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Reviews Categories | Digital Multi-mode decoders | MFJ-464 Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-464
MFJ-464 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 2.6/5 MSRP: $179.95
Description: Code reader and sender
Product is in production.
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KD5JAA Rating: 3/5 Jan 23, 2013 10:09 Send this review to a friend
OK to GOOD  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The CW decoding has to have the audio level set appropriately to give good output if the signals are good quality(little QSB, noise etc). I set back the 7410 rf gain to keep the LOCK indicator off with about half audio level out and then tune in a signal raising the audio level until the decoder starts to display characters. It does take a little time. I did find that putting a DSP audio filter between the receiver audio output and the unit's audio input does help somewhat . The ear may be better because it seems to ignore poor code with timing slightly off.

As a keyer it works well with the keyboard or key(bug). It does allow you to check your sent code timing so you can see it as others might. The tone out of the radio is probably best to use because the setups might be incorrect if you dont check them. Having 4 extra message buffers is useful if your rig only has 4. Sometimes pushing the buttons can result in hitting the adjacent one.

Terminal mode is really needed if you want to read the mail. I found it difficult to bring up but i got it to work ok with a USB to serial interface. The unit works fine without extraneous feeds or characters. Basic problems were getting a USB interface to work. COM ports are probably not used anymore so it would be nice to have a USB interface in the unit if the software was available. I had one cable with the miniplug signals reversed and another radioshack USB to miniplug cable just didnt work properly tho it worked ok for my radio interface. I used serial port software that you can get off the web. I did find out that Hyperterm and Realterm dont have the same performance. It was worthwhile to use Realterm to find out about the cable. Realterm communicated with the unit at first with consistent bad data where Hyperterm didnt at all but it was an older version.

The PS2 keyboard works ok without the PC if you can find the adapter for a PS2 keyboard if you dont order MFJ's keyboard.
If your into CW its a worthwhile unit if you dont expect perfect code.
WA6BTH Rating: 4/5 Oct 22, 2011 08:54 Send this review to a friend
Worked Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I ordered and received a open carton model from AES Las Vegas. Took only 2 days.
1. As others have stated, only comes with a power plug with wire ends. You supply your own power supply & audio hook up.
2. Plugged it in and hooked up to my Icom 718, (no cw filter, has standard wide one).
3. Decodes great, if no other signals close by. Makes sense, I am going to hook it up to my other HF radio with all the filters and see how it works.
4. Screen is easy to see if you mount it up on a shelf above the radio.
5. Im using this to polish up my cw. By leaving it on and tuning it in, I am copying the cw and watching when it makes mistakes. Helps keep the interest.
6. I do recommend this as an aid,not as the only way to copy cw,the ear still works better with QRN, and QRM
I gave it a 4 because you really need some kind of
filter on the RF or Audio into the unit.

KA4AIY Rating: 4/5 Apr 30, 2010 11:48 Send this review to a friend
Worked FB For me  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I found that it performed superbly with a SCAF-1 audio filter... the ability to tune out QRN makes it for me. I found that the narrow CW filter in my ICOM 718 was not necessary... the SCAF-1 was all that was needed to get clean copy via the 464. I think the critics think that MFJ should have built in filtering rendering external filtering un-necessary. All I did is add the SCAF-1 to the audio input with the rig's IF filter set to wide... worked for me. It copied well for a signal that was a 439... from a DX station that was in Antarctica... received on my MFJ-loop up 22 feet.
KC2SPX Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2009 22:40 Send this review to a friend
Two Thumbs up!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my MFJ 464 for a little over a year and haven't had ANY Problems With reading code, or the unit itself.
I remember being frustrated the first couple of days trying to get it to read reliably..but I blame myself and not the 464, ya know me,
I was never one to read the manual. Anyway, I found that by adjusting the VFO on the radio to get the 464's green LED at it's brightest then adjusting the volume on the radio so that the green LED only flashes with CODE and not NOISE, would result in good copy. Tone not to your liking? you can adjust that too on the 464. Also, it's important to allow the 464 a few seconds to readjust to any changes you make. The only reason I ever had to take the top off was to adjust the readout's contrast, other than that I'm happy with it. It reads as well as anything else I've used. It doesn't do well on weak signals below the static level. or high level of QSB, but I haven't found anything else that does better! That's my two cents.
PE1PAL Rating: 3/5 Feb 13, 2009 14:31 Send this review to a friend
not bad  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I used the decoder with a Kenwood ts570 and nice small keyboard. On nr-2 the decoder give good results (much better than my bad morse practise)
The decoder does not have a backlite display. Possible there is a modification for this?
Paul - PE1PAL
WA4JM Rating: 4/5 Dec 27, 2008 09:39 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised kinda...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Received mine from AES in Orlando. Arrived well packed and documentation on a scale of 1 to 5 was a 4. The reason was that there is some ambiguity with regard to the use of the work Line Out from the radio. It takes more than line level signals to trigger the code reader. You actually need to drive the unit with a speaker level output. Once that is established, the code reader works as advertised.

I read earlier comments about soldering. Since the PCB is almost all SMT, I find that observation questionable.

The keyer with or without the use of a keyboard is near perfect. An added benefit is that it contains the ability to burp the right duty cycle to tune amps and transmitters for peak output. There is actually a command to do this.

I agree with one observation that the keyboard input should be PS2.

Aside from that, I found it the 464 to be fun to operate and a great complement to my Ten-Tec 516.

73, John
RFDANNY Rating: 1/5 Feb 29, 2008 06:46 Send this review to a friend
Simply Awful  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A ham I elmer brought over this MFJunk-464 to see if I could "fix it". I found this peculiar since he had only had it for a week. It powered on but did nothing. Whenever I'm asked to fix an MFJ product, I always warm up the soldering iron before taking off the case. Sure enough, had to re-solder a few things due to cold joints and awful QC.

Once the unit was "working" - we hooked it up to the rig. This thing is pure crap. Even with loud, clear, perfect code, this unit barely decodes. If you try to use it to copy a "real" QSO, it looks like it's speaking to you in a different language.

It will be returned for a refund. With very few exceptions, MFJ products generally don't work very well. Most of them don't work at all out of the box until you open them up and fix the solder joints. It's amazing to me how this company enjoys so much success by consistently peddling the worst of the worst.
W4ETB Rating: 0/5 Feb 29, 2008 05:51 Send this review to a friend
%#@$* JUNK  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The very last time I buy anything with out first checking out the eham reviews. That was $200 [S&H] down the tube. Save your time and money. THANKS MFJ!
N2NVH Rating: 0/5 Jan 21, 2008 10:15 Send this review to a friend
Not At All Impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
My XYL bought me an MFJ 464 for Christmas. Nice gesture, but its been nothing but an irritant.The instruction manual reads that the unit is easy to use, so I purchased the necessary cables (NOT included by MFJ with the unit)and the PS2/ATT adapter needed for the vintage 1985 keyboard input. After doing so I learned that, regardless of how I fiddled with the VFO, the unit will only read CW if the radio is in a sideband mode, and then only if the incoming signal is strong and on a clear frequency! What's worse, when I tried to send code my Kenwood TS480 won't recognize the keyer at all. I asked MFJ about this and I was told that I needed to "turn off" the internal keyer in the radio. I spoke with Kenwood technical support who told me the obvious... that there is no "on/off switch" for the internal keyer, and the MFJ must be joking. There's a joke here alright...its on my XYL for buying this thing and me for trying to use it.
KA4AIY Rating: 4/5 Oct 14, 2007 11:04 Send this review to a friend
What's the Fuss?  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using one for over a year now.. it decodes consistently... is a great addition if you want to use it with keyboard attached instead of using your PC. I don't know why it got such bad reviews here; I found you have to back off received signal audio when copying a signal. I have used it with several rigs and found it the same reading ability with each. One thing I have to add that might make my review more credible is that I always use a SCAF-1 audio filter... I habitually tune out the background band noise first when powering up and it makes a difference using this reader I discovered.. no errors like tracking "e's"... a little tuning of the SCAF with reducing received audio level a little, gets a clear "lock" signal light and it reads without a blip. I found that even though the ear doesn't hear a very audible tone, the 464's tracking light blinks for dots and dashes. The point is if one rides audio for a comfortable listening level the reader doesn't decode without errors... but with a reduced audio setting, I normally can hear code tones anyway. Again, the trick is to back off audio level for starters.. and maybe my SCAF is the real story here. But the two work well together for me... no complaints. So much so, I cannot figure why manufacturers don't just build in a SCAF-1 type filter in their rigs anyway. (NO!I am not a salesman for SCAF-1..HiHi)

So maybe I am just blessed (doubt it) but my 464 has met all expectations.. except one: The unit will not retain "num lock" on when powering off unit... a minor gripe, but it does retain "all cap" lock. Go figure. And, contrary to other opinions, you can find AT keyboards for $5.00 new in box on ebay... plenty of them out there.. I bought on ebay recently new for $3.95... even found AT's at Besybuy locally, cheap. So what's the fuss all about-- dyslexic audiophiles staging a revolt?
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