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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners | MFJ-949E Help


Reviews Summary for MFJ-949E
MFJ-949E Reviews: 143 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $149.95
Description: 300 watt 1.8-30MHz antenna tuner
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/products.php?prodid=MFJ-949E
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VE3MVW Rating: 4/5 Jul 27, 2017 06:14 Send this review to a friend
Works For Me  Time owned: more than 12 months
It seems that there is always a love it or hate review of antenna tuners. I happen to hate the auto tuners preferring manual ones. Having good service with a MFJ 941C for 34 years I decided to upgrade to the 949E which I purchased used for about a quarter of the cost new. I like the large meter that is also back lit and the built in dummy load is perfect for tuning up my TS-520 and DX-40.The only complaint is that it is very touchy and sensitive when tuning my G5RV Jr on 20 meters.Other than that I think I got a good one after reading the comments on quality control.
 
G8ADD Rating: 5/5 Oct 8, 2016 04:13 Send this review to a friend
No complaints!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this as a used unit ten years ago. It is in daily use, mainly with a G5RV set up as a doublet, occasionally on a 20 - 10 metre OCF dipole and a long wire, and it tunes to 1:1 on all bands, 160 metres* to 10 metres. I replaced the inductor selector knob with a pointer knob for better grip and a better indication, but could have stayed with the original knob quite happily.

Frankly, I couldn't ask for a better manual tuner, it does what I want it to without any fuss. Bar QC problems (I had none) it will do a good job for anyone who takes the trouble to read the instructions!

*160 metres with a 102-foot doublet? It gets me plenty of contacts!
 
KK4GXN Rating: 4/5 Oct 7, 2016 18:17 Send this review to a friend
OK unit for the $$  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had one of these for about 4 years and have never had any of the QC problems that others have mentioned. Perhaps a got one of the "good" ones! LOL At any rate, it tunes my homemade dipole in to 1:1 anywhere in the 40 meter band.

But like KG4LLQ, I have had problems tuning in 20 meters. It just simply refuses to tune in that band for some reason. He mentioned adjusting the tuning caps so I may try that (when I get time).

Overall, for the price it is a good tuner. If you are a financially-challenged ham like me, it is a good tuner to have.
 
KG4LLQ Rating: 4/5 May 10, 2016 16:35 Send this review to a friend
Fair Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 949e in 2003 and have used it for two antennas both in the "tuning" and in the "bypass" modes. I operate mostly on 40, 30 and 20 meters. My antennas are a home-brew 40 meter folded dipole and an LnR EndFedZ 20 meter antenna. Among several rigs I must report on my Icom 718. The tuner in the "tune" mode on 40 meters works great from QRP to 100 watts in the CW section. I use it in the "bypass" mode for SSB section of 40 meters. It also tunes this same antenna well on 30, 15 and 10 meters for a 1.3:1 SWR for the 718.
I have had a problem on 20 meters, CW section. The antenna for 20 is the LnR EndFedZ which is resonant across the band. With the tuner in the "bypass" mode, the 718's SWR suddenly spikes when transmitting. This doesn't happen consistently but intermittently. I opened the tuner today and according to the schematic capacitor C-4 is a trimmer. I have adjusted the trimmer and found that it has improved the reliability of 20 meter operation. While opened, I inspected the coil, switches and variable capacitors as well as all solder joints. Hopefully this will clear up the problem.
Over all the 949e is an acceptable tuner, but as noted by many other reviewers, Q/C at MFJ is greatly lacking. I guess it depends on who has assembled the unit. Mine was well made (soldered).
 
W3M0GOC Rating: 0/5 Feb 24, 2016 23:23 Send this review to a friend
MFJ Quality Control Sucks!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this a week ago from the local Ham Radio Outlet store in Delaware.

I initially noticed that using the usual tuning procedure that shifting the inductor switch in 3 of the central positions did not change the noise level too much, and the unit would NOT tune properly on certain bands.

The horizontal loop in the attic is new, and has been problematic to tune. So, rather than having a balun at the feedpoint, and using RG-58 ( with a choked section ), I installed 450 ohm ladder line(connected to the internal balun)... and started retesting again to no avail.

I still didn't suspect an issue with the tuner until I accidentally dropped a pair of pliers on to the desk whilst transmitting and saw the SWR meter go crazy, and the FT-991 transceiver fold back. Tapping the box affected the SWR. Not good!

Cutting the story short, I eventually isolated that the issues were with the tuner after substituting it for a friends Dentron Jr.

Fault 1 : Balun earth tag solder connection not soldered, just a partial mechanical connection. Hence, why vibration changed the SWR so drastically. This could have damaged the radio severely,had it not had protection circuits installed!!

Fault 2 : Solder bridges between 3 sections of the wire inductor causing there to be no inductance change in 3 switch positions.

Fault 3 : Incorrectly populated PCB. The PCB is the same one as in the 941E, just with additional components for the peak hold circuit. These were all missing.

So, one fault, occasionally might slip through QC. But, THREE ?!?! There is no excuse for this!

With my budget I have to use some of the cheaper brands. But cheap doesn't mean that things shouldn't work as advertised, or have this many issues in one unit. Especially as MFJ claim that this is the most popular tuner in the market.

HRO have been fantastic, and have shipped a replacement LDG tuner to me. I will say, I have used MFJ products for years and have had minor issues. But, nothing like this.

Will I use MFJ again ? Maybe. But, only if I have to. However, I will thoroughly check and research what I buy, and probably test in store.
 
KF5JOO Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2016 14:22 Send this review to a friend
Good tuner for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned this tuner for about four years, bought it new, and have used it with a G5RV, and a 1,000' sky loop. Most of the use has been 75M, 20M, 17M, and 15M.

I have to say I am pleased with the tuner. 1:1 is possible on most bands with both antennas, and I've even used it to help improve SWL listening.

Do realize this is a tuner that, new, is well under $200. You have to learn to use it, but with the handy reference chart (p.5) in the instruction manual, tuning to 1:1 is neither hard nor an annoyance. You just have to dial it in. It's a manual tuner, not an automatic tuner.

I have used a huge, heavy, expensive tuner in the past. It performed better than the 949E, but it also cost about five times as much. I returned the big one to my friend, and have never regretted owning this tuner.
 
N5STT Rating: 4/5 Jan 14, 2016 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Might be a good deal as used  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this tuner as a replacement for the MFJ-941E, which is identical except for a smaller meter and lack of peak reading and dummy load. Both tuners had problems with the inductor switch becoming loose with time, so you have to tighten the screw every once in a while.
In my case the tuning capabilities are not so great especially on 80M and 160M, where I'm forced to use only one position on the inductor. A roller inductor would certainly allow for a easier and faster tuning, so you might consider the extra money as an investment. I also experienced some proximity effect while tuning the capacitors, the position of my hand will change the reflected power slightly. Not a big deal, but this was reported in other reviews.
I wouldn't recommend buying a new one of these, but it may become a good deal as used below $100.
 
M0KFO Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2015 14:15 Send this review to a friend
Reliable & decent  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
An ideal middle of the range ATU, do bear in mind that in the UK the max power is 400w for a full licence and most of the time all that is used is the 100w out the back of the rig.

Easy to use, will SWR down 1:1 on most bands, unless you have an aerial that really doesn't like a particular frequency. Controls are pretty easy to use and the needle window is a decent size. I got a s/h one that is about 10 years old, didn't have to do a thing to it. Opened it up to give it the cursory MFJ look over and all was okay.

I keep it as a back up for my MFJ-969, because I know it will work every time without fail.

2E0TPO
 
MM0HRL Rating: 4/5 Jan 19, 2015 10:20 Send this review to a friend
Does its job!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is my first antenna tuner and it came as a used unit from my local radio shop in Scotland. I'd absolutely no idea how to use one but several YT videos provided via other operators' kindness was worth more than the manual for this device.
It's got its design faults, yes, but as for its absolute functionality I find it fairly hard to fault.

As to its design, I think the inductor control is too hard to grasp with older hands like mine, positioned as it is sandwiched between the other two rotary controls. And the design of the knobs with their matching scales - they are far too far apart for accurate repositioning of the controls. On my second day of use I realised that I'd want to note the band edge and centre knob settings to let me quickly retune after a QSY between bands etc, but it's too hit and miss as things are - the knob bases must be about a half inch away from the face with the silkscreened match-scale.

That's just lazy design.

However, as for functionality it seems to me it can tune my ridiculous half-size G5RV antenna (that's all that will fit in my loft) to being usable, even beyond its design limits.

IE I've tuned it to work (after a fashion) on 80 metres and the antenna's only intended for 40-10.
And I have the QSOs to prove it. Only two of them to be sure, but I'd been told that all/most of the power would be dissipated in the tuner/coax going longer than 40m. However much was attenuated, it still operated well enough at the time!

So to me, this tuner works well enough but if MFJ would listen to users and try to improve its products from constructive input, then their stuff would, I'm sure, be better viewed by their public. The quality issue I keep reading about hasn't been evident to me while using this tuner.
I deducted that one star because of the careless fascia design, not because of any malfunction.
 
VE7REN Rating: 4/5 Dec 20, 2014 18:44 Send this review to a friend
good tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I did a review here in 2006 on this tuner,but since then I will say it has done everything mfj says it would.tunes any antenna I have put into it,good antenna switches,smooth knobs,etc.. would I buy another.......after 8 yrs owning this one,yah,, I would,although the meter crapped once after it was 3 months old.... good tuner for the price
 
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