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Reviews Categories | Antennas: HF Mobile & Accessories | MFJ-1954/MFJ-1956 Telescoping Whip Antennas Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-1954/MFJ-1956 Telescoping Whip Antennas
MFJ-1954/MFJ-1956 Telescoping Whip Antennas Reviews: 12 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $$19.95/$29.95
Description: 10-foot and 12-foot telescopic whips: Use as an antenna by itself (10/12 and 15 Meters) or use on top of a screwdriver antenna to greatly improve it's efficiency. Of course, you have to pull over -- these are not meant to withstand low overhangs! Use on many base-loaded antennas to extend coverage (10-80 Meters). Use them to make portable dipole antennas. Hex base threaded 3/8 x 24 stub.
Product is in production.
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MM0DGI Rating: 3/5 Feb 23, 2010 04:04 Send this review to a friend
Versatile but a bit fragile  Time owned: more than 12 months
A very handy piece of kit for portable operation. I used my 12ft 1956 for static mobile ops on 10m, 12m, 15m and 17m and i also made up an extension piece from aluminium rod to make it resonant on 20m. It worked great i have to say and having one antenna to cover several bands by simply telescoping in/out to pre-marked settings was good. However....this is the bad mentioned in several posts prior to this one, the base of the antenna is weak and will break (mine did!) if you live in a windy location such as mine then consider beefing it up.
OE3HHB Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2009 16:34 Send this review to a friend
cheap outperformer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 12 ft version, works great as lambda 1/4 on 10/12/15 and with a tuner on 17 m. Tune to minimal VSWR by adjusting the length. Fast setup time and great signals are sure with this mobile antenna.
KF4HPY Rating: 3/5 Jul 4, 2008 14:59 Send this review to a friend
Be Careful  Time owned: more than 12 months
Be careful is a warning, these are a little fragile. The base that came with mine was very, very short. So short, it broke just above the ONE crimp ring. I repaired it using a quick-disconnect base. Knocked the pin out and put a bolt and locknut through the hole formed by my drill. I noticed the newer ones seem to have a longer 3/8 stud allowing TWO crimp rings. I use mine in non-mobile and portable modes. SWL and QRP with a MP-1 or plain base. Great for SWl's as it doesn't overload the receiver. It fills an need if the limits are recognized. 73 KF4HPY
VE4AMN Rating: 2/5 Jul 27, 2007 09:55 Send this review to a friend
Take precautions  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the 12 foot version for a year or so. Right from the start the base made me nervous. So I used some copper shims and hose clamps to reinforce the base. That works ok, but is certainly looks jury rigged and one should not have to do this for a new product. On the plus side, a 12 foot whip is useful, so buy it with the expectation of using extra bracing.
AH6CY Rating: 0/5 May 26, 2007 14:25 Send this review to a friend
Absolute Junk  Time owned: months
While some MFJ products I have purchased and used are of good value (such as the SWR analyzer), this 12 feet telesopic antenna should never have been offered in the market. The first time I tried to screw it on my MP-1 and dropped it about 3 feet, the base broke off. (Dropping a portable antenna inadvertently at this height is quite common, esp. in the field; the MP-1's own antenna has never broken in the past 5 years.) It revealed that the wall of the antenna is too thin and the way it is fastened to the base is mechanically too flimsy; there is no way to reasonably support the weight with this kind of low quality material and craftmanship. MFJ should either discontinue this product or improve it greatly.
N4PSE Rating: 1/5 Jan 16, 2007 17:22 Send this review to a friend
Junk  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine lasted for about ten minutes on the first outing. Clamped to a rail on my boat it broke off and went to the bottom of the lake the first time a small wave rocked the boat. I was anchored - not moving. I wouldn't buy another if they were only a dollar.
WI7B Rating: 3/5 Jan 16, 2007 16:16 Send this review to a friend
Great..until the wind hit  Time owned: more than 12 months

I had the 12 foot telescoping whip based-loaded with a Texas Bugcatcher coil. It is no more :-( One thing that the discriminating ham should be aware of with these MFJ whips is that they are pressure-fitted to the 24-3/8" stud with a thin aluminum banding. As a result, under high winds (~35-50 mph) the telescoping sections tend to separate from the underlying stud.

My came crashing down over my porch the first time. I used a hose clamp to tighten the telescoping vertical to the stud and this worked until this month. During a windstorm, the hose clamp was ripped off the stud. My neighbor threw the 12 foot antenna back onto my porch. Hmmm.

I'm now using a 108" single-seciton Radio Shack CB anteena as a whip.
AC7WL Rating: 5/5 Dec 28, 2006 00:13 Send this review to a friend
Great for building a portable antenna!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own the 10 foot model and afix it to my FT-817 (with a Superantenna mount), tuning it with an LDG Z-11 Pro. Very quick to deploy and well manufactured, I give it a "5" as it does everything it is supposed to and a little more. After tuning, I get excellent reports. I suppose I could build a coil and put it on a tripod and do just as well, but being lazy I just add a counterpoise and match. You won't go wrong with this one.
AI4IJ Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2005 06:43 Send this review to a friend
A must-have for portable operation!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've not been a particular fan of MFJ products. Often, the products have a cheap look, feel, and build quality to them. But, not in the case of the MFJ-1954 10ft. Telescoping Whip. It is a high quality, well-designed, and rugged antenna product, well worth the $19.95 price.

I'll share a little bit about my experience with operating portable; and, you will begin to understand why I am so fond of this product.

First of all, I don't operate on HF while mobile. The antennas for mobile operation on HF are, generally, just too big; and, the grounding is too much of a hassle to achieve efficient operation. But, I do enjoy operating portable, where I can erect reasonable antennas for my bands of choice.

I had been using Pro Am Ham Stick (R) equivalents for portable operation; and, just mounted them to a homemade radial attachment plate mounted on a five foot mast in a standard Radio Shack tripod with 16 resonant radials (4 for each of the bands 20M, 17M, 15M, and 10M). I also use quick disconnects for quick band changes.

One problem I have encountered with this approach is that the Pro Am sticks are loaded antennas and not as efficient as I would like for them to be. They're certainly not bad; and, I've made some impressive contacts with them set up as I described, above. But, another problem I have with them is that I have to carry several of them, each individually tuned for their bands.

I wanted to eliminate both of these problems; so, what I did was use a couple of 4ft. lengths of aluminum tubing - one 7/8" and the other 3/4". The 3/4" telescopes into the 7/8".

I then cut a six inch section of 3/4" aluminum tubing for inserting in the base of the 7/8" tube. I then cut 2" slots into both ends of the 7/8" tube and one end of each of the two 3/4" tubes.

Then, I inserted a 1" 3/8 X 24 bolt with one nut screwed all the way up to the head into the end of the 6" section of 3/4" tubing with the remainder of the bolt protruding from the end. I inserted this assembly into the end of the 7/8" tube so that the 6" 3/4" tube with the bolt was flush with the end of the 7/8" tube. Then, I put a steel hose clamp around the 7/8" tube and tightened it so that it held the 3/4" tube and bolt assembly, and of course the bolt, securely. To this end, I attached a standard 3/8" X 24 quick disconnect to the bolt protruding from the end of the 7/8" tube.

I then inserted a 3/8" X 24 nut into the slotted end of the 4ft. 3/4" aluminum tube and secured the nut in the end with a hose clamp around the 3/4" tube.

Then, I inserted that assembly about 3" into the other end of the 4ft. 7/8" tube and secured it with a hose clamp. This provided me with a 7' 9" aluminum tubing base with a standard quick disconnect at the base and a standard 3/8" X 24 threaded mounting point for the new MFJ-1954 telescoping whip at the other end.

With the whip installed, the assembly can be extended up to a total length of 17' 9" for easy coverage on 20M through 10M. I just adjust the length to resonate on the band of choice.

The result is that I have a sturdy, full length 1/4 wave resonator for 20M through 10M to be used with my radial attachment plate and radials.

For ease of use, I marked the telescoping positions for the different bands. For 10M, I just insert the 3/4" tube into the 7/8" tube a full 2ft. to allow fine tuning with the whip.

Now, I need only the one antenna that can easily be adjusted, and no more inefficiency from loading coils!

This setup works great! I've taken it up to a local reservior where I can operate out on a narrow peninsula and have had excellent results, even running QRP!

The only tool I need is a flat head screw driver to tighten the hose clamp at the junction of the 4ft. 7/8" and 3/4" tubes.

I bought two of the MFJ-1954 whips; and, I intend to also build a portable dipole assembly that incorporates two of the assemblies I described, above, to provide me with a lightweight, easily assembled center fed doublet just over 35.5 ft. long for use when I'm mountain topping.

The biggest limitation with these whips is your imagination! I highly recommend them!

N2DE Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2003 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Perfect with my MP-1  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have been using the 10' version for several months now in place of the standard whip that comes with my MP-1 antenna. It certainly has made a significant difference for my QRP signals, and it is compact and sturdy enough to survive in my travel bag. Wouldn't want to be without it.
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