Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: MFJ 4603

Category: Ham Shack Accessories

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : MFJ 4603
Reviews: 10MSRP: 89.95
Antenna feedthrough panel, four 50 ohm SO-239 coax connectors, 75 ohm 1 GHz-F connector, high voltage ceramic feedthru insulators, random wire random/longwire ceramic feedthru, stainless steel ground posts, etc.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W4NNF Rating: 2022-03-21
A Decent Product That Does the Job Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Ever since we moved to the new retirement QTH eight (!) years ago, coax to the antennas has just been fed through a shack window held partially open by a board. Not very attractive, and when we get thunderstorms (frequently down here on the Gulf Coast), it's a pain to disconnect the cables and throw 'em out the window. There had to be a better way. I decided despite mixed reviews here, the 4603 was it.

Frankly, I was prepared for worse than I got. Simple board, but a good enough one. No gaping holes due to knots or anything like that. It was smooth and acceptable-looking even without paint. Otherwise, yes, the connectors had to be tightened down, but one of the first steps in the instructions you download from MFJ has you do that. Silk screened labels on the panel were a bit unevenly applied, but OK. There was a gap at the end of the panel as others have reported. Two seconds and a little silicone sealer filled that.

Installation was not difficult. Measure the required distance across your window (two or three times if you are smart), cut the 4603's board to fit, and slip it in place. Any hiccups? Not really...except... The design of my window meant the SO-239s were hard up against the sill. Not a problem. The board MFJ gives you to serve as a lock is much longer than needed. I cut a length to go across the window, placed that on the bottom, and the 4603 on that. There's enough self-adhesive weather stripping to apply to the 4603 itself and to the length of board I installed beneath it. As for just providing a length of board for a lock...I don't really know what else you'd need.

Done, I was actually pleased with the way the thing looks, though this is not something you'll spend time admiring. The connectors provided in this model were perfect for me: four SO-239s, a ground lug, opening for the rotator control cable, F-type jack for the shack's TV cable. There are also connectors for balanced and random wire antennas.

Summing up? Like most MFJ things, it is utilitarian in appearance and construction, but is priced accordingly and works just as it should. I'm sure I'll appreciate it next time I need to disconnect the antennas from the rigs.
KB3LME Rating: 2022-03-12
Good product Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It's a nice window entry plate design. I previous had a 1x3x17 length of wood that I just drilled a hole through big enough to feed my cables into the shack. Works quite well / No need for drilling through walls. However I wanted something to allow me to more easily disconnect feedlines from outside coming into the shack (in case of thunder storms) and this panel does the job. I could have built something similar to this, but by the time I figured out the labor and parts, this was more cost effective.

The only problem I have with the 4603 is that the wood is not weather protected for the long run. It does appear to have been clear stained (maybe), but I don't think that will do the job against weather for the long run. So I removed all of the connectors and painted the wood with outdoor white primer&paint. This should make the wood last forever. This is the same thing I did with my previous setup. With that in mind, MFJ should pre-paint the wood a solid white or perhaps some other color options.

Bottom line - its a great product, just should be painted before use.
AD4MA Rating: 2021-01-01
Be ready to cut, fill, grind, and sand Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own two of these. The workmanship on this product is terrible. The wood supplied with this product is poorly cut and is not square. There are knots in the wood with knot holes to fill. I find JB Weld works well to fill the knot holes and build up the low edges on the wood. The high edges can just be sanded down.

The metal terminals on the binding posts are too long and push out the opposing stainless steel plate so there is a bulge. Hit the bench grinder to grind down the terminal posts to fix this. The wire interconnecting the binding posts is very/too thin, but I bet they will make a great in-line fuse.

The included weatherstripping is not very good. A trip to Home Depot can fix that.

I like the stainless steel trim plates. I wish they could be purchased separately at a reasonable price, as it would be about as easy to build this device from scratch.

This is a poorly implemented great idea. I like MFJ products, but the prices keep going up and the quality keeps going down.
N1OEY Rating: 2019-03-09
Perfect for it's intended use Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I did read many other reviews on this and MFJ did seem to be responsive to those criticisms. I just finished my install today and was impressed with the connectors and the overall quality.

The window I installed the unit in is very protected by the weather by a full porch so I may not have the problem with that that others may have. I did decide to spray the cedar with a clear coat to help there.

I was dreading drilling holes into the house for the two antenna feeds and this was just an ideal solution. So far I am a fan.
W2JF Rating: 2017-07-30
Power connectors warp both bezels, compromise weatherproofing Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The 4603 has a really nice complement of connector types -- now, if only they would fit! When the unit arrived, it looked as I expected: unfinished wood board (will absolutely need priming/painting for adequate weather resistance, here in the Northeast). However, upon loosening the adaptive panel wing nuts, I noticed that the => entire end of the bezel <= began to lift, on both sides (inside and outside)! The culprit? The red and black power binding posts are TOO LONG! So much so, in fact, that they push the entire panel bezel out. Anomaly? I think not -- MFJ indicted themselves by placing little stick-on pads opposite the binding posts, so that they don't short themselves out (i.e. - they know about the problem)!! How long do they expect these to stay on, even if they were a legitimate remedy, especially when the weather sealing ability of the unit has been completely compromised? I called MFJ, and the tech there had no clue and less interest in the problem as described, noting only that the binding posts "...seem to be the right size..." -- sight unseen. A simple 1/4-inch spacer under each binding post would fix the problem. Another lesson learned.
K8AC Rating: 2015-01-08
Poor execution of a good idea Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The overall design is decent. But, as we've come to expect from MFJ, the devil is in the details. The "high quality treated board" they used looks more like a rough-sawn reject. Indeed, they painted it white. Unfortunately, the paint didn't adhere to the treated board well and a significant portion had flaked off by the time I received it. So, I'll have to disassemble it (and maybe just replace the board) and repaint it before it can be used. Chances of any of the original paint lasting through one year of rain, snow, etc. is just about zero.
N4AUD Rating: 2012-06-22
Excellent product! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It was easy to install, looks fine and works. Mine was well constructed. No complaints at all. I have several antennas and had quite a mess before acquiring this product.
K7NNV Rating: 2012-05-30
Poor quality Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This item is typical of most MFJ products. Its is not weatherproof by any means. I had to seal around the exterior s/s plate with silicone sealer and provide my own weather caps for the unused connectors. The two s/s connector plates are just sandwiched between a painted board. Consider buying the connectors and making your own feed through unit, it will be a lot cheaper and probably better quality.
PG00023016 Rating: 2011-04-08
W/O Couldn't Please XYL Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Nice product. The price is fair to me. What else is there to compare it to? We moved south and I was worried what I could use to avoid holes in the floor or walls.
K4ZNC Rating: 2010-10-02
Followup review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I still give this product a 4; basically very satisfied. Did have a problem with one of the pass-through UHF connectors. Began getting bad SWR readings on my Hustler 6BTV. Checked cables inside and outside as well as the Hustler feedpoint. Finally determined that the UHF connector on the MFJ panel went bad, so replaced with a new one and SWR back to normal.

Have changed my mind about the wood fit and finish. Looks fine installed vertically in my window frame (see previous review).