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Reviews For: MFJ-1982MP EFHW

Category: Antennas: HF: Verticals; Wire; Loop

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Review Summary For : MFJ-1982MP EFHW
Reviews: 4MSRP: 79.95
80-10M End Fed 1/2 Wave Antenna 300W
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VE3WMB Rating: 2022-07-17
Works ok, antenna wire (#20 AWG) is too flimsy for 132 span Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I had this antenna up at my cottage for about a year and it worked quite well until a tree fell on it recently and broke about 30 feet off the far end of it. I could use it without a tuner on every band from 80m through 10m with the exception of 30m. I did initially have some common mode issues, which made RX very noisy but addressed that by adding a 13.5 foot elevated counterpoise to the ground connection and some snap on ferrites on my feedline just inside where it enters the basement. What I discovered when the antenna came down is that the wire MFJ used is only 10 strand, #20 AWG hookup wire, which IMHO is way too light a gauge for a 132 foot span. Likely nothing would have survived a tree falling on it, but I am skeptical that this antenna would have stayed up for another winter at my location under normal circumstances. I think it makes a pretty decent antenna for a temporary vacation setup but I would hesitate to recommend it for use as a permanent antenna. My suggestion would be to spend your money on a beefer implementation of this design such as the Par EndFedZ EF-ALLBAND-KW 80m-10m which uses 18AWG Polystealth wire (stranded copperweld). This antenna is inexpensive but I think the reason is because MFJ cut corners on the size and quality of the antenna wire. I give it a 3/5 because it does work pretty well, but it is just not built to survive due to the use of flimsy wire. - Michael VE3WMB

Update July 2022: I replaced this antenna at my cottage with a Par EndFedz. I chopped off the excess wire on the MFJ to make it into a 40m EFHW and put it up at home as a backup antenna. I think that the shorter run of wire (~ 66 feet) is more likely to survive a few winters.
KC3NHE Rating: 2021-12-09
It does what it is supposed to do Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I went back-and-forth debating on whether or not to review this antenna. I feel it needs a fair review and a detailed one. Others have given pieces here and there but I’m going to give a full very detailed review of it.

I got this as way to try and make 80m as previous builds/purchases weren’t working for me. It gets me there but not without some effort. The instructions including those from MFJ say no counterpoise needed, but yet the box has two studs on it. Well it needs that counterpoise and a choke as well. Without it even though the SWR looks good on the analyzer the RF is all over the place on 80 and 40 making them unusable without modification. As a field antenna that might vary but not for shack use. I ended up grounding mine and used an ugly balun on the feed line to make it happy. On a positive it doesn’t need to be trimmed to achieve a 2:1 or under on 80, 40, 20, and 15. For 10m it’s high but honestly if you’re trying to work 10 do you need 132’ of wire?

It receives great and makes an excellent AM/SW receiving antenna as well. Once the issues of RF were rectified I now get great signal reports on all bands when transmitting.

For construction I give it a C, the box is flimsy and when I opened it for inspection I broke two screw studs REMOVING them. As a result I taped mine back together and to help with water issues. Now that I know it’s working I’ll probably make a gasket for it. It does have vent holes as well, and those need to be mounted downward if permanently installed to avoid water getting in, or sealed. On the positive side the build quality of the match is good and well assembled otherwise.

Overall I give it a B-, it got me onto 80 for ACS/ARES nets and with a reasonable amount of effort, but it did require modification and trial and error to do so.
AB0CD Rating: 2020-11-20
FB on SWR Specs, but not for 100W RTTY Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Fine Business on the SWR for the specified bands. I believe 30 needs a tuner, but the rest are dead on. Keep in mind, the box with the matching network is not water proof. I use the antenna for temporary operating only. Also, although it is rated at 300W, it is not suitable for extended RTTY ops at 100W. The torroid cores heat up and the SWR goes through the roof. For another Jackson you get the 800W version. Get that if you run RTTY out of the shack. It works fine for any other mode, including FT8, at QRP-100W.
NA1ME Rating: 2018-12-26
Great results using QRP Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I was looking for a simple, easy to put up "one antenna to do it all" to make use of on a temporary basis, following my move to a new QTH in Maine and pending creation of an antenna farm in Spring/Summer 2019. My overall impression is that this antenna fits the bill nicely. It also would make an excellent antenna for portable use, including QRP operation. I run QRP 5W most of the time. Except as noted, all QSOs described below occurred while I was running QRP.

The antenna at the feedline end is attached to a roof post on a second floor deck, 20 feet off the ground, and runs out across an open field and is attached to a tree there, about 40 feet high. Average length above ground therefore is about 30 feet, that is, 1/8 up to 1/2 wavelength high on 80M-40M-20M. It's fed with 15 feet of coax running into the temporary shack. A line isolator, to guard against common mode, is inserted with another three foot piece of coax going to my transceiver.

I've done no pruning of antenna length, in particular since my primary interest is CW on the low end of bands. As erected, the antenna has an 2.0:1 bandwidth from 3.500 to 3.750 MHz; SWR is 1.3:l rising to 2.3:1 between 7.000 to 7.300; 2.6:1 to 2.4:1 between 10.100 and 10.150; 1.2:1 to 2.2:1 between 14.000 and 14.350; 3.3:l on 17M; 1.8:1 rising sharply to 4.3:1 between 21.000 and 21.450; unmeasured on 12M; and 4.0:1 to 4.8:1 on the first 100 KHz of 10M. As indicated, any internal tuner on your transceiver will handle higher SWR in many situations, though an external tuner is definitely needed, in my set-up, on 17M and 10M. But as almost all of my operation with this antenna is on 80M-40M-20M-15M CW, I have no trouble using the antenna as is, with good results.

Your own results will be optimized by (1) pruning antenna length and (2) selecting the direction that the antenna runs toward. Regarding the latter, I suggest that you take a look at the numerous online articles about how the radiation patterns of EFHW antennas are affected by antenna height. My antenna takes off in a SW direction from the deck on the house. At 30 or so feet, radiation is basically straight up on 80M,
there's 45 degrees elevation with lobes to the SW and NE on 40M, and there's 30 degrees elevation with clover leaf lobes, relatively wide SW and NE though much narrower SE and NW. Ideally, you will have flexibility at your location to make best use of radiation patterns, taking into account specific antenna height.

As it turns out, my 80M EFHW was a good performer in 2018 CW SS. On 80M it served as an NVIS antenna, easily producing contacts within a 500 mile radius. On 40M, with a lobe to the SW, I had no trouble making contacts out to the West Coast. It shined on 20M, with QSOs with about half a dozen HI stations. In 14 hours of operation, all hunt and pounce, I made 350 QSOs in 48 states and 6 VE provinces.

In terms of DX, I currently have about 70 DXCC entities. I have contacted both EU and AF on 80M using 5W, though this is not common. Out of curiosity, I have cranked up PO to 50W, and that seems to do the trick most of the time with respect to contacting EU. On 40M I have no trouble working DX QRP. That said, the antenna performs best on 20M as well as 15M (when the latter has been open). Memorable contacts on 20M include ZS and ZL. This is all on CW. For fun, though, I did try the 2018 CQWW SSB Test a couple months ago, and while running QRP I contacted all continents except Asia.

None of this is to brag but rather indicate that the antenna does radiate. If you are a typical operator running 100-150W, you should have no trouble at all getting out and even working DX on a regular basis. Will the antenna do as well as an 80M vertical, a 40M dipole 50-60 feet high, or a triband yagi on top of a high tower? No. Of course not. It's well worth the price, however, and certainly a good fix for anyone looking for a temporary antenna or an antenna for use at a portable location.

Hope this helps. I look forward to reading other reviews about this particular antenna, as I'm very curious about the results that you obtain with it at your location. 73.