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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ-998RT Remote Auto Tuner, 1.5 kW, 1.8-30 MHz Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-998RT Remote Auto Tuner, 1.5 kW, 1.8-30 MHz
MFJ-998RT Remote Auto Tuner, 1.5 kW, 1.8-30 MHz Reviews: 35 Average rating: 3.1/5 MSRP: $769.95
Description: An MFJ HF tuner (160 M-10 M), capable of 1.5 kW of power SSB and CW. It is an external tuner and can be installed at the base of the antenna, which yields better results than with the tuner in the shack. It goes well with the Ameritron amps: ALS-1300, AL-80B, AL-82, AL-1200 and AL-1500 legal limit amplifiers. It weighs 9.5 lbs and has an ABS plastic cabinet and stainless steel metal chassis. It measures 13.75x6.75x17.5". Matches instantly impedances from 12-1600 ohms and includes 20,000 virtual antenna memories. Has one coaxial antenna and a binding post for end-fed long-wire antennas. Upgrade firmware via a serial port. Includes a one year warranty.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the MFJ-998RT Remote Auto Tuner, 1.5 kW, 1.8-30 MHz.

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W6OU Rating: 4/5 Sep 1, 2016 12:45 Send this review to a friend
How to initiate autotuning reliably  Time owned: more than 12 months
There is an anomaly with remote antenna tuners like this one. You have to furnish a signal to initiate the automatic tuning process. The signal level must fall within a defined range. If it is too low, the tuner will not sense its presence. If it is high, the tuner will assume it is a QSO transmission and will not react.

A problem occurs when the combination of antenna impedance, cable length, frequency, and the last tuner settings combine to attenuate the signal at the tuner to a level where it is not sensed. In this situation the tuner will not tune. Turning power off and on did not help. With a manual tuner, you can grab the knobs and force the tuner to tune.

My solution when the tuner does not respond is to switch to 160 meters and tune there. In my case, on 160 meters the last tuner settings do not attenuate the tune signal so the tuner always tunes reliably on 160 meters. Then I switch to the higher frequency band I want and tune again. Since the tuner settings are at 160 meters, the tuning signal is not attenuated so tuning is initiated.

"Resetting" the tuner by tuning on 160 meters works in my case but for others another band might be a better choice. Once I discovered this "trick" I can get the tuner to always initiate an automatic tuning cycle with 10 Watts.
NY1H Rating: 0/5 Feb 27, 2016 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Total POS  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned no less than 30 MFJ products and was always happy with my purchase. Until I bought this thing. Don't waste your money, Worst POS I ever bought. Sold it as a POS [I was honest with the buyer] and lost half of what I paid. I now own a Palstar HF auto with remote and have no regrets
W1BG Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2016 15:38 Send this review to a friend
One-Year Follow-up  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Get this thing!! yes, I initially had some issues attributable to MFJ's typically atrocious QA, but the replacement has been truly flawless, attesting to MFJ's excellent design. For a high power 1.5KW remote auto-tuner I don't think you'll find anything better and certainly not for a better price. Mine sits out in the hot Texas sun, which was creating an internal case temperature approaching 173 degrees (f). By giving it 3 coats of gloss white Krylon paint the internal temperature dropped to 113 degrees in the peak afternoon sunlight, a whopping 60 degree improvement (and highly recommended field mod in the warmer climates).
K8JHR Rating: 5/5 Feb 4, 2016 22:14 Send this review to a friend
Excellent and reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I put one of these MFJ remote tuners on my 43 foot monopole two years ago - hidden under a fake plastic rock I bought at the hardware store - and it works super. It tunes 80 to 10 meters and has been completely reliable and as steady "as a rock" - as steady as the rock it hides under! You can read about it in the March 2016 QST Magazine (Hints and Kinks Column).

It could not be simpler or easier to tune. You just remove power from the unit (it takes 12v power over the coax feed line by way of a bias-tee injector) and it tunes immediately when the power is restored, and you give it a blast of RF. That's it. It shuts off and the signal bypasses the tuner circuit if SWR exceeds 3.5 and power exceeds 75 watts. So, it could not be easier or quicker to remotely tune the big stick.

After two years, I am confident it works better, and has less line loss, than trying to tune the big stick with a 4:1 un-un and a big tuner in the shack.

Now this is just MY take... your mileage may vary... but I am pleased as can be. Consistent and reliable results for over two years.

Happy days and Good DX to ya. / K8JHR /
LB2TB Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2016 05:44 Send this review to a friend
Working nicely !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am using one of the 2 tuners that LA5HE mentions in the post (nbr. 5 below this one). I bought it second hand when it came back from MFJ service.

Been using it for a long time with an Inv-L for 160M.

Current setup is at the base of an 18M Spiderbeam pole. Tunes nicely on 80-10 meters.

73's de Lars, LB2TB
K7NN Rating: 0/5 Dec 15, 2015 19:24 Send this review to a friend
Save your money  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Biggest piece of crap ever. Does not do anything it is supposed to do. Don't waste your money on this.
W9OWO Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2014 03:37 Send this review to a friend
14 months followup  Time owned: more than 12 months
This tuner is still tops in my opinion. I'm considering another 998 for use in the shack. Tuning is fast and accurate and operation is reliable. I've had zero problems with it in 14 months.
LA5HE Rating: 2/5 Aug 9, 2014 09:55 Send this review to a friend
Unreliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 2 of these, in order to keep one on the air. Reliability is the key problem. I use them only on 80 +160 m, mostly CW, with my 26 m high vertical. There have ben flash-overs on 160 from the thin coax to a soldering point on the PCB when I am using full power. Some components seem to not be qualified for the power level, suggestion that a redesign is required.
Now both my units have been returned to the dealer.
NR9R Rating: 2/5 May 20, 2014 11:56 Send this review to a friend
Ignore reviews with "0 to 3 months" of ownership.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The first unit arrived with several bolts holding the cover with the heads torqued off. After drilling them out and fixing this myself the unit worked satisfactorily paired with an ALS-600 500W amplifier for about 7 months, then stopped tuning. Upon inspection I found a severely burned circuit board. Since the tuner was still under warranty I sent it to MFJ and received a replacement.

The second replacement unit showed unstable behavior and required several on/off cycles to get it to tune initiate a tune. I immediately sent this one back and the MFJ service manager agreed to send me a new MFJ-998 non RT which I promptly sold.

The MFJ-998RT is a great concept but it simply is not a stable product. After purchasing MFJ products for 15 years and tolerating the out of the box DIY repairs they require, my tolerance has grown thin. I can't recommend anyone buy this product.
K9BW Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2014 14:59 Send this review to a friend
It is a keeper  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I notice many open it up before use. I have not. I have been using an SGC tuner for years... on my hidden 80 meter loop. Not a very good antenna but the neighbors still think it is a perch for song birds. If they only knew! I did not like others open it up before use. Read instructions then connected to the loop. I just love the fact that unlike the SGC I do not need to keep a power outlet at the tuner. This enabled me to mount it in a better location.. away from the weather. It does not seem to tune as fast as the SGC...but so far it handles all the same frequencies. So, it works, quite larger than the SGC but now I can mount it where size is not an issue. I am pleased. Seems to match the same frequencies as the SGC.
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