrew drops in the correct amount and takes any strain off the plastic of the gear. Luckily, the bevel gear wasn't broken. But if you have one of these old girls, make sure that setscrew drops into the hole properly and is not just sitting on top of the metal surface of the shaft, otherwise you are risking breaking this bevel gear, which is probably pretty hard to replace. So due to the small QC problem on this shaft arrangement and so-so engineeing on the gear drive, I give it a 4.

Other than this mechanical QC or design issue, it is a great old tuner. It is working well in my shack.
K6RF Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2009 12:30 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Tuner !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just aquired my second 2040, my son taking my first one for use in his shack. I tried several other tuners, Dentron, MFJ but found nothing to compare to this old boy. My recent one was very nicely constructed and looked like the top cover had not been removed since being built, everything brite and shiny inside. Doubt to ever be parting with this one. You can't go wrong, find yourself one and hang on to it. Plan on painting the top cover as most have had other gear sitting on it through the years.
W0PJH Rating: 4/5 Feb 1, 2009 13:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner Needs 1 Mod  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great tuner but has 1 flaw.The rotary inductor was built with a hotmelt or epoxy adhesive to keep the phenolic end caps in place and it is the only thing that keeps the front end cap (insert)from indexing.
I bought mine with the front insert loose and after review decided to improve the design by taking it all apart and adding pins in 4 places around the outside diameter into the end disk.
Now it is properly centered in the inductor and should never again need repair in this area.
A Great legal limit tuner now better than new!
KI6RSE Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2009 00:25 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
WB4TJH Rating: 4/5 Oct 26, 2008 09:43 Send this review to a friend
Solid, simple unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently obtained an SA-2040 that a previous owner had installed an SWR bridge inside of. The installation almost looks "factory", it was done so neatly. I have found this tuner to be a very good, heavy duty, simple tuner that is much smoother to use than my old MFJ 962D. It lacks the features of the MFJ, but the the parts quality, especially the roller inductor, are several steps in quality above the MFJ. I think I will look for a small crank knob to replace the roller inductor knob, to make it easier to use. But overall, this is a well designed, if simple, workhorse that will take a KW plus and give no problems.
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