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Reviews For: MFJ-971

Category: Antenna Tuners/Matching Networks

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Review Summary For : MFJ-971
Reviews: 55MSRP: 99.95
1.8 - 30 MHz 200 watt portable antenna tuner
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K4HYJ Rating: 2022-08-20
Great MFJ SSB transceiver companion Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Bought from MFJ at a hamfest. I have used it with an Elecraft KX3, MFJ-9420, and MFJ-9475 with great success.

I have tuned good dipoles in crappy conditions on POTA/SOTA excursions with this unit. I have also tuned some random wires made from scratch when I've damaged some of my antennas hiking.

I've tuned 80 thru 10 meters at up to 50 watts in some terrible conditions and this little match box worked great. I've dropped it, got it a little wet in the rain, and spilled coffee on it. The only casualty after rough handling was losing the light bulb. I replaced the incandescent bulb with an LED and hope I don't drop it again!
WB0FDJ Rating: 2022-03-22
Works just fine Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have several QRP rigs many of which don't have built in SWR indicators nor tolerate impedance mismatch well. I needed a tuner that was mechanically simple, physically smaller and designed for QRP readings. This fills the bill and I can use it for QRO operation if the need arises.

Close inspection of the tuner upon arrival showed solid construction. No loose joints, knobs or screws. It does it's job matching my antenna (mostly with my vertical in parts of the band that are not quite resonant.) I was pleased to see that the output power calibration on the meter is fairly accurate at QRP levels. If I need to measure gnats whiskers I have an Oak Hills WM-2.

This unit checked all of the boxes. It's well built, it works. I got exactly what I paid for. As long as it's not abused it should outlast me.
AF6TP Rating: 2022-02-19
I've had the 971 for several years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is actually a pretty good tuner for it's price and size. It's tuned a dipole, vertical, Chameleon MPAS, inverted V, and various homemade project antennas. I like that it's small and portable for field use.
KK5R Rating: 2020-12-12
MFJ Tuner Lamp Burnout Complaint Issue Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned several of these MFJ tuners and they work satisfactorily at least for me.

I mainly want to address the meter lamp burnout complaint by many users. Here is the cure for that:

Do not connect 12V to power the lamp. Use a wall wart that supplies 9V. Voila, no more lamp burnout. Simple. Just make sure it is no more than 1A rating, I use one that is between 0.5 and 1A. At 9V, the meter illumination is still bright enough, you really do not notice that it is slightly dimmer. Extending the life of the bulb is well worth the slightly dimmer meter illumination.

This "fix" for the lamp works with all versions of MFJ tuners.
WB4TJH Rating: 2019-10-10
Works well, but touchy Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this tuner for many years and used it with qrp to 100+ watt and it matches well, coax to coax or using the built in balun. The small controls are touchy, and must be turned very slowly, but it will match well. Overall, it works just fine, but takes a bit of finesse to get used to. One of the capacitor plates was bent right out of the box, typical of MFJ poor quality control, but I easy fixed the problem. If you buy one, check to see that the plates do not touch each other or bind. Overall, a good tuner, just inspect yours carefully before you use it.

Earlier 4-star review posted by WB4TJH on 2004-01-01

I use the lttle 971 with my HW-9 and other qrp radios. It is a bit touchy, but loads most anything very well. HOWEVER...When I first got it it would abruptly change readings during certain positions of one of the tuning capacitors and I could hear a grating noise inside the unit.Two capacitor plates were shorting out during rotation. Obviously some klutz had bent them during assembly. It took a while of rebending to align the properly, and since then the unit has worked OK. But MFJ, while offering some amazing accessories, sure needs to upgrade its quality control.
HB9PJT Rating: 2017-01-04
Fine Antenna Tuner Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have that tuner since many years and used it many times for portable vacation use. It is nice made, looks good and works very fine up to 200 Watt with different wire antennas.

The reviewer KB8LKH had RF burn from the antenna knob shaft. That is related to his antenna and to the station grounding. But not to the tuner. When his tuner smokes, then his antenna impedance does not meet the impedance MFJ does rate. Maybe also when it arcs. I am wunder what kind of "antenna" this ham tried to tune.

73, Peter - HB9PJT
KB8LKH Rating: 2017-01-03
MFJ 971 COMPLETE GARBAGE! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased an MFJ-971 a little over 1 year ago.

Right off the bat MFJ needed to be contacted.

I had to order a replacement bottom cover because the bottom was not cut level.

I guess mfj wanted to make good, because they sent me two bottoms.

Two months after owning the tuner, the light for the back lit meter burned out.

After about 6 to 7 months, most of the printing on the front of the tuner was faded. I had to use my label maker to relabel the front of the tuner.

About 3 months ago I had to order a new inductor nob. MFJ sent the wrong one, even though their tech said it was the correct one. After three times, MFJ finally sent me the correct knob.

- Don't bother to tune on 80M.
- Don't bother to tune on 10M
- Most deffinatly don't tune on 160M! Was never intended to tune on 160M.

Tuner Arcs

RF burn from antenna knob shaft (metal).

100 watts. Yea right. When running 100 watts, internal parts start to "smoke".

This is just a really really lousy tuner.

I borrowed an MFJ-949E from a friend years ago, and was completely satisfied with it. I should have spent a little bit more, and got another 949E. I have since order a 949E.

WA1UFO Rating: 2016-10-11
Good! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I generally use this with my 25 watt 10 meter monobander but tried it at 100 watts with my Yaesu rig and a 75 meter coaxial fed windom and it always does the job! The only band I haven't used with it is 160 meters. I like the looks and the construction quality seems decent. I have 3 MFJ tuners and have never had a problem with any of them! They make life easier for me as resonant antennas don't stay that way long here where I live with several feet of snow beneath my wires and ice all over the place for 5 months a year. I just use the ATUs to tweak them up and away I go.
M5AEO Rating: 2016-02-08
So good I bought two! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Onto my second one now! It really is a bargain. My first choice when going portable, but also use it in the shack.

Earlier 4-star review posted by M5AEO on 2012-04-28

Once I had opened it up and bent the various wires back into position so that they weren't shorting out (!)it worked fine. I have used it in the field many times now at around 25 watts. I don't think I would be happy running it at 300 watts however. The Power/SWR meter is surprisingly accurate, even at QRP levels.

Overall, it is value-for-money, but just give it an internal inspection before plugging it in!
N3IDG Rating: 2015-11-06
great 4 qrp Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought mine for qrp use opened it moved the jumpers and it works as advertised. I tune a 66 ft flattop fed with ladder line from 80-10 with no issues antenna is only 25 ft or so.