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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | MFJ 90-Series Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ 90-Series
MFJ 90-Series Reviews: 38 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $189.95
Description: Mono-band HF QRP CW Transceiver
Product is in production.
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WX4O Rating: 4/5 Feb 24, 2011 19:58 Send this review to a friend
Good rig for <$100.oo  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned many of these for different bands. They were pretty good at the $100. or so price. They are
NOT a good deal at the current price. Buy used or not at all. Save your $ for an 817.
AF2DX Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2011 16:54 Send this review to a friend
MFJ CAN'T BEAT IT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I think I owned the very first MFJ 20 meter 9020 rig that came out.
Yes it did drift but some poly caps put a good fix on that.
I started buying used rigs for under $100.00
The plug in CW filter beats the bandwidth on the 2 band China rig.
I even use it more then my FT 817.
If your low on funds,this out of the box rig will have you making contacts all over the world just as soon as you string up an end fed wire.
I also showed how rugged the rig is by parking the front wheel of my Ford Escort on it.
The final takes a real beating but never seems to fail.
Of all the MFJ rigs I had,I only suffered on that failed and that was the relay.
I still have and use my first 40 meter 9040 that I purchased back in 1996 and I still use it almost every day
N7JBH Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2010 08:35 Send this review to a friend
Built in speaker  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own an MJF-9020 and 9040, I use these at work with an end fed longwire strung between two HVAC units on the roof, no antenna tuner. Haven't checked the SWR, afraid what I might find. Both get out suprisingly well, must be the good counterpoise (all the ducting and AC wiring in the building) I like the MFJ's because they have a built in speaker, I don't think any other single band QRP rigs have a speaker built in. I just wish MFJ built an all band 90' series radio, even if it were only the five traditional bands and no WARC bands, I would be happy.
KD7MTI Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2010 06:59 Send this review to a friend
Great fun!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two: 9020 and 9040. The 9040 has the audio filter and keyer. I never use the keyer. The filter is surprisingly good. One issue with the filter is that there is some ringing which is evident when you transmit.

The good:

They don't draw a lot of power. The receiver is quite good -- very open sounding. The side-tone is pleasant although its volume cannot be separately adjusted. Alignment is very easy.

The bad:

They're a bit big by today's standards of small. They're single band -- to work 20 and 40 meters, I need to take two rigs (so I end up taking my ft817). I haven't found any published modifications.

Why I keep them?

They're fun! Right now it's summer, twenty meters is open day and night. A small battery and a 20 meter dipole will make for a fun evening.

Should you buy one (or two)?

I think so. I find myself using them quite often. The side-tone is pleasing, the tuning knob is big, and the receiver quality is pretty good -- you can listen for hours at low volume.

I highly recommend getting one.

Robert - kd7mti/4z5sw
N7JBH Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2009 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Simple as it gets  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great little CW rig, I also have an MFJ 9020 for 20M. Use them at work with a random length long wire antenna strung between two HVAC units on the roof. I don't even use an antenna tuner, the SWR must be horrendous, haven't even checked it, afraid to know how bad it really is. In spite of this, the radios don't seem to care, they put out the full 5 watts, made contacts all over the CONUS on 20M, not so far on 40M. The only problem I had was with the 9020, the RX audio was a little low. Replaced the audio amp LM386 chip from Radio Shaft for under $2.00, didn't even have to solder anything, the chips are in 8 pin sockets.
K8JD Rating: 4/5 Dec 26, 2008 11:56 Send this review to a friend
Plleased with this little rig.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the 9030 because I had a Non-WARC Kenwood for my main opperation. I wanted to get on 30M and this seemed to be a cheap way to do it. This was about 8 years ago and the price was still 149.00.
During the better solar years I worked Many European countries and most of the states using the 9030 with a ground mounted Butternut 6-band vert and a fullwave horizontal 30 M loop.
The VFO did have some drift but a good warm up settled it down and over the period of a QSO it was not noticable.
The selectivity was about 700 Hz and usually is narrow enough for the not-so-crowded nature of this band. the sensitivity seems nearly as good as my newer TS440s.
Speaker audio is ok under quiet surroundings but plugging in earphones is plenty loud.
Oveall, the rig rates a GOOD, for performance and ecomnomy.
M0JHA Rating: 4/5 Dec 10, 2008 06:55 Send this review to a friend
great kit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well i got the 40m version and on opening the packets was quite pleased. The project is an absolute doddle to complete with even the first time constructor.

Took me 1 hour on monday night and another hour on tuesday night sat in front of the telly with the missus casually placing the components in place. All components were clearly marked and so were the markings on the board.

The manual was written well enough and had no probems understanding any of it. If i had to put my finger on the hardest piece to complete it would be the winding of the toroids.

Not because the job itself was hard, far from it ,but simply because the toroids were a little fiddly due to the small size.

Fitting the completed board in the case was a little tight but not a problem. I also fitted the optional bnc connector.

All thats left to do is align and test but already heard lots of signals and the vfo seems nice and smooth .

highly reccomended for the first time builder and even the more experienced of builders for a bit of easy construction that will leave you with a cool little cw tranciever.

i will post again after alignment and on air test.. well done mfj
WA6MOW Rating: 4/5 Nov 30, 2008 20:46 Send this review to a friend
Fun Little Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There are lots of these rigs floating around eBay for around $100.00. They all seem to drift slightly for about 30 minutes. After that, the rig is quite stable. Putting out 4 watts, you can easily make lots of contacts. I have worked JA and ZL stations, receiving great reports using a simple antenna. The receiver is quite good for a simple radio with few components. It is a great knock around radio for dirty environments and will provide you with a lot of great QSO's

K1KUZ Rating: 4/5 Aug 22, 2008 18:24 Send this review to a friend
Mines pretty good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got a pretty good deal on the MFJ9015 off of e-bay, paid $77.00 for it. After reading the reviews on it I certainly was'nt going to pay $200.00 for one! I immediatly hooked up power to it and put it on my Qrp power meter. Had a solid 4 1/2 watts output. I then listened to it on my Kenwood TS570, and it had a nice sounding tone, no chirp or anything strange.I did notice it drifted a bit, but that settled down after a couple of minutes. I also listened to the receiver by keying my big rig into a dummy load, and that was working fine also. Switch over from Tx to Rx was a bit noisy, but I can live with that! I only needed to calibrate the tuning dial on it! So maybe I'm one of the lucky ones!
VK2IMM Rating: 5/5 Jul 7, 2007 12:51 Send this review to a friend
Rather impressive  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have a 20 m version with optional CW filter and a keyer. This is a single conversion radio with a 4 pole X-tal filter. Power output can be up to 7 W in my case when used with a 13.8 V power supply, this can be rather useful for portable work. I reduced it down to 5 W to comply with QRP standard. Receiver in this radio is rather good, it has high sensitivity and reasonable selectivity. The AF based optional CW filter looks like a very useful addition as it makes selected signals sound louder by 1-2 S units. Comparing with my regular Kenwood transceiver I could hear most of the stations on this radio too although this is a bit harder to tune onto them. VFO has some initial drift when powered up but it comes down considerably after some warm up time. This drift did not cause any issues during 15-20 min QSOs I had. Transmitted signal has very good sound and no defects in keying have been noticed. In fact, some stations commented that keying was very good.

Apart from the optional plug-in boards this transceiver is built on a single high quality PCB. Although the design may look simple it offers plenty of performance and it reminds me some analog home made radios I used 20 years ago, with the difference that those did not even have any ICs.

Overall, this transceiver is certainly more than just a "fun" radio. Good DX can be worked with it. People seem to express some interest when I mention a "MFJ QRP Radio" during a QSO.
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