Or any other meters that need Lights

The Heath 2060A is one of the finest manual antenna tuners still available. The only thing that would make it better would be if the meters were lighted. Adding lights is an easy job IF you have done it before. Even with pictures and advice from W2IFB (Joe) I wasted lots of time, Plexiglas, LEDs, and money doing the job. IF you follow these instructions CAREFULLY, you can avoid my mistakes and have your tuner lighted up like a Christmas tree at an economical price.

(Click on the small pix for larger Pictures)


The object is to make your 2060A look like the first picture. And to do that go to the hardware store and buy SEVERAL (because you will mess up some) pieces of 1 and 1/4"wide by 12" long pieces of Plexiglas and a 2 and 1/8" hole saw. Cutting and drilling Plexiglas can be dangerous. So follow these directions carefully. You won't need 12" Plexiglas in the finished product, but there is a good reason to buy it in this length. Place a piece of Plexiglas up against the back of the 2060A meters and use a Magic Marker to inscribe an arc. THIS IS VITAL! In order to cut the arcs the Plexiglas MUST be tightly clamped to a board, and the board MUST be tightly clamped to the bed of the drill press. 12" pieces of Plexiglas make this easier to clamp. If you don't do this, you stand a chance of everything going to hell. When you lower the saw, do it lightly, and slowly so the saw can remove the cut-away Plexiglas. If you don't do it slowly and carefully, the plastic will melt and you will not get a clean cut.


Your successfully cut piece of Plexiglas will have two nice arcs in it. You may have to use a Dremel and a sanding maul to ease the arcs so that they make a nice fit over the top of the meters. Now you can cut the Plexiglas down to size, which will be about 8 and 1/2" just so it will fit inside the cover on the left side and short of the detent on the right side. Now, holding the piece up against the bolts that hold the meters, mark the piece and drill holes to fit over these bolts. This is what holds your "light board" firmly again the meters.

I chose to use two LEDs on each side of each meter. These are 12VDC LEDs so no dropping resistors were required. You can get ultra-bright blue LEDs from All Electronics Corp. I drilled three tiny holes through the Plexiglas on each side of the meters and inserted the LEDs. You must observe the polarity of the LEDs when you wire them up, anode to anode and cathode to cathode. I put both "short leads" (cathode) through the middle hole and the individual anodes one each through the top hole. You will have to "maneuver" the LEDs so that they shine through the part of the meters that is visible from the front. Since the LEDs draw very little current, I chose to use "wire wrap" #30 wire to hook them up.

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These pictures will give you a good idea of how the LEDs are positioned. And after you have them pointed in the right direction, you should apply power to make sure that everything is working correctly. While you are testing, it is a good idea to check the lights from the front to make sure they look in the right place. If they need moving, this is a good time to adjust them There is nothing holding the lights in place, but they will be securely up against the front panel so after you tighten the holding nuts on the meter bolts they will stay where you have placed them. After you have checked to make sure that the lights are operating properly it is only necessary to run a power line to the rear of the tuner where I installed a standard connexion. I used a piece of very small coax with the shield as the ground lead and the inner conductor as the power lead. I chose not to put a switch on the front panel because all power is off when I leave the shack. If you like, you could add a switch to the front but these lights draw such little current (and will last forever) just leave them on and don't disfigure the front of your nice tuner. Note: I have run 1500 watts through this tuner, and all that RF has NO effect on the wiring or the LEDs.

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One last caution - Working with Plexiglas requires gloves, safety glasses and slow and careful work. If you take your time, you can make your tuner (or some other piece of equipment) well "lighted" and looking good! I am available to answer questions. Just send them to