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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.
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WB4JHS Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2013 05:50 Send this review to a friend
MFJ 9420 a work in progress  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Had the same Mic and Oscillator issues and customer service cleaned it up. There was a bad run of these that did not get QCd correctly. MFJ needs to run these through a rigorous QC BEFORE leaving the plant. My guess is that when they make a run of these it might be different folks doing it. As long as they are QCd this is a fine radio. I worked last Sat T32 Kirbati Island on 20M late in the PM and use only a EF 20 End Fed Dipole. Today I actually was received in INDIA but the VU3 could not copy the whole call. I use this mobile and base. If you find one just air test it and you will be happy with it.
N5RMQ Rating: 5/5 Nov 1, 2013 06:40 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought my MFJ-9420 used. I had no idea it would perform so well. I have had numerous DX contacts and can work just about anyone I hear stateside. Without fail, I get compliments on the beautiful audio. I'm running it portable, with a 20 m inverted V, fed at 16 ft from a fiberglass telescoping pole.
Only downside, it's a bear to tune. I am looking forward to getting one of the newer ones with the fine tune.
What a bunch of fun in a small package, I'm getting where I would rather work QRP than 100 w.
Get one!
JL1KRA Rating: 5/5 Sep 14, 2013 23:45 Send this review to a friend
Satisfied with my MFJ-9406X  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Boring with my perfect FT-817 and IC-706, I purchased the 9606X from HRO.
This transceiver is really fun. Not by DDS,
not by DSP. Amusement of analog tuning is
still remaining!
Though I don't have boat anchors, this
is kind of the transceiver give you an relax time.

Inside is filled by SMD parts, I think the
MFJ production is very good.

But if you will use this transceiver for primary,
I would like to recommend you other serious Yaecomwood and Tentec.

One thing I mention here is a CW adapter.
Though this is expensive option, It didn't
work well.
Problems are automatic T-RX offset by inserting
key, noisy side tone and receiver howling.
I have to fix this by additional modification.
I suppose MFJ-96xx upgraded main board is
upgraded, but the optional CW adapter is remaining for old design.
Still it was fun for me as an amateur.

This transceiver is not for CW purpose.

WB2LKO Rating: 1/5 Sep 12, 2013 07:35 Send this review to a friend
Very Disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the MFJ 9420 to use on my sailboat. My band selection was 20 meters to enable me to check in to the 14.3 maritime net. In addition, 20 meters made it possible to use an end fed antenna that fit perfectly, suspended from my mast to the stern of the boat.

I made several contacts and could immediately determine the receiver is superb. I was amazed at signal clarity and sensitivity.

Audio output was also very strong and the tuning knobs had a "heavy duty" feel when turning them.

HOWEVER: I received consistently poor reports on my transmitted audio.

I took the unit home, connected to a dummy load and listened to my transmitted signal. First, I noted that when pushing the mike button, the unit transmitted a carrier.

The transmitted audio was terribly distorted. I am amazed anyone bothered to make the effort to contact me. Perhaps it was because I had been operating on a net.

I spoke with someone at MFJ and was told they had reports of bad microphones and a new one was sent to me. The new mike made no difference. Transmitted audio was still almost useless.

By now I was quite disgusted. I called MFJ again telling them I wanted a refund. Since the second mike came with a return shipping label for the original mike, I was told to use that label to send everything back.

I complained that the total charge for the unit had been on my credit card for several weeks and I did not think it fair for me to wait until the shipper came to retrieve the package, return it to MFJ and wait for MFJ to process before giving me my refund.

The service rep at MFJ agreed, reluctantly, and told me he would issue an immediate refund. Further, he agreed to send me an email confirming all issues.

A full day has passed since this discussion with MFJ.

I have not received any emails from MFJ.

I have not received the refund.

I left the unit outside my front door for two full days before the shipper came and never received any notification of when they might come.

As an additional note, when I first received the unit, the painted on words, "Tune" and "Fine" on the front panel were already partially scratched off.

I still believe the MFJ 9420 is most likely a terrific radio and I am most disappointed that it was necessary to return it.

My greatest disappointment is with MFJ.

While their equipment seems to be electronically first rate, their quality control is obviously very poor. If they already had received other "reports" of bad mikes, which I also saw in online discussions, then why send one without testing it?

If the radio was bad, which may be the case, and the panel was scratched, why send it to a customer?

Also, why promise actions to a customer and not deliver?

Purchasing from MFJ is a gamble. It might work, they might follow through on promises and you might be satisfied.

Or you may have a poor experience like mine.
IZ0FYS Rating: 3/5 Aug 5, 2013 04:45 Send this review to a friend
THIS RADIO DON'T RUN AT 10-12 watt as declared  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Perfect receiver, but please stop saying MFJ9420 run at 10-12 watt....
At 13.8Vcc it goes only 3-5 watt PeP !!
I checked all the voltage on circuit and all the test points are OK like indicated in the technical manual.
So.....whay MFJ declare much more power output?
MM0LBX Rating: 4/5 Jun 15, 2013 21:36 Send this review to a friend
Great Little radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
A lovely little Transceiver, lots of fun using it in my garden.

With a Dipole cut for 20m, 8m asl on a fibreglass mast this little bundle of magic has managed me some nice DX, PR, CE & HI all SSB, yeap, surprised me too, all last year, not much happening DX wise this year yet, conditions have been terrible last few weeks but plenty of EU while outside in my garden in the sun.

Stations are surprised with only 7W output, comments on the strong audio.

As mentioned, CW sidetone is terrible as I have the add-on and the speaker isn't great but more than adequate.

Hook this to the main shack antenna and plenty of interest from stations worldwide.

Great for what it is and highly recommend for portable.
WB4JHS Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2013 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Works great mobile  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was a bit skeptical of th 9420 but I need an innexpensive mobile for 20M that won't break the bank if it gets stolen. This looks like a CB to most who would look though the window. I use it with a hamstick and great results. I have worked Dx from SA to EU and the Caribbean to greater USA. The radio will drift for the first 15-20 minutes and the ignition noise of my 2012 Chevy Equinox is a problem but not a show stopper. If you have suggestions on how to kill the whine of the alternator please advise. I hope to take to Panama C.A. this June to DX from the balcony of the resort over the pacific coast. Folks on 20M give me S9 to 10 over often. The stock mic works better than the Workman replacement that I read about in this thread. Email if you want to discuss the 9420. John
KF7RCM Rating: 3/5 Dec 12, 2012 20:55 Send this review to a friend
I purchased a 9420 with the mic.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The reason I gave it a 3 is due to the fact that the mic that came with it in a word "sux". I recomend that if one were to get one, get it with out the mic. No matter what I did to make it function, it only distorted the audio output. I got a Super Star DM-507-5r 5 pin din mic off ebay for about $10 and it works great. That said, coupled to 2 MFJ's 20 meter hamsticks and the bracket that allows one to make a horizontal dipole out of them, mounted a little more than 30' up, I easily made QSOs on the eastern seaboard. Not bad since I am north of Phoenix, AZ and desert soil is'nt very good for this sort of thing. Set it up on my F-150 in a mobile configuration and made it to the southern states. I dont have the CW mod and not going to get it. I would like to have a digital freq counter mod available though. Not a bad little radio. Will update this review as needed.

The connection is a 5 pin din for a radioshack/realistic radio.
VE3GZB Rating: 1/5 Dec 9, 2012 09:56 Send this review to a friend
Waste of money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my MFJ9420 over a year now and even on a dipole 35 feet up in the air, where my TS2000 or TS820 on 10 watts can QSO over to France and Italy on the same antenna, in all of this time I've only ever had one successful QSO with the 9420 and it was only on the North American contintent.

It does receive ok, and according to the SWR meter in my tuner it is putting something out and the SWR is unity.

I would not recommend this radio at all, unless you have cash you can afford to waste.

73s VE3GZB
VE3GZB Rating: 2/5 Dec 7, 2012 05:57 Send this review to a friend
Ok but....  Time owned: more than 12 months
I finally managed to QSO with my MFJ9420. I did run into a problem however.

Since I use it with lightweight rechargable Lithium batteries, their output voltage will fall as they discharge.

What I've found is that a given mic gain setting that works at a lower DC input voltage will cause trouble if a freshly charged battery pack is used with the radio, and it is a pain to have to fiddle with it to get it to behave.

My solution was to install a standard TO-220 Non-plastic case 7812 voltage regulator within the case of the '9420.

It's not hard. Here's how you do it.

First prepare the 7812 with suitable bypass capacitors on the input and output side. For the input side I used a 220uF in parallel with a 0.1uF cap.

On the output side I used 10uF in parallel with a 0.1uF cap.

Now on the circuit board? From the DC connector look for a zig-zag skinny trace. This is a fusible link. Cut it with a knife somewhere in the middle. That breaks the unregulated DC input.

Loosen and remove one screw and nut from the RF output connector and use that as a mounting point for your 7812. By grounding the tab of the 7812 to this point, you complete your grounding.

At this point, tie your regulator input to the DC input connector V+ pin and your regulator output to the other side of the fusible link which you previously cut.

Now your radio's mic gain and performance will be consistent despite variations in your rechargeable battery voltage.

73s VE3GZB
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