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Reviews Categories | SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads | MFJ-826B digital SWR/Wattmeter Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-826B digital SWR/Wattmeter
MFJ-826B digital SWR/Wattmeter Reviews: 25 Average rating: 3.4/5 MSRP: $$179.95
Description: High-accuracy MFJ Digital SWR/Wattmeter, 1.8-54 MHz, 1500 Watts

MFJ’s high-accuracy digital SWR/Wattmeter/Frequency Counter measures up to 1.5 kW.
You get three high-resolution ranges with accuracy in each range, 1.8 to 54 MHz!

True peak or average forward and reflected Watts, SWR and frequency can be simultaneously displayed.

You can also select auto-ranging bargraph modes to display forward and reflected power or forward power and SWR twin bargraphs or SWR only bargraph.
Frequency, SWR and forward power are also displayed numerically.

PeakHoldTM feature freezes the highest forward power displayed bar segment for
one second.

These digital-analog displays make it visually easy to tune antenna tuners, amplifiers and transmitters.

You get three high-resolution forward/reflected power ranges that are automatically selected: a true QRP range (25 Watt full scale), a midrange
(250 Watt full scale) and a highrange (1500 Watts full scale). Each
range has excellent resolution.

MFJ’s TrueActiveTM peak reading circuit gives you true peak or average power on all modes.

Built-in frequency counter gives any transmitter digital frequency readout in
continuous carrier mode. Perfect for older and QRP rigs such as MFJ-9420 travel
radios and MFJ-9340 QRPCubsTM kits and wired transceivers.

All information is displayed on a big 2-line, 16-character, high-contrast backlit LCD display.

Use 12 VDC or 110 VAC with optional MFJ-1312D, 61/2Wx25/8Hx6D in.
High-accuracy MFJ Digital SWR/Wattmeter, 1.8-54 MHz, 1500 Watts
Product is in production.
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K4DZQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2013 05:25 Send this review to a friend
Useful as a tuning aid.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this as a tuning aid. In that role it has been very useful. I am not disappointed in any way. If you buy this to be an accurate reference, you might be disappointed, although it compares favorably to my analog swr/watt meters. Manual tuning has become less of a chore. I am glad that I bought it.
WF0GMN Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2013 18:00 Send this review to a friend
Works fine  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine worked fine out of the box and seems accurate when measured against other meters.
N4UP Rating: 0/5 May 26, 2012 09:30 Send this review to a friend
Some are Good Some Not  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I read all the other reviews first. Clearly some of these SWR/Wattmeters arrive calibrated and some do not. Mine was NOT.

I briefly owned the MFJ-998 tuner with the same display as the MFJ-826b. It was accurate, so when I bought the 826b I assumed it would be also. NOT. Not even close. Frequency measurement seems okay. The SWR reads much higher than all my other indicators ( Transceiver and External Antenna Tuner ). And the Forward Power is about 20% high. Useless.

MFJ really should calibrate these units BEFORE selling them.
G3UXB Rating: 4/5 Jan 19, 2012 18:52 Send this review to a friend
OK but be ready to calibrate it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It is always with a little bit of trepidation I buy anything from MFJ, their tuners are the worst, my last piece of equipment I bought from them was their sound card interface I like that and still use it. Anyway I received my 826B today plugged it in and you know what my FT-1000 MP puts out 115 watts now - not! After calibrating it which is quite finicky you can breath on the pots and it changes all is good but should you buy a piece of equipment that needs calibrating, luckily I had all the gear to do it. Saying that it is very cheap for a digital peak reading meter so I give it a 4, if you buy one of these just be ready to calibrate it to something you know is good
W8EZI Rating: 5/5 Jan 2, 2012 09:25 Send this review to a friend
keeps on ticking  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wrote an initial review 10 months ago. I just wanted to say what I thought after living with it for over 10 months. I gave it a very positive review initially and I still feel the same. It is still working fine. It is a very good product at a good price. Mine is setup so that it is never turned off. I noticed something about this meter that indicates good accuracy. If I turn on my compressor, the peak power indicated on this meter falls off. You would expect this. My scope shows the same thing. The peak output from my AL-80B amp decreases a little when I am asking for more average power. If this meter was fudging and really using average power, you would not see this effect. You would probably see the reverse.

K0HYT Rating: 3/5 May 5, 2011 20:45 Send this review to a friend
Price too high for poor quality-  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I too had several screws rattling around inside!

Come on MFJ get it together! We are getting sick of buying junk that falls apart in shipping!
W8EZI Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2011 11:20 Send this review to a friend
Good value - Works as advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There are much more sophisticated digital swr meters out there. However, I was not willing to pay $450 and up for one of these. I have been using mine for a month now. It worked out of the box. It is quite simple to use and is much more useful than the Kenwood SW2000 that it replaced. The kenwood developed a sticky meter.

I find tuning up with the bar graph easier than with a meter movement. It responds more quickly than the old meter movement. So, quicker tuneup.

I set the SWR alarm at 2.0. This has turned out to be quite useful when I forget my antenna tuner when changing bands.

I like being able to look at my power output and SWR while I am listening to the other fellow. MFJ thoughtfully made the meter hold the last reading.

MFJ should probably drop the frequency counter in this swr meter. I am guessing that it adds to the price and there is not enough resolution to be useful. There is a mode to use that does not show the frequency. That is where I keep it.

MFJ makes a number of very nice products like the AL-80B which I own. Of course they make other products that I do not hold in much regard. This is a winner at $150 from R & L. Martin Jue should give the designer of this product a bonus.

I personally believe that measured at price vs performance, this VSWR meter beats all competition.
K3GC Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2011 10:54 Send this review to a friend
Good value - Works as advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I feel that the MFJ-826b has gotten a bit of a bum rap. It works in all respects as advertised. I particularly wanted digital and auto-ranging and this unit provides both.
The accuracy is OK - well within 10%.
There are better auto-ranging digital meters available but at more than twice the price.
It is a great value and does what it is supposed to do - I really like that it saves the last power and SWR reading.
Oh yes, no loose parts - it was plug and play.
NF6V Rating: 3/5 Nov 16, 2010 16:07 Send this review to a friend
Good and bad  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Like KC5EN's review below, as I opened the box I also heard the rattle of loose parts. Turns out that all four display screws were loose in the cabinet and the display was dangling loose on it's ribbon cable! How the heck can MFJ ship any product with such a gross quality defect? I can't imagine how any product manufacturer can actually ship something out the door that isn't even assembled! I purchased this through DX Engineering which I have always believed to be a very high quallity supplier so I'm dissapointed in them as well for not inspecting a product going out the door.

Now the good news - after mounting the display in the unit and firing it up I was pleasantly surprised to it's performance after reading other reviews below. I don't have a precision wattmeter but I do have an IC-7700 with test data on power output and the 826B did confirm the output on all bands in agreement with Icom's data on my rig. Checking with several other SWR/Wattmeters I have in the shack gave me confidence that the unit was calibrated so I believe I can operate it as is.

I've run it for 2 days now on many bands and modes and I think I must say I like it. Tuning an
amplifier using the bar display is a bit tricky however as the power scale keeps shifting as I pass above and below the 250 watt display threshold. Otherwise it appears to be a very good design has features that I really like. The peak power feature appears to work very well.

So deal with MFJ at your own peril but I have written DX Engineering encouraging them to improve their QA inspection of MFJ products. If I know DX Engineering they will probably do something about this so I'd still have confidence buying from them.

Cheers to all
Steve VK3TDX , NF6V
KC5EN Rating: 1/5 Oct 29, 2010 19:25 Send this review to a friend
UNFORTUNATE  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Heard "rattle" upon unpacking brand new unit. Removed cover and found that one of four screws holding the display board in place had come out. The other 3 were loose but still holding the board. Fixed and replaced cover. Connected Unit to transceiver. It displayed 131 watts with 85 watts input. Decided to return unit and buy another mfgs product.

MFJ manual does have information for calibrating which requires "a precise calibrated watt meter, 50 ohm dummy load,Three 50 ohm SO-239 coax cables, a transmitter capable of 1oo watts output, etc...." I guess MFJ doesn't bother calibrating or checking these units before shipping as evidenced by the mixed reviews.

MFJ will repair warranty units PROVIDED you ship it back at YOUR expense AND include $10 for return shipping! Basically require the customer to pay for MFJ mistakes.
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