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Reviews For: MFJ-259B

Category: Antenna Analyzers

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Review Summary For : MFJ-259B
Reviews: 238MSRP: 259.95
HF/VHF Antenna Analyser
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W4KVW Rating: 2023-01-29
A great Tool for any Ham Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased my MFJ 259B used at a local Tailgate/Swap meet for just $100 & it looks and operates as if it were never used by the previous owner.It is a very handy tool for checking an antenna system & it does so much more.Wish it also covered 220 mhz & 440 mhz but maybe I will upgrade to the 259C in the future.Beats ever using an SWR meter hands down on the bands that it covers.

It's 2023 & it's still doing what it was designed to do. If I needed another one I'd buy one that also covers the UHF Bands.MFJ made a Winner with the 259B.
VE3JMR Rating: 2021-04-02
Great performer for HF / VHF analysis. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased the 259B from the estate of an SK that I knew well. The SK always took care of his gear and the analyser was no exception.

The unit has worked incredibly well. I did some side by side testing with a commercial spectrum analyser and found that all of the digital readings were extremely accurate and the analog readings acceptable. (Analog meters always have a higher error rate.) With my unit, I estimate the max error for SWR on both VHF and HF to be no more than 10%.

Overall it's a very good product. Unfortunately these analysers are now having to compete with the small, light weight and relatively inexpensive nanoVNA that does a lot more for a lot less money. Even so, the MFJ 259B is a great performer for HF and VHF antenna analysis.
VK3GMO Rating: 2019-12-11
Was ok when it worked Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought this directly from MFJ. It worked for a short while and then began to throw up ridiculous readings. I built the VK5JST unit and they have totally different readings. After checking the calibration on the VK5JST unit I realised the MFJ was just not working. No obvious loose connections or bad joints I could discover on inspection. Given my location sending it to MFJ for service is not practical. It is a write off. It was only used about 3 times before failing.
K9CTB Rating: 2018-06-08
Nice tool for any shack Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I usually try to write my reviews here to reflect how well the rig works in view of what the manufacturer says it will do. The 259B is a great tool for setting up an amateur radio operator's antenna farm. I have used my 259B for two dipoles, two 2-meter antennas and for setting up my second-hand A3S. I've loaned it out for other hams to do the same (Field day, etc). In each case, the 259B gave me the impedance, SWR and other info - and each time I finished, the antenna was rig-ready. When I connected my transceiver, the antenna behaved exactly as the 259B said it would. In my opinion, that's exactly what I wanted so it gets a "5" from me. The other stuff? Capacitor and inductor testing, a sort of makeshift TDR and frequency counter, etc are just add ons that would give us 6 or 7 stars ... but since 5 is the limit, there ya go. Oh, and I bought my 259B thinking "ah, I'll never need to do a UHF antenna anyway!" Well, guess what ...


Earlier 5-star review posted by K9CTB on 2015-01-04

I purchased my 259B from R and L on the suggestion of a fellow ham. I don't design or build antennas for a living, but if I did, I'd own expensive antenna modeling software and a commercial network analyzer. If you scrap all the "0" ratings and half the "5"s (from people who never actually bought the product), then average the remainder yourself, you'd come up with a good appraisal of the MFJ-259B. I rated the 259B a "5" because it performs exactly as I expected, plus it does a few nice things I didn't expect. I have used it to test two dipoles I use at home as well as a deployable twin-dipole I built for ECOM. I have also used it to set up the traps on my Hy-Gain TH-3JR. Additionally, I have used the 259B to trim the VHF antennas on my vehicles. In every case I've needed it, the MFJ-259B has worked like a charm. Just wanted to insert my 2 cents worth because it becomes nauseating reading all the "reviews" that the malcontents keep posting to justify for themselves why they paid twice MFJ's price for another product. Most of the target clientele for the '259B are those of us who won't be needing a Smith chart printed. All we want is to get as close as we can to presenting a 50 ohm load to our transmitter. Oh, and being able to do so without QRMing the band with 100 watts while we trim an inch at a time is just a huge bonus. :) Like others out there, I've experienced problems with MFJ products that point to a need for improved quality controls, but whenever I've experienced such an issue, MFJ made it right. They *do* sell a LOT of boxes, and perhaps the addition of a quality engineer and technician to their payroll wouldn't raise the price of their products all that much -- but then, I'm not MFJ's CEO. :)
N4YX Rating: 2018-05-05
Two Thumbs Up! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Acquired mine 2nd hand at a local Hamfest. Had recently been to MFJ for a minor repair. Works as it should & after many years a ham without an analyzer would not want to be without one now! Handy & affordable.
K8KEM Rating: 2017-06-22
A great item for the shack! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought the 259b used and actually, I was quite amazed at all the things this box can do! Very nice gear for the hamshack. Love the portability. It compares to my Spectrum Analyzer. There is a difference in Return Loss readings which equates to VSWR readings. In measuring a 1:1 RF choke Balun, the Spectrum Analyzer gives a R/L of a reading that is different than the 259b and I don't know why. In reality the 259b gives a pretty flat VSWR readings from 1.8 to 55 MHz. The SA is telling me the VSWR goes way up after 14 Mhz. I have to investigate further to see who is lying!

K4FY Rating: 2016-12-26
Update goes from 3 to 5 stars Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I originally rated my MFJ-259B as a 3 because of a minor defect that caused me concerns about MFJ products. Based on recent experiences, I believe MFJ has upgraded its quality control. So my concerns have been answered and my rating goes to 5.

The 259B is a very complete unit but lacks the scan and print feature on some newer models which is a nice feature. But, most of them won't do as complete analysis as the 259B. Take your choice. As far as battery life goes, I loaded mine with a set of Mallory Duracell's a couple of years ago and it reads about 11.5 volts which is good to go.

The MFJ instruction manual is very competent with enough technical and application information to start you on your way to antenna expert. It's a good unit that performs as advertised.

73, K4FY
MI0NWA Rating: 2016-08-11
Good Analyzer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a good analyser. I use it pretty regularly and it does what it's supposed to do. I like how it shows the reactance and resistance at the same time. The digital SWR is more accurate than the needle by about .1 to .2 but this is no big deal for me. The feature for measuring how long a piece coax is and detecting where there is a break along the coax is pretty cool. I have to agree about the battery side of things which others have mentioned which is why I give it 4 out of 5 instead of 5 out of 5. As for me, I just bought 10 rechargeable batteries and a 10 port battery charger. Just take the batteries out of the MFJ and charge to full power after just a few hours and this usually does me for 6-8 months depending on use. 4 months so far and still shows 12.6v when powering up on battery power and I've used it about 60-70 times throughout these 4 months for an average of 3-4 mins. The power save mode helps battery drain whenever you walk away and forget to turn it off and when you go back to measuring you just restart the unit and you are good to go again.

Its a straight forward unit and does everything I need it to do which is mostly for checking the resonance off various antennas.
N8VZ Rating: 2016-08-04
Never Fails Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had one of these MFJ Antenna Analyzers for about fifteen years. Whenever I pull it off the shelf to use it, it works. I think in all that time I've only had to change the internal batteries two or three times. It's obviously not something that I use every day, but when I need it then the MJF-259B is "old reliable." I used it just about two weeks ago when I was installing a new window-mounted dual band VHF/UHF antenna on my new car after installing my Kenwood mobile rig in the car. I was able to tune the antenna very quickly. This is a good product, useful in any ham shack.
N4UE Rating: 2015-10-26
A few warts, but I love mine! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had this tool for at least 12 years and have used it a LOT.
The only issues I've had are minor:
1. The on-off button is in a bad place. But, glue a large rubber grommet around the button and it helps with the accidental operation.
2. I went to use it today and it was dead. I tried external power and it was fine. At first I thought the batteries died, but the plastic battery holder had a couple of contacts that had 'cold flowed' and the batteries were not making contact.

A simple temporary fix. I just found new 10 AA battery holders for $2 each.
I bought the optional pouch for mine and it's a great place to place all the RF adaptors and accessories.

Couldn't imagine being without mine!
Still a "5"......


Earlier 5-star review posted by N4UE on 2010-01-09

I've had mine for a long time. I got it shortly after they came out.
Just last night, I used it to design and build a 'tuner' for 2 Meters. After the tuner was 'tuned' I double checked the results with my Mirage MP2 and the results were identical.
I can't imagine building antennas, matching networks, etc without one.