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Reviews For: Nye Viking MB-VA

Category: Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks

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Review Summary For : Nye Viking MB-VA
Reviews: 43MSRP: 830
3KW, Pi impedance matching network, makes a tuned RF circuit
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N8ERM Rating: 2006-09-20
Fantastic Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was told when I bought this tuner to use my antenna analyzer to set this up. I followed directions and recorded my settings on each antenna and on each band. This tuner has perfect repeatability. If it doesn't tune perfectly at the recorded settings the antenna has a problem. I since have set up three for of these for friends. I has the same results. I am not going to claim that you can load up some bed springs. If your antenna is close to resonance on each band I believe this tuner will do it's job FB.
OZ1DTF Rating: 2006-08-22
Relativelly good tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought the tuner about 10 years ago and have used it succesfully with QRO (Alpha 91).
For me the tuner works perfect on 3.5-30 MHz with 2x18 m inverted V and 17 m Titanex 250 ohm Twincom balanced feeder. Recommended reading is QST March 1997 which documents matching limitations and you may choose to select antenna and feeder length accordingly. But the expectation is that you can tune almost anything. Yes, it must be a bad joke to mention 160 m in the tuning range. At least the manual should give a hint of what 160 m antenna it can tune - I still have not found out. I have no experience with customer support as the only other problem has been a loose rubber foot. I have also a nice Heathkit SA-2040 tuner with which I do not have to worry about feeder length. I should mention that I really like the metering circuits of the MB-V-A! This suddenly stop working and I had forgotten that there is a 9V battery. Over the 10 year period I have replaced this once.
former_W4EWJ Rating: 2006-08-18
manufacturer wont return repeated calls Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Called 4 times in last 3 wks to have metering
ckt bd repaired or replaced...Burned up under
75wts tune. If I could give them less than a
0 I sure as hell would.
WB3HUH Rating: 2006-05-12
Check it out before you buy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned Johnson, Drake, Dentron, and MFJ tuners. I have had great luck with the second hand Nye unit that I have.I love it. I could probably load a gutter nail on 160 but that would be pushing it! I suspect that a number of negative comments are about used units that were fried through misuse (perhaps they really did try to load that gutter nail with 1000W on 160!)or the budding EE first owner decided to "upgrade" or "re-engineer" the unit.In any event, in a unit that has not been abused, and I have one, there is quality evident in construction, and performance is outstanding. Just remember... you can't run a horse hard and put it away wet and expect it to win races.
NV7E Rating: 2006-01-20
Still One of the Best in Real-World Use Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I originally got the MB-V-A about 1989 to replace an MFJ high-power tuner which I had blown out. The MB-V-A never failed when I used it for its first two years with a Ten-Tec Titan linear at over 1500 watts out. Recently I had a Ten-Tec 238B tuner which I liked, but it blew out at a much lower power level, so I pulled out my old MB-V-A from reserve.

I am using the MB-V-A with a Traffie HX-5Bi Hex-Beam on 40 and 80 meters with excellent results. My previous tuner could not tune the Hex-Beam on 80 meters. I can work what I can hear, including the weak ones.

After using the other tuners, I can see now that the MB-V-A is truly a superior product. When you determine the tuner settings for a certain frequency you can rely on them. I would not want to be without one of these tuners ever again.

I recently checked to see if I could get another MB-V-A if I had to. I don't see it in the catalogs of the major ham dealers any more, but it is still available directly from Nye-Viking. Its web site is (Note that this URL is not the same as shown at the top of the eHam review page for the MB-V-A as of the time I write this.)

N9QZD Rating: 2004-03-14
Well made tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I give it a 4 instead of a 5 because it has somewhat limited matching range. But other than that it works great. Never arc'd over once. Very well constructed.

Earlier 5-star review posted by N9QZD on 2002-02-25

Built to last. Handles power easily.
This tuner is no good for 160 meters.
Limited matching range.
WB9JOX Rating: 2003-12-28
Still a good tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had tuner for over 6 yrs and had one minor problem .Also run AL -1500 AMP and works great with it.Palstar AT4K is a good tuner ,but just a bit large in size ,could have made it with a smaller cabinet.
KA1XO Rating: 2003-12-28
Requires Maintenance Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The current piece is the second MB5A to be owned. The first unit was flawless and matched the Alpha '77 to various wires and beams.
The latest unit was purchased used. The previous owner attempted to lube the various contact surfaces with Copper-Seal, which is great in nuclear plants but gums up after evaporating the oily stuff. Called NYE and was told to spray gun cleaner through the works. Decided to completely dissemble everything and wash out all bearings and to burnish capacitor plates. On try-out, the SWR meter doesn't wobble when the inductor is turned anymore. The power meter doesn't energize until the RF power from the exciter is advanced to around ten watts. The high-power LED gets incidental light from the nearby illuminated meters and a bit of dark nail poish on the inside blocked that. Having a switch to turn the meter on and leave it on would be okay. Having a switch to cut from low to high power and leave it would be okay, too, as when tuning the amplifier it's disconcerting to see the meter vane jump all of a sudden while watching other indicators. Replaced the #10 ground screw with a beefier bolt and mechanical compression lug to accommodate a #1AWG ground wire. Calibration of meters approximate when compared with Coaxial Dynamics stand alone wattmeter: Everything's relative. Meter pilot light DC wiring runs right along variable capacitor side and picks up RF wonderfully. Need to add an RF choke to 12 volt line outside RCA jack. The contact surfaces on the various RF switches are brass screws with very little contact surface. Silver shorting bars make up for small surface area, but hefty bonafide contacts in those places would reassure the high power user. Metal gauge on case very thin. Screws stripped in several places. Variable capacitor plate geometry varies as the capacitor is worked. Finger contacts on variable capacitor rotor pickup disk do not make contact with all four fingers all the time. Stopping method on roller inductor needs to have operator paying attention to circular index counter as it approaches zero because it seems that a crash will break something. Would love to yank the entire thing apart and double up on rotary inductor to make a balanced tuner. The good part of the story is that the machine handles high power well. The bad part of the story is that it lacks the features lesser powered units such as the PalStar or Nevada offer.
KG4LRU Rating: 2003-03-22
There our better choices Time Owned: more than 12 months.
W7IS Rating: 2002-12-19
A garage sale tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I used the Nye Viking tuner for several years and it could handle the power from a maxed out Alpha amp. But the switch assembly looked like it was put together in the back of a garage by someone after a two day drunk. And it took me several days of messing with the alignment to get it to work. But even then it had poor electrical contacts in the switch assembly. So I sold it for a fraction of what I paid for it new. And bought a Tec Tec 238.