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Reviews For: Hendricks SOTA Tuner

Category: QRP Accessories

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Review Summary For : Hendricks SOTA Tuner
Reviews: 7MSRP: 30
With the advent of the SOTA (Summits on the Air) program
that is becoming popular, I thought it would be nice to have
a low cost, miniature, rugged, ultra-light, halfwave tuner
for 40m-15m that would be the basis of an antenna system,
with just the addition from the user, of some lightweight
inexpensive wire. The product we developed is enclosed in a
sturdy aluminum case, and features Dan Tayloe's (N7VE) led
swr indicator, with all stainless steel connection hardware.
We are rating the tuner at 5 watts CW, 10 watts P.E.P. The
light weight and small size make this tuner ideal for the
backpacker and because it is so small, you won't even notice
it in your luggage as you travel.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KF7ATL Rating: 2014-10-31
It works! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I like this tuner a lot. I enjoy operating portable, and being able to use an EFHWA makes that a lot nicer. The kit went together easily and worked the first time. It's easy to set up and tune. One of the first times I used it (with my 20m MFJ Cub at 2w) I got a station in NJ from UT. I gave it a 4 because the decals aren't great. On the other hand, function is more important to me than appearance. One of those low-tech, embossing label makers would work just as well. I crimped spade lugs on the end of the antenna wire and counterpoise wire which makes set up quicker. The wires, tuner, and coax jumper will all fit into a quart-size zip lock bag, so it is very portable. All in all a nice unit.
W8NLZ Rating: 2014-01-23
W8NLZ Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Now have two field trips under my belt using the Hendricks SOTA tuner and the suggested EFHW antenna elements. SWR adjustment via LED works well (don't wear sunglasses). With KX1 @ 5W out, I worked several stations CW on 40M at a distance of ~ 500 miles. Using K2/10, worked 1,000 miles on 15M phone. So the antenna works well. Ideal for throwing wire up in available tree limbs.

Coments on kit construction. Tested two different antenna cores: T50-6 yields 2.6uH; T68-2 yields 3.3 uH. So 15M operation might be a stretch for the T68-2; I would use the T50-6 as supplied in the kit. For the antenna core, recommend winding with 24AWG magnet wire vs the 26AWG furnished in kit. Sprayed finished toroid with clear Krylon to hold wires in place. Used double-back foam tape to hold toroid to back of tuning capacitor. Otherwise, kit is an easy build.

The supplier, QRPKits, is a little discombobulated. But their heart is in the right place and - eventually - they will make everything OK.

EFHW is the way to go for quick setup field trips. SOTA tuner makes it possible. A neat, compact, featherweight unit.

AF2DX Rating: 2012-11-24
Good tuner just needs minor changees Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The tuner works fine and Hendricks just lost his wife.
One thing about the tuner is large wing nuts are to big and spacing is very close where the insularors are so I made my own and used screws much smaller in diameter.
Mine works fine and I used a T-68-2 core.
I would check your soldering or send it to me and i'll get it going for you.

Earlier 4-star review posted by AF2DX on 2012-08-07

I rate this a 4 because the two screws are just way to close to the grounded metal case.
I'm not to crazy about the T-37 core since others I built have the T-68-2 core.
The wing nuts are way to large so I went with smaller screws,smaller wing nuts and wound a T-68-2 core with no tap and it tunes fine with a single 65 foot wire and gives me 40-15 meters.
The LED Bridge is nice and parts well laid out and the LED goes out on all bands.
So it works well with my changes so I gave it a 4 rating
KG4RND Rating: 2012-10-24
So So Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I rate this kit a 2 because of horrible customer service. I've built two of these and the first one worked fine. Both times I was missing parts from the kits. THe first one worked fine. The second one I had problems with (and still am). I sent three email over the course of several days and received no response. Cannot recommend due to poor customer service. If you are an experienced builder with a spare parts bin you can probably make it work if you have problems. But, I wouldn't recommend for inexperienced builders.
AK4YH Rating: 2012-06-26
Works well. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The kit was easy and quick to assemble. Using the lengths suggested on the provided label for 20m, I could tune on the entire CW portion of the band easily. You can actually tune on band noise without using the built-in dummy load, but the LED is a great indicator. For the price, I might build a second one for 40m, so I don't have to change wires.. I didn't give it a 5 because I wish it was more weatherproof, and the decals were not so fragile. Next time I'll get a small Hammond cast aluminum case for it, and a label maker..
WF8O Rating: 2012-03-12
FB Efhwa Tuner! Time Owned: N.A.
This tuner works very well and the LED indicator of the match condx is a nice inclusion. The instruction, I found to be a bit unclear. This resulted in no LED activity until I installed the additional transformer on the SWR sensor. I misinterpreted the instructions initially. Now it works fb. There was one missing part, a screw insulating step-washer. I requested a replacement, but have not received it. Local hardware store saved the day. Kit is fantastic, customer service is not so much.

WF8O Mike
N4KGL Rating: 2011-10-08
Tuner Delight Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It turns out I had built a SWR indicator previously from so I just used it instead of the supplied parts. There was a hiccup on the first checkout and I sent an email to and got a reply with corrected instructions from Ken LoCasale WA4MNT.

After the corrections were made the SOTA works like a champ. During my testing it works fine without a 1/4 wave counterpoise. I was using a six foot BNC cable and I figure it supplies the necessary counterpoise.

In my backyard test I ran 33 ft wire for 20 meters to a limb 10 feet high. I worked KD2JC Joe in Howell NJ with no problem. Then I put a Black Widow 13 foot pole up and used it at the mid point. My next QSO was CO2KK in Cuba. OK 20 meters is good so how about 40 meters. I doubled the wire to 66 foot and moved the pole to the mid point. I snagged W4UOR Bill in NC right off the bat. This was using 4 to 5 watts with the Ten Tec R4020. So what makes this tuner delightful is tiny size and simplicity. With the SOTA Tuner I am finally getting a lighter packup for QRP adventures.