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Reviews For: MFJ-817

Category: SWR & Wattmeters & Dummy Loads

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Review Summary For : MFJ-817
Reviews: 6MSRP: 89.95
vhf/uhf wattmeter/swr meter
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N8FVJ Rating: 2018-05-19
Ruins SWR Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This watt meter radically changes the antenna SWR when in line. I was tuning a new 2m/70cm antenna with the internal FT-991A SWR meter for a flat SWR. Then I installed the MFJ-817 in line and SWR raised from flat to a 2 to 1 SWR. A watt/SWR meter should not change the antenna SWR. This is real junk folks.
KW4IDX Rating: 2006-10-16
Not that bad Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought mine new at the Orlando fest last year, at the AES booth. Brought it home, hooked it up, and instantly noticed no noise floor on 2 meter SSB. Switched to FM, rolled the dial to a nearby repeater, and WOW, hardly no signal. Out comes the screwgun and Fluke meter. Quick find, cold solder joint at SO-239 on output side. Quick easy fix. Started to post right then to tell what junk it was. Decided to wait and see what else went wrong. It's actually pretty accurate, and has been pinned hard a few times from forgetting to switch off the 30 watt scale after checking drive level. I've slamed 250 to it by mistake like that! Still works, and accurate. MFJ needs a little quality control. The design ain't bad. I give it a 4 for design. Maybe they should try hiring people that give a $h!t for assembly line work.
K3GIL Rating: 2005-10-09
Meter Works Fine Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned this meter for more than 12 years and it has always performed well. No problems at all. Have used it both fixed station and for testing mobile set ups.
VE3WGO Rating: 2005-04-17
Nice Meter for 144-450 MHz Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had mine for about 4 years, and it seems to work fine. I have no complaints about the SWR results it gives or the build quality. There are unlikely be any 144-450 MHz resonances in this unit since the only RF component is a microstrip dual directional coupler, which looks like it is properly designed and well assembled.

I have to wonder about many of the complaints others have about their experiences with their SWR meters (MFJ and others), because I think 90% of the problems people are having are due to bad connectors, bad coax, stray currents on the coax shield, and improperly grounded coax and radios.

If you want your equipment to work as good as professional lab equipment, you have to treat it and use it like a professional would, which includes checking its calibration, with for example, a 50 ohm load and an open circuit before using it. If it needs to be recalibrated, then just do it.
N7HFK Rating: 2004-06-04
Nice Meter..Poor Finish Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This meter for the price is an overall nice meter. Mine works very well and seems quite accurate. However, MFJ must employ a bunch of drunks on their paint crew for the cases. If it is painted by robotics.....then it was calibrated by a drunk. What a lousy job. The whole front edge and back edge was missing paint - just bare metal. Don't even ask what it looks like if you look up underneath where the lip hangs over. I could have done better with my eyes blindfolded.
AA5XA Rating: 2002-06-15
junk Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased this meter for 432 MHZ use. I used it to test a long boom quagi I made for that band. I could not get the swr below 2:1 around 432, but it read OK above 436. I recut the elements several times. I could make it worse, but not better. Finally I began to suspect the meter. I made a groundplane cut for 432 with the same result. I was able to borrow a dummy load rated to 3 GHz, and got the same swr curves as with the antennas. I sent the meter back to the dealer for testing. They confirmed the meter was bad. They had another one on the shelf, and tested it. It read the same as the first. Apparently MFJ does not have much in the way of QC.