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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | MFJ-8100 Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ-8100
MFJ-8100 Reviews: 22 Average rating: 3.5/5 MSRP: $89.00
Description: Genearal Coverage SW reciever
Product is in production.
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KB1QYH Rating: 5/5 Aug 29, 2018 16:08 Send this review to a friend
Wish I got one when I was a kid!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I first saw this in Popular communications as a kid. I always wanted one, but never ended up buying it. Instead, I went for the new-fangled Realistic DX-380. Yes, it was digital, and had presets, but it was a rather poor receiver. I would have had much more fun with this MFJ. I just got mine yesterday direct from MFJ, and I spent most of the day playing around with it. I was impressed by the high build quality of the unit I received- you know the MFJ saying- Mighty Fine Junk- this is not the case with the 8100. It's built like a tank! no loose pieces rolling around inside. And did I mention what great fun I had tuning around with this radio yesterday? I have Ham radios that cost thousands of dollars, and I had a better time tuning this thing around and just listening! It's great! And such a simple receiver. Also- I'm not sure why, but signals seem much more stable on this radio than any super-het receiver I've used. Shortwave stations sound like local AM broadcasters-- No fading! How do they do that? My digital receivers fade in and out constantly, even under fantastic band conditions- not the MFJ Regen receiver- Set the regen control, and leave it there for half an hour! no fading at all---- It was rather shocking to me. Sound quality is fantastic as well- As good, if not better than my Kenwood/Icom radios using Sennheiser headphones! Maybe it's time for more radio manufacturers to get back to basics, and make a regen receiver! It's cheaper, simpler, and sounds better than the fancy digital radios of today! If you've ever thought about buying this radio in the past, I say bite the bullet and just do it- it's worth every penny- Tons of fun!!! I'll give a 3, 6, 12 month follow-up as well. Stay tuned--

W6UXB Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2018 00:10 Send this review to a friend
Great for what it is  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one used in great condition, but did not seem to work so good I delved into it the soldering was really good but the jumper wires on the circuit board were way too long, rewired those and replaced the trim pots on the board as well then aligned it as much as you can as per the manual, yes the regen control is tricky but they all are when the sun sets the radio comes to life with just a short wire antenna, no it's not a communications receiver it is nostalgic fun, if you are bored with all your expensive toys come back down to earth it's great! the 6:1 tuning dial really helps too
KA4DQJ Rating: 3/5 Jun 8, 2017 08:56 Send this review to a friend
Not so Good!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The regeneration control is so touchy that it is almost impossible to find the correct amount of feedback; especially on the higher bands. Even under the best of circumstances the receiver isn't very selective or sensitive, and even slight shifts in dial frequency require another struggle to find the "sweet spot" on the regen control.

That said, it's a very inexpensive kit radio. Don't expect it to perform alongside high-end commercial receivers.
KG4NEL Rating: 4/5 Mar 17, 2014 14:47 Send this review to a friend
Not a lot of money - a lot of fun  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Whether you’re a complete stranger to the world of HF or have a pair of K3s on your desk, sometimes it's a nice break to go back to how things were done before SDRs, IF DSP or even a frequency readout more complicated than a piece of plastic and a potentiometer. The 8100 is hardly the last word in performance, but it does surprisingly well for what it is.

The real value is in building the kit – price-wise, you can buy a modern Grundig or Sangean portable for less, but being able to assemble something that picks up voices from around the world (well, at least until the demise of international SW broadcasting…) is a thrill that hasn’t gotten old for me after a dozen years in the hobby.
BILZIN Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2013 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Potential DXer   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Got one of these kits cheap on Fleabay for No1 grandson.WE built it in a very short time, and it fired up perfectly from the start. Some clandestine tuning on my part soon had it pulling in stations that my Yaesus had difficulty tuning, and the look on his face when he first heard it receiving is well worth the price and effort WE put in.
The X box has been relegated to the spare room for the time being, and I think WE might just have another DXer in the making here....hope so !
KO0KY Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2011 22:03 Send this review to a friend
More than I expected  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I gave this rig a 5 because of the performance/price ratio, for the money it's hard to get a better rig that is so much fun to put together and use. It really does have a nostalgic feel to it that my higher performance radios just cannot have. Sure, my Grundig 750 is a lot better, but it costs $250. And you can't get it in a kit.

It is quite satisfying to run around the bands, reliving my early SWL days in the 60's, when I used whatever I could get my hands on. I would have killed for a rig like this. Now that I have much better radios, I use this one more than the others because of that remembrance. I can't quite put it into words, but you know it when you see it.

It's also great for travel. When I take my G4000 on a trip, I have to pack it really well so that the TSA folks don't smash it, not to mention it might just come up missing. This one is so tough I'm not worried at all, and it's so ugly I can count on it not being stolen.

Anyway, I highly recommend it.

NO4L Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2011 00:37 Send this review to a friend
Latenight Fun!  Time owned: more than 12 months
What positive can I say that hasn't been said already? I enjoy playing with this receiver late at night. It's hooked to a Radioshack amplified speaker, the sound is really quite decent for what it is. I've tuned into all sorts of broadcasts with 100' of wire wrapped 5' bamboo pole with a capacitance hat made out of aluminum on the top -- ugly but it works and doesn't take up much room. Even a 10' piece of wire will offer up some stations.

Received it as a gift for Christmas nearly a year-and-a-half ago, and it continues to keep me amused.

The wired version costs less than most 2M HT's, and offers up a lot of fun in a small package. Just get one!
AI4HO Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2010 10:48 Send this review to a friend
Neat little receiver!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I picked up one of these from a guy in Ca. for a couple a bucks, $35 or $40 by the time shipping to Fl was established. This is one neat little receiver,the one mod the guy I bought it from was too by pass the battery system altogether, and just have it powered by 110v. Not a problem as this was going to be in my shack and not go any where. Once I found a suitable wall wort in my junk drawer, I had some speaker wire that I attached to the rear of the radio, its performance at first was lousy. What I hadn't realized was that the wire was intertwined with a bunch of other stuff and was lying on the ground.

I then cobbled together an off center fed antenna using the same speaker wire. I attached one end to my tower and the other end to a tree in mt front yard. I guess the antenna was 20-25' in the air, what a difference, I was getting stations from all over, Cuba, BBC broadcasts, all over the US, I was in heaven. One thing I had to get used to was the tuning, the MFJ-8100 tuning control is quite smooth, and using the regen in conjunction with the tuning knob was at first a little tricky, but with a little practice and a lot of patience, I was able to tune pretty much anything.

Well, tragedy atruck, we bought a pop up camper and to work on it we moved it into the front yard. In cranking the camper up I forgot about the wire antenna for my regen receiver, next thing I knew there was this wire hanging down in front of me and I'm thinking what the hell?? At first I didn't realize what it was, then it dawned on me,what it was. OK, I get to it and get it fixed in a couple of days. Not so, it got really, really hot hot here in our part of Fl., work has pretty much ceased on the camper at least for now, got most of it done, just a few other minor things to do. I have the pieces of wire and its all together again, I just have to get it up in the air. I moved the 8100 into the back room with my other radio collection, and when I went to plug the wall wort in the radio wouldn't turn on. My el cheapo wall wort, on the one side the spade plug had pushed into the assembly, n problem I can fix this.......not yet any way, the assembly is sealed, so I'm either going to have to disassemble the unit all together or find a new one. Think I'll just find a different one in my junk drawer. I do like this receiver, it may not be a high end Icom, Kenwood,or Yaesu, but for what it is its a neat little receiver that will be part of my shack for a while yet.

73 de Mark
KO0KY Rating: 3/5 Sep 25, 2009 09:33 Send this review to a friend
Worth it at an eBay price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased one of these recently from a chap on eBay for $30. He had added one mod, a spring clip 9V battery holder on the back. I highly recommend this addition to the radio as it saves so much time changing batteries.

I have tuned up SW broadcasters all over HF with this radio quite easily. You really have to get the 'feel' of the regeneration control, however, which is quite tricky. Once you conquer this you've got it made.

I've also picked up quite a few hams on AM (75m nets), SSB & CW, and they are quite understandable. I am impressed with how sensitive this rig is and how good the audio is. I'm going to add an amplified speaker and use this in my shack as an SWL receiver while I build kits and otherwise piddle around.

One little feature that I really like is the double headphone jacks. My XYLis studying for her Tech license, and I can show her directly about shortwave this way.

Overall, for the money, it is a good deal...conditionally at eBay prices. I can't imagine paying full price for this, especially $109 for the wired version. I will say that I have had a lot of fun with this rig and plan on having a lot more. That's a pretty good bottom line.

AA1UY Rating: 4/5 May 28, 2009 18:54 Send this review to a friend
Still using it years later  Time owned: more than 12 months
I assembled one of these in kit form a few years back and still use it from time to time. You really need to use an outdoor antenna and it works better grounded than not.

It is, as someone said, a 3 (three) transistor radio based on an almost 100 year old design but built using more modern components. It's just about one step up technology-wise from the crystal set (cardboard tube, a rock and some wire). As such, I think it performs very well for what it is.

It's not an $800 communications receiver, nor a modern portable and it's not even a superhet design. It's a regen and as such, displays traits common to regenerative receivers in general (surprise, surprise).

My MFJ 8100 kit went together without a hitch and works as advertised; in fact, it can be quite sensitive if you patiently adjust it correctly.

Those of us who enjoy back to basics radio and QRP can find regens quite addictive (if frustrating at times).
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