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Reviews For: MFJ-1796 40 - 2 Meter Vertical Antenna

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : MFJ-1796 40 - 2 Meter Vertical Antenna
Reviews: 43MSRP: 209.95
40 - 2 Meter 1/2 wave dipole
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
ZL2BFO Rating: 2022-03-08
Once sorted out I found it produced good results Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Some time ago I purchased one of theses antennas. As described I found some of the poorly made however I agree there was a lot lot of spares. Tuning the 40 m band was a very time consuming and I made many mistakes. I also found the instruction sheets not very well written. Once I got it sorted out and in place (just above the house roof) it worked very well. I regularly get 5/9 + reports into Europe from New Zealand. Currently I only use 40,20,15.
KE5YRF Rating: 2021-12-27
Missing parts. damaged parts Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
My experience with MFJ has not been good and this antenna was no exception. I ordered it from Giga parts and it arrived quickly . Packaging was very good with no rips or tears in any of the packaging. From past experience, I knew to inventory the parts and true to MFJ form, it was missing parts and the screws that were pre installed had been put in with a power driver and the heads were stripped out. Installation instructions clearly say to not use a power driver for this very reason. Some of the pre drilled holes were in the wrong place, so you will almost certainly have to do some hole drilling. The installation instructions say it takes 2 hours to assemble this antenna. What it doesn't say is that it takes several days to round up all the missing parts. The instructions were practically useless, but the picture showed how it was supposed to look,, so assembly went ok. An antenna analyzer is a must to tune this thing in a reasonable time. After a few hours of tuning, it went up about 30 feet and worked surprisingly well. The best swr that I was able to get was 1.7 on all the bands except 2 m and it was flat. 40m is very narrow, so best tune it for the frequency that you intend to use most. In the first rain storm, the swr went out of sight. When the sun came out, it returned to normal. If you have the time and inclination, this antenna may work well for you in a limited space situation. In the past, I have had a cushcraft r7, Av640 , Comet CHA250, Gap and a few home brews and they all work better that this one, but they are all much bigger and require a lot more effort to install, except the CHA250 and it's limited by the max power limitation.
VE3SVQ Rating: 2021-08-20
Good buy for the money Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought one of the very first ones to come on the market, it was used for over 10 years and survived our winters. Eventually about 10 years ago I replaced it with another. I operate on 10-15-20-40 and once in awhile on 2M. I have worked stations all over the world and generally get good reports. My max power is 100w. A couple of years ago I added an automatic antenna tuner and I can't complain. Its not a beam and doesn't perform like one but for those with limited space or a limited budget its a good buy. Its presently mounted on a pole 10 feet off the ground. This year I hope to raise it a bit more so it will be 15-20 above ground. Biggest issue are the instructions and time it takes to put together.
KC0FNS Rating: 2020-03-30
A highly functional compromise antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A friend of mine AH6N, now a SK gave me this antenna because it was a serious bag of parts and would not fit into his condo porch. I assembled the antenna a few years ago, and got it working on the HF bands I cared about just fine. Now, it's been probably 5 years at least and I have been able to continue used and repair the antenna with parts from Ace hardware and a little bit of creativity. We have had some serious hail storms that bent the wires from the top part of the antenna (fixed with a Pair of pliers). The bottom bracket broke so the Lower radiator needed to be supported by a home made bracket, fabricated from the hardware store. This antenna needs occasional maintenance with a screwdriver - there are LOTS of screws. It's not as good as a full size dipole for most of the HF bands - but if you are space limited, and patient with putting this together, this is a decent antenna. The people who are frustrated, are correct - this was not an easy antenna to assemble and immediately use - it takes quite a bit of patience, and probably an antenna analyzer, or like I did, apply a lot of tinkering to get right. This is a hobby, and for me, I liked the challenge of getting this antenna to work. For me, all the parts were there, so it was just as hard as ikea furniture assembly.
N6RJ Rating: 2020-03-29
The proper cuss words have not been developed yet to describe it Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Once the proper cuss words have been invented to properly describe the "MFJ-1796 Experience", I will post a followup review. The instructions are horrible.....From Step #1, there are contradictions/errors. It doesn't get any better from continues to go downhill at a very fast pace. Poorly machined pieces....mis-aligned holes....improperly drilled holes....balun falling apart right out of the box. MFJ should be completely ashamed that they would ship a product like this..... I would strongly recommend that they hire someone who can write instructions. It is very apparent that whoever wrote the instructions, never attempted to use the instructions to assemble the antenna. Save yourself some money (and aspirin) and purchase a dummy load instead!
M0KED Rating: 2019-03-30
Performjng well for me. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is further to my last review, of a fellow ham's 1796, which I built for him. I was that impressed I bought one for myself! Having had previous experience building the antenna, mine went together without problems, I did alter the feed point slightly by snipping off the bare co-ax braid and soldering some insulated wire onto the co-ax, and potting the joint in epoxy before soldering on a pair of ring terminals. All electrical joints were assembled with conductive grease and then sealed with silicon wax anti corrosion spray. The antenna is installed at 15ft above ground. I waited untill this weekend's CQ WPX contest to evaluate the performance of the 1796 back to back against my Hy-Endfed 40-10m halfwave end-fed, 66ish ft long at 35ft above ground. I bought the 1796 to hopefully fill in the end-fed's nulls on the higher bands, and frankly I'm amazed at it's performance. I expected it to be well down on the wire at 7MHz, but that's not the case, most stations are within an S point of the wire, some better. 14 and 21MHz appear to be about the same, if propagation allowed real DX I suspect the 1796 would win. 28 and 50MHz are shut, so no checks on those bands. Tha antenna is a bit narrow on 7MHz, as is to be expected, but I'm running it through a tuner, so the full band is no problem, and in addition the tuner gives me 18 and 24 MHz too. 14MHz only requires tuning at the band edges, 21 MHz is OK full band. I really expected a compromise, but really can't fault this vertical, realatively stealthy, no radials, only 13ft tall, and giving my 66ft end-fed a good run for it's money....... talking of which, I suppose it is a little expensive here in the U.K at around £310, but if you're short of room to erect anything else then this could be the way to go.

Earlier 4-star review posted by M0KED on 2019-02-12

Hi there, I don't own this antenna, but built it up for a fellow ham not happy to take on the task.The antenna was ordered from ML&S here in U.K, and arrived next day, as advised. An initial check of the parts list revealed the 2m elements to be missing, hence only a rating of 4, but no big deal, as the antenna is only ever going to be used on HF. All other parts were in the box, along with a few extra screws/nuts etc. Build started as per the instructions, I could find no fault with the listed procedure, one or two screw holes needed to be opened out, but other than that assembly was straight forward enough. Having never seen this type of antenna before, build took me around 2 1/2 hours. Tuning was straightforward, and initial SWR readings were spot on what MFJ said they would be, 40m and 20m were adjusted into the required portions of the phone sections, 15m and 10m were fine, and left alone. Initial on air tests look good, recieve is better than his doublet, even on 40m, and the WARC bands can be tuned with an ATU, locally, to me, he's stronger on all bands.
I was pleasantly surprised with the 1796 after reading other reviews on e-Ham, so much so that I'm thinking of getting one for myself, to compliment my end-fed wire and fill in it's nulls.
K2STV Rating: 2017-10-02
Don't waste your money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have been a ham for 61 years and over that time have had some major disappointments with MFJ equipment. After a long hiatus I decided to try the MFJ-1796. I put it together exactly per the instructions and after drilling out some undersized holes got the thing up. It does not work. Whatever signals I hear on any band are at least 4 plus S units down from a home brew dipole.The kicker is that you can not even get anyone to talk to at MFJ that knows anything about this antenna. I am so disgusted that I will give this antenna to anyone who takes it for free. email me in Tampa Bay area.
N1DVJ Rating: 2014-07-21
Good for the money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I picked this up because I wanted a simple HF vertical antenna that would also cover 2M, since the place where it was going would replace a 2M/440 stick.

I got it on sale for $199, new in the box. Be aware it's a BIG box, over 6 feet long. Had to tie it to the top of my Jeep.

Construction was ok. It was supposed to come with extra parts. And it did. Only the extra screws were a pack of a size that didn't match anywhere on the antenna.

Assembly went well, considering. It's not simple. When I was done it actually tuned up just outside 80M instead of 40M. And there was a false null just outside of 40M. Took a LOT of trimming to bring that in. Over 2" on all the sticks. The other bands tuned much easier. It was a multi-hour job, just to tune. If your trying to do it with just an SWR meter, I can see how you would get VERY frustrated, very quickly. I used a Mini-VNA. In fact, I can see how some people say they have problems.

Hooked it up to my K2 with 50 feet of RG-8X and first call was a group out in the rockies. I could hear 1 guy strong, 2 weak, and there were at least 2 more in the group. I broke in with about 10Wp-p and got right in. Only the strong guy said he could hear me clean. One of the weak guys said he could hear me but not make much out. Not bad though, as the strong guy was running 600W to my 10.

Need to play a lot more with it. Haven't tried 6M or 2M yet.
KK4FGF Rating: 2014-06-25
Very nice antenna for the price Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I live in a subdivision with a small back yard so I didn't have room for a vertical with radials. I settled on the MFJ-1796 and spend an entire day assembling and tuning with a simple SWR analyzer. I thought I would never get it tuned. I suspect there was some sort of coupling with nearby telephone lines that was causing problems with resonance, but I eventually was able to get the tuning close enough for all bands except 2M which I don't use. Once it was assembled it was everything I really wanted. I've worked every continent (except Antarctica) and quite satisfied with the convenience of a multiband antenna.

One caution, when assembling (especially if you live close to the ocean) I would give all the metal parts a thin coating of some sort of conductive grease to prevent corrosion. I used DeoxIT and I haven't had any issues with galvanic or other types of corrosion.
KF4EAY Rating: 2014-06-08
For the price and what it is. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently passed my General test after 18 years as a ham. I'm handicapped and needed an antenna that could be handled and installed on my roof by someone else with no radio knowledge. I assembled the antenna over 2 afternoons and had it installed with out any other adjustments. I have a Kenwood TS 480 SAT and a MFJ 941E tuner. With my barefoot little 100 watt station I have managed to contact 26 countries in less than 2 months. If you expect it to act like a stacked array pushing a kilowatt you'll be disappointed. At this point my farthest contact has been Western Siberia @ about 7000 miles. It takes patience and persistence to make DX contacts but to this point, for what it is, I love the thing.