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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile) | MFJ 1622 Apartment Antenna Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ 1622 Apartment Antenna
MFJ 1622 Apartment Antenna Reviews: 27 Average rating: 3.6/5 MSRP: $99.95
Description: This Apartment Antenna lets you operate 40 through 10 Meters on HF and 6 and 2 Meters on VHF with a single antenna! Its universal mount/clamp lets you easily attach it to window frames, balconies, and railings. It also works great indoors mounted to a desk, table, or bookshelf. It's not a five element yagi, but you'll work your share of exciting DX! <br> <br>
Product is in production.
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VA3JTN Rating: 4/5 May 15, 2013 17:29 Send this review to a friend
Does the trick  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I live on the 11th floor of a condo and this antenna was pretty much my only option. New to HF and I was hesitant to buy this based on a few negative reviews. Phew, good thing I didn't let that stop me. I've owned the antenna for a month or two, here's the QSOs I've made with just 100W. Speaks for itself, this antenna is no miracle but will get you on the air and pretty well too!

Madeira Island
Puerto Rico
St Lucia
Canary Islands
Dominican Republic
Saudi Arabia
KD0ILM Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2013 00:40 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly good antenna - got me back on the air  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I live in Saigon Vietnam and had to move from a place with a decent antenna to a 25 story apartment building. I tried a long wire out the window at night and an indoor dipole with poor results. At a last resort I bought this MFJ-1622 apartment antennas. It is well made and very easy to set up. I do not have an antenna analyzer but the SWR meter on my tuner made cutting the single counterpoise wires easy. I cut different lengths and used connectors so that I can lengthen and shorten them depending upon the band. This added about 20 minutes to the entire job. I am on the 14th floor so the wires were each pretty close to 1/4 wave. The window mount is excellent and very versatile. Be sure to use the anchor rope that they include. I did lose it one day and the rope saved anyone below me.

I have been shocked at the performance of this antenna. It is not a beam or a "miracle" antenna but I get out with it and I am back on the air. On PSK31 I have made contact up to 8,000 miles away. 3,000 is routine into Japan, China and Asiatic Russia. My noise level here in the city is about S9 most of the time so cannot comment on SSB usage. With a compromise antenna like this you also learn a lot about propagation which is a plus.
If you need stealth operation this is a good one to look at and the price is right.
KQ9J Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2012 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Works amazingly well  Time owned: more than 12 months
This strange looking little antenna really works well for portable operation! I have used it on vacation trips twice now, clamped to the balcony railing on the 5th floor of the hotel. Good signal reports and other ops are amazed when they hear what I am using. A friend borrowed it and took it when he had to operate portable for a month and he couldn't mount it outside but had good luck even with it inside. Follow the suggestions in the other reviews as to counterpoises, how to tune it and you will be happy like me.
WB4ES Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2012 16:45 Send this review to a friend
Works surprisingly well  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
While it's true that this antenna is a compromise, it's one that I have to live with as a condo dweller. That said, I've had nothing but good experiences with it so far. I haven't had many chances to use it since buying and setting it up, but in that time I've made 2 DX contacts in the 4500-5000 mile range (20m at 100W).

I did make a couple of changes to it, though. I'm using an 8 foot whip, as opposed to the included 5.5 footer, with the bottom segment retracted for 10m. I also followed K5RIX's example, using cut lengths of wire and quick-disconnect connectors for the counterpoise. The latter certainly saves a lot of time and headache compared to rolling and unrolling one long piece of wire, and I have no problem staying under 2.0 SWR over most of 10-40m.
KG4ULT Rating: 2/5 Jan 19, 2011 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Definitely a compromise antenna  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased back in November 2010 along with my new TS2000. Not a competition station but im not into competitions so i thought it would fit the bill.

Well it is an antenna and actually receives remarkably well considering its size.

I currently have it 4ft off the ground and counterpoise is looped around the pvc railing on the first floor porch. I use to lay the counterpoise straight out but nosey maintenance guy.. and well i dont want to draw any unnecessary attention.

I rate it a 2 because you need to constantly roll back the counterpoise or roll it out for the different bands. Although it will work if you leave it laid out for the lowest band of interest and adjust the tap.

Also, when the antenna gets wet - on rainy days - the antenna will not tune at all!!!

Other than that the mounting system for the rails is awesome!! The antenna is built nicely.

So if not for the 2 issues i mentioned it would be a 4.5 - 5.
KB1NJR Rating: 3/5 Dec 16, 2009 20:26 Send this review to a friend
Hits local repeaters  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this antenna because, go figure, I live in a second floor apartment. I finally got it installed, but it took me a while to tune it for the 2M band.

Right now it's resonant at 144 MHz, and I'm using it for 145-146 MHz repeater work with a 1.7 SWR hooked up to my ADI AT-201 HT. It's hitting all of my local repeaters without a problem.

I have yet to try it on any other bands.
KB1QBZ Rating: 4/5 Feb 19, 2009 05:50 Send this review to a friend
Good For What It Is  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this as my first antenna to use until I could get a better antenna up. It's not a beam, it's not a dipole strung 70' up in a clearing, it's not a 42' foot vertical with an excellent ground radial system.

But it is a decent antenna if you want to get out on HF. Operating QRP (an Elecraft K1), I made a fair share of contacts on 40 (as far away as south Florida, but mostly in a 300-700 mile radius) and contacts on 20 (as far away as the Ukraine and the Caribbean, but mostly in a 400-900 mile radius).

The antenna is mounted out of my 2nd floor window. The window faces to the west, is about 20' up, and faces electrical lines running north/south about 10' away and a busy street (lots of ignition noise).

I now have a Cobra Ultralight up in the back yard and use that for HF. I still use the MFJ for 2 meters and it does a nice job hitting the local repeaters with minimum power.

The key to getting the antenna to work is to listen with a receiver as you slowly move the alligator clip over the coil. Listen for max volume -- that's the right coil tap for that frequency. Then play with the length of the counterpoise until you get the min SWR. I use an inexpensive $30 SWR meter from AES, and the SWR meter built into a lot of rigs is perfectly suitable.

Remember that the counterpoise should NOT run on the ground -- it should be elevated at least two feet above ground. I found that I got much better results with the counterpoise outside the house than inside the house.
KI6AEU Rating: 2/5 Mar 10, 2008 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Better then nothing  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I live in a apartment on the second floor. I put this antenna on the railing and i ran a counter poise. For me it would only make contacts within about 500 mile range.

I hear tou can add more counter poise wires, But i have not tried that. how ever it does give a good match with a good tuner. The fact that you have to coil up a lot of the coax in a loop is a big turn off. Also the coax is cheap and low quality. I suspect this antenna would work much better with a higher quality coax.
KC5BYE Rating: 4/5 Oct 21, 2007 09:57 Send this review to a friend
MFJ 1622  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have just installed this antenna. Not much set up to it and was on the air in no time at all. Tuned it to 20 meters digi bands and, with the help of a SWR analyzer, was up and running quickly. First try was able to work New Mexico from New Orleans on RTTY. This is not going to be any earth shattering ham radio experience but when the situation is tight you can get on the air. I am in a condo with the antenna hidden on a second floor side rail of a balcony. Not the most optimum set up but out of site. This antenna is small enough to be easily hidden (coil, 5ft whip and mounting bracket), put up and down fast and clamped to just about anything. For the low cost it fits the need if you have no other option.
KD4ACG Rating: 4/5 Jul 13, 2007 16:23 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly good performance in a small package.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ok, I'm not telling you to take down the beam and put this in its place. But if you're like me, and you live in an apartment complex or other close quarters, this antenna will do a fine job of getting you on the air.

I purchased this antenna to go along with the Yaesu FT-857 and other assorted goodies at the '07 Hamvention. I do use a tuner, but have measured the SWR direct, and it will get to a low SWR if used properly.

Setup is easy. I just clamp it over the top of my balcony railing, tie it down for safety, tap the coil, extend the whip, set the counterpoise (all of which takes only about 60 seconds), and I'm on the air. The coil and whip can mount into the base in five different positions. I have my coil/whip at a 45-degree angle off the balcony. Despite being on the south side of the house, it does extend far enough from the building to get a reasonably unobstructed view of the northern sky.

Most of my operation has been on 20 meters, and 18 countries have been logged from this antenna during that time. I've used voice, PSK, MFSK16, RTTY, and SSTV. The biggest DX has been an MFSK16 contact to New Zealand. Got a nice signal report from ZL, too!

I haven't been able to form a good opinion about 40 meter operation, since the band can be quite noisy in this part of the country during the summer months. The antenna will go to a low SWR on 80m, but it doesn't do much there. As packaged, it's not designed for 80 meters anyway. On the other end of the spectrum, it seems like a good performer on 6 meters, with my longest contact to date going just over 1000 miles. Just waiting for a bigger opening.

Counterpoise matters, even if using a tuner. I took the 33 feet of counterpoise and cut it at certain intervals, then attached quick-connect terminals to each piece. By doing so, I can adjust the length of the counterpoise just by adding/removing sections.

As mentioned in earlier reviews, I do see potential problems with the clip used to tap-in to the coil. It must be carefully placed so as not to tough adjacent turns on the coil, and will likely break over time. Fortunately, the design of the antenna looks simple enough for the average user to maintain, using parts readily available in almost any electronics shop or hardware store.

Bottom line: If you're in restricted/confined space, but still want to enjoy the HF bands, and have about a hundred bucks in the bank account, grab one of these antennas. It's worth the money.
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