Harder to find item in the first place. Loctite used on the set screws and no more problems. If you know how it was put together, you can more easily take it apart and then reassemble it. You will do well, if you undertake projects such as heathklt, to obtain the original manual. Above is my inductor after part of it was cleaned. See all condition definitions — opens in a new window or tab.
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I like the modern styling and appearance of this tuner SA non A It seems to fit right in with all the modern gear in my shack. I decided to give the Heathkit SA a good going over before operating it and found the build quality to be very good. Basically all roller inductors, regardless of tuner brand, require periodic maintenance.
Swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol cleans any black, carbon like dirt off roller inductor coils quite well. I find doing this maintenance to any tuner can reduce friction and serves to achieve smoother roller inductor operation.
After doing this maintenance, the roller on the Heathkit was very smooth and had a high quality feel. I compared it to my Palstar CV tuner and in fact, the Heathkit felt a little smoother. The Palstar CV is more expensive than all my other tuners, but yet it lacks a dual meter display as seen on the Heathkit. The cross hair "MFJ style" meter is not to my liking and the smaller numbers can sometimes appear confusing and harder to read.
However, the dual meters on the Heathkit are very clear and easy to see. The meters are quite accurate. These internal meters are just as good as the readings taken on an external Bird meter.
The Heathkit meters lacks any internal backlighting. It almost seems this was an oversight in the Heathkit build manual. But then again, this is a Heathkit and therefore it is extremely easy to add a simple phono plug on the back of this tuner, a few wires inside for 12v lighting and your done. Lighting could be installed above both meters, and to provide inductor counter lighting.
I suspect after the lighting mod is done, the tuner will appear to look like another rig or amplifier sitting in the shack. The Heathkit tuner resembles amplifier equipment in terms of physical size. The tuning caps in the Heathkit are beefy and well made. The Heathkit has copper metal work where the Palstar is constructed using aluminum sheet metal. The round push buttons on the Palstar has an MFJ look and feel to them.
The black square push buttons on the Heathkit seem heavy duty. Also the antenna switch on the Heathkit feels and sounds like an industrial grade clunk, but the clicker on the Palstar feels tight and works fine. Although I do prefer the crank knob on the Palstar roller inductor compared to plain old round knob on the Heathkit, perhaps the Heathkit could be easily modified to include a crank knob too.
But after using the round Heathkit knob, I find it actually provides for a very smooth precision feel and operation similar to a VFO knob. The crank knob on the Palstar does get you there faster though. Therefore, the lack of any electronic circuit boards inside makes the Heathkit more bullet proof in my estimation. The Heathkit SA is the clear winner.
Heathkit Schematic and Manual Archive
Heath Heathkit SA-2060A Manual