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Reviews Categories | SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads | MFJ 854 Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ 854
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $118
Description: RF Current Meter 1-30MHz
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-854
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AD4J Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2013 10:04 Send this review to a friend
A Great Tool  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use it frequently for measuring common mode current on feed lines, both coax and balanced lines. It's also useful for maximizing output from a T transmatch and for finding common mode RFI on input cables.

A couple of nice features are the wide range of currents covered by the 6 ranges and the fact that the meter is calibrated. The lower current scales allow me to use QRP to make measurements - less QRM, easier on finals with prolonged key down, and less danger of RF burns.

As another reviewer noted, there are quality control issues with MFJ products. My first MFJ-854 was defective. However, I've always been able to get hassle-free replacements for MFJ defective gear and this was no exception.

Two small complaints:
1. When using the 3 most sensitive scales, the meter is powered. It will sometimes peg the meter when the auto-cutoff timer expires.
2. There is a single 0-100 scale on the meter, but ranges like 0-3 A and 0-300 ma require a little math (e.g. 50 on the meter using the 0-3 A range means 1.5A).

Overall, I'm very happy with the meter and don't know of any good alternatives for what it does, short of building your own.

de AD4J
 
VK7JB Rating: 3/5 Nov 3, 2011 19:53 Send this review to a friend
Poor QC spoils a good product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This meter promises to be a useful tool for making common mode current measurements around the shack. It's a simple but neat design and is well reviewed on several websites, so I imported it from the US via a helpful online dealer.

The problem with my unit relates to QC and build quality. I noticed that the uncalibrated, high sensitivity scale was not functioning - at all - and adjusting the sensitivity pot had no effect. Taking the unit apart revealed very sloppy soldering and poor attention to detail in the construction of my particular unit. The red QC sticker on the inside tells me it was made in March 2011. A check of the schematic identified the problem with my non-functional low range: the sensitivity pot was completely mis-wired. After refitting the wires to the appropriate leads of the pot, all is fixed and the meter is working perfectly now.

The point is - I shouldn't have to do that. It's not the first time I've had to rework new equipment from MFJ to render it functional, but this is the first time I've felt motivated to leave a negative review. MFJ, please lift your QC so we can enjoy your well-designed products out of the box.

The only negative design feature of the MFJ 854 is the flimsy hinge on the clip-on ferrite toroid used as the RF coupler. There are only X number of times that you'll be able to open and close that little hinge before it falls apart and my suspicion is that here, X is going to be small.

Summary: great concept for a useful tool but needs some attention and a tweak in the design of the ferrite toroid arrangement. This little tool gets 5/5 for concept and 2/5 for execution. I shouldn't have to rework electronic equipment out of the box.



 


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