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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
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K3FXR Rating: 2008-10-01
13 years and going strong! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I was asked the other evening about this antenna form a local ham that has very limited space to mount an antenna. So, after explaining it to him, it hit me that I've never given a review of it.
I've had this antenna since 1996 and it has been at three different locations. It has withsttod the the test of time, wind, ice and worst of all...moving it to different locations.
I originally installed it because at the time I had a very limited space for an hf antenna and no room for radials. I took a chace with this antenna and it has worked well.
BUT! and a big BUT! After assembly, I had a friend of mine tune this thing with an annilyzer. without one, you can forget trying to tune it correctly. Tuning took all of three hours. However, the end result was worth it.
Since installation, I worked WAS on 40meters..
And have logged over 120 countries. Now, this was back in the late 90's and early 2000's, the bands were much better then.
The antenna has it;s limitations...I could never get 2meters to tune correctly... 6meters works well and is good the entire band. It can be noisey at times, but, what verticals are not?
10, 15 & 20 can run with no tuner. with the tuner, I've can work 12 & 17 meters with no problem.
40 is narrow, but I only use the voice portion of the band, so, I tuned it for my use.
I now run a cushcraft A3S since I am in a new location where I can now have a tower. But, I still use the antenna daily and when I need that extra punch, I go to the beam.
I hope this can be of use to someone thinking about this antenna.
WD5FUN Rating: 2006-07-31
Worst Vertical I have ever owned. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have tried to work with this piece of junk for two years now and have finally found it's best operating location, the dump. The quality of materials and workmanship would be considered sub quality in any third world country. It would never tune properly and the help I recieved from MFJ was non existant. My recommendation is to spend a little more money and buy an antenna worth putting up. I just did that and it was made of quality parts, was easy to assemple and guess what! It performed accourding to specs and out performs the MFJ many time over.
KE9ZM Rating: 2006-04-22
Comments for attic mount Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I wrote a review of this antenna before and have been using it for years. Folks might want to consider mounting this antenna horizontal in the attic. Only 12 ft of lenght is needed. To make this antenna fit a horizontal space, remount the bottom capacitance hat and loading assembly right on the tube. Hits perfectly and the result is a fully symetrical loaded dipole (rather then the L-shape in the standard config.

ke9zm ke9zm at yahoo dot com

Earlier 4-star review posted by KE9ZM on 2003-06-23

This antenna is just a balanced dipole. Don't overlook this 12 ft "vertical" as a limited space attic antenna.

Since its just a dipole I mounted it in the horizonal in my attic. You can sling it from ropes attached to rafters or, if you have 2x4s as braces as I do just lay it on these.

As compared with my dedicated 40m/20m dipoles in the attic its about 1 S unit down on the receive.

I was able to tune it to less than 1.5:1 on all bands and it works great on 6 meters.

Good compromise limited space antenna

Gary / ke9zm
F5DQK Rating: 2005-06-22
A real dipole -- really not bad ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Home working conditions:
- MFJ-1796
- Home made under roof inverted Vee antenna: works on 3.5, 7, 10, 18 and 28 MHz, also on 50 MHz without retuning.
- IC-706MKIIg rig + IC-AH4 automatic tuner
- 144/70 MHz Microwaves transwerter !!
- Synthest-Unaohm MCP-3000 field meter

- Es looking from 28 to 80 MHz
- 28 and 50 MHz favourited Band
- SW under 28 MHz in a future retired period !

This 2nd hand antenna is here 4 years old. It was well mounted by the previous owner but seriously oxydised after 2 years pollution on a parisian roof.

I'd first wash all aluminium parts with Scotch-Brite and water, and change the initial UHF to a N female connector.
First tryings were made during summer 2002 in the garden on a 3 Meter high Aluminium mast. 7 MHz band was previously
adjusted 300 kHz too high.. One longer spoke on each side did solve the problem. Other bands were OK.

SW testing was more a receiving comparaison with my inverted Vee.
- 7 MHz band is very narrow (exactly like the inv V). Automatic tuning is required.
- 14 and 21 MHz : I am not used to them; automatic tuning is better than nothing.
- 10 and 24 MHz are not "thinkable" bands on this antenna.
- 28, especially 29.6 MHz FM works well, but is more noisy than my under roof inverted Vee. If you want either CW, SSB and FM activity, automatic retuning is obligatory !
- 50 MHz extra dipole has its weaker SWR on 52 MHz, but has a good wide band. Activity was just tested under summer Es conditions and antenna comportment is not bad. But manual alternative antenna switching on a same signal can give opposite results, so I have to wait now on the next better sun activity for long dX !!.
- 144 MHz dipole is just for local repeaters and has nothing to compare to my older 16 Elements F9FT dx yagi. That's normal !

I did add also a 70 MHz... yes a 4 Meter dipole, so that the SW mast was surrounded by, not 2 but 3 additionnal dipoles !! And so I use now a 7 band real dipole !!
An english 144/70 MHz Microwave transwerter was needed for tuning. In summer 2002, 28/70 MHz crossband QSO's (also listened in FM) were made with GM's, EI's and Gibraltar. Also 5B4CY was listened 3 times. 4 meter personal QRP beacons were also active in band beginning part.

4 Meter transwerter was sold 3 years ago and 70 MHz is now needed to visualise Summer Es dxTV on russian OIRT channel R3 (in addition to conventional 48-60 MHz band 1 TV), and it works also very well !! Colour TV could be seen ! Even the east european 65-74 MHz WBFM OIRT band works well !!

I did then leave it in a cellar a very long time. But one month ago I did take it again and did put it on a new chimney on the roof, located about 5 meters from the earth.

I did recently thing to a 70 cm dipole extention, but antenna coaxial loss (coil + dipole teflon feeding) was supposed to be far too high at this frequency.

The IC-706 gives 2 great Rx holes: first one at 60 + - 2 MHz because of SW / high band switching, and also curiously a second one at 70 + -0.2 kHz !! So I am now very disappointed that I cannot listen 4 Meter Ham band any more.

A Synthest-Unaohm MCP-3000 field Meter (also digital) works great while visualising all 40 to 90 MHz band Es TV and WBFM activity on it!! Also in band 1 a curious radar (I suppose!), working down to 32 MHz could be seen.

KC2LOG Rating: 2005-06-20
good verticle for the money Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.

AB2RC Rating: 2004-09-14
It Works Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had this antenna for over a year. I have it mounted 10 feet off of the ground.

This antenna works very well on 10, 15 and 20m, it is OK on 40m, and fairly useless on 2m and 6m.

Bandwidth on 40 is very limited, but with a tuner it can cover the entire band.

I have been able to tune it with my LDG-Z100 on 80m, 17m, and 12m with fairly good results. 160m is a no-go (but that is to be expected for such a small antenna).

Assembly took about 3 hours, tuning took another 3 hours. The tuning process may have gone faster if I had a antenna analyzer at the time, or moved my rig much closer to the antenna.

I know MFJ advertises this as a vertical, but it appears to be more of a "capacity hatted, loaded, dog-legged, off-center fed, vertically oriented dipole".

KI4ECW Rating: 2004-08-16
Average - At Best Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It's hard to assemble, very time consuming to tune, and it's not much better than a G5RV. The bandwith isn't that great and forget trying to tune 6 meters. If you're trying to save on space it's probably better than a bug catcher stuck on a window sill.

You'd be better off with a mini-beam like the Cushcraft MA5B or even better -- the Canadian hybrid quad MQ-1. They only cost a little more, are turnable with heavy duty TV rotors, and both seriously outperform the MJF-1796.

I'm a big fan of MFJ Enterprises. They make a lot of great products. Unfortunately, the MFJ-1796 is not one of them. I gave it a rating of 3 since a 2.5 wasn't an option.

Save your money until you can afford a good HF antenna.
M3CJX Rating: 2004-06-05
Good. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Having owned the antenna for about 4 months I can say I am very pleased with the results.
At present it is only mounted 3 meters off the ground and is working very well on 20m and 40m.
Or so I have been told from reports.

Earlier 4-star review posted by M3CJX on 2004-03-27

Not wantinmg to sound thick, the assembly time of 2hrs is unrealistic, especially if you have never worked with this type of antenna before. the instructions at some points are difficult to interpret and you need lots of patience.

Tuning was easy and the overall performane is great. mine is only 2 meters off the ground and works well.
I would recommend this antenna to a friend although some of the spare spokes were missing but fortunately this did not effect my requirements.
WD9FRF Rating: 2004-04-20
Adequate Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Ever since I had a HyGain triband vertical 20 years ago I have been less then enthusiastic about vertical antennas. But about 9 or 10 years ago in a moment of foolishness we considered selling our house and I took down my rooftop tower and yagi. For a few years afterward I was inactive in ham radio and when the bug bit me again I decided to put up a ground mmounted vertical (the XYL has never liked my antennas up on the roof. I chose the MFJ-1796 for its multi-band coverage and the fact that as a vertical dipole it doesn't need radials. I mounted it on my old South River 12 foot tripod tower, leaving the tower base on the ground.

I found the assembly for HF to be relatively straight-forward, but had trouble with the 2 and 6 meter threaded rods binding when I tried to adjust them. A balun coil is part of the system. Tuning the antenna is a bit awkward since it involves adjusting the length of the wires in the 'pincushion' tophats at both ends of he antenna, and since the antenna really needs to be well off the ground when it is tested. A good antenna analyzer is valuable here to avoid repeated trips into the shack while 'tweaking'.

The performance of the antenna is quite adequate, but a tuner is required to cover all of some bands. I used the 1786 as my primary antenna for several years until finally giving up to the urge to install a multi-band dipole and finally a yagi on the roof. The performance difference between the 1796 and the dipole was very noticable, especially on low power.

If I were in a position that I had to have a small footprint antenna I wouldn't hesitate bto put the 1796 up again, but it certainly isn't a substitute for a good wire antenna, yago or quad.
PE1NPG Rating: 2004-02-27
For the size OK Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought it because I do not have much space. My other antenna is an inverted V 2 x 17 meters feedpoint up at 9 meters. No possibility to get it higher up. The MJF Feedpoint is at aprx. 12 meters high, 1 meter above the rooftop. On 40 the MJF is poor on local traffic comp. to the V, DX compares to the Inv V. On the higher bands, esp. 15, its I get much better DX reports, so the radiation angle and the top loading seems to be OK. I do not have problems with noise, its less then the V, but that one has one leg 50% along the house( 2 meters). Receiving is a bit better then the V. DO NOT COMPARE IT TO A X-ELEMENT BEAM, FOR IT'S SIZE ITS DOING WELL.I used a homemade impedance bridge to tune it. a few hours up down the stairs..., but tuning is really simple. YOU WILL NEED A TUNER ON 40 AND 20 TO WORK THE ENTIRE BAND. I'm using a MFJ949E tuner, no problems.
As for now I'm really happy with it. For its price its OK but mechanical it looks a bit poor. Hope its still up in a few years!
I do not critisize MFJ because they sell affordable stuff for hams with a smaller wallet.
Its a hobby....what say? Best regards 73 Jean-Pierre PE1NPG.