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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | MFJ-1024 Remote Active Antenna Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ-1024 Remote Active Antenna
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $159.95
Description: Remote Active Antenna
Product is in production.
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KP4FAR Rating: 4/5 Jan 18, 2016 05:47 Send this review to a friend
Effective low noise antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
After a year of using this antenna I have several observations and recommendations about it.
The MFJ 1024 remote active antenna is an excellent vertical SW antenna for small spaces or a place where big antennas can not be erected. Installation is easy. Mine is 25ft up on the roof installed in a 4 ft wooden pole. I sprayed the amplifier external unit with clear acrylic paint to protect it against the salty air. The small space between the segments of the telescopic antenna were taped with electrical tape of the kind used for external installation. The internal unit is not grounded. This antenna is connected to several radios through an antenna switch and a wire antenna is connected to the auxilliary antenna connector.

Now for the reality of using the MFJ 1024. Unless you live way outside a city forget using the max gain. I use the gain halfway at the most. At the same time I have found that even at the 9:00 o clock position the gain is more than enough. What happens after you push it past the 12 o clock position? It is then that, at least from my site, the broadcast stations interference comes through. Now, don't get me wrong. This antenna is good with much less noise than a long wire. I am capable of picking up stations that my long wires cannot hear.
The antenna requires 12VDC and I recommend a very good regulated power supply or battery. A regular wall wart can introduce noise. Overall band response is excellent and the vertical whip makes it omnidirectional.
Overall I find the MFJ 1024 a food effective antenna for SW. The broadcast interference is a problem at high gain and probably, if you live too close to a BC transmitter, this problem could make the antenna ineffective. Some solutions for this have been suggested by other users.
 
N4LQ Rating: 4/5 Dec 7, 2015 06:35 Send this review to a friend
Has potential  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Living in the big city we have several strong AM broadcast stations that completely overloaded the 1024 even with the whip collapsed. The cure was to cut one lead on each of the 2 input protection diodes. Diodes on the input of an RF amplifier cause terrible IMD. MFJ even tried reverse biasing these diodes but it's not enough. These were 5kw stations about 4 miles away.

Also this unit should be grounded. Either a metal mast should be used and it should be grounded at the base or the coax should be grounded before it goes into the house. This does not require a fancy ground, just a 4' rod will suffice. This will greatly reduce noise pickup.

Finally, the whip antenna works but I found that a 1" wide piece of double sided circuit board about 5" long made a better antenna. This idea came from the so called "mini-whip" design. The antenna acts as a capacitor.

The control box is nice because it has the gain pot and padder which allows you to control the injection to your radio however it does not control the actual gain of the outdoor unit.

Quality control is an issue. When mine arrived, all 4 bolts holding the outdoor unit were loose and flopping around. The antenna mount was loose and 2 nuts for the circuit board were missing. These were an easy fix of course.

I installed a nice SO-239 coax jack on the bottom so I can now disconnect the outdoor unit when needed. I also re-drilled mounting holes for the box so I could move it up higher, to the edge of the plate which allows the antenna to extend above the plate. You don't want the antenna below the plate.
I also drilled holes for larger U bolts, 2". Those holes should have been slotted for various size u bolts anyway.

The mosfet used in the antenna has internal diode protection. I hope it's enough. So far with my transmit antenna about 50 feet away, no problem. The diode idea MFJ used would be great but just isn't practical if you live anywhere near a BC station.

I've been using this as both a diversity antenna with my horizontal wire antenna and K3's sub receiver. The 1024 favors vertical polarization making it a great 2nd antenna for diversity. Also I've been using it as the noise pickup antenna for my MFJ-1026. This makes a great pair.

The field is limited. Other similar antennas by DXE, Clifton Labs and a few Ebay units from Russia could be considered however the first 2 are in the $300+ range and their susceptibility to BC overload is unknown. The Ebay "mini-whip" design is by far the cheapest but with less sensitivity. None of these have the nice indoor control box like the 1024.

73 Steve N4LQ
 


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