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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
KO4O Rating: 2002-10-30
Have 2 both great Time Owned: N.A.
I have a MB5A that I have had for over 10 years and a MB5 for 12 years. I have both of these on a full legal limit station. SB-220 amp and a TenTec Titan 425 amp and have tuned all types and kinds of antennas with them. I have never had an arc or a problem tuning any antenna. I have never been dissatisfied with either unit in any way. The MB5A is a little more difficult to learn to use than the MB5 but it has the auto switch watt meter that I love. I have had about 12 other types of tuners from different MFGS and I would choose the Nye over any of them. I really liked the TenTec 238 tuner but it was not as heavy duty as the Nye.
W1TE Rating: 2002-05-27
Very gool luck on 160-40 Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have purchased three of these tuners for use as "single band tuners" for 160, 80 and 40 meters. The station is fairly automated with automatic amplifier and antenna selection from the transcievers or logging computers. The 160 meter antenna is an inverted L with a 75 foot vertical section and two full size elevated radials. Feed through a 1.56:1 balun the antenna is easily tuned across the band. The 80 meter antenna is either an inverted V at 75 feet or two phased verticals (soon to be 4). The antennas are cut for 3.525. The tuner easily allows me to also use the 3.795 DX window. On 40 the antenna is a Force 12 C4SXL which is tuned to 7.025. The tuner easily tunes the 40M US SSB section. I have tried the tuners using the Force 12 C4SXL on 12 and 17 which is OK. Power is usually 1 KW from a Quadra and sometimes from either a TL922A or a LK500ZA. No evidence of any overheating or sparking etc. has been identified. The repeatability is excellent. If I needed tuners elsewhere I would add additional units.
WG7X Rating: 2002-04-21
Follow-up Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This review is a follow-up to the one I wrote in July, 2000.

I have been using this tuner now for almost two years, and I can say without reservation that it works very well, and has made my simple antenna play very well.

As others have noted, the tuner tunes very consistently, and the settings are repeatable every time. This makes it so easy to use, there is no comparison! It takes me mere seconds to QSY from one band to another.

I would buy another if one came available, because I would like to establish a bigger wire antenna farm!

Gary WG7X

Earlier 4-star review posted by WG7X on 2000-07-07

I've had this tuner for about 4 months. I bought it used, after looking at the other units, i.e. MFJ, Ten-Tec, Vectronics, and X-match. I also have a Heatkit 2040A. I read the product reviews in QST dated June '94 and March '97.

Initially, I used the tuner to reduce the SWR on an 10/11 meter converted half-wave verticle. The SWR ratio without the tuner was not awful, running from 1.5:1 at 28.400 to 2:1 up in the 29 mhz regions. The tuner worked well in this application, but that was not the reason that I got the tuner. I held back in writing a review until I could raise the antenna that I had planned on.

This antenna is your basic doublet, cut for 80 meters and fed with 100 ft of 450 ohm ladder line with a Radio works RV-4 remote balun converting from unbalanced to balanced. There is 50 ft of RG-213 from the tuner to the balun. The antenna is a flat-top at about 40 feet.

So far, this antenna seems to work well, I have worked every band from 80-10, DX and domestic.

The tuner tunes smoothly on every band, and the effective bandwidths range from about 100 khz on 80 to 300 khz on 10. I have no way of gauging the efficiency of the tuner/antenna combination, but I can say that I now have a good signal on most HF bands, and sure beats what I had before.

The tuner will not tune the doublet on 160, but it will tune the vertical (10 meter) as low as 40 meters. Of course a 10 meter vertical will not be effective much below it's design frequency, but the tuner will match it!

What I really need now is a method to see how much power is lost in the tuner and in the balun....

The experimenting will continue. I have connected a wattmeter in line before and after the tuner, and determined that not too much loss of power is occuring in the tuner. The balun is another matter!

At any rate, I'm pretty happy so far, and I did get a great deal on the used tuner.
WA4RYW Rating: 2002-03-16
Great Tuner! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I'm really shocked that some people dislike this tuner. I've had mine for about five years now, and after using many lessor but prettier boxes, I'll never part with my Viking. I have NEVER had an arc within this tuner, and have never had problems matching my load. I must admit that I have never tried to load a 40 meter dipole up on 160, I usually use it to extend the bandwidth on my 40 meter yagi or 160/80 dipoles. I can't say enough good things about this tuner seeing that I have cought lessor tuners on fire before.
KK6SS Rating: 2002-02-28
Great Repeatability Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Purchased a used NYE Viking MB-V-A tuner ($500) on a recomendation from an experienced HAM, I knew, 14 years ago. Finally, I could afford one, and find one, thanks to the internet. My antennas are 80m & 40m dipole and an A3S for (20-15-10). All antennas are matched to less than (1:1.2) in the center of the bands.

I previously did not use a tuner, I just matched my antennas very close, (as a technician ticket did not allow much band width or use of an amp), seemed to work very well for the time.

I then purchased a Heathkit SA-2060A (price matched the quality), I thought it had a nice case and metering. I especially did not like the inductor as it was so long, wobbled up and down and did not repeat settings, the knob to inductor was poorly designed, I sold it a month later. Maybe if I spent more time reworking the parts that were supplied I might have got it to work better. But didn't think it was worth the effort.

I recently purchased an amplifier (500w) and decided that a good quality tuner was in need. I purchased a Vectronics HFT 1500 for $399 new. It would match any of my antennas very good (1:1)except 10m which was (1:1.2), not bad at all, but would not repeat any settings, without fine tuning each time I changed bands. The Vectronics tuned my 80m dipole to (1:1.1), not bad, even though the inductor setting was at the opposite end of the turns.

Now the Viking. I miss the dummy load bypass of other tuners, but an external switch is OK. It tuned (80-40-20-15-10)m bands to (1:1). I wrote down the settings and was suprised that each time I changed bands and went to the setting the match was again (1:1). The inductors setting only had to be moved 5% of the total turns from 10m to 80m, where the Vectronics had to be changed 20% for 10m-80m movement (Many turns). It would not even tune my 40m or 80m dipole to 160m, but they would not make a very good radiator anyway. I have never used 160m before. Some day I will get a 65 ft. tower and use it for 160m and let you know.

I recently located a Viking MB-IV for $300 and bought it. I would like to compare an Xmatch, Dentron MT-3000, Drake MN-2000 and Ten-Tec 229B to see if I prefer them to the Viking. The Viking has very impressive looking components (I would trust it at 1.5kw). The Xmatch ($1000) as I have seen the guts on their website was not all that impressed. It may work better as described in a few reviews and worth the money, but I have not used one yet. But for now, I think the Viking is the best of the tuners I have tested and used. If I find a better one in the future I will purchase it too.

I have no need to tune up a fence or a bedspring or to tune a decaying antenna with a bad match. (by the way, a tuner should not make up for the rust and corrosion on your poor antennas and connections, it is best to get them working the best you can and then fine tune them with a tuner)

But, buy what you like, its your money, right.

(Background: Amateur operator 15+ yrs, 20+ years in Quality assurance (electro/mecnanical), 6 years Telecommunications Software Engineer, currently a Communications Engineer). But I am still learning!
K3AOT Rating: 2001-08-24
High power, limited range Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have used the MB-V-A for many years with a pair of 3-500Z's at the legal limit, in a nutshell, the Nye Viking tuner is a High Power, Limited Range, impedance matching device. If you employ a reasonably efficient antenna and are tired or afraid of hearing the dreaded arcing noise, and seeing balls of purple plasma dancing inside your tuner, then the Nye Viking is for you. It doesn't have the tuning range of the "T" type tuners, but it will match most antennas and handle the legal limit (and more) without complaint. If you just run 100 /200 watts, then this probably isn't the tuner for you, many of the less expensive devices will do what you want. I use this tuner with a 135' dipole fed with 450 ohm ladder line on all bands with excellent results, except 160. On 160, this tuner likes to see something around 256' to be happy.
KA3MEN Rating: 2001-02-25
Nye Viking MB-VA Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The Nye Viking MB-VA is a great addition to any shack. I purchased a MfJ 3000kw tuner and did not find it worth the price nor did it work as per the operating manual. I purchase the Viking about 6 months ago and find it worth the price. I have no problems running legal limit with my QRO-2500DX.
N2IL Rating: 2001-02-25
Primitive Junk Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Nye Viking tuner is a crudley made, poorly designed, completely overpriced and has a poor impedance matching range. It is an extremely expensive harmonic suppressor.They are abt $800 new and immediatly drop to a maximum of $300 if you try to sell it
KC0W Rating: 2000-11-12
Did not like. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I took out a mortgage on the house to purchase the MB-VA ($850). As they state in their instruction manual, I had a very hard time getting a match on a 160 meter dipole with the tuner.

I was not pleased with the "cheap" roller dial on the tuner....It would scratch the paint around the dial when spun too hard/fast.

I shipped it back to the store I bought it from after 2 weeks of using it. Don't even ask me about the 10% "restocking" fee they got out of me.

Just because one buys the most expensive tuner out there, DOES NOT mean it is the best.

Save your $800+ and look around at all brands before getting this tuner.
WA4PQD Rating: 2000-07-07
Expensive Prototype Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Looks good on the outside... Well from the front... Except for that after-thought toggle switch in the upper right-hand corner (yea, the one that's not labelled) and the add-on speed shaft hacked onto the inductor knob. Inside it looks like an engineering prototype built in a garage. For the high price of this thing I expected excellence. The price reflects the time it take to hand carve one of these things. On paper this is an impressive unit. Electrically, it may work great. However, I'll never know...