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Reviews Categories | QRP Radios (5 watts or less) | MFJ 94-Series Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ 94-Series
MFJ 94-Series Reviews: 78 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $239.95
Description: SSB Travel Radio (CW optional)
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/index.htm
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VE2ITZ Rating: 4/5 Mar 29, 2017 09:16 Send this review to a friend
This little radio still amazes me  Time owned: more than 12 months
After owning this little radio for 10 years i still have to say what a fantastic little radio this is.

I have had tons of fun with it. At the park, camping, hiking and my latest test in the car with a homemade 20 meter antenna attached on the back of the Honda Fit!

Recently worked Italy and Croatia while testing my new setup in the car! I am amazed how much you can do with so little!

Got 5/7 reports from both European stations!

Ok, i agree quality wise in craftsmanship could be much better. Nevertheless it is a pretty decent radio.

I have thought about selling it. but that would be a really bad mistake and something i would regret for a long time. This one is a keeper!
 
WB4JHS Rating: 4/5 Jan 4, 2016 10:35 Send this review to a friend
I'm back with an older 9420  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this one off EBay and it only does five watts out. If anyone knows how to restore it to 10 please email me.

This is the old model without the RIT. Occasionally upon turning up the volume it causes a low dull pulsing sound like a speaker overload and then it drops out. Email me if you determine why too.

Lots of fun in a car with a ham stick and great audio reports.

I wish someone would make a 10-20M small mobile like this with an internal antenna tuner, 25 watts SSB & CW.

THANKS! Jmahagan@bellsouth.net
 
AB0YM Rating: 4/5 Jul 30, 2015 15:10 Send this review to a friend
Good performer for the money.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I sold my MFJ-9420 a few years ago and have regretted it since. I got it so that I would have an SSB rig on hunting trips in western Colorado. For the money, it has an very good speech processor and receive crystal filter. I missed having a direct frequency readout, so I added an outboard digital display. The catalog says 12w output, but that is only with 13.8v power. Off of 12v, the best it would do was about 8w.

I participated in the PA QP several times - some ops in PA could not believe I was only running 8w in Colorado! (I was using a full size vertical dipole with a natural reflector behind me).

My only real complaint was its frequency stability, especially in extreme temperatures was too poor for digital modes. (never noticed on SSB) Otherwise I would have rated it a 5.

I now have an FT-817 - it could not match the 9420's SSB performance until I added a speech processor and mechanical filter. Of course, the 817 has other bands and modes.
 
AD4C2006 Rating: 2/5 Apr 1, 2015 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Lack of quality control  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you are lucky to have a good one, keep it but I was one of the few ones who had to send them back.
I wanted to make a gift for a friend of mine who got his licence lately and could not afford an expensive radio, besides I thought for the low price this MFJ-9440 cost, was going to be a good investment, I was wrong.
The first one I ordered arrived in good shape and to be honest when connected to my dipole, the receiver was excellent, low noise, very good audio quality, great stability with no drift even just turned on, the TX was great too, good modulation and about 12W PEP BUT the fine tunning knob did not work, opened it up, checked all the solder around that pot, everything looked perfect, talked to the store where I bought from and they agreed to send it back to have a second unit, a week later, a new radio arrived, oh my Lord, this one was even worse, the receiver worked perfect as the first one BUT the TX sounded all distorded and it made only 6W PEP, talked to the store and decided not to try a third one, all my money was refunded including my two shiping back fees, the store guy was very sorry and he agreed MFJ has lack of quality control on these QRP radios.
I am not saying MFJ its a bad company because for many years I have been using their antenna tuners and many other products with good quality but these QRP radios need more attention to tuning details at the final alignment and test department.

Hector
AD4C
 
N7JS Rating: 4/5 Dec 7, 2014 17:40 Send this review to a friend
You can't beat it for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off, I am not a big fan of MFJ. BUT, that said, they got it right with this radio. I've got an FT-817 and yes it does everything...but this radio is FUN. The best thing is, it sounds great. The FT-817 sounds on receive like a tin box compared to this thing. I dinged it 1 point for the S meter for the fact it floors on about any decent signal but at least it is analog. For a couple of hundred bucks (used) you can't lose on this radio.
 
AB1AW Rating: 5/5 Sep 21, 2014 16:40 Send this review to a friend
MFJ-9475: Good performance. Some field adjustments required.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this little rig because of its simplicity. I wanted a simple SSB transceiver with no bells or whistles, no microprocessors, etc. ; that is, something that I could power-up and immediately use without the need for lengthy programming or requiring assistance from an IT department. Another reason that I bought this rig was that I desired something that I could easily tinker with using readily available tools and equipment. I consider the MFJ 9475 as essentially a kit that some professional technician assembled for me, and then left for me to make the final adjustments. This is exactly what I was looking for.

In some circles, MFJ has a reputation for “Mighty Fine Junk”. However, that is clearly not the case for the MFJ-9475. The quality of construction is evident, with a well manufactured and assembled PCB and case. There is a mix of both surface-mounted and through-hole parts on the PCB. All field adjustable components are readily accessible.

Do not expect this rig to work perfectly right out of the box. I found both transmitter and receiver performance lacking when I first powered it on and tried to use it, without first going through the easy-to-follow field adjustments.

The MFJ-9475 is rated for 10 watts output. However, don’t expect this output level across the entire tuning range (which itself is a subset of the 80/75 band). Certainly, the rig puts out a solid 10 watts at the adjustment frequency. However, the power drops off to about 4 watts at about 150 KHz above and below the adjustment frequency.

The field adjustment instructions state to make the adjustments “at the band center”, which was specified as 3900 KHz. I followed these instructions, but then found the power output dropped noticeably at 3944 KHz, which is the frequency of a weekly net that I participate in. So, I readjusted for a maximum output at 3950 KHz. The bottom line here is that if you are going to wander across the full tuning range of this rig, do not expect maximum power output at the band edges. Make the power adjustment at your favorite frequency.

The sensitivity of this rig is quite good. I did not have the equipment to make an accurate, quantitative measurement of receiver sensitivity. The selectivity appears to be sharp enough to prevent interference from adjacent signals during net operations in the crowed upper portion of the 75 meter band. There is some VFO drift for the first 5 to 10 minutes after power-up, but then the rig settles down. This drifting is not unexpected as this is a pure analog transceiver. A slight touch on the fine tuning knob is all that’s needed to compensate and makes it feel like I’m operating a radio and not a computer. Based on my use in various band conditions, I am pleased with the receiver performance.

The field adjustment instructions include a PA Bias Adjustment using the uA function on a voltmeter. These instructions require connecting the meter across the PA-BIAS test points located at RFC6 on the PCB. However, on my version of the MFJ-9475, I could not locate these test points, nor could I find RFC6 on the PCB (even though the schematic indicated it). I did find a different (possibly newer?) version of the instructions on the web. Using these alternate instructions, I made the PA BIAS adjustment by measuring the voltage drop across the base-to-emitter junction of the PA transistor (Q11, 2SC313) and setting it to 0.6 volts using the PA Bias adjustment R66 on the PCB.

I also found two different versions of instructions for adjusting the speech processor. The instructions included with my rig directed me to speak into the microphone and adjust R61 for mid-scale meter readings. The alternate instructions had me use a watt meter and dummy load, adjust L5 and L6 for peak output, then turn R61 CCW until the RF power output dropped by 10%. I chose to follow the second (alternate) instructions and was pleased with the resultant audio quality signal reports.

My experience with this rig has been all positive so far. I can check-in to my local net with S7 signal reports using only an Emtech ZM-2 tuner and a 30 foot doublet in my attic.

Bottom line: If you want a simple, easy to use, QRP rig that you also want to tinker with, the MFJ-9475 fits the bill.

AB1AW
a.k.a. Jonathan Brookes
Author of the novel “Relic”
http://www.arrl.org/shop/Relic-Jonathon-Brookes
[ Yeah, shameless plug for my book :) ]
 
KC9PHX Rating: 4/5 Sep 8, 2014 18:38 Send this review to a friend
Satisfaction with Purchase  Time owned: more than 12 months
For performance and utility I give it a 5. I
I give it a 4 due to my experience of having to send it back initially to correct a buzz during transmit. I will say it was turned around quickly and now works very well. I am very happy with this radio. It's basic, old school and really grows on you. Still fun to use and the filtering and automatic speech processor create great signal reports. Pretty good receiver too.


I've owned a 9420 for 2 years and use it daily. I take it mobile with a 7 amp SLA battery, portable in parks and when traveling on vacation,etc.

I run it at home with a home brew inverted delta loop mostly and I've made qso's with Africa, South America, Europe and every state in USA. Also run portable with a LNR End Fed for 20 meters or a home brew PAC 12 vertical. Ham Stick on the car. Again all over the world. If I can hear them, I'll work them running about 5-10 watts.

I get great signal reports and 75% of the time the other station congratulates me on the QRP signal strength and quality... Mostly 55, 57 and 59. Many times I've penetrated a pile up with other big sounding stations.

It's a bit of an investment new... look for a good used one. Also buy a couple of fuses in case you hook up the connections to a battery backwards. It will pop a one time fuse on the board(little squiggly line on board) and you'll have to use a half inch of wire and solder in a replacement the fuse. Happens to me now and then. Will blow even if radio is off! Easy fix however.

Overall. A great little radio that can take a beating and I do not get too worried about babying it. For portable operation it works fantastic all for a couple of hundred bucks.

If you've come here looking at the reviews... you're probably close to buying one. I do not think I'll ever get rid of this rig. If I do I give to a new aspiring ham on a budget. Does what it was designed for and does it very well.

73..
 
KD5PGA Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2014 19:25 Send this review to a friend
MFJ-9417 Great Rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just unpacked my new MFJ-9417 17M transceiver and decided to give it a tough test. I place a MFJ-2317 stick antenna on my metal garden table and connected it to the 9417. Band conditions were listed as "fair" on June 20. My first contact from Starkville, MS was with KB1VFU in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I was transmitting at 5W. Larry was patient, receiving me at a 53. MFJ has a great product with this rig! Some folks knock MFJ but I have yet to have a bad experience with Martin's products. I highly recommend the 9417!
 
WX9DX Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2014 01:03 Send this review to a friend
Amazing radios 94XX series!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had these radios over 15 years and I just bought another 9440, as I gave my other away. These are great on CW, so don't forget to buy the CW board “ $49” when you get the radio. I have worked lots and lots of DX on 40 and 20 meters with the 9440 and 9420, and these work fine from my side by side 4 wheeler while fishing or hunting “ out having fun”. I have used them on field days and from the mountains, like Klingmans Dome in NC/TN boarder. I have never had any problems with them. You would want a crystal calibrator if possible or check the frequency alignment every so often to see where the dial is so you stay in your bad limits. Wish MFJ would print the schematics on the Web for these and other products. If you do have to repair one call MFJ Tec support first and ask what you might be looking at repairing it at home. I did lend one to a friend that hooked it up backwards and MFJ has a circuit trace in the 94xx series to protect the these radios incase you don’t use an external fuse... But replace that with an internal wire in fuse when you fix one… 73 Jimmy, ARRL TC, WX9DX
 
W3JJM Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2014 15:55 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the 9440. Good fit and finish and a blast to operate. Have had the FT 817, IC703 and others but this one is the most fun. With a small battery and Par End FedZ antenna you can be on the air while outside or camping in less than a minute. Equally fun in the shack as well. Good speaker and much better tone than the other two radios I mentioned. Good signal reports and does get through even when there is a lot of qrm. Have had it about a week with contacts as far as Brisbane and the UK. Puts out a solid 10 watts right out of the box. Made in the USA too. I have the one for 17 meters on order right now so I can work my favorite band. Super rugged case. MfJ should be rightly proud of this product.
 
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