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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ-929 Compact 200-watt Auto-tuner Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ-929 Compact 200-watt Auto-tuner
MFJ-929 Compact 200-watt Auto-tuner Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $220
Description: The MFJ-929 IntelliTuner-CompactTM lets you automatically tune any coax fed or random wire antenna 1.8-30 MHz at full 200 Watts SSB/CW. It can match 6-1600 Ohms (SWR up to 32:1) - - that's a 50% wider matching range at a higher power level than lesser competing products.

You get a digital SWR/Wattmeter with backlit LCD, antenna switch for 2 antennas, built-in radio interface and built-in internal BiasTee for remote tuner operation.

Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/products.php?prodid=MFJ-929
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KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 21, 2013 18:54 Send this review to a friend
IC-7100 Use OK !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Update at the end of 2013... got a new IC-7100, and with the jumper OFF (as specified for the IC-7000) it tunes the DX Engineering 43 foot vertical on everything from 160-10 (which the LDG AT-600ProII refused to do). Again, great value for the $$, and connects to ANY rig with the appropriate cable (unlike LDG).
 
EI4GIB Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2013 02:58 Send this review to a friend
Sweet Little Auto Tuner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Perfect Hassle-free use, this Auto Tuner is so easy to use and so very quick to tune on any band. I use a Hustler 5BTV antenna and an IC-7000 and Yaesu FT-920. I stuck the Hustler into the ground and never got a chance to tune it properly, so I relied on the Auto-Tuner in the FT-920, which was just OK, but the SWR was quite high on some bands and completely unusable on others. I bought a used Kenwood AT-200 ATU which had a better tuning range than the internal one on the FT-920, but some bands still wouldn't tune. The I bought the Icom IC-7000 and what a great radio that is!. Of course it doesn't have a built-in tuner so I bought a used MFJ-929 on the internet and when it arrived it actually turned out to be brand new and un-opened, excellent! I had some old computer power supplies, so I cut off one of the Molex connector cables, snipped a bit of the plastic casing off one end of it and connected the cable to some CAT cable using Gel Crimps, I crimped a crystal RJ-45 connector to the end of the CAT 5 cable and my Radio Interface cable was ready, in less than 10 minutes. I had intended on buying a ready-made cable, but never bothered as the one I gunthered works 100%. I went into the MFJ-929's menu and selected "Icom", connected the coax and the Radio Interface cable, then switched on my IC-7000 and this automatically switched on the MFJ-929 Intellituner. The first time you use it on any frequency it can take a couple of seconds to tune, but after that it's lightening fast! I tried to time it, but it's way too fast, but definitely under 500ms, very impressive. it tunes my IC-7000 to any band whatsoever with an SWR of less than 1:1.3 and if I click tune again it tunes almost any band to 1:1.0. Tuning is so easy: I use the Ham Radio Deluxe software and when I click on a station in the DX Cluster list, if it's far off the frequency from when I last used it, I just use my mouse to click on the "Tune" button in HRD and milliseconds later it's tuned. I absolutely love it. It makes it so easy to change bands.
The build quality is great, no paint scratches, no sharp edges. I have only used the power button once, since when I turn on my radio it turns on the Auto-tuner.
I have only had one issue and it's not really an issue at all: I had originally opened up the 929 to remove jumper 4, as per the instructions when using an IC-7000, but there was no jumper 4, just the holes on the circuit board where it should be, so I had nothing to do here. like I said it wasn't really an issue.
I haven't used the FT-920 since I got the 929, only my IC-7000. The two compliment each other beautifully and make my Ham Radio experiences so much better, I would highly recommend this little beauty!
I am on the look out for a nice solid state amp, maybe the 400 watt Tokyo units, and will need a higher rating Intellituner, but the bigger version, the MFJ-994B, doesn't have the LCD display and several other features, which I just can't get my head around. The 1500watt version, the MFJ-998 has all the features of the MFJ-929, so why the middle power units is so lacking doesn't make sense, I would buy one in a heart beat otherwise, (I'm restricted to 400 watts)
So, if you need a 200 watt Auto Tuner: buy one today!
 
KB1YQC Rating: 0/5 Dec 8, 2012 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Terrible- died in 31 days  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rate this a 0 on functionality, 0 on Quality and a 0 on their warranty service

First issue is their sticky tune, it hates g5s. So it would only tune if i did each band manually. I should have taken it back then and there.

I bought this new in sept. Exactly 31 days after purchasing it , the power switch broke. So i had to send it back to MFJ. I overnight-ed it via the USPS in hopes of getting it back fast. The USPS record shows it was delivered on Oct 29th. But They(MFJ) didn't log it into their "repair system" until Nov 7th according to the invoice MFJ sent me
I called on nov 27 inquiring about it. They claimed they didn't get it. Then they say it is on hold since they spelled my name wrong in their system and couldn't touch it until i called and they will look at it.
I called again Dec 4th, they hadn't even looked at it. Then they said they would, but they are all out power switches and it will take an additional 2 to 3 weeks.
So now we are out to new years time estimate. and they state they will not extend the warranty for the 6 weeks plus they have had it because it is against their policy

So if you have money to burn, it did manual tune nicely but that is it. Don't expect any service support for repairs, unless you have a lot of time to wait

I will save up and buy an LDG... But no DXing for me until next year now.

 
PA0RCL Rating: 3/5 May 29, 2012 11:24 Send this review to a friend
Not that bad after all...  Time owned: more than 12 months
A year ago I wrote that my MFJ929 had suddenly left me after two years of reliable service. I had it repaired by the dealer (for about a quarter of the retail price) and it serves me well again for almost a year. I use it as a remote tuner for my horizontal delta loop. It is controlled by my IC-7200 via a 30m long CAT6 cable running in parallel with the coax feeder. Tuning is as easy as pushing the "tune"-button on the IC-7200 for two seconds. Works quite well now. If it had not failed earlier I probably would have given it a five again.
 
WB5CYS Rating: 0/5 Feb 6, 2012 19:43 Send this review to a friend
World's Biggest Sucker  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 20 years of poor to disasterous experiences with MFJ equipment I swore I would never buy any more. Recently I had an opportunity to use the MFJ-929 tuner at a friend's station and like an idiot I convinced myself to purchase one for my shack. DEAD OUT OF THE BOX. I get the morse message "WAKEUP FAIL" when I run the self test. No other functions work at all. My instruction manual tells me this is a microprocessor wakeup circuitry problem. That is an encouraging dianostic, isn;t it?!?!?

So now I am in for another fight with MFJ to try to get this piece of junk replaced so maybe I can get a few days of use out of it for my $218.00! Beware of MFJ, you all have heard the horror stories and I assure you they are true. Once again I am swearing off. I prefer buying American as well but I sure do not like throwing my money down a rat-hole.
 
KO7I Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2011 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Great little tuner!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great little tuner and very useful for basic impedance matching duties in my station. The number one issue with this tuner to remember is that it can not perform auto-tuning functions with more than 10W applied. This is very important.
I like the two antenna port feature, antenna port #1 is connected to my old Dentron Clipperton L amplifier, it works great on all bands 160 10 M. One does have to turn off the auto-tuner during initial loading-up of the amplifier. Once that is task is completed the tuner is activated and 10W qrp power is applied, the tuner will quickly tune the SWR down to less than 1.5:1 and away you go.
This past year at field day we used this autotuner as both a tuner and an antenna switch. On antenna port #1 we had a Cushcraft A-3 tribander and on port #2 we had a dual band 80/40 meter fanned inverted vee. It worked great. Band changes were a sintch with a push of a button we could swap antennas (if we needed to), reduce transmitter power to 10W, key the transmitter allow the tuner to do it's thing, and in less than 4 seconds we were good to go on another band. It was that easy and convenient.
Have I encountered impedance mis-matches that this tuner was unable to handle? YES. Coat hangers on 160 don't work.
Overall it is a good little tuner and I recommend it if you are using a solid state radio without a internal tuner. It is a good little final PA insurance device.
 
IK1WGZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2011 15:19 Send this review to a friend
what else?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've changed in the past many tuners. If it continues to work as now I think that I will not buy another tuner in the future.
 
VE3EGA Rating: 5/5 Oct 19, 2011 15:08 Send this review to a friend
Better choice for me than an LDG  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I know that MFJ gets bad press from time to time but you have to remember that manufacturing processes can be affected in many ways by both automation and the human element. Name any Electronics Company that has a perfect 'Six-Sigma' or 'ISO' record?

Back to the 929: Lightning fast tuning, two antenna inputs - no long tuning cycle issues with this tuner (returned my LDG 817H) and lots of features you will probably never use!

IMHO - 'best bang for the buck' - I use mine solely with my FT-817ND but plan to buy another two for each of my other rigs!

With MFJ's warranty, what have you got to lose?

73



 
KC2KCF Rating: 2/5 May 19, 2011 06:42 Send this review to a friend
false adertising. defective firmware  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I believe this tuner has a lot of potential to be a great product. (That's why I don't give it a 0). But it definitely needs help (that's why it got a 2). Or, more precisely, MFJ needs a major kick in their rear end.

I ended up buying this tuner rather than an LDG product, one of the factors being that I felt more confident about an U.S. made ham radio product than the LDG stuff which is Made in China (R.O.C.). It certainly told me something about American quality engineering (not).

First off, MFJ advertises this tuner as being fitted with 10 A/1000 V relays. This is a lie. The tuner I bought is fitted with 5 A/250 V relays. OK, so the contacts may be paralleled to arrive at the 10 A rating, but they're nowhere near 1 kV.

Second, as described by others, I had to clean the tuner from a lot of solder balls that someone had lovingly sprinkled all over the PCB. OK, this is not a major deal, and I'd say I expected to have to do this even before I bought the product.

Third, someone compared MFJ products to the work of a blacksmith. I can see why after looking at the solder joints on the underside of the PCB (though I might be doing injustice to blacksmiths). Aesthetics aside, several component legs/wire ends were cut off rather long and bent over on the solder side of the PCB so that they were fractions of a millimeter away from shorting out. For a tuner that encounters high voltages during use, not good.

Fourth, and this is the main issue that pulls the rating down: the firmware is defective and obviously got never tested properly. I got curious why the match changed in "random" ways when incrementing the capacitance step by step. My initial suspicion got confirmed once I measured which relays got energized: instead of counting up the bank of capacitors in a sequential fashion (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, ...), the tuner counted: 0, 8, 4, 12, 2, 10, 6, 14, 1, 9, 5, 13, 3, 11, 15, ... In other words, the 4 lowest bits of the binary counting word are reversed, which is clearly a firmware bug (the firmware mixes up the pin assignments). The capacitors were soldered in accordance with the silk screened labels, so it's not that MFJ soldered them in in the wrong order.

The easy fix (apart from reprogramming the PIC microcontroller, for which no source code is provided) was to swap the affected tuning capacitors around. After this, the tuner behaves properly in manual mode and also hunts less is automatic mode.

The product concept is great. But I've never encountered such shoddy engineering practice before from a U.S. company. And the firmware is clearly not an issue of QC during production, but evidence that the firmware was never properly tested and debugged even in the development lab.
 
CT2IPG Rating: 5/5 Apr 26, 2010 14:34 Send this review to a friend
never had better  Time owned: more than 12 months
i buyed two mfj-929 2 years ago. i'm using one in my ft857d running 160 watts on a vertical CB ANTENNA!!! it work's fine, from 20, 17,15,12 and 10 meters, with only one second of tuning! i've made contacts with almost over the world including the most dificult country's like australia, japan, indonesia, new zealand, etc. the other one is conected to my ft100d running 100 watts on a windom antenna, with very good results too. about software menus...nothing to say...it's so easy to use, that i never took the manual out the box! buy it! i recommend it! i never buyed two of it if they're not good. believe me on that! 73! i'll meet you on the frequency!
 
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