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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
KA1YUW Rating: 2003-07-23
good antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had good luck with this antenna. Just takes a little time to ajust it. I read some of the reviews written here. You hams who don't like it have to remember there is 10-20db difference in verticles and dipoles. I have compared this verticle with dipoles and at times the signals come in stronger then the dipoles. It depends on what angle the signal is coming. I have played with many different antennas for years. And it also depends where you put the antenna. If it don't work good in one spot, move it to another. Try different hights. For people who can't put up other antenna's I do recommend this one highly.
KA0YFS Rating: 2003-07-11
Poor Performance Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
After constructing antenna per the instructions (Which had an amendment page because the kit changed since they initally created it), I found that after the tuning process (1-3 hours) that it works as well as a random wire tuned with my AT-4 Antenna tuner, and works worse on all bands than a 40m dipole I made myself and hang in a tree. I tune the dipole with an MFJ antenna tuner.

I would say spend the money on an MFJ Antenna Tuner, and use a random wire or handmade dipole. This antenna is a loser in my book.
EA5XQ Rating: 2003-07-02
Good antenna for reduced space Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My MFJ1796 has been "my antenna" since ... 1995? I'm very happy with it, I'm still using it in combination with my 40,80m Invees and recently I jumped into 6m band with several success.

It's a good antenna bearing in mind its size and the aim of it: for reduced spaces, I use it on top of a 9m tower though and it performs well.

It is not difficult to adjust, probably once mounted to make a change or modification it's trickier because it is not accessible the end loading on the top.

I'm happy with it, and it has stood for strong winds and big storms ... (yesterdays was still there ....)
WB6JDQ Rating: 2002-08-07
A simple antenna that works good. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
After unpacking and study of the assembly instuctions, I was able to assemble it correctly with in 2 days. However, I was suprised it did work fairly well prior to any trimming of the capacitance spokes. After using an MFJ-207, HF antenna anylaizer to trim the antenna, It gets out best on 15 meters, typically: SWR on all bands is less than 1.2:1, 1.75:1 on 40 meters though. My amplifier has no problem tuning up into this antenna, and my ft-920 works good running bare foot too. You will need an antenna tuner with this, and I would definately recomend one, specially if you intend to run an HF-Amplifeir with it, but I run no antena tunner now with the amplifier, and it still works grewat.
KC0MBM Rating: 2002-06-23
Not so good Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This thing gets a 1. Actually have made a few contacts with it. Noisy. Other stations barely recieve my signal.
VE3TWM Rating: 2001-12-19
Won't buy another MFJ antenna Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased an MFJ-1796 back in the early 90's and put it up on a tower in the fall. I really can't give you any idea how well it works because during the first snowstorm it faced a month later, the centre insulator broke cleanly in two and the top half of the antenna landed in a snowbank out front of my house.
Encouraged by MFJ's "No Matter What" warranty, I called their service department down south and after explaining what had happened, was told I would have to send the ENTIRE ANTENNA down to Mississipi so they could inspect it!!!
Frankly, I was upset and declined their offer to inspect my antenna. The entire antenna spent several years in my garage until I decided I would give them another chance. I sent an email to their tech support explaining the history and asking if I could purchase a replacement centre insulator. The email reply I got back was extremely impersonal and did nothing to convince me their customer service has changed. I did not order the part and tossed the wreckage into the nearest dumpster.
W8JN Rating: 2001-12-17
VERY SATISFIED Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This will be a non technical review. I have limited space, and the 1796 has exceeded all of my expectations.. easy to assemble.. and got lazy.. so i didn't tune the antenna, just put a good antenna tuner on it. The results are very good... work europe on 10 watts psk31, and have no problems making contest contacts. Believe it or not it is guyed on 40 feet of tv mast on my roof giving me about 65 agl.. Getting 40 feet of tv mast up will be another story. By the way it easily survived last weeks wind storm of 50 mph wind gusts. Here is another believe it or not.. with 100 watts or less it will tune on 160 with the antenna tuner !
KC5DFP Rating: 2001-11-20
Solid Performance! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have owned the MFJ-1796 for some time now and decided to give it a review. I'm reviewing the antenna for what it is and not what it isn't (i.e. performance against a beam up at 100 ft.).


I would categorize the antenna as an easy assembly with little to no issues found. The instructions are well written, with several pictures, and I especially like the step check box layout. When a step is completed you check it off. This makes it easy to pickup right where you left off.

Given the overall length is 12 feet it was easy to mount the antenna up on the 10 ft. mast in the corner of my back yard. I was able to pick up the antenna, while it was vertically oriented, and place it onto the mast. Although the antenna is small by comparison, you will need to take care when mounting because it is just long enough to get away from you when it starts to lean. I recommend assistance from a couple of friends.


Tuning the antenna is certainly one of the longest processes with this antenna, but once tuned, it holds tuning well. Follow the recommended tuning sequence in the manual. The tuning is straightforward and the manual gives clear instructions for calculating the amount of materials to cut off of the tuning stubs. The hitch here is you must start with the 40 meter band and once complete move the to the next higher band and so on.

In my case, being very conservative with the amount of materials removed from the tuning spokes to ensure I hit my target frequency; I made numerous trips out to the back yard. The reason for this is I did not want to hit the exact frequency on the first try seeing I didn?t know the effect of tuning one band would have on the others. Therefore I tuned the whole antenna little by little until I was satisfied. By tuning the lower bands you shift the higher bands by a small amount (i.e. 40M effects most/all of the higher bands), but tuning the higher bands does not have an effect on the lower bands (i.e. tuning 10M does not have an effect on 15M, 20M, or 40M). I spent about 4-6 hours to tune the antenna where I wanted it and once there the antenna held tuning very well. On the target frequencies I was able to obtain a 1.6:1 on 40 meters 1:1 on 20meters, 1.3:1 on 15 meters and 1.4:1 on 10 meters. Not too shabby! You will need an antenna tuner in order to move across one end of the band to the other, for all HF bands that the antenna covers! I did check resonance after a rainstorm and it shifted slightly, but nothing to mention.


My first impression of the antenna was it was an overall good performer. I have made many contacts throughout the world. I have broken though some pile-ups on 20M with 200 watts. This was especially impressive in that most folks are running meg-o-watts on 20 meters. All other bands worked well. I have not used the 2-meter band seeing the loss in the coax itself would have been high, and besides I have a dual band antenna already set up.

I have found that the antenna needs to up at least 12 feet off the ground. I have used it with the antenna only 8 feet up and it works well, but once I put it up at 12-14 feet (to the bottom of the antenna) I noticed a significant gain increase in receive performance.

The only issue I noticed is on 10 meters. The antenna tends to be a little noisy compared to my G5RV-Jr. This is possibly due to the vertical polarization. I noticed during the day it is noisy, but during the evening I does get better and will hear weaker signals.


I found on the lower bands the antenna is a solid performer?. 40 & 20 meters are impressive. On the 15-meter band it does a good job and on 10 meters the antenna does an acceptable job. You would think 10 meters would be its best band, but for some reason it is not (noise during the daytime it quite high. I have tried everything I could think of as well as what MFJ could too, but the noise prevents me from giving the antenna a 5.

As noted in other reviews the MFJ-1796 is a compromise antenna. There is better out there, but there is nothing better in a multi-band antenna that I have found that has a footprint of 2 square feet and in the 12-foot tall class. You will work stations around the world with no problems, and even break some pile-ups. You will be able to work 5 HF bands (mine will tune on 12 & 17 meters with fair to acceptable performance so that?s 7 for me!) and you will be able to do all of this in about one days time. Once again, if you are new to building and tuning an antenna, you should seek the help from an experienced ham.

In my opinion MFJ has provided a very nice performing antenna for those who have very limited space, but want good performance! I recommend the antenna for those in this position.

W7MRR Rating: 2001-07-15
Nice try, but wire is cheaper . . . Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This antenna is a big compromise, but OK if you have very little room. It will operate on 40-2 as advertised, but not anywhere near as well as a simple dipole on the same frequencies. I purchased one and used it for about a year plus. I put up a dipole nearby and it was 1.5-2.0 S units up from the MFJ-1796. If you have any room at all, string up some wire. Ron W7MRR
K9MRK Rating: 2001-05-27
Not bad Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this antenna a couple of years ago
to replace a couple of diapoles. It was a pain
to tune almost requiring the purchase of a
MFJ-259B antenna analyzer. However once up
it managed to work more DX than any wire antenna
I've tried above 40m. It requires very little
space which was a great plus. I recently installed
a mini Cushcraft MA5B beam that just walks all
over it. I still put the MFJ back up to give me
6m and 40m capability. Overall I've been very
happy with it. But the MA-5B has virtually
retired it.

- Mark (K9MRK)