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Reviews For: MFJ-259C

Category: Antenna Analyzers

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Review Summary For : MFJ-259C
Reviews: 17MSRP: $299.95
MFJ-259C is a complete ham radio test station with frequency counter, RF signal generator, SWR/Resistance/Reactance/Coax Analyzer, Capacitance/Inductance Meter and much more!
Accurately measure distance to short or open in failed coax. Measure length of a roll of coax, coax loss, velocity factor and impedance.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W0AZ Rating: 2020-04-30
How did I live without it? Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I used to borrow an earlier version of this MFJ analyzer from my ham club when I needed one.

I found a nice used one for about half of the retail price and finally bought it.

Why did I wait so long?

Every shack should have one.
K6ELV Rating: 2019-02-20
Valuable tool with some minor quirks Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a virtually indispensable tool every ham needs that you just cannot live without. It takes the guesswork out of antenna work.

The bad:
It is confusing to me that the analog meters do NOT match what is on the display. The display shows 1.3 SWR but the needle on the meter points to around 1.5
mine has developed an issue with the antenna connector, basically, if I wiggle it a certain way, it will show a 3:1 SWR even with a 50 ohm dummy load attached. It has gotten me a few times thinking my antenna was the problem when it wasn't.

Also, the batteries seems to wear out fast. I have finally put in rechargeable NiMH batteries instead.

Other than the inaccurate meters and finicky so-239 connector this is a nice piece of equipment to have, but almost everything manufactured by MFJ has its quirks anyway (mighty fine junk).
WD40 Rating: 2018-11-04
My favorite piece of test gear Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Very helpful equipment, it does so many things and more that for years required constant calculating, trimming and tuning. Great for wire antennas, fixed base and testing HT antenna performance.
AA8HS Rating: 2018-07-04
Inaccurate frequency counter Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The unit performs fine for SWR and others parameters. I bought it specifically for 472 Khz. The frequency counter reads 4 to 5 Khz high in this frequency range and the measurement changes dependent upon the gate frequency which may be normal. I have confirmed the DRV frequency output from my Kenwood TS-590S with other instruments but the MFJ reads high.
SM2OTU Rating: 2018-05-27
Tuning knob problem/support Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
In my previous post I gave a 2 out of 5 for the MFJ259C. I felt reluctant to ship it to the US as the cost from Sweden would exceed 50 USD and then the return cost would have to be added to that sum. But I did write to MFJ support and they promised to send me the tuning capacitor free of charge under the MFJ warranty. That is good news. So this review is for the warranty only. The reason I bought it from USA was that no dealer in Sweden had it in their product catalogue.

Earlier 2-star review posted by SM2OTU on 2018-05-22

This week my tuning knob started a life of it's own. Just like in the recent review by KE8HAG. I will have to live with it, or send it across the Atlantic Ocean to Gigaparts, where I bought it. It has been used twice this winter and now, on the third time, the knob started living. I have had it for about 7 months on a shelve so this is probably bad quality components. Now, knowing this, I will pick a better brand next time.
KE8HAG Rating: 2018-05-13
Quality control problems Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Got my new MFJ-259c February 2018 and out of the box defective. The tuning dial had a mind of it's own. You set the frequency you want, let go of the knob and it would rotate back the other direction about 1/16 of a turn. It didn't matter what direction you initially turned it, it always turned back the other direction when you let go of the knob. If you hold the knob in position it held the frequency. Notified MFJ of the problem and they sent a new meter. The new meter also had a problem, the band switch. On all of the HF bands, if you lightly brush against the band switch knob it would change frequency in the direction you brushed it. No, it wasn't me acting as part of the antenna. I did a comparison test against my back up MFJ-259 and it didn't act the way the new one did. Also found that the new MFJ-269c SWR read 3 points higher than the old 259 and another SWR meter I have. Notified MFJ and they had me send the MFJ-259c back for repair. That was four weeks ago. I'm still waiting. I believe quality control is a bit lax.
KC8Y Rating: 2017-08-15
super meter/instrument to have Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I had the original model(MFJ-259/works great)a few years ago. Traded it away with another radio, I had at that time.

Now, acquired the updated model (MFJ-259C) and this still operates the same.

I'm satisfied with this device :)
KG7OR Rating: 2017-08-14
Good except for the batteries Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm generously calling it 5 stars because the analyzer itself is fine. I can only second the other five-star comments about its performance.

But the batteries are another matter. I ordered the companion MFJ-92AA10 battery pack (10 rechargeable NiMH cells, $27.95), which arrived loose in a plastic bag. Two of them were shorted and therefore unchargeable; either a factory defect or damaged in the packaging due to no protective insulation on the terminals.

Either way, I had to add a pair of my own NiMH cells to the remaining 8 in the bag. After charging all 10 in my separate outboard charger, the analyzer worked fine.

So, it's an excellent analyzer, but 3 suggestions for the batteries:

1. Don't buy the MFJ-92AA10 pack. Shop for and supply your own NiMH cells; you'll probably save money and get 10 good ones to start with. If not, you can get instant replacements at your local store (I'm still waiting for my two from MFJ.)

2. When you buy your cells, get a separate charger with them. I found a 4-cell pack with an included charger, which I used to charge all 10 before installing them in the analyzer. That was important, otherwise I wouldn't have known about the two duds until I'd tried to charge them inside the analyzer. Not sure what the two shorted cells would've done in that case, but it can't be good. The separate outboard charger instantly identified them as bad, probably saving me hours of frustration.

3. As others have commented, opening the case requires manipulating 8 tiny Philips screws. That's much easier if you use a small drill driver or battery-powered screwdriver. Just go easy when replacing them; use a manual screwdriver for final tightening.
W6KKO Rating: 2017-02-09
It works Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I previously utilized an AA-54 and picked up an MFJ-259C used at half price. There are some distinct advantages provided by the AA-54, but the 259C does deliver as well as being able to analyze additional bands that I use.

I use it at home and especially when portable for contesting setup. The digital and analog meters are helpful to dial things in.

A drawback for me was having to fool around with the small screws when replacing the 10 AA batteries. I resolved it by using Eneloop batteries in a plastic AA 10 pack battery holder. I added Anderson power poles on the battery pack side and to an old wall wart cord that fit the 259C for external power. This arrangement was improved by using the MFJ nylon case for the 259C. It has a pocket on the back which easily holds the battery pack and cord extension making it all very portable. The pocket also holds a few RF adapters.

The frequency counter works, but proximity is very close in order to get a reading. I typically use a different device, but it works in a pinch.

There are even more features this device offers and for the price I paid I am very satisfied. I would rate this at 4.5 but for the price it's a winner.
NM3B Rating: 2017-01-22
Takes the "guesswork" away! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned and used this Analyzer for one month and could not be more happier and pleased. It does certainly eliminate the "guesswork"! I am still learning how to use all modes and features but from what I've discovered is amazing. Antenna building has been my passion for many years and don't know how I got along without this Analyzer. I have seen other analyzers and more expensive ones in operation but this one has all the "bells and whistles" I feel needed for putting up an excellent antenna system. Anyone looking for a very good and efficient Analyzer I highly recommend the 259C.