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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ-989C Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-989C
MFJ-989C Reviews: 147 Average rating: 2.6/5 MSRP: $360
Description: Handles 1500 watts PEP SSB output power
Product is in production.
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AC6CV Rating: 4/5 Sep 16, 2015 10:31 Send this review to a friend
No problems in 23 years of use.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used the MFJ-989C tuner since 1992. I bought it new. I have never had any of the problems indicated. After 23 years of use I do suspect the belt may be slipping a little. Not surprised. It has been in storage for a few of those years with temps of over 120 degrees. Never encountered arcing.
KZ4USA Rating: 4/5 Jul 25, 2015 16:23 Send this review to a friend
It seems to be a good tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I think most of the people having problems don't
build their antennas right and feedline length is
not right. They need to read some antenna books.
K2CD Rating: 4/5 Sep 20, 2014 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Long Lasting Without any Major Issues  Time owned: more than 12 months
What can I say? I've owned this tuner for 20 years. Got it second hand at that. It's been very reliable outside of the little wheel that makes contact with the roller inductor coil jumping past the stop in the 000 position on the counter once or twice. I fixed that years ago with a new blob of silicone and it hasn't jumped off since. No arcing observed on any band with 1300 watts. I took the time to learn the dial positions for each band so I'm not tuning blindly each time. DXLab Commander allows you to input the tuner settings so they're there for each band, antenna, etc. at a glance.
WB6TOM Rating: 4/5 Jul 28, 2014 12:50 Send this review to a friend
I LIKE IT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purches a MFJ-989c not long ago knowing that the belt was broken as it was a old 989c,
I purchest 2 new belts from mfj to install soon as I could get them, well after waiting for 2 weeks never received them. so I went to the local NAPA store and low an behold there the belts were, Just "O" rings for .59 cents a piece, well for about $1.20 for (2) I was ready to rock & Roll and they work great. oh the part # 727-2034 at NAPA. and by the way I cancel the order at mfj it was $8.58 with shipping for 2, to summup I like the mfj-989c it sure is better than some of my homebrew tuners I was useing back in the 1950 an 60.I feel like an applience operator now. Hi Hi .
73s WB6TOM
F5TZN Rating: 1/5 May 14, 2014 03:42 Send this review to a friend
BAD TUNER  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Poor quality, overpriced, for an occasional use, undersized for 3kw or tune on a 50 ohms load !
W8NIC Rating: 0/5 Mar 10, 2014 04:28 Send this review to a friend
ARC ARC ARC ARC  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
ARC ARC ARC ARC ARC - Oh, did I tell you that all mine did was ARC? Works well with 100 watts but as soon as I put at least 600 watts to it? ARC ARC ARC.
Didn't bother selling it, it's in the garbage now.
K6XN Rating: 4/5 Feb 20, 2014 13:28 Send this review to a friend
I LIKE IT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had two non-working MFJ-989C tuners *given to me* by unhappy users over the years. Both tuners were easily fixed by me, are in use now and I have not had any problems with either tuner after fixing them. I use these on occasion up to full legal limit power with no problems whatsoever. The problem with one tuner was a broken drive belt which I replaced with a much stronger drive belt designed for use with the old Heathkit SB series linear amplifiers. These stronger drive belts are often available new on E-Bay for a very modest cost. The second tuner had a poor solder connection and severe carbon arcing on the roller loading coil. I cleaned and resoldered the bad solder connection and cleaned the coil and replaced its original drive belt with a stronger "Heathkit" drive belt and both tuners have worked flawlessly now for over three years. IMHO these tuners only need some TLC, modest parts replacement and care in using them. It is possible that carefully first reading the manuals for these tuners would be helpful to many who have had problems. I hope this is helpful. 73, Ted, K6XN
K4VUD Rating: 3/5 Sep 29, 2013 06:39 Send this review to a friend
in defense of MFJ  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had the 989C for six years; used it twice on G5RV and worked ok on 1KW. The drive belt on the roller inductor which drives only the counter broke.

The problem with antenna tuners of this design is that they will show some kind of match (lower SWR) on a WHOLE LOT of dial settings, most of which are not the best settings. Op should start with 50 watts and the book standard dial settings and then start tuning from those points, and turning the knobs in the sequence given in the book. This should give an arc-free setting, but if this 1.5 kw tuner arcs, 99% chance it is not tuned correctly. Experiment with many different dial settings and see you get what appears a good match with the dials in many different positions.

This is a draw back of this design tuner (note the Differential T from MFJ claims ONE best setting is easy to get but this is a different internal design.) Best way to learn is to use 50 watts into an external dummy load of 50 ohms and start with book dial settings. Then experiment to learn the complicated tuning needed because all three dials interact and op can be easily fooled by what looks like a correct setting but is not the best.

Always re-tune a bit when applying full power.

Everyone knows MFJ sells products that are at the lower edge of quality and assembly (designs are very good). However, MFJ offers full money back, no questions asked, and supplies replacement parts well. Think of an MFJ product as a kit which you resolder if necessary and tweek in other ways. Also, think of ham radio without MFJ; many people would just not be on the air. So, lay off Martin, pse.
W6YDE Rating: 3/5 Feb 10, 2013 05:26 Send this review to a friend
OK, but not great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased two MFJ-989C tuners years ago. They have both broken due to the rubber belt used for the roller inductor coil counter. I purchased a gear drive from MFJ at Dayton Hamvention. To make the change over was not for the average ham to attemp. There was a lot of cutting of the front panel and alinement problems with the shaft drive. Roller inductor is still not smooth and jumps around.

Capacitor drive knobs are direct drive and require a fine touch to find the correct setting. I also installed calibrated dial tunning knobs on the capacitor drives. But this has not worked out due to existing capacitor are very had to turn and required a larger drive knob than I could find room to install.

The MFJ-989C work, but are not a fine piece of equipment.

KD5OEI Rating: 3/5 Jan 16, 2013 07:21 Send this review to a friend
OK for some; watch the power!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine is the original 989 (plain). It had been OK for use with a 100-200W carrier on AM, and for all SSB up to the 900W my amplifier will make. It is easy to use. I found the ceramic switch to look 'small' but it had not caused problems.

1.) The first time I used the MFJ-989 on a decent size plate modulated transmitter, that was the beginning of trouble. One star deducted for it blowing up with a 350-400W carrier AM transmission.

2.) One star deducted for being caught in a public lie. The lie is silk screened on the front panel "3KW" (oh, apparently that is "input to the RF amp or stage", and apparently there is some kind of acceptance test @ "1.5KW for 1 minute". Ok this is not in any way "3KW", but it is a public lie.

So, overall, 3 out of 5 because it is good for most people, but if you are going to run legal limit AM, RTTY, SSTV, or CW through the thing, and the transmissions are going to last more than 1-2 minutes or so, choose another product or do as I am doing now, make your own tuner from bigger parts.
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