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

Reviews Summary for MFJ-464
MFJ-464 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 2.5/5 MSRP: $179.95
Description: Code reader and sender
Product is in production.
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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?
LX1LH Rating: 3/5 Jun 22, 2007 05:46 Send this review to a friend
Good KB Keyer - fair decoder  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Good Keyboard Keyer and versatile in connections in and out - brings parallel a PTT control for PA usage ... nice ! You can still connect a paddle or other in parallel.
Bad things are: Decoder is very tricky to adjust and the TTL catch is only a few Hertz to catch. If you do so he reads just fine even with some QRM, if not or you do not hit the exact QRG he reads nothing ... I mean nothing.
Another bad thing is that the decoder does not have a backlit LC-Display - it should have.
K8RBW Rating: 1/5 Jul 26, 2006 04:14 Send this review to a friend
Fails to Deliver as a Reader  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the 464 because I was having trouble consistently copying CW above 35 WPM. Went to AES-Milwaukee to buy it and took it home. After two days of frustration and a useless phone call to MFJ for advice I gave up on it and drove back to AES to return it. It copied the CW I was sending with my paddle perfectly, but it mostly generated E's and T's on received signals. MFJ told me to adjust an internal pot with each contact. I couldn't believe what they said!! If such was the case, why wasn't the pot placed on the front of the unit? It works fine as a keyer, but it never should have been marketed as a reader. It is really the MFJ-495 keyer with a poorly designed attempt at a reader. Unlike many others, I normally like MFJ products. Not this one!!!

73 de Dick, K8RBW
KE5B Rating: 1/5 Feb 4, 2005 13:29 Send this review to a friend
Should be better than this  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am dissapointed in the MFJ 464. It doesn't read as well as it should. I have almost no line noise at my shack and receive good signals, but I get more jibberish than I should on the reader. It will not read at all if the incoming signal is matched to my sidetone. I have to fiddle with the RIT of the VFO to get it to read. It should read ANY clear CW signal when there are no other enterfering signals. It doesn't do it. As I am typing this, I am receiving good, clear CW on my TS-450 and am getting gibberish on the reader. I talked to MFJ and told them I could not read the signal unless I was above the receiving frequency. The response was,"That is what your VFO is for." Some better engineering needs to happen on this contraption before I can recommend it to anyone. As a keyer it is great. The reader is awful. I thought it might help me get back into CW after a five year absence, but I guess I'll just do it the old fashion way. 73
KE5AKG Rating: 1/5 Apr 4, 2004 17:52 Send this review to a friend
very disappointed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am using this unit with a Kenwood TS-50, which has no DSP and no dedicated CW filter. So some of the problems might be due to the radio, but overall I am still very disappointed.
The unit will read perfect code under ideal conditions, but with ANY QRM or QRN it will read
only a garbled string of Es and Ts. Also, some clear, slow code which even I can read is misinterpreted, such as "C" being read as "TETE".
Originally I never wanted to operate CW anyway,
but I thought it would be a shortcut to CV without having to improve my less than marginal code skills. Instead, it was just a waste of money. MFJ makes great equipment, but this one is the sad exception.
WA4ET Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2003 07:59 Send this review to a friend
Neatest thing since sliced bread  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The summary says it all, it is really the Neatest thing since sliced bread.

I bought and hooked it up, worked the CQWW 2002 contest just hunting and pecking, worked about 300 contacts and 82 new CW countries. It is pretty selective also on the signal it decodes. This selectivity is based on most code being sent theses days on computer keyed CW, and phaselock looping the BFO of the radio you are tring to bag. It will not work on a sloppy fist, but thats hard to hear even the old fashion way. IT is truly a neat peace on equipment.

I have demoed this thing a number of times and EVERYBODY loves it. The just walk away shaking there heads, asking why did they go to the trouble of learning code.

The Only draw backs are, they dont send every cable you need to hook it up out of the box. Kinda of stupid. After you buy it, you need to buy a PSU, or hook it you to your radio PSU, a Keyboard, and a couple of radio interface cables, IE the keyer cable and something else maybe, cant remember.

The unit requires a AT style Keyboard, if you want to type CW. kinda hard to find, since everything uses a PS2 Keyboard these days or a PS2 to AT adapter. Somthing else that sould be included

All this being said,, I love it, and it sends canned messeages too!! Easy to program on the fly, either by key or keyboard, and will even count up to 10,000.

IT is truly a mighty fine peace of junk

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