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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Vertical, Wire, Loop | MFJ-1786 Super Hi-Q Loop Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-1786 Super Hi-Q Loop
MFJ-1786 Super Hi-Q Loop Reviews: 51 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $379.95
Description: High Efficiency 10-30 MHz Continuous Coverage Magnetic Loop
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the MFJ-1786 Super Hi-Q Loop.

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K5CPF Rating: 5/5 Oct 3, 2014 20:15 Send this review to a friend
Impressive!!!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just had mine delivered today. The packaging provided the necessary protection to endure shipping.

Set-up was quick and easy. I temporarily mounted it vertically 2ft above ground on a camera tripod.

I connected it via 100' of RG-58 to a Small Wonders PSK-20. I was able to copy PSK31 stations as far away as Reunion Island (> 9,500 miles).

Transmitting less than 1 watt (into that 100' of coax to the antenna 2ft above ground), I was copied by stations as far as 2,300 miles away in Canada, according to the pskreporter website. My first QSO was to a ham in Georgia.

Needless to say... I AM IMPRESSED!!!
VE3GZB Rating: 2/5 Jul 6, 2014 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Quality control is MFJ's Achilles heel  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned MFJ products before, including the MFJ9420, an MFJ986 tuner and the MFJ936B. Both the 9420 and the 936B failed of their own accord (final output of the 9420 died and the current Xformer insulation on the 936B arced over during a first attempt at a QSO with a 3 foot diameter 1/4" copper tubing loop).

I decided to give them one more try after researching here on eHam about the 1786 loop antenna. So far reviews looked well.

I received mine through RadioWorld in Toronto a couple of months ago but due to personal responsibilities (I'm my wife's caregiver) I've only just unpacked it and set up up a couple of days ago, I kept it in the "ham shack" on the floor until I had time to set it up.

When I followed the instructions I found that it would tune UP but not tune DOWN. I removed the black plastic cover and found that the MFJ variable capacitor assembly bolts had loosened off, the plates of the capacitor were in physical contact with each other, preventing the motor from closing them in.

I tightened everything up and made sure the plates were all properly set with respect to each other, I ran it through it's paces and verified it would function on UP and DOWN tuning efforts before putting the cover back on.

I was then able to set it back up and QSO on it. Within 2 minutes I was able to QSO with a DD8 just mounted a few feet above the backyard deck.

So it seems that while MFJ has good ideas, their practical execution and quality control continues to leave very much to be desired. Buy from MFJ with care!
SM6YPE Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2013 06:12 Send this review to a friend
Great antenna for small spaces  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Hi I have now used this antenna almost an half of a year and i must say it exceeds my expectations. The antenna is mounted on my balcony. The sorroundings are not the best with concret walls and metal structures. However the antenna tunes up fine, can be a bit tricky at 12 and 10 meter the tuning point is very sharp on those bands so its easy to miss it. but on 30-15 its very easy to tune up. I always do a "cold tune" meaning that im listen to where the maximum noice point ocurres. After that i Fine tune with HF applied. I really recomend this antenna if you want to do HF but have no acsess to roof. Please also se my video for tips how to mount on a balcony.

73 de SM6YPE
DL3MGG Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2013 06:08 Send this review to a friend
Now 8 years of good working  Time owned: months
My loop is now 8 years old and it is still working like on the first day. The antenne is mounted at the rooftop with a rotary. I am also using an automatic matched longwire with 18 meter but in most of the contacts my partners could find no significant difference to my loop. Especially in the evening and
nighttime the loop can make a better job, because of lower noise from the nightbours TVs. Special modifications I did: I removed the matching Motor of mfj to a buehler motor with gear and about 2 turns p. min. Found it at ebay. The modification is very easy to do. The other mod: I closed the housing with a silicon glue, so it is better protected to rain, snow, weather. All in all Im very satisfied with this antenna, would not like to miss it.
WX4DM Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2013 17:37 Send this review to a friend
Works great in my attic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought this antenna and hung in horizontally in my attic. This causes tx/rx to be omni-directional and helps prevent RFI to/from the house. Reception is fantastic - I regularly hear central Europe from North Alabama and have even heard Perth Australia. I've also been able to speak with multiple stations in Europe and reports are mostly 59. I ordered directly from MFJ and they were wonderful to deal with. I'd definitely recommend this antenna.
K8RBW Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2012 23:13 Send this review to a friend
Most Impressive  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There is a real tendency to complain about MFJ and their apparent lack of quality control. Indeed, I have found myself to be no exception to this proclivity. In most cases, however, I have found most of the things they manufacture to be adequate and the quality control acceptable. When they fall short, I have found them more than willing to honor their "no matter what guarantee" with no bickering over details. In some cases, their products are truly exceptional. The MFJ-1786 clearly falls into the latter catgegory. I have always struggled at my Wisconsin condo to put up adequate antennas that don't offend the tender psyche of the "architectural committee" for the condo association. My neighbors have graciously allowed me to toss end fed antennas over on the decks, but I have always felt like I was imposing. I have managed a stealth screwdriver antenna with capacity hat that I conceal in my patio table that performs adequately on 20 through 40 meters. Everything above 20 has been problematic, however. With improving propagation, I wanted something that worked well on the higher frequencies. After reading the reviews of the 1786, I took the plunge. I am very happy that I did as it has performed well beyond what I had expected. Mounted on a portable TV tripod on my deck at 30 feet, it is a stellar performer. Indeed, I have found that it probably works as well as a dipole at the same height. For one who spent many years tuning up boat anchors, I find the need to retune when changing frequencies to be be no real burden. Like the olden days, it just comes naturally and you give it little thought. When not in use, I simply bring it indoors and nobody seems in the least concerned. Well done MFJ! You deserve a pat on the back for a very nice product.

Vy 73 to all, de Dick K8RBW
K1CM Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2012 07:45 Send this review to a friend
MFJ-1786 - excellent  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought an MFJ-1786 (30M to 10M) Super Hi-Q Loop Antenna about a year ago and hung it vertically in my attic, which put the bottom of the loop at about 28 feet above ground. The loop is suspended from the ridgepole with twine. It has worked much better than I expected it would.
I had thought that loops were kind of gimmicky, but this one changed my mind. After tuning the antenna several times, I was able to get very close to minimum SWR just by listening to and peaking the noise on the frequency (hint: turn off the noise blanker while tuning). The Hi-Q of the loops means that you will have to tweak the tuning when you move more than a few kHz.
I operate mostly QRP c.w., and I have found the 1786 to be every bit as productive as dipoles (30M & 20M) at about the same height, and the loop is much quieter. Loops do, however, have narrow, deep nulls along their axes. I had thought about rigging up a rotating system using strings from the shack, on the floor below the attic, to move the null around. But I decided to get another loop (an MFJ-1788, which covers 40M to 15M) and mount it at a 90 degree angle to the first loop. They are about 15 feet apart. Depending on the direction of the incoming signal, switching between loops (on 30M to 15M) can make the difference between just barely hearing a weak signal and being able to copy it.
As to the quality of the units, I can only say that they have worked flawlessly. I have not taken the covers off the control boxes or the loops, but the units look well-built from what I can see. Both of the loops came with control boxes marked ďMFJ-1786.Ē They must have run out of 1788 boxes.
They both exhibit one minor quirk that I havenít figured out yet: If they are shut off and turned on again sometime later, they will have drifted slightly, but it takes just a couple of taps on the Fine Tune buttons to retune them.
Read the manual thoroughly, and understand it completely, before using the loops. I recommend these loops to anyone who cannot install full-sized outdoor antennas at their optimum heights.
N0YXE Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2012 11:11 Send this review to a friend
BABY BROTHER  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have just purchased the MFJ 1780 mini box loop for inclusion in my attic, next to the Alpha Delta DX-EE inverted dipole. The 1786 was fun and worked well. But, I received a court summons from my homes associatiion to remove all stealth antennas. My attic is protected by my middle aged buddies, Mr. Sig and Mr. Glock. Both being 45. You would not believe the ransom note that the hoa and their asshole attorney held me up for. If you would like to see a copy of the summons and the ransom note, I will send them to you. Also, I will send a good picture of the loop and the mini controls as it appears in my shack. An on the air review will follow soon: WRITE TO ME AT:
N6MV Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2012 20:51 Send this review to a friend
Only 3 ft in Diameter and 3 ft Off the Ground !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Relocated to a development with CC&R's, so left behind the 55 ft Tower and 3 El. Yagi- that I used for 32 years and went about looking at everything possible to use for an HF Antenna, viz. loading the rain gutters, using a stealthy flagpole, as well as using a small Hi Q Loop.

My MFJ 1786 Loop has been in use for only 2 days now, located only 3 ft off the ground,and I was very pleasantly surprised at how well this loop works on 20, 15 and 10 meters, for I was able to hear and speak with others on the East Coast, in Europe, Japan and South America - with ease, running 150 watts. Tuning is not that difficult once you get the hang of it, using the Auto Tune and Fine tune buttons, while looking at forward and reflected power.

Recommend buying an MFJ 1786, and once you see how MFJ built the loop and the controller ,you can then go forward with building one for 40 and 80 meters, using copper tubing for lower resistive losses, along with a vacuum variable capacitor so you can run more than 150 watts.

Best Article on the web - with many photos and references - including an Excel Spread Sheet to design your own Hi Q Loop is located at:

No question about it, the MFJ 1786 Hi Q Loop is an excellent antenna for those who have restrictive CC&R's and I have no regrets in purchasing it- whatsoever - for it works great !

And, if you would like to see what an Exposed MFJ 1788 Loop looks like- one can be seen at:

Upstream,the challenge is to build a servo- stepping controller that automatically tunes the loop as one changes frequency - for this is the only negative of using a Hi Q Loop.

K2NCC Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2011 01:37 Send this review to a friend
more bands for the buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It may take a month or two to receive this antenna. I used the extra waiting time reading the 1786 manual. There are used MFJ loops cheaper, but I recommend you pay the extra 100 bucks and get support with it.

Inspect inside the box before walking out the door or accepting delivery. "Figure 8Ē shaped antennas have been reported due to mishandling.

It's delivered in a big box, so it won't fit in a compact sedan if you're going down to HRO to get it. It fit in my Nissan Sentra after I removed it from the packing. But consider the possible need to return/ship the antenna before discarding the box. Donít bang it up going down the road.

If youíre after DX, over 20 feet up and horizontal is the way youíll want to install it.

Check all the bands you can work before nailing it down. One band might be fine while another is useless. Iíve had zero problems on any band so far.

Installs in less than an hour if youíre prepared.

Donít forget to disconnect EVERYTHING between the control box and the antenna. Well, except the coax of course! No low-pass filter, no lightening suppression, no balun... nada.

I did pound in a dedicated isolated ground to strap to the braid of where the coax enters the house. I use real LMR400, which I recommend. Low-loss line is best with this antenna. Youíll also need a short run of coax to bridge the radio to the 1786 control head. Keep it short.

BE SURE to watch your SWR meter or the control box as you TX, since small adjustment are sometimes necessary. If your tuned antenna suddenly shoots up in SWR, tap the slow tune up or down once or twice and you're back in tolerance.

Tuning is really narrow. Nearly any frequency change will require a re-tune of the antenna. The mag-loop can be tuned by ear with eyes on the meter, otherwise, use a solid, stable tone when tuning the control box. Whistling wonít do it, so use a key or your radioís tune tone.

Not that itís a high noise level at the QTH, but I found the loop just as noisy as my previous antenna; a 20M homebrew half-wave dipole. Both measure a noise level around 3-5db on 20M mid-day. However, considering where I had the dipole compared to the loop, I wouldn't be surprised if I received some gain from loop.

SWR was below 1.5:1 on all six (really *7*) bands. Everything does as expected. Easy to tune, although frequently required.

I seldom give a day-one review, but my first impression is a solid 5. Not enough bad things to lose a star. Although Iím not confident this is a 10 or 20-year antenna. Another reason to buy new.

Thereís enough good that Iíd recommend the upgrade to anyone with a compromised antenna or restrictive QTH.
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