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Categories | Antenna Analyzers | MFJ-225 GRAPHICAL ANTENNA ANALYZER Help

Show all reviews of the MFJ-225 GRAPHICAL ANTENNA ANALYZER

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AF8JC  Rating: 5/5 Aug 23, 2014 01:00  Send this review to a friend!
Great Value - Works for Me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had used a borrowed MFJ-259B analyzer on & off for the last year and a half. After returning it, I felt lost without an analyzer, as it seems I'm always fiddling with an antenna. After looking at various reviews and internet videos, I thought I wanted a Rig Expert, but I didn't like the price. I finally decided to give the MFJ-225 a try.

This unit was designed by folks that think much differently than I do. There is nothing intuitive about what the controls do and how the thing operates. That's OK, I just want to get that out there from the beginning. The buttons remind me of many of the newer radios that are menu driven: the buttons function changes from one screen to the next. After a quick read-thru of the manual, I thought I'd do some quick SWR checks on a long-wire antenna. I pushed and fiddled and occasionally got some good information, but I had no idea how I got there. I finally sat down and attempted to write my own "cheat sheet" of quick instructions that made sense to me. I took a few pictures and inserted them into a WORD document and got to feeling good about what I had done. I then re-read the manual, and the manual made perfect sense to me. I'm 63 and I guess I don't grasp things as quick as I think I used to. My own instructions still make more sense to me, but there is nothing inherently wrong with the MFJ manual.

Once you understand how to use the analyzer, the information it provides is very good. Using the "G" mode (for signal Generation?), you can quickly see the SWR, impedance, and other parameters. A few turns of the knob will show how "broadband" the antenna is and where the minimum SWR lies.

The "S" mode (for Sweep) takes a little more fiddling, as you have to get the bandwidth scale right in order to get a meaningful graph. It seems there may not be enough plotted points to show resonance over multiple bands (for example 40m & 15m), so you do have to focus the range you really want to analyze. Once you get the hang of it, you get some really nice graphs.

I have no way to check the accuracy of the unit, but for the kind of antenna work I do, and the bands that I operate, it seems just fine. It ells me more than I need to know. I have only used the "S" and "G" modes thus far, but I have downloaded the ig minivna software and look forward to hooking the analyzer up to the PC and see what other features are available.

I gave the unit a "5" because it does everything that it is supposed to do. Just because the method of operation and choice of buttons and sequence is not intuitive, doesn't seem to warrant a "downgrade" in rating. The documentation is fine, once you understand it. I didn't find the Kenwood TM-D710 manual any easier to understand - I think it's just the way things are headed.

Lastly, there is much ado about the batteries and how to power this thing. A couple of points: if you use rechargeable batteries they must me NiMH becasue that is what the internal charger regulator circuit is programmed for. When the batteries are fully charged, the red LED that indicates charging is in progress will extinguish. When you insert the charging plug, the battery pack is disconnected from the analyzer circuitry. You cannot power the unit from the charging port. You can, however, operate the unit from the USB port. Any power source that is USB compatible can be used to power the unit during operation. However, you cannot charge the internal battery pack thru the USB connection. You can't power the unit thru the charging port and you can't charge the batteries thru the USB port - clear enough? Again, once you understand it, you say "no big deal, I'm glad I have choices".
Product is in production.
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