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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop | MFJ-1788 Super Hi-Q Loop Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-1788 Super Hi-Q Loop
MFJ-1788 Super Hi-Q Loop Reviews: 59 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $429.95
Description: High Efficiency 7-21.5 MHz Continuous Coverage Magnetic Loop
Product is in production.
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VA2DV Rating: 2/5 Mar 13, 2017 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Not for winter !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am sorry but I must downgrade my rating after using the antenna for a couple of weeks. The tuning is inconsistent at best. I found myself retuning the loop several time during a session on the same frequency. Seems like there is some play in the capacitor movement. Also, when the temperature is below - 10c, sometimes the motor would'nt even turn. That's pretty bad for a 750$ antenna. Great idea in a poor application.
Returned for a refund. Not for cold places.
AB1XG Rating: 4/5 Jan 14, 2017 14:48 Send this review to a friend
Great When I Finished Putting It Together!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Received my MFJ-1788 from my ham radio dealer, it was VERY, VERY well packed, kudos in that respect to MFJ!

Got is all setup, then found out it didn't work at all. When tuning nothing happened. Though MFJ tried to be helpful during several calls, I finally figured it all out myself.

When the meter light doesn't light, you may have a problem with your antenna system. Mine did not light, but I knew everything else was OK despite this.

Yet the antenna would not tune. After disassembling it, I discovered the Allen screw that connected the capacitor to the motor armature was loose.

After tightening it, suddenly the antenna would tune like a champ!

I still have not fixed the meter lamp light, I use a more accurate LP-100A Vector Watt Meter.

Antenna is currently mounted about 12 - 15 feet up, oriented horizontally pointed east-west, it works amazingly well on JT-65 or JT-9.

I get and give good sig reports, very happy with it!

If MFJ had not made me finish assembling it, I would have given it a 5.
MI0HPE Rating: 4/5 Dec 20, 2016 20:17 Send this review to a friend
Looking good so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Because I live in a very antenna unfriendly environment I have had to experiment with all sorts of ideas, especially for getting on 40 m. I Live in a three storey terraced house in the middle of the Belfast post industrial conurbation. I have found that 20 or so meters of wire in a delta loop configuration around the back yard usually works remarkably well as it can to be quite harmonic, (depending on baluns etc.)I have come up with some other weird and wonderful solutions which also do the job but the main problem is that every winter around December and January a serious Gale or two hits us and the fiber-glass poles get broken or at best knocked over, sometimes they can be repaired but it's usually 30 each to replace them. So, I decided to try the magnetic loop solution, it arrived about about 3 weeks ago and I can tell you without prejudice that I am pleasantly surprised. It's an expensive investment and a bit of a leap into the dark as magnetic loops are a bit of an unknown quantity in the scheme of things, however the results so far are very impressive. It's up in the highest room in the house surrounded by a lot of metal objects... and it actually works, even on 40m! It's a lot better on 20m but considering it works from inside the house I'm wondering how good it could be when the weather gets better and I can experiment with it on a 10 m telescopic pole outside. I have made more 40m qso's with it inside the house than all my other attempts. I have yet to discover what the efficiency is on these antennas but I think if they are properly set up outside it could be surprising. Getting qso's on 40 from inside the house is something I didn't expect.It's all been ssb so far but I suspect cw will be an experience when I get round to it. Digimodes could be very promising on these antennas as well because you won't need to tune them as much. I'm looking forward to trying that as well soon .The bad propagation conditions at the moment is a good time to work on your experimental skills and make things work for you. If the propagation was good you might get lazy 73 de Paul
AB1XG Rating: 3/5 Nov 10, 2016 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Works Well Now  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The good:

I've only managed to get this antenna up temporarily about 5.5 feet.

Easy to tune after you get the hang of it (short learning curve).

Even at this temporary low height (horizontal) it's really works well. MFJ says it will work about on par with a dipole at the same height.

Now for the bad:

When I received the antenna, it didn't work. I called MFJ tech support, we finally determined it was due to the Allen screw that locks the capacitor in the antenna itself was not tightened to the motor armature. Fairly easy fix except for during reassembly the screw holes on the antenna body were not aligned.

Only other problem I had was the light in the meter didn't work. When I took the cover off the controller I discovered only one wire was connected to anything.

Once I got everything straightened out, as I said earlier, I really like this antenna!

MFJ should test every one of these before they go out the door. The QC tech should then place a slip in with the antenna identifying him/her as the person why tested it.

One last note and a kudo to MFJ, this thing was REALLY packed well!
VE4FX Rating: 3/5 Jul 13, 2016 06:00 Send this review to a friend
MFJ-1788 high SWR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I live in an apartment and decided to get the MFJ-1788 Loop after having very good experience with a homebrew loop. The homebrew loop was limited due to the cap i had but it worked well on 20 meters. The MFJ-1788 works on multiple bands but the swr is high and I can't seem to bring it down. I opened up the loop to check everything and all hardware was tight, the only thing I found was the lever on the "up limit switch" was too low and was being missed by the part on the shaft of the cap. But that didn't have anything to do with swr. I'm not sure what to adjust to get a better match. There is the driven loop or the coil at the input. I also got the wrong power supply, I got the one for 240 Volts so right now I'm on batteries
KB6LA Rating: 5/5 Apr 3, 2016 11:53 Send this review to a friend
Unparalleled performance for size  Time owned: more than 12 months
This little antenna is a brilliant piece of hardware for those who can't put up yagis, string up wires, etc. I have this antenna on a small cinder block roof mount about 6 feet up in the air, and I can work North America on digital, and often into Japan, Australia, NZ, and - if I'm lucky - Europe as well, all from Los Angeles.

The antenna design, to shrink down a multiband HF antenna into a 36" loop, is amazing. But there are drawbacks. Tuning is very narrow, and the loop requires retuning frequently. This is bad if you are an SWLer or a guy who likes to tune around the band. For me, I am usually on fixed frequency digital modes (PSK), so this is not the end of the world.

Also, I have the sense that with this design, someone could put some real muscle behind it and bang out a loop that has some better controls. Despite it being "auto-tunable", it still requires a lot of fussing to get the SWR where you want it. Look, I'm sure MFJ has done it this way for as long as they've made the loop, and I have to be grateful that they make this piece of hardware, since I think they are the only ones these days. (There used to be an AEA version, but I think that company is long gone).

Nevertheless, I give this 5 stars, because this loop - in my opinion - is really the "future" of those of who want to preserve amateur radio on HF. HOA boards are getting more and more restrictive, younger people are living in apartments and with parents longer, etc., and if you want people to be on HF and preserve it for amateur radio, we need some antenna designs that fit people's situations. This loop is about as good as it gets for size and performance wise. And I give it a 5 because MFJ is making it, supporting it (I just ordered some replacement mounting parts), and it works exactly as advertised.

If you are in a limited space, I highly recommend picking this up. It's expensive, but it's worth the price. I also would recommend the 1788 version over the 1786. Reason: if you want to be on 10 meters, it's easier to do a second antenna for that band and use it along side the 1788, than it is to buy the 1786 and try and do a second antenna for 40 meters. Plus, with the 1788 you pick up a lot of the SWL bands down near 40 meters.

Cheers and happy hunting!
VE7ABC Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2016 11:29 Send this review to a friend
Great compromise antenna  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
While I've had the antenna for only a short time, it has met all the expectations I had for it. With the move to the new QTH, I knew the tower/beam combination I had before wasn't going to happen, nor with the layout of the property was any kind of wire antenna going to work. After a lot of research, I settled on this antenna. I had to wait a fair length of time to get it, as it seems that MFJ can't keep up with the demand, but since I had other projects that needed my attention, it wasn't a problem. When it finally arrived, I had a 14 foot galvanized steel mast made, and mounted it outside on the back of what we call the BBQ hut. Right off the bat there was a problem with it. No matter if it was hooked to the coax or not, the control box buzzed, and the meter was jumping all over the place. I contacted MJF via email and numerous conversations with Chad who made many suggestions, none of which solved the problem. He finally suggested I send the control head back to them for warranty repair. About 18 working days later, I received a new control head and it worked perfectly. Great service from them.
Now for the antenna. It does have a learning curve and is a bit tricky to get the SWR were you want it. No fault of the antenna as it is a Hi-Q unit, and the operator needs to know this right off the bat. How does it work? Well, I'm still experimenting getting the proper direction of it, but on PSK-31, I'm hearing/working lots of US stations, and have seen dx out of the Caribbean, so it is doing it's job. While I haven't worked Palmyra, I have heard them, so the antenna is not deaf. Not a 6 element tri-band beam like before, but I'm happy with it. It was worth the wait.
I've only been on the air with it for less than two months, and perhaps my opinion will change, but for now, I would recommend this antenna to anyone that is antenna restricted.
VE3CUS Rating: 3/5 Dec 14, 2015 18:43 Send this review to a friend
Works great one fixed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just bought one of these as I have no space in the yard. The antenna works great....but, as many have noted MFJ has quality control issues.
I noticed that the antenna worked great on 30 and 40, but when I tried to use it on 20, 17 and 15, it would tune fine on low power, but as soon as I went to 50 watts, the swr started to bounce around. After testing the feedline, I finally took it down and opened it up. Firstly, although heavily made, the tuning capacitor loOKs more home brew than a price ion machined component. The plates were misaligned, and I suspect the shaft was slightly off centre. The result was that at certain points, on high power, there was some arcing. After playing with the cap a bit, I noticed that at certain points the plates whefree shorting, the first clue being that on 17 I was getting no receive peak whatsoever.

An hour with a wrench and screwdriver, and I had the plates bent so they wouldn't touch the locknut tightened and the Microswitch lever aligned. All of this is easy to understand if you know a bit of theory, but it could be a rreal problem for a new ham with little practical rf experience. Maybe they just don't make capacitors like they used to but I was disappointed with the machinin gand tolerances. That being said, operationally the antenna now performs extremely well. For me, it wasn't worth the time or effort to send it back k, when I could repair it myself but others may wish to do so if they have a similar problem
K3JLS Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2015 20:52 Send this review to a friend
Great - But Concerned About Near Field Exposure  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hello all.

I bought on of these loops last year and mounted up in the attic. It works very well. However, we are planning to move into a retirement apartment later this year, and I want to be sure that this antenna will not cause any health problems for me, my wife or for my neighbors.

I spoke with MFJ about my concerns today, and was told that (and I quote) 'a 100 watt light bulb probably has more radiation'. The technical folks know of no problems with RF exposure provided the loop is kept at a 'safe distance' (???), and not touched while transmitting.

So, I'm going to write to Martin Jue from MFJ about my concerns. I would think / hope that the manufacturer of any magnetic loop antenna would have conducted the necessary empirical technical tests (or, at the very least EZNEC) to measure (estimate) the near / far field radiation and thereby inform amateurs as to the results of the same in the context of the FCC's RF Exposure Guidelines.

Just to be on the safe side, I'll send a certified copy of this letter to the appropriate FCC official responsible for RF Safety.

73's - Joe K3JLS
W3NRL Rating: 5/5 Jan 6, 2015 11:41 Send this review to a friend
Totaly surprize.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of the loop from gentleman second hand i was told it was a 1786 10-30 meters but i was having problems tuning 10 & 12 meters so i decided to tune 40 wow ok now thats awesome. I have 1788 instead, since putting the antenna up i have made several contact my best contact was to VU3WIJ and with 57 and also made contacts into Russia and other contact in that rtegion with nothing less then 55 also checked in to several nets as well and i am sold on the loop system that i planning on making one to take on vacation to OBX. lots fun!!!!
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