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Reviews Categories | Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks | MFJ-971 Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-971
MFJ-971 Reviews: 53 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $99.95
Description: 1.8 - 30 MHz 200 watt portable antenna tuner
Product is in production.
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N6AIR Rating: 4/5 Jan 24, 2013 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Performs better than it looks  Time owned: more than 12 months
This little tuner consistently works well. I've used it mobile, portable, and base and it does its job.

There are a couple of compromises you make for the smaller size. As stated in other reviews, there's no bypass feature which is sometimes nice to have. Also, the meter is a lot smaller so you are not able to fine tune as well as you would with a larger tuner.

It would be preferable to use a tuner with a larger meter if you are adjusting the length of an antenna during initial installation. But if you've done that already and all you want to do is set it for low SWR, this tuner will do the trick with little effort.

With a larger meter, you can fine tune, which for some strange reason is enjoyable, but you have to keep in mind once your SWR is reasonably low, getting it a micro-notch lower isn't going to make any noticeable difference.

If you want to eliminate loss due to SWR, this tuner will do it without a problem. If you enjoy plain around to see if you can get a long needle dip further than it's ever dipped before, get a larger tuner.

One nice feature of this tuner is that you can feed it directly with ladder line.

If you have the SG2020, it makes a nice portable package because they're the same size.

If you are going portable with the FT 817 and you just want to eliminate loss from SWR, get the Elecraft T1. It's a lot smaller.

On a couple of occasions I was in the field with the MFJ trying to tune a very poor antenna and I just couldn't do it but I've found that if the antenna is simply mediocre, tuning it is no problem.

I like my MFJ-971. I'm glad I got it.

AF2DX Rating: 5/5 Nov 22, 2012 08:51 Send this review to a friend
Best little tuner I ever had  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I had this tuner but I had all matching items for the FT 901 and the FT 902 so I sold the MFJ tuner.
I found that the tuning was very smooth and there was just about no loss through it.
Now that I have the ULTMAX -100 antenna and it works fine with a wire just hanging out of my window so I feel when operating under covert operations at night the MFJ tuner will do a better job So since I had one I have to give it a 5+E
It's a great little tuner and I used it with my 20 meter SST and the tuner was in line but I sill worked Canada and Germany.
One thing I hear from many hams, is the soldering is poor on some tuners so always check them and go over questionable solder joints.
I will be ordering one from HRO tomorrow.
I had the first one for about a year
WP4OEK Rating: 4/5 Aug 27, 2012 18:00 Send this review to a friend
It Works...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm using this tuner as a base setup on my Icom 718 and it works.
G1YGJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 20, 2012 16:40 Send this review to a friend
It works well!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had mine some time. Bought used and quite cheaply.
There was a connection problem at the transmitter SO239, turned out to be a loose soldered joint, so that was a quick and easy cure.
I've also had RF burns through the grub screws in the tuning knobs. I cured this by pushing Blu Tac into the holes which now insulates my fingers from the offending item!
The unit works very well and is fairly quick to tune at low or high power.
I use it in my small shack and also for portable/holiday use and for club special events etc.
I am in fact so pleased with it that I'm looking for a second one to save me having to take this one out of the shack every time I want to go and use it elsewhere.
Yes, I am very happy with it.
M5AEO Rating: 4/5 Apr 28, 2012 10:08 Send this review to a friend
Useful  Time owned: more than 12 months
Once I had opened it up and bent the various wires back into position so that they weren't shorting out (!)it worked fine. I have used it in the field many times now at around 25 watts. I don't think I would be happy running it at 300 watts however. The Power/SWR meter is surprisingly accurate, even at QRP levels.

Overall, it is value-for-money, but just give it an internal inspection before plugging it in!
KC8JWA Rating: 4/5 Apr 3, 2012 00:00 Send this review to a friend
Works for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased used from Ebay. Tunes my antennas well, use it for both my PSK-20 and my MFJ-9420.

Took a bit to figure out how to read the power meter correctly:
Divide the readings by 10 if you have the meter set for low power.
For example if the meter is reading 50 AND you have the push button switch in the back set for low power it will read as 5 watts (50 divided by 10 equals 5)
M0UKD Rating: 2/5 Jun 1, 2011 08:14 Send this review to a friend
OK QRP tuner with a few negatives...  Time owned: more than 12 months
Iv'e had this tuner for a few years and use it almost exclusively with the FT-817 @ 5w or less. It's good for 80-10m operation but not really 160m as advertised. It does not have a bypass switch, which is annoying when you just want to listen around the bands. It can give RF burns from the tuning knob grub screws or the nuts behind the knobs, so care should be taken there, especially at higher power levels.

I see the MFJ-971 as a QRP portable tuner, where it works OK. If I was going to do 100W portable, I'd rather take something like a MFJ-949E.

My review is based on the standard MFJ-971, although I have modified mine to cover 160m and included a bypass switch, of which details can be found at:

After these mods, I'd give it 4/5 but as standard it is over specified and lacking the bypass switch, so I say 2/5 - Needs help!
WA0DTH Rating: 2/5 Mar 31, 2011 18:22 Send this review to a friend
Factory TLC before ship needed  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using this tuner in my car to fine tune the hamstick antenna. Then one day the transmitter tuning capacitor knob and shaft came loose and was causing the variable cap inside the cabinet was flopping around. Also I noticed on the inductance select shaft had a linkage where the set screw head was twisted off just leaving the threaded stub.
MFJ I like your products, but you need to inspect better and torque the hardware properly.
KJ6MEV Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2011 21:07 Send this review to a friend
re-review  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
works just fine. i posted earlier and gave it a 3. now i find that the meter WAS working and my power supply wasn't. it tunes if the user does his-her part and takes the time to concentrate and make those needles go where they need to go. one can actually tune this thing very precisely.
KA4ZUC Rating: 1/5 Mar 2, 2011 14:34 Send this review to a friend
Tuner Quit Working  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After having my mfj 971 tuner for approx 6 weeks,it stopped working!! both needles,suddendly went to the middle of the scale and then dropped,never to arise again,upon contacting MFJ,they told me to check the two diodes on the circuit board for shorts,and if bad for "me" to replace them! so much for their "no matter what" warranty", no offer by them to even send the diodes to me!!! you bought it,its yours attitude!!! perspective buyers beware!! David Napier/ka4zuc
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