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Reviews For: MFJ-870 SWR/Wattmeter

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

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Review Summary For : MFJ-870 SWR/Wattmeter
Reviews: 7MSRP: 79.95
Large 3.25 x 1.25 inch illuminated meter. A highly visible black and red meter scale on a bright white background. Reads SWR, forward or reflected power. Lamp requires 13.8 VDC, power pigtail included for wiring. MFJ-870 covers 1.6 to 60 MHz. 30, 300, 3000 Watt power ranges.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N8RT Rating: 2022-07-09
MFJ 870 Is A NICE METER AND FAIRLY PRICED. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I aquired the MFJ 870 meter 4 months ago. Recently i had a opportunity to compare the 870 power readings to Bird 43 watt meter. The 870 WAS CONNECTED IN SERIES with the Bird 43 to a 50 ohm Dummy load I compared all 3 ranges with the Bird 43. All 870 ranges pretty much agreed with the Bird.
I then tested the SWR using a 100 ohm dummy load and THE SWR INDICATED 2:1 AS IT SHOULD.
The 870 meter is large and easy to read,and compared nicely to the Bird meter.
W2PSK Rating: 2019-07-26
Good for the price Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This meter is large and looks good. The display is nice and bright when you add power to it. It's easy to read.

It lost 1 star in my review because you can't turn the light off. You have to reach behind the meter and unplug it, or rig up some sort of switch somewhere else.

It lost the second star because after owning it for about a week, the function dial started getting loose. To change the function, you'd turn the dial a little before it actually clicked. It was like the plastic dial part wasn't gripping the internal piece that moves the function dial.

If it didn't have those problems, it'd be a 5 star review.
KN6Q Rating: 2017-02-17
Least Expensive Full Legal Limit Wattmeter Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
OK, the 3000 watt scale is a little ridiculous (at least in the US, where 1500 watts is the limit), and I have to calibrate SWR meter pretty much every time I use it, but it's a great value.

I like this style of meter over the crossing needles design, it's seems easier to read to me (and the meter is a big enough size to read easily). And actually coming with a pigtail for the lamp power is a plus, no extra purchase or clipping the end of a walwart is nice. Being able to turn off the light would be nice, but that's a really minor gripe.

I haven't compared it to calibrated Bird, but it's good enough to tune up my amp which what I really needed it for.
KF7VXA Rating: 2014-03-04
Very Good Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have found this meter to be pretty accurate, it's within specs. It's easy to read and easy to use.
For the price, it's a very good deal. It may not be a Bird, but between the SWR meter on my antenna tuner (LDG), the radio and the MFJ, I'm getting good SWR readings that I feel I can count on. As to power readings, with a good match on my antenna, the readings are very close to what I have dialed into my transceiver.
I have bought other meters that were a waste of money, this one is worth the price.
Unless you need the accuracy of a Bird, this one should be looked at.
When the radio is set at 100 watts and the power output of the meter is lower, it can always be traced to a less than perfect SWR lowering the power the transceiver puts out, so it even can give you a warning when in the power mode as to an SWR problem.
73's John
KF5ELO Rating: 2013-02-09
A waste of money Time Owned: more than 12 months.
3 months after I bought this POS It quit working sent it in for repairs charged me for repair. Yesterday it began to give crazy swr readings (8.0:1 checked Antenna with antenna analyzer swr 1.1:1)
500 watts read a kw then it quit completely the light quit working and then no readings at all. Save your money and don't by this thing it's a waste of money and time
KF2IB Rating: 2012-03-06
Good bang for the buck! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Very accurate, Easy to use, & see. Pretty green light.1.6 -60 MHz. 30/300/3000 watt scales. Peak reading! Excellent for 79.00 Made in Taiwan, not USA.
WS4V Rating: 2011-12-06
Good Old-Fashioned SWR Bridge Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My 30 yr. old SWR bridge finally failed me and caused me to shop around for a replacement. After some research and a couple of purchases that just were not to my liking, I gave the MFJ-870 a try.

It has a large, easy to read analog meter easily readable by those of use with less than perfect eyesight. Easy to use and well marked switches and a large knob for calibrating the SWR function.

This is a hefty little unit weighing over a pound and a half. It has a sturdy metal case with UHF connectors on the rear. Plus a coaxial power connector on the rear if you want to hook up the included power cable to illuminate the meter lamp.

I really don't use the power function very much, but this does seem to be in the ballpark and is specified to be +/- 10%. Certainly not as accurate as a Bird Wattmeter but certainly not as expensive either.

The reason I bought this unit is for the SWR function. Unlike many of the cross-needle units, I find this type of meter to be more accurate and easier to read. I used it to check out and make some adjustments to a multi-band vertical I just installed and it worked perfectly.

This has got to be one of the very best products sold by MFJ. It is a good no-nonsense SWR bridge with a reasonable wattmeter function. Simple, easy to use, built well and it just plain works.