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Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

Copyright: 1996 - 2024

Webmaster:

    Kirt Blattenberger,

    BSEE - KB3UON

RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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Vintage Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit
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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 of 1989."

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. Heathkit stills sells many of its vintage manuals for around $15, which is what you would pay on eBay.

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (1) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Parts

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (3) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Parts

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (5) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Parts

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (7) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Mechanical Parts

 

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (2) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Parts

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (4) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Chassis

Heathkit SA-2060A Antenna Tuner Kit (6) - RF Cafe

Heathkit SA−2060A Deluxe Antenna Tuner Kit Package

 

Download complete SA−2060A documentation package.

 

Contact Info

Heath Company (Heathkit)

Operations: PO Box 15, Ottsville, PA 18942

R&D/Mfg: PO Box 3115, Santa Cruz CA 95063

Phone: +1 (831) 480-4368

E-Mail: info.2015@2015.heath.company

 

 

Posted May 24, 2021

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