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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ-969 Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-969
MFJ-969 Reviews: 118 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $199.95
Description: Covers 160M to 6M, 300W
Product is in production.
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W8STU Rating: 4/5 Apr 26, 2014 08:28 Send this review to a friend
WORKS FOR ME  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is the second MFJ-969 I have owned. The first one I had to sell. I needed the money. I had so much good luck with the first one, I bought a second one. The tuner tunes about everything I throw at it. Yea, mine has the same tight inductance knob, but that does not bother me. The tuner works as it should. I love it. I would of rated the tuner a 5, but because of the tight inductance knob I rated it a 4... I would highly recommend the tuner. I got mine from WWW.HAMCITY.COM for $170.95. Best price on the net.
PE1FCH Rating: 5/5 Nov 8, 2013 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been working with the MFJ969 for a few months now. Yes indeed, the tuning process requires a bit of patience, but in my experience it will tune almost anything. No problems with the roller inductor, it does what is has to do: tune the antenna to the transmitter.
KD0OEC Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2013 15:26 Send this review to a friend
great barefoot tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I live in a antenna restrited zone,so I have to use indoor antennas and low power.My antenna is a G5rv configured in a three legged loop.I tried other tuners with no luck and thought I might have to give up the idea of operating DX with a indoor antenna.The MFJ 969 worked great it tuned this indoor G5vr jr. on 40-10 meters with near perfect swr.I haven't tried 80 meter let because I just don't have the antenna. I also haven't tried the tuner on 6 meters because I don't have that band.I can switch from 40 to 20 meter and by just adusting the knobs to the proper settings for that frequency I can have it set perfect so that when I tune up no futher ajustments are needed.The only fault that I can find is that the roller inductor is a little stiff to operate.If you are operating 100 watts or less and looking for a good manual antenna tuner for around $200. this is it.
N1EE Rating: 2/5 Jun 4, 2013 21:28 Send this review to a friend
Hate it but still have it...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really hate this tuner. Like everyone else my bulb is out. And my roller inductor knob is stiff and the thumb indent needs a lot if pressure.

I hate that it wants to move around when I try to turn the roller inductor. I solved that by putting a heavy box on it and wedged it between some things. If you can mount I with brackets you will be happier--as long as you don't need to make changes to cabling.

It takes some experience to tune quickly, however, to go from 0 to 49 turns on the inductor takes a while and drive you crazy. I try to find the notch that drops the antenna side cap, then radio side cap and then scroll around with the inductor until the reflected power drops and then revisit the two variable caps.

It won't tune everything but it can tune most anything...which is why I have it--15 years or so now. That is a long time to hate something. To be fair, it tunes up to 6 Meters and is working with some amazingly bad feedline at the moment--something that an auto tuner could not handle and that might damage a radio.

What I should do it sell this and find a better quality tuner with a smooth roller inductor. Which is what you should do if you are thinking about this POS.

Better still, make sure you have good antennas and feedline and use a great auto tuner. It is worth the extra expense.
26JLH Rating: 2/5 May 25, 2013 07:28 Send this review to a friend
works but screws loose  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
i got this used on flea bay.
inductor all loose as all i mean all the inductor screws were loose one was missing.
works ok now but this is a ham radio product it is put together in a very poor manner.
yes its ok now but it should not need to be repaired
befor you can use it.. jeff .. m0prf
W5YDM Rating: 4/5 May 9, 2013 08:25 Send this review to a friend
Works ok for me  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my MFJ-969 since 2008 and I agree with most of the reviews about the cheap quality, but mine must have been one of the better ones, since there are no loose parts or poor roller contact and the roller knobs turns easy. I made it even easier by greasing the gears. The tuner has never arced nor failed to match any antenna, and I use a lot of different wire antennas on bands they are not meant for. My only real complaint is one that no one else has mentioned...the scales on the cap knobs are reversed and so is the turns count on the roller, which means 0 on the caps means max capacitance and 10 means minimum, and 0 on the roller means max inductance and 126 means minimum. Why does MFJ build them that way? I emailed them that question and never got an reply.
GM4VGR Rating: 3/5 Apr 20, 2013 14:37 Send this review to a friend
Poor casework  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This tuner works fine but I cannot believe any respectable manufacturer would let a piece of equipment be shipped with the edges of the casework straight off the gullotine or saw.Considering the price here in the UK is 199 it's not a good advert for a product made in the USA
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.
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