Featured Product Archive
The inventions and products featured on these pages were chosen either for their
uniqueness in the RF engineering realm, or are simply awesome (or ridiculous) enough
to warrant an appearance.
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Occasionally an unbuilt vintage Heathkit item appears on eBay with really nice
photos of the contents. In fact, I have a Saved Search that sends me an e-mail whenever
one shows up. Recently, a Heathkit SA-2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner kit appeared. It
tunes the entire 160 to 10 meter range. Dual wattmeters measure forward and reverse
power. The guy who listed it says, "These tuners are the apex of the Heathkit tuner
kits; I already have a built one and it's my main tuner in the shack. Full legal
limit 1500+ watts (I have read they will take up to 2000 watts) across the HF bands,
roller inductor tuner... Original cardboard box is stamped with a manufacture date
This is a manual tuner with lots of mechanical parts as well as electronic parts.
Take a look at all the dial and knob extender shafts, standoffs, mounting brackets,
and attachment hardware. Wouldn't you love to have something like this to spend
a few hours assembling?
Per the 1987 Heathkit catalog, the SA-2060A was priced at $269.95 ($639.67 in
2021 money per the
BLS Inflation Calculator). That is not too far off the price for a contemporary
2 kW tuner, such as the
Palstar AT2K (6 to 160
meters) retailing at $595.99.
Heathkit products were well known for the completeness of its instruction manuals,
with clearly illustrated instructions. During the writing and editing process, Heathkit
employees were given pre-production kits to take home and build, while annotating
any difficulties or errors encountered. Doing so helped minimize the situation where
the writer inadvertently assumes his own familiarity with the process is shared
by the customer. Having built a few Heathkit products myself in the 1970s when I
did not have a lot of experience with electronics assembly, I can attest to the
user friendliness of the instructions.
stills sells many of its vintage manuals for around $15, which is what you would
pay on eBay.
Heath Company (Heathkit)
Operations: PO Box 15, Ottsville, PA 18942
PO Box 3115, Santa Cruz CA 95063
Phone: +1 (831) 480-4368
Posted May 24, 2021