- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | MFJ-1796 40 - 2 Meter Vertical Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-1796 40 - 2 Meter Vertical Antenna
MFJ-1796 40 - 2 Meter Vertical Antenna Reviews: 41 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $209.95
Description: 40 - 2 Meter 1/2 wave dipole
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the MFJ-1796 40 - 2 Meter Vertical Antenna.

Page 1 of 5 —>

K2STV Rating: 0/5 Oct 2, 2017 14:16 Send this review to a friend
Don't waste your money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been a ham for 61 years and over that time have had some major disappointments with MFJ equipment. After a long hiatus I decided to try the MFJ-1796. I put it together exactly per the instructions and after drilling out some undersized holes got the thing up. It does not work. Whatever signals I hear on any band are at least 4 plus S units down from a home brew dipole.The kicker is that you can not even get anyone to talk to at MFJ that knows anything about this antenna. I am so disgusted that I will give this antenna to anyone who takes it for free. email me in Tampa Bay area.
N1DVJ Rating: 4/5 Jul 21, 2014 14:24 Send this review to a friend
Good for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked this up because I wanted a simple HF vertical antenna that would also cover 2M, since the place where it was going would replace a 2M/440 stick.

I got it on sale for $199, new in the box. Be aware it's a BIG box, over 6 feet long. Had to tie it to the top of my Jeep.

Construction was ok. It was supposed to come with extra parts. And it did. Only the extra screws were a pack of a size that didn't match anywhere on the antenna.

Assembly went well, considering. It's not simple. When I was done it actually tuned up just outside 80M instead of 40M. And there was a false null just outside of 40M. Took a LOT of trimming to bring that in. Over 2" on all the sticks. The other bands tuned much easier. It was a multi-hour job, just to tune. If your trying to do it with just an SWR meter, I can see how you would get VERY frustrated, very quickly. I used a Mini-VNA. In fact, I can see how some people say they have problems.

Hooked it up to my K2 with 50 feet of RG-8X and first call was a group out in the rockies. I could hear 1 guy strong, 2 weak, and there were at least 2 more in the group. I broke in with about 10Wp-p and got right in. Only the strong guy said he could hear me clean. One of the weak guys said he could hear me but not make much out. Not bad though, as the strong guy was running 600W to my 10.

Need to play a lot more with it. Haven't tried 6M or 2M yet.
KK4FGF Rating: 4/5 Jun 25, 2014 11:05 Send this review to a friend
Very nice antenna for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I live in a subdivision with a small back yard so I didn't have room for a vertical with radials. I settled on the MFJ-1796 and spend an entire day assembling and tuning with a simple SWR analyzer. I thought I would never get it tuned. I suspect there was some sort of coupling with nearby telephone lines that was causing problems with resonance, but I eventually was able to get the tuning close enough for all bands except 2M which I don't use. Once it was assembled it was everything I really wanted. I've worked every continent (except Antarctica) and quite satisfied with the convenience of a multiband antenna.

One caution, when assembling (especially if you live close to the ocean) I would give all the metal parts a thin coating of some sort of conductive grease to prevent corrosion. I used DeoxIT and I haven't had any issues with galvanic or other types of corrosion.
KF4EAY Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2014 21:10 Send this review to a friend
For the price and what it is.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently passed my General test after 18 years as a ham. I'm handicapped and needed an antenna that could be handled and installed on my roof by someone else with no radio knowledge. I assembled the antenna over 2 afternoons and had it installed with out any other adjustments. I have a Kenwood TS 480 SAT and a MFJ 941E tuner. With my barefoot little 100 watt station I have managed to contact 26 countries in less than 2 months. If you expect it to act like a stacked array pushing a kilowatt you'll be disappointed. At this point my farthest contact has been Western Siberia @ about 7000 miles. It takes patience and persistence to make DX contacts but to this point, for what it is, I love the thing.
AE5YJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2014 09:55 Send this review to a friend
Exceeded my expectations  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this ground-independent vertical because 1.) no radial/counterpoise system was necessary (my yard is small) and 2.) It was relatively small in form factor. I knew it would be a compromise antenna, but I have to say that thus far I am very impressed with itís performance. Assembly was a bit of a pain, and the instructions are dated. The instructions are for an older version of this antenna, as the hardware has changed several times by the looks of it. This created some confusion, but I figured it out. I assembled mine over the course of a weekend. Just as the manual states, after connecting to the antenna analyzer the antenna was resonant at or just below each band. I am lazy and was not looking forward to the tedious task of trimming the capacitance spokes, so I purchased an MFJ-993b wide range tuner. It tunes all specified bands from the bottom of each band to the top with <1.7 SWR. I did not add the 6 and 2 meter stubs. Fired It up and made a few contacts, and am very pleased. I have this antenna ground mounted with the balun base approximately 5 feet off of the ground.

For comparison, I also have a Maple Leaf mini G5RV in an inverted vee configuration with the apex at 20í. While the vertical was a little noisier than the wire, naturally, the received signals were a full S-unit better than the wire antenna. This antenna easily outperforms my expectations, and while the build quality isnít exactly up to par with the space shuttle, it isnít terrible either. I am very happy with this purchase and aside from the inaccurate instructions (due to hardware changes) I can find no fault with this antenna at this time. I plan to review it again in several years so I can judge itís ability to withstand the elements.

73 de AE5YJ
VA2DV Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2014 14:53 Send this review to a friend
Well designed antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I usually do some bashing on MFJ products but i have to say that they have do their homeworks on this one. Everything is in the box. A 85 inch box ! Strange since no parts are longer than 60 inch ! Not a single bolt or washer is missing. All parts are of good quality including the fiberglass insulators and the mounting hardware.Once assembled, is it light enough to be raised in solo. Tuning by cutting the spokes can be a little tedious but take your time.
The provided chart is a good starting point.
Perfomance is superior to my previous antenna, a Cushcraft MA5V thta was limited to 250w. Now I also have access to 40m as a bonus to the power level handling of 1k. I am alread planning to add
some 12m and 17m parallel stubs made of Hustler resonators or similar. Overall i am more than satisfied with this antenna at 249$ can.
KI4DTB Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2013 13:09 Send this review to a friend
good antenna  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have used mine for 7 years, and it had been used before that. If you have limited space, this is a good antenna. Light weight, short (12 feet), very sturdy, easy to put up, not bothered by wind, needs no additional support or radials. So how does it perform? Mine has worked perfectly since put up. It hears equal to or better than my 90' long wire. It performed as good as a carolina windom. Down side is no 17 meters. MFJ really needs to add this or market an add on kit for owners. I like mine and will use it for another 15 years. I found assembly time consuming but not difficult, and replacement parts are readily available from MFJ. I don't know about MFJ's quality control these days, but the older antennas are easy to find, easy to fix, relatively cheap, sturdy, and work very adaquately. 73. Doug KI4DTB
KF8GE Rating: 0/5 Oct 9, 2012 23:13 Send this review to a friend
Piece of crap!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am normally the last person to criticize MFJ products but after preasassembling the top and bottom sections and both loading monstrosities, I took a day off work to tune and mount the antenna. It was in the trash heap by 3:00 PM. The mounting hardware is awful, so is the hardware on the loading sections. After several hours of frustration, had my R-5 back up in 5 minutes.
WV4I Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2012 07:41 Send this review to a friend
improved works great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Since I slammed the WARC version of this antenna so hard several years ago, I think an update is warranted. First, I wound up getting the WARC version on its advertised bands,, i.e. 12/17/30/60, after much trial and error, many, many hours. 6M was done with parallel wires fed from the feed point using standoffs, and for 2M, I used metal strips attached directly to the feedpoint bolts to form a 2m dipole, albeit horizontal.

I think the other poster is correct in that you could tweak one or more intended bands of this antenna to a nearby WARC band, i.e. 40 to 30, 20 to 17, etc.

I just installed the non WARC 1796 and used it for the SSB prefix contest this past weekend. Since I already have a HF2V vertical tuned to 40M phone, I set the 1796 to 40M CW, so can't comment much about 1796 on CW yet. However, the performance on 20/15/10M SSB was superb, especially given the overall length (efficiency) of this antenna, and with the feedpoint at only 15'. It handled 1500W SSB with zero spark and arc. If I could hear them, I could usually work'em, excluding the 5KW sounding stations.

The antenna tunes as the instructions predict, at the bottom ends of 40/20/15M. On 10M, mine was down at 26mhz, unless I was flunking antenna analyzer, or have/had nearby object detuning, but got that fixed with adjustment of spoke length.

Given the 10M issue, and not so low min SWR's on 40 and 15M, I'm guessing the balun may need some help, not sure. Plan to wind a coax choke balun, say 10 turns at 6" diameter, put at feedpoint, see what happens. Also do the math on the supplied choke balun of 3" diameter, many turns.

For 6M, I got 50.6 mhz with a decent null, but instructions not real clear on where stub brackets mount vs feed bolts, so could just need to move those, as want 50.125. Threaded rod stubs have a lot of length adjustment also.

For 2M, not really getting a null in that band. Could be something to do with placement/routing of feedline/proximity. Short WL, so does not take much to get it out/in adjust. Could just put horizontal metal strips directly off feedline mount points and suspect tuning will be done. Some signal loss on FM if horizontal of course.

This antenna will take far more than 2 hours to construct, much less adjust. Have your readers handy for small hardware, lots of it, mostly stainless, excellent quality, BTW.

The hardware is better quality than a few years ago, and the instructions far better. The spokes look to be AlCad or anodized, not just bare aluminum. They are now curled on the end, supposedly for higher power capability, but safer for the eyes regardless. You'd probably want to bring this antenna down if high winds/ice expected, but then most are like that.

I think this antenna is an excellent value for the antenna and/or space constricted QTH. Also if you simply want to minimize the radial count on/in your yard. It also is a good antenna for portable ops, notwithstanding typical campground RFI from generators/inverters/etc.

Nice job on this one MFJ.
N4UFO Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2011 00:23 Send this review to a friend
Additional review; moved antenna  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Just wanted to add some changes since my earlier review. Still have the 6m & 2m stubs removed. Have removed the wires and I think the bands the antenna is designed for work better without the additional wires I added. With that said, I think the antenna is performing even better at 5 feet above ground that it was at 20 feet above ground, over my house. (Could just be my location/ground.)

After moving the antenna, I discovered that the only differences between the MFJ-1796 (40, 20, 15 & 10m) and the MFJ-1796W (60, 30, 17 & 12m) is the size/amount of the capacitive hats on each band; the 'W' having greater "hats". However the COILS are the SAME! This prompted a very simple idea for a mod... I added to the capacity hats on the 20m section and tuned it to work on the 30m band! The hats for the other bands had to be "tweaked" since each band affects the tuning of the others, but it is now properly tuned for 40, 30, 15 & 10 meters.

As for performance, it is my "GO TO" antenna now for 30 meters! (My DXCC count just hit 90 with cards still coming!) It outperforms my 30m vee at 25 feet up. The 40m is still a bit narrow and I have to go to the wires or use the tuner for digital & SSB but it does very well in the lower CW band. On 15m it does not normally outperform my beam, but who would expect that... However my beam has some SWR/tuning issues on 15m so I still use the vertical sometimes with good results. On 10m, it is unbelievably my "go to" for any local ground wave propagation. Most guys in the area are running some type of vertical antenna so it beats the beam (cross polarization loss is 17 dB, so this is expected). But the unusual part is that it seems to perform better 5 feet off the ground than at 20 feet. I have a similar situation with TV reception where I moved a 4 bay UHF antenna to a a pole a few feet off the ground in front of my house and it performs better than it did on TOP of the house... So, "your mileage may vary".

All in all, I still recommend this antenna to anyone that wants a good DX antenna on a modest budget, doesn't want to or can't lay down a lot of radials and/or has restricted space. I only wish MFJ made a version with 80m. (I don't count the 1798, it's a different design and doesn't appear to stand up to harsh weather.) However the short size might make 80m not very efficient. [I am trying out a Hy-Gain AV18-VS at 3-4 feet off the ground and planning to experiment with above ground radials, favoring certain directions to gain directivity. (see article in June 2011 QST) But that is another review. =^D ]

If I had a machine shop and the where with all, I would homebrew an 80m shortened, end loaded vertical, similar to the 1796, only a bit taller. It is a sound design and a good antenna.
Page 1 of 5 —>

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.