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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ 969 Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ 969
MFJ 969 Reviews: 111 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $199.95
Description: Covers 160M to 6M, 300W
Product is in production.
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K3DOS Rating: 5/5 Mar 24, 2013 07:52 Send this review to a friend
It's Better Than I Expected  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 969 is a good, inexpensive 300 Watt manual tuner. I especially like average power mode. But having said that, manual tuners are not for everyone. Experience is required to obtain the best match, and not every ham can do it. But that's not the tuner's fault! The only improvement I'd like to see is a crank inductor knob.
N1BEC Rating: 1/5 Jan 6, 2013 20:13 Send this review to a friend
Avoid this train wreck at all costs!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A friend of mine purchased the 969 and was having trouble with it, so I took a look at it.
As with most MFJ products I have looked at, this one had very little going for it but the bargain price (what's the old saying? The bitterness of poor quality lingers much longer than the joy of low price!).
The unit looked nice from the outside, but opening it revealed cost cutting short cuts and very poor workmanship.
Here's my main beefs with this unit:

-Lack of spacing on variable caps, which will cause arcing at low power levels.

-Loose Transmitter tuning cap.

-Loose roller inductor tuning knob.

-Nasty roller inductor tuning feel.

-Roller inductor insulator plates made of poor quality material that bends and easily overheats.

-Roller inductor that makes poor contact while tuning.

-Abysmal soldering on roller inductor.

-Undersized balun.

The unit was a true disappointment. It appears to have the same, small plate spacing caps as used in the 949E antenna tuner. I didn't load this tuner at more than about 15 watts, but I suspect they would arc over just like the 949E did on me at 100 watts.
The balun is also undersized: It is the same size as one in another low end MFJ tuner that got incredibly hot with 100 watts carrier.
Trying to pre-set the 969 with the MFJ-269 Antenna Analyzer (which actually is a good MFJ product!) was a chore: The roller didn't gently tune in, and acted like it was not making contact: Tuning was "jumpy", and not easily repeatable.
I wound up pulling the roller inductor out, taking it apart, and cleaning up the shaft of the roller contact, the rolling part itself, and any other pieces that carried RF. All moving surfaces were treated with DeOxit.
The tension was also increased on the moving contactor. This all seemed to help the operation, but there was absolutely nothing I could do with the really rough tuning of the roller inductor.
The combination of crappy gears and the force needed to tune the unit made the finger hole in the tuning knob seem impractical. The vibration and feel of the tuning was like driving down a corduroyed road, or as pleasant as having a dentist grind a filling with a really rough drill.
The material the roller end plates and coil supports was made out of was really cheesy: I could see that the coil had gotten hot and had begun to char, and the coils were sagging in many spots. This thing isn't going to age well!
The soldering on the roller inductor innards was positively abysmal: Copper strap wasn't soldered well. The solder had signs of being done quite cold, it was sloppy, and looked like it had not been fluxed. I would be embarrassed to put out a product like this.
After all of the cleaning and reassembly, the unit seemed to tune better, but hadn't settled down completely.
I don't have the heart to tell my friend that for the money he spent on the MFJ, that I picked up a like new Nye MB-II... Let's face it: For what you would pay for this unit new, you can pick up any number of used tuners that are much better than the 969.
If you do look at a tuner with a roller inductor, make sure it has a ceramic frame and end plates, and that tuning is smooth. Also, look for wide spacing on the variable caps, as that means they will have a higher breakdown voltage. With baluns, look for larger sized cores in the 2" or better range, and you will do well.
Do yourself a favor, and steer clear of the MFJ 969. You can do a lot better than this sad excuse for a tuner!
N4YX Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2012 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Works FB  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm using this tuner for a ladder line fed inverted vee dipole. One must be patient in the beginning and follow the instructions until you're honed in to your desired frequency. Then simply log the setting. The one real issue everyone seems to have is the "burns out right away" meter lamp. Seriously MFJ .. you can do better than this with an inexpensive flat top white LED and the appropriate current limiting resistor.
ZL1SQV Rating: 1/5 Feb 16, 2012 20:10 Send this review to a friend
Bad News  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine was faulty out of the box . The only mode that worked was the dummy load. It is a pity MFJ have such poor quality control. I suspect that the balun is the faulty component in this case. Parcelled up and sent back to dealer!!
VE3BDE Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2012 17:45 Send this review to a friend
Great Tuner !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I Just Purchased MFJ 969 works fantastic you can tune any thing perfect.
I tried them all, I have to say this one hit 5 stars!
K3DOS Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2012 04:12 Send this review to a friend
I Like It  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like this tuner better than my ATR30. From some of the other reviews I thought that maybe I'd have to get a crank knob for it, but that's not the case. The finger indent works fine for me. Maybe the other guys got a lemon. Anyway the 969 is a perfect match for my Mark V.

I find the large meter and peak function to be especially valuable. The only drawback so far is that the tuner is somewhat limited on 160M. It tunes my DX-B sloper OK between 1.84 and 1.94 MHz, but to go above or below that range I have to use the ATR30 which is in an adjoining room.

The bottom line is that I should have bought a 969 years ago!
K2ADK Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2011 17:01 Send this review to a friend
An excellent antenna tuner.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I read scores of negative comments about MFJ products while waiting for my MFJ-969 to be delivered. Thus I became hesitant about accepting delivery -- but I'm glad I didn't. This machine can't turn a coffee can into an antenna, but anything reasonably close to resonant will match down to 1:1 with ease.

A local Elmer buys all his measurement equipment (and that means a ton and a half) from MFJ, and swears by that company's products. With his and my experience in mind, I recommend this 969 wholeheartedly.
N4ZAW Rating: 4/5 Sep 27, 2011 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Bulky, but it works.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This tuner can make a dog cage safe to transmit out of! The only drawback is it's low RF handling capability when compared to it's size. The thing is a real bench-hog, taking up more real estate than my Yaesu FT840 does. But it never failed me -- and I've accidentally SPANKED it with 500Watts a couple times with no ill effects... Knock on wood for the next time, huh?
W0GLB Rating: 4/5 Apr 26, 2011 09:48 Send this review to a friend
Performs as Advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently added to the shack lineup, taking the place of an MFJ-945E (which performed admirably, as well). Does what I want from a tuner--gets me more bands, and bandwidth, from my limited antenna farm. The fit and finish are very good, the inductor knob turns very smoothly right out of the box, and will only get better with use. For all you get: antenna switch, balun, 300w dummy load, wide-range tuner, SWR/Power meter; in my book, it is a clear bargain.
K7NNG Rating: 0/5 Apr 22, 2011 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Not good at all  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 3 of the 969. all were pieces of junk.
IMHO the 986 is the best of the lot
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