Re: The Super Select-A-Tenna: a real sleeper: don't wake it up
Rick Robinson <w4dst@...>
I owned a Super SAT for several years and sold it this year on ebay after it gathered several years of dust. I found it to be unstable physically, as are all SATs, and the amplifier suffered from very bad hand capacitance. Getting your hand close to the loop to move it for better nulls, peaks, or tuning the controls, resulted in sever detuning which is very annoying while trying to DX. To cure the physically instability, I cut some pieces of small diameter PVC pipe 2 1/2" long to slip on the feet to give it some support. The SAT itself is a very poor design stability wise and has to be modified to be of any practical use. Also being a sealed unit, it is impossible to get to the amplifier in the Super SAT to modify or replace it without ruining the case, another negative in my opinion.
The Super SAT is very overpriced considering its $189 retail price, $179 from Universal. For $20 more, $199, you can own the excellent quality Quantum Loop Ver. 2 that includes the MW loop head and has azimuth adjustments, a feature the Super SAT lacks, the ability to take optional long wave and tropical band loop heads, another feature lacking in the Super SAT, and a vastly superior regenerative amplifier compared to the one in the Super SAT. If you are a member of NRC, IRCA, LWCA or ODXA, Gerry will give you a 10% discount on all his products. This discount makes a Quantum loop cheaper than the Universal Radio price for the Super SAT. The Quantum loop base is metal, very stable, and a proven DX tool that has no hand capacitance problems and will run off of the same 9V battery as the Super SAT. I've owned 2 Quantum loops, the original Quantum Pro loop, currently a Ver. 2+ with all 3 loop heads, and a Loopstick. I highly recommend all of Gerry Thomas' products and Gerry himself is a fine person to do business with. I've noticed from DX reports that several of us use Gerry's 8" Quantum Loop Stick with our ULRs. I've owned my Loop Stick for 10 years and it still works perfectly even though it's been banged around a lot.
Also for $195, you could buy a Kiwa pocket loop. I don't own one, but I have head excellent reports regarding this little loop.
Quantum loops are available here:
Kiwa's web page:
The Super SAT is in no way even close to the quality, precision and performance of the legendary, and sadly discontinued, Kiwa loop. A used Kiwa loop will bring $500 - $700 on ebay, rarely does anyone part with one, and is well worth the money. I do not own one but was privileged to use a friend's Kiwa loop many years ago and it was very impressive to say the least. It is a work of machining art and a DXing loop of the highest quality and performance. The azimuth controls are silky smooth and the regenerative amplified is superb. Craig at Kiwa is a perfectionist in all his designs and his reputation in the DXing community is well deserved.
In my opinion your money can be better spent on a Quantum Loop or even the Kiwa Pocket loop at $199. But if you come across a used Super SAT for $100 or less, I'd buy it but be aware of its limitations and problems. To me, $100 is a more realistic retail value of the Super SAT, not $179.
You'd also be better off buying a Grundig loop from Radio Shack for $39, and one of Kiwa's Broadband preamp Ver. 2.0 for $119 including shipping to connect the Grundig to. At $158 you'd have just as good and perhaps a better antenna system than the Super SAT, have money left over for another ULR, and an excellent preamp for use with any antenna you may have.
Maybe my Super SAT was a bad apple, but even without the hand capacitance problems, it is still very overpriced and better antennas are available for $179.