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Reviews Categories | Ham Radio education & exam prep materials | MFJ-418 Morse Code Tutor Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-418 Morse Code Tutor
MFJ-418 Morse Code Tutor Reviews: 48 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $79.95
Description: Pocket sized, computerized (hey that rhymes!) gadget for learning CW. Made in Mississippi, USA.
Product is in production.
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K7BVO Rating: 2/5 Mar 8, 2011 14:54 Send this review to a friend
Excellent idea, poorly executed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
As mentioned by others, the display is dark and can only be read if it is held at just the right angle. Too much stuff packed into a little case, you have to buy "skinny" 9V batteries to prevent damage to the innards or even get the cover back on. I called them about the contrast adjustment and got an "Oh Well" response. Most of these display modules allow you to adjust contrast with an external resistor.
KF6OCI Rating: 4/5 Nov 17, 2010 10:05 Send this review to a friend
New One Not As Good As Old One  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had one for over 12 years that I used alot
to learn the code. It was a great aid. I gave
a review on it a couple years back, it was very

It finally gave out, I got a new one. The new one
isn't near as good. There is a delay in the sound
and display that shows different things

The display is very hard to read, dark.

It is still usuable, but not near as good.

M5FRA Rating: 2/5 May 5, 2010 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Characters NOT random  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had two of these Morse tutors, once when I learned the code 10 years ago and the second a few months back when I returned to radio after a few years break as I thought it would be an ideal way to improve my Morse.

The main problem with tutor number 2 is that it does not produce random characters. I am using 7 character words at 20wpm and there are many sequences that occur time and time again, sometimes within a few seconds. It is easy to spot the repeated sequences and anticipate what is coming next which sort of defeats the object. I do not recall this issue with the one I had 10 years ago so maybe they have changed the software or something.

I began to notice the problem a few weeks back and contacted MFJ; basically they did not listen and were obviously not interested. The unit is still of some use for learning or improving your code but if want real random character production then use a computer program.
N0AH Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2009 15:54 Send this review to a friend
Very impressed!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased for my 9 year old daughter, W0ANT, she loves this thing. Set at 13 WPM, Farnsworth, with 3 character setting, and she is learning code at a good rate.

There is a learning curve. At first, we didn't see the character as it was being heard. But switching over the Farnsworth methoud fixed this.

I think they have packed a lot into this thing but it is all working- something I thought I would never say about MFJ- Are they turning the tide?? Very FB-

73 Paul N0AH
Anna W0ANT
K6DZ Rating: 5/5 May 10, 2009 17:29 Send this review to a friend
There are 2 versions  Time owned: more than 12 months
There are two versions, both labeled MFJ-418. The rare version will not allow using the Koch method because there is only one custom character set instead of 3. This allows for building up gradually to a total of only 16 characters instead of a total of 48. This issue does apply when using normal sets, only custom sets.

Version test: Turn on with wheel. Cycle through the menu to SET. Push 'select' button and then the submenu icon will flash. Cycle through the submenu sets. The rare version has only 1 custom character set which displays as SET [CST CHAR]. The other version has 3: SET [CST CHR1], SET [CST CHR2], SET [CST CHR3].

I have the rare (probably early?) version.

Mine has worked perfectly for years.

With either version it is easy to set up practice using COMBINE so that each sequence you hear consists only of all letters numbers and .,?/+*= So you aren't forced to hear odd characters like " or $.

Both have speed change on the fly. And an 'interactive' mode which plays each entire sequence twice so you can write down what you hear on paper and then re-display it all to check your copy.
LAGERHEAD Rating: 3/5 Nov 24, 2008 19:48 Send this review to a friend
Makes ya wonder  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I eagerly awaited the MFJ418's arrival (you know the feeling--I was 12 years old for 3 days waiting for it to come in). Once I got it home I put a fresh 9V battery in & couldn't get the battery cover to close. This is a problem that the MFJ tech support guy acknowledged. WTF, over?? Not a big deal, I can live with this inconvenience until I learn the code. But this particular unit didn't power up. The MFJ tech support guy suggested I reset the unit, which didn't work. My local Ham Radio Outlet ordered a replacement for me & I have a high tech #64 rubber band holding the battery in. I would not be as unhappy with the product if it cost closer to $10 instead of $90!! The replacement one works great & as long as it holds up, will be a great learning tool. I'm looking forward to using it.
W6YDE Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2008 07:42 Send this review to a friend
Great learning tool  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am a 100% CW op. I use my MFJ-418 Morse Code Tutor to copy code while driving. It could use a little more volume without distortion.

I can set differant combinations of letters, numbers and pro signs, plus set the speed at just above my copy rate. Its a great tool if you want to get your copy speed up and add a little outside noise or distractions.

I am have a little problem with one of the buttons. I have to push it 2 or 3 times to make contact... but that is no problem. The LCD readout is not in the center of the opening... but that has no effect on it's operation.

Lets face it... MFJ manufactures a ton of items for the ham operator. Where would we go to purchase a Morse Code Tutor? Yes... some of the items we purchase from MFJ are not perfect.... but is there anybody else with over 2,500 items to pick from?

73, Mike/W6YDE
WB5CCO Rating: 0/5 Jun 13, 2008 10:30 Send this review to a friend
Caveat Emptor  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the MFJ-418 to brush up on my code speed. The unit was received in a factory sealed package. Upon opening, I noticed the case was bulging at its seems. The circut board, LCD and ribbon cable fit poorly in the case causing it to bulge. The cover of the battery compartment could not be closed once the 9 volt battery was inserted. Inspection of the circut board revealed poor solder connections. Upon powering up the unit, the LCD was weak and the volume was very low. MFJ still seems to have quality control issues with its products. I was considering purchasing the Ameritron AL-1500; however I now have serious reservations due to QC issues.
KF6OCI Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2008 06:48 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had one for about 12 years and it has
been used a lot, I mean a lot.

It once acted like it had a short, I took it
apart, couldn't find anything obvious, put it
back together and it worked perfectly. ??

Thousands of hours on it. Great learning tool.
CW was hard for me, no music skills, but after
thousands of hours with this I can do CW over
20 wpm very well.


K6SDW Rating: 4/5 Jan 26, 2008 14:16 Send this review to a friend
Best CW learning tool  Time owned: more than 12 months
Next to getting on the air, this the best CW learning tool I own, especially with the lack of CW activity on the bands anymore....buttons stick....typical MFJ quality, but it works!

Would never sell mine.

73 all
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