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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, 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.
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KA7SLC Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2011 17:01 Send this review to a friend
This really works!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The MFJ-1796 is just a good all around vertical.
After stringing up fan dipoles, monoband dipoles for Digi/Phone for multiple bands, I decided to go buy a verticle for my new house here in Oregon. When I went shopping all my local radio shop had in stock in my price range was this little 14 foot tall (under $200 range) vertical. He MFJ-1796 is a 40, 20, 17(yes loads and easily talks on 17) 15, 10, 6 and 2 meter Center fed balanced dipole in an easy to move vertical fashion. Unlike other base fed verticles, this one is center fed and it can even be configured as a balanced horizontal rotatable dipole as well.
Like all antennas with lots of parts, this one took me about 5 hours to put together, and another 2 hours to tune properly on a temp 8’ mast mounted on my fence. I would say you must have a antenna analyzer to tune this puppy. It will tune for digi/cw band OR Phone, but usually not both on 40 or 20, even though 20 meters is a tiny bit wider and can handle some of both bands. All the higher bands are much more broadband and will work okay with a good tuner. Hint: Download the MFJ Rotatable dipole model manual and it’ll give you better tuning ideas for the MFJ-1796 spokes.
RESULTS: Very first 20 meter contact was S9 into Russia. Second was a 15 minute conversation to a Missouri fellow at S-9 on 15 meters. We played with my wire as well and compared this vertical. The MFJ-1796 vertical heard things better and was QUIETER than all my dipoles and wires. On 40 meters, while it’s compromised, I easily worked PSK31 at 25 watts into Florida. I also talked to a few stations on the phone side but I had this tuned low for DIGI/CW portion of 40. All night long I worked PSK31 stations on 40 meters, sometimes with only 5 watts. So, the result is amazing. It DOES work and work well. Yes, I have vast Yagi experience and this thing really does do some hard work for it's size. I want to try this horizontal at some point and use it as a rotatable dipole, which is super simple to straighten it into a balanced rotatable dipole. The horizontal unit uses a simple 1:1 balun, so if you don't like coiling coax chokes, then feed this antenna with a good HF-6 meters wide range balun.
For a slighty short antenna that mounts on roofs (or chimneys in my case) without needing any ground radials at all, this shorty, the MFJ-196 is amazing.
OZ9CD Rating: 5/5 Mar 26, 2010 01:58 Send this review to a friend
Thumbs UP !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After reading several of the reviews of the antenna here on - I took the step and bought one. My living area is antenna space restricted, both in width and height - so my staring point was that I knew that I couldnīt compare the MFJ1796 to a full size dipole or a big beam. BUT - before this one, I had an older Outback 250 (6,5 m high endfed antenna) and I thought that it was the most I could get out of working hf in restricted space - it was doing ok - made quite a few dx contacts, but my "ears" were not good on hf.
After assembling and mounting the MFJ 1796 on a pole on the ground, I connected it to the tuner I used for my Outback250 also (Couldnīt properly tune antenna due to frost and snow). And I was surprised - big time. This antenna lets me work almost any country that others in my area can work. And after tuning the thing this spring - it got even better. I work 10,12,15,17,20,40 meters on it - but on 17 I have to use the tuner.
Compared it over a long period to a ham friends G5RV (high and clear mounted) - and both reception and transmitting reports all over the world shows a difference appr. 1-2 s units, depending on distance and direction. On 40 meters our reports are quite equal.

I have not tested it on 6 meter (the band is generally not very active here and now)

And on 2 meter I donīt have to use it (have other verticals especially for that)

Downsides: not "Rolls Royce quality", and tuning this antenna takes a while due to construction.

UPside: only 1 sq.m. footprint - only 4 meters high - works great.

So if You are restricted by space - get this one. And donīt compare it with full size beams or so - thats unfair, because we all know that size matters :o)

Conclusion: Iīm thrilled with this antenna ! - and as a final... last week I got myself a FT817 and are now working a lot of countries on QRP power (2,5 Watts) on this antenna - distances between 300 - 7.000 km - US included - so for me, real life shows that this antenna works !
Itīs a keeper !
WINKEV Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2009 08:45 Send this review to a friend
WOW!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just installed the antenna last night 5 feet off the ground on a tripod, fired up the hf rig on 40 meters and could hear contacts being made all the way to Europe!!! Today I am going to try doing some transmitting to see what happens!!! I am impressed with the look of it and I found it very east to set up!!! I have a very good feeling that this antenna is a keeper!!!
KF6POG Rating: 5/5 Aug 16, 2009 20:26 Send this review to a friend
10 1/2 years of good service  Time owned: more than 12 months
Because of HOA antenna restrictions, this is the only HF antenna I have ever used at my base. Although I do have a High Sierra Sidekick and several home brew antennas for my travel trailer. The 1796 was not difficult to assemble or tune as I do have an antenna analyzer. It has given good service all this time until 2 months ago. It has developed a short or a short circuit somewhere and I just cannot find it; with or without the analyzer. I cannot tell any difference in my transmissions but a few minutes after turning the radio on, the receive dies down to nothing. When I punch the PTT key the receive comes back up for a few minutes and then goes back down. I have substituted power supplies and radios. I have also used my base radios in the travel trailer with food results. I have replaced all coax with new and still the problem persists. But overall, it has been great for 10 years. I guess I will just have to replace it with another one just like it.
K3FXR Rating: 4/5 Oct 1, 2008 05:01 Send this review to a friend
13 years and going strong!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was asked the other evening about this antenna form a local ham that has very limited space to mount an antenna. So, after explaining it to him, it hit me that I've never given a review of it.
I've had this antenna since 1996 and it has been at three different locations. It has withsttod the the test of time, wind, ice and worst of all...moving it to different locations.
I originally installed it because at the time I had a very limited space for an hf antenna and no room for radials. I took a chace with this antenna and it has worked well.
BUT! and a big BUT! After assembly, I had a friend of mine tune this thing with an annilyzer. without one, you can forget trying to tune it correctly. Tuning took all of three hours. However, the end result was worth it.
Since installation, I worked WAS on 40meters..
And have logged over 120 countries. Now, this was back in the late 90's and early 2000's, the bands were much better then.
The antenna has it;s limitations...I could never get 2meters to tune correctly... 6meters works well and is good the entire band. It can be noisey at times, but, what verticals are not?
10, 15 & 20 can run with no tuner. with the tuner, I've can work 12 & 17 meters with no problem.
40 is narrow, but I only use the voice portion of the band, so, I tuned it for my use.
I now run a cushcraft A3S since I am in a new location where I can now have a tower. But, I still use the antenna daily and when I need that extra punch, I go to the beam.
I hope this can be of use to someone thinking about this antenna.
WV4I Rating: 0/5 May 7, 2008 07:09 Send this review to a friend
A little of both?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted an MFJ-1796W. What I apparently got was part 1796 and part 1796W, both in terms of parts and instructions, so putting a review here on 1796 thread also. The instruction manual has literally been cut and pasted fm the 1796 manual, but the proofreaders (right) left references to 40m and spoke lengths that were not included with the W kit, parts were included for 2m/6m that the W is not supposed to cover, but no reference in the "instructions" re 2m/6m, really not even sure if coils are designed for WARC or non WARC bands. Call MFJ you say? Well I did. Turns out that the fellow that supposedly designed this antenna took the plans with him, no longer works there. Still waiting on the call back fm the poor MFJ person that said he'll have to build one of these W versions just to figure it out. I would be very wary of buying either the 1796 or 1796W version of this antenna for the reasons listed. Meanwhile if someone could email me spoke lengths on various rings, and turns counts on each coil, I would appreciate it. I would like to know if I'm wasting my time trying to get my 1796W on the WARC bands.
Thanks.....Link, WV4I,
VE3SVQ Rating: 4/5 Jan 16, 2007 08:52 Send this review to a friend
Good buy for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of the very first ones to come on the market, so it has been in use now 10+years. It has survived high winds, a world famous ice storm and been taken down and moved twice when the family moved. I operate on all its bands at 80-100w only. Like any vertical there is some noise but I have worked stations all over the world and generally get good reports. Its not a beam and doesn't perform like one but for those with limited space or a limited budget its a good buy. Its presently mounted on a pole 10 feet off the ground.
WD5FUN Rating: 1/5 Jul 31, 2006 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Worst Vertical I have ever owned.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have tried to work with this piece of junk for two years now and have finally found it's best operating location, the dump. The quality of materials and workmanship would be considered sub quality in any third world country. It would never tune properly and the help I recieved from MFJ was non existant. My recommendation is to spend a little more money and buy an antenna worth putting up. I just did that and it was made of quality parts, was easy to assemple and guess what! It performed accourding to specs and out performs the MFJ many time over.
KE9ZM Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2006 12:05 Send this review to a friend
Comments for attic mount  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a review of this antenna before and have been using it for years. Folks might want to consider mounting this antenna horizontal in the attic. Only 12 ft of lenght is needed. To make this antenna fit a horizontal space, remount the bottom capacitance hat and loading assembly right on the tube. Hits perfectly and the result is a fully symetrical loaded dipole (rather then the L-shape in the standard config.

ke9zm ke9zm at yahoo dot com
F5DQK Rating: 4/5 Jun 22, 2005 23:27 Send this review to a friend
A real dipole -- really not bad !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Home working conditions:
- MFJ-1796
- Home made under roof inverted Vee antenna: works on 3.5, 7, 10, 18 and 28 MHz, also on 50 MHz without retuning.
- IC-706MKIIg rig + IC-AH4 automatic tuner
- 144/70 MHz Microwaves transwerter !!
- Synthest-Unaohm MCP-3000 field meter

- Es looking from 28 to 80 MHz
- 28 and 50 MHz favourited Band
- SW under 28 MHz in a future retired period !

This 2nd hand antenna is here 4 years old. It was well mounted by the previous owner but seriously oxydised after 2 years pollution on a parisian roof.

I'd first wash all aluminium parts with Scotch-Brite and water, and change the initial UHF to a N female connector.
First tryings were made during summer 2002 in the garden on a 3 Meter high Aluminium mast. 7 MHz band was previously
adjusted 300 kHz too high.. One longer spoke on each side did solve the problem. Other bands were OK.

SW testing was more a receiving comparaison with my inverted Vee.
- 7 MHz band is very narrow (exactly like the inv V). Automatic tuning is required.
- 14 and 21 MHz : I am not used to them; automatic tuning is better than nothing.
- 10 and 24 MHz are not "thinkable" bands on this antenna.
- 28, especially 29.6 MHz FM works well, but is more noisy than my under roof inverted Vee. If you want either CW, SSB and FM activity, automatic retuning is obligatory !
- 50 MHz extra dipole has its weaker SWR on 52 MHz, but has a good wide band. Activity was just tested under summer Es conditions and antenna comportment is not bad. But manual alternative antenna switching on a same signal can give opposite results, so I have to wait now on the next better sun activity for long dX !!.
- 144 MHz dipole is just for local repeaters and has nothing to compare to my older 16 Elements F9FT dx yagi. That's normal !

I did add also a 70 MHz... yes a 4 Meter dipole, so that the SW mast was surrounded by, not 2 but 3 additionnal dipoles !! And so I use now a 7 band real dipole !!
An english 144/70 MHz Microwave transwerter was needed for tuning. In summer 2002, 28/70 MHz crossband QSO's (also listened in FM) were made with GM's, EI's and Gibraltar. Also 5B4CY was listened 3 times. 4 meter personal QRP beacons were also active in band beginning part.

4 Meter transwerter was sold 3 years ago and 70 MHz is now needed to visualise Summer Es dxTV on russian OIRT channel R3 (in addition to conventional 48-60 MHz band 1 TV), and it works also very well !! Colour TV could be seen ! Even the east european 65-74 MHz WBFM OIRT band works well !!

I did then leave it in a cellar a very long time. But one month ago I did take it again and did put it on a new chimney on the roof, located about 5 meters from the earth.

I did recently thing to a 70 cm dipole extention, but antenna coaxial loss (coil + dipole teflon feeding) was supposed to be far too high at this frequency.

The IC-706 gives 2 great Rx holes: first one at 60 + - 2 MHz because of SW / high band switching, and also curiously a second one at 70 + -0.2 kHz !! So I am now very disappointed that I cannot listen 4 Meter Ham band any more.

A Synthest-Unaohm MCP-3000 field Meter (also digital) works great while visualising all 40 to 90 MHz band Es TV and WBFM activity on it!! Also in band 1 a curious radar (I suppose!), working down to 32 MHz could be seen.

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