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Author Topic: MFJ Antenna Tuners  (Read 599 times)
KC9ANI
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Posts: 11




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« on: May 29, 2003, 12:44:37 PM »

Got myself a ameritron 811 and now need to get a tuner that will handle that extra power. Have narrowed it down to the MFJ 986 and the MFJ 989C.
Can anyone help with the major differences and or which might be best for my application. Just needing to tune up a G5RV??? Opinions pls??
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WA4DOU
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Posts: 492




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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2003, 12:57:56 PM »

Both will do the job. Consider your future plans. If a full gallon is in your future, go with the higher power model.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2003, 02:41:28 PM »

I wouldn't select either, but would recommend the Ameritron ATR-30, which is built better than either of the MFJ products (even though ironically owned by the same company).  The 989C and 986 feel "clunky" and have many reported quality issues (see reviews); the ATR-30 is smooth as silk with virtually no reported issues.
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KA2UUP
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2003, 04:00:01 PM »

Follow WB2WIK's advice.  I have had an ATR-30 working with my AL-811H for almost four years of trouble free service.

I tried the MFJ at the local Ham radio Outlet.  A friendly ham adviced me to turn the knobs, especially the inductor, and get the feel of the unit.  MFJ was clunky, indeed.  The Ameritron ATR-30 was very smooth.  Better quality, too.  Don't understand why the same company has different quality standards.

Good luck and 73 DE Bert @ KA2UUP
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2003, 06:03:34 PM »

They're made in different factories.  Ameritron tuners are built where the amplifiers are built.  Different people, and definitely different components -- look inside!
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OBSERVER
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Posts: 130




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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2003, 08:54:41 PM »

Guess it's what you can afford.. All of the above will sufficienty tune your antenna.

The ATR-30 lists for $549.00 where the two MFJs mentioned are in the $300.00 range. I've seen used MFJ-989Cs going for $180-190. I had a MFJ-989C for about 10-12 years.  The only problem I had with it was the turns counter drive belt; it wore out. Sold it because all of my antennas are now resonant with reasonable impedance match.

Yes, the 989C was a bit clunky as someone mentioned, however I'll bet it tunes just as well as the ATR-30. I know that the 989C was revised within the past 5 years or so. It now sports an air wound inductor, not sure if they made any other improvements.
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N8UZE
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2003, 10:04:06 PM »

I believe the turns counter is now a gear mechanism instead of a drive belt.  I used a 989C for years after the drive belt went bad as it was only to operate the turns counter.  All other elements of the tuner worked fine.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9930




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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2003, 10:47:04 PM »

I use Dentron supertuners, which I find for $100 or so on line, good fro a KW.  I use a dentron mt 2000A for my power rig and a MFJ-949E for my low power stuff and als in my mobile.  The all work well. I prefe3r the switched inductors to the rolor inductors but both work equally well.  Dentron is no longer made but they are still available there used.. 73  tom N6AJR
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KG6AMW
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2003, 09:44:14 AM »

I agree with the others, you get what you pay for.  Pay the extra $250 and avoid the potential problems and frustrations. The word on the street is the ATR-30 along with the Ten-Tec and Palstar are well built tuners.

KG6AMW
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WI5O
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Posts: 67




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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2005, 03:41:25 PM »

RE: MFJ Antenna Tuners  Reply  
by N8UZE on May 29, 2003  Mail this to a friend!  
I believe the turns counter is now a gear mechanism instead of a drive belt. I used a 989C for years after the drive belt went bad as it was only to operate the turns counter. All other elements of the tuner worked fine.  

------------

That is what MFJ told me today.  I called them because I have one and think my manual for it is the wrong one.  The Roller Inductor Control Indicator moves from 00 - 125.  The manual I have states it only moves from 00-99.

I am a  little confused now but I know that I have the older model - the belt driven model.  When I called MFJ the person I got was of absolutely no help.  

Since I use it with an AMP now, I have to be careful about capacitance and inductance, especially working 160 meters.  I have to deal with arcing especially on 160 if I don't match the antenna system right.

I think MFJ ought to have both manuals online, but I don't see but one that doesn't describe the same settings, etc. that I have in my manual.  Maybe I should be looking for a 1500 watt Ameritron tuner soon.

Cheers,

WI5O
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