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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ-993BRT TUNER, AUTO, REMOTE, 300W, 1.8-30 MHZ Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ-993BRT TUNER, AUTO, REMOTE, 300W, 1.8-30 MHZ
MFJ-993BRT TUNER, AUTO, REMOTE, 300W, 1.8-30 MHZ Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $299.95
Description: Description: Remote IntelliTuner is mounted in a durable hard plastic case that measures 9 1/4" x 3" x 14 1/4". Covers 1.8 to 30 MHz, uses heavy duty 16 Amp / 1000 Volt relays in a highly efficient L-network. It also includes the MFJ-4117 BiasTee Power Injector to send DC/RF down your coax. Handles 600 Watts SSB/CWpower level and matches 6-1600 Ohm antennas.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-993BRT
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DL1EAL Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2016 11:04 Send this review to a friend
Behaves strange sometimes  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have this tuner in operation for nearly 4 years now. It tunes a "random wire" of 18 meters (59 ft.) in length and up on the roof top at 25 meters (82 ft.) above ground, fixed between the two elevator engine houses on top of our house and on top of the adjacent house. Due to local restrictions, this is the only antenna I can use, a "stealth antenna", which is just tolerated, without official permission. The 993BRT is an ideal tuner for this type of antenna. You set a transmit signal with 10 watts for a second or two, and it tunes to the lowest SWR it can find... mostly. Sometimes however it thinks, a SWR of 2.2 is good enough and stops tuning, although it had tuned the same frequency to a 1.5 SWR the day before. If I switch to a different band, do a tune, then switch back to the old band and let it tune again: SWR 1.5!
That also happens after a reset (power cycle) sometimes. To me, it looks like the tuning algorithm in the 993BRT's microcontroller is not just technically mature. But once you know how to outwit it, it works fine.
The tuner is mounted outside on the fence around our roof terrace. Tis fence is made of steel and connected to the house earthing grid, which I also use as a counterpoise for the antenna. Not ideal, but it works fine on all bands except 160m. I put a piece of thick plastic foil over he tuner, to add some protection against the heavy rains we sometimes have. So far I have not experienced any problems with corrosion or water ingress.
I am giving it a 4 because of the sometimes unpredictable tuning results. When it's service time is over, I will probably try the ICOM AH-4.
 
NG2O Rating: 4/5 May 22, 2016 14:00 Send this review to a friend
Works Fine for Me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought a MFJ 993BRT to use with a Zero-Five 27 foot ground plane on the corner of my roof about 20 feet above ground. I mounted it right at the base of the antenna on the mast, and it seems to work fine. It has been up about a week. It tunes the vertical on 80 through 10 with no difficulty (SWR of 1.5:1 or less), with a small exception on 12 meters where I can't get the SWR below 2:1. I have to analyze that problem further. It won't tune the vertical on 160, but no surprise there. I gave it a four because it seems of less than robust construction. We will see how it holds up in the salt water environment here at the Jersey shore.
 
K8UMF Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2016 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Aggravating but works well!   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This tuner has been an adventure! The first one was DOA but customer service quickly sent out a replacement and a free return shipping label. The replacement worked well but seemed to be erratic at times and failed within a few days. It turned out that the vertical antenna was not properly grounded which caused the failure and flaky antenna operation. In spite of my mistake, customer service again quickly sent out a replacement with free return shipping and the new tuner has worked very well. The rating of this tuner is a result of surprisingly good customer service and the lack of similar tuners at anywhere near the price and performance of the 993BRT.
 
KC1EOQ Rating: 2/5 Jan 10, 2016 15:46 Send this review to a friend
It was great for the one day it worked.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This tuner is for all intents and purposes an MFJ-993B tuner mounted in a weather sealed injection molded plastic case for outdoor use at the antenna feed point. Pretty much no redesign and only minor changes to leave out unnecessary components from the '993B (like the front panel LCD) and the associated firmware tweaks needed. Inside the case you'll find the MFJ-993B main tuner board with the control panel board mounted in an inverted position on top of the main board.

This design approach by MFJ is both good and bad. Good for MFJ because it allows them to repurpose an existing tuner design for remote use with very little cost on their part. Bad for the customer because the product could have been so much better. No thought whatsoever has been given to usability features of the MFJ-993B on which this tuner is based. Settings can't be readily changed and config operations like erasing tuner memory and resetting the tuner (which the manual recommends doing if the tuner is "not behaving properly or acting erratically" - a direct quote from the manual) are a total PITA. Doing either of these requires the removal of TEN case screws and holding down (up, actually) multiple front panel buttons mounted on an inverted control panel PCB with very little clearance. The reset itself required holding three of these buttons simultaneously while cycling power. A true exercise in dexterity.

Back to my actual experience with the product, my MFJ-993BRT worked for all of ONE DAY before it quit on me. Opening the case revealed a "burnt electronics" smell, although I couldn't isolate which component it came from.

My Rating is a "2 - Needs help" because:
-- Mine croaked after a day (-5 points)
-- It's functionally superior to alternatives. At this point, I don't think I'd switch to another alternative (+4 points)
-- Config operations like RESET and ERASE MEMORY are an exercise in futility (-1 point)
-- MFJ "cheaped out" and could have made made this product so much better by making it a full equivalent of the MFJ-993B (-1 point)
 
KI4WMO Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2015 20:40 Send this review to a friend
Reliable and consistent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had this tuner outside for a while taking 200W from my FT-2000D and matching to a 43' vertical. The setup I've been using was 75' of 9913 to the tuner, then a short piece of coax to a 1:1 inline isolation balun, to the 4:1 unun at the antenna base of the 43' vertical with 1500' of radials. This replaced an auto-tuner I had in the shack. I got considerably improved signal reports and results from my usual groups on 80 and 40m, and was generaly able to hear better once I switched to the remote tuner. This model has been completely reliable, and I've even been able to tune 160m on the 43' vertical with it, and make a few contacts, though that antenna isn't efficient at all on that band (a conversation for another review).

Additionally, we're getting ready to move QTHs here, and after we took all the main antennas down, just as a temporary setup until I disconnect the radios this week and pack them, I went ahead and threw a 75' random wire with an 81' counterpoise on - connected the wire to the wire antenna socket, and the counterpoise to the ground lug. The tuner handled it great, and I actually had a much better 160m system than before, and the station was better for contacts out to about 2000 or so miles (but I don't hear Europe as well, but anyway...). Point is, the tuner did its job very well without missing a beat, whether being used with a 43' vertical, or a random wire and counterpoise.
 
W9PMZ Rating: 4/5 Feb 10, 2015 08:11 Send this review to a friend
Very nice solution  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I replaced a LDG RT100 with the MFJ-993BRT.
I have the MFJ-993BRT mounted on my chimney with 50' of wire.
The MFJ-993BRT does indeed tune much faster and keeps the tuning solution in memory with retuning upon returning to that frequency almost instantaneous.
It tunes 80M-10M very nicely and I can check into a 75M net in the evening with a reasonable transmitted signal.
The DC injector box is nice, but you have to turn it on and off at the box. Would be nice if this were a remote process (on/off).
The tuner is bypassed when the unit is turned off. It would be nice if the tuning solution remained intact with the unit turned off.
 
N7BOO Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2015 01:19 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
First, I want to make it clear that I have no affiliation with MFJ or their products. Having said that, I wanted to comment on the MFJ remote auto tuners like the MFJ-993BRT 300 watt model.

I’ve owned various models of the SGC Auto Tuners for 17 – 18 years, I’ve never had one fail and they have all performed admirably. I have also owned MFJ remote auto tuners like the MFJ-993BRT and they have performed admirably without a single failure.

I've had these tuners mounted on towers and rooftops in all extremes of weather conditions. I've lived in Wisconsin and Arizona where they have been subjected to extreme humidity, extreme subzero cold, snow, ice, and extreme heat in excess of 130 degrees on rooftops and towers, never once have any of them failed.

I'm sure that there will always be a few that exhibit problems, but so does any other mass produced product.

I've been a ham for 35 years and I've found that most failures are generally associated with cockpit errors like poor connections and failure to follow installation and operational instructions. Some tend to immediately blame the manufacturer and slam the product as "junk", when in fact, they failed to follow proper installation and operational instructions, tampered with the product, exceeding the power limits of the device, and were not knowledgeable / capable with electronics in the first place.

All I can add is, both the MFJ and SGC remote auto tuners have served me well and I have never experienced a single failure with any of them.
Product is in production.
 
N2DE Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2014 13:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Device  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I use this tuner to couple to a 700ft long wire that is fed off-center with ladder line. It provides a 1:1.3 or better match on all bands and follows bands changes instantaneously. My transceiver "sees" a perfect antenna on every band, although that wire is far from resonance, and I can run a "clean" coax into the house when the ladder line is certainly radiating quite a bit. The tuner just sits out there in the garden, doing the job quietly and efficiently - I am happy with it.
 
KG4RUL Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2012 04:26 Send this review to a friend
Works Great After You Finish Assembly  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
As I wrote before, the nut holding the radio, SO239 was loose on arrival. Fixed that and put it into service tuning my 41' flagpole. Works great on every band except 160M, which I had little hope for anyway. Of course, I only run 100W into a 300W rated tuner. HI HI
 
DG5SAY Rating: 3/5 Jun 13, 2012 08:44 Send this review to a friend
it works, but don´t know how long  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ich habe den Tuner nun etwa zwei Monate. Vorweg muss ich sagen, er tut genau das was er tun sollte. Er kann meinen etwa 27 m langen Draht von 160 m bis 10 m einigermassen anpassen, das max. SWR beträgt normalerweise 1:1,5.

Als ich den Tuner erhalten habe, ist mir aufgefallen dass 1. (bei meinem Exemplar) kein Befestigungsmaterial zur Mastmontage enthalten war, und 2. auch bei meinem Gerät eine Schraube locker war. Da es sich dabei um eine der Deckelschrauben handelte, habe ich die Gelegenheit ergriffen, mal einen Blick ins Innere zu tätigen.

So wie es innen aussieht, hat MFJ nur die Leiterplatten aus dem normalen MFJ-993 genommen und in ein, etwas instabiles dünnes Plastikgehäuse, gebaut. Das Display vom normalen Tuner ist nicht bestückt, und die Frontplattenplatine mit den Tasten ist so montiert, dass sie nicht mehr betätigt werden können. Dazu erhält man eine (englische) Bedienungsanleitung, die sich auf die Bedienung des Shack-Gerätes mit Display und Tasten bezieht! Fakt ist, dass sich beim MFJ-993BRT z.B. das "Target SWR" nicht ohne vollständige Zerlegung des Geräts einstellen lässt.
Gelegentlich habe ich auch das Problem, dass der Tuner nicht damit beginnt eine Abstimmung zu starten, obwohl das SWR über 1:2 liegt. Dann hilft nur die Sendefrequenz so weit so verändern, dass das SWR noch weiter steigt, irgendwann beginnt er dann endlich mit einem Abstimmvorgang.

Ich bin gespannt, wie lange das Gerät noch seinen Dienst tut. Er ist bei mir im Freien am Mastrohr von der 2m/70cm-Antenne befestigt, vollständig der Witterung ausgesetzt. Das labrige Plastikgehäuse ist nur (nach meiner Meinung) unzureichend abgedichtet.

Auch könnten die internen Masseverbindungen noch weiter verbessert werden. So sind z.B. die Massen der PL-Buchsen nur über jeweils ein dünnes Stück Silberdraht vom Gehäuse zur Platine geführt. Selbst zur Masseschraube des extenen Masseanschlusses ist nur ein dünnes, mehrere cm langes, Drähtchen verlegt! Und warum zur den Schrauben der beiden Befestigungsflansche keine Masse verlegt wurde, entzieht sich ebenfalls meiner Kenntnis.

Zusammenfassung:

Positiv:
- Funktioniert
- Kostet nur die Hälfte wie ein SGC-Tuner
- Fernspeisung

Negativ:
- lieblos in ein dünnes Plastikgehäuse eingebauter MFJ-993
- keine Betätigung der (noch) vorhanden Tasten möglich
- unzureichende Masseverdrahtung
- Abdichtung gegenüber Witterung fraglich (werden die nächsten Monate zeigen)

 
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