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Reviews For: MFJ-1979 16.5 foot stainless telescoping antenna

Category: Antennas: HF Portable (not mobile)

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Review Summary For : MFJ-1979 16.5 foot stainless telescoping antenna
Reviews: 25MSRP: 59.95
A telescoping antenna made of stainless steel that extends
to 16.5 feet and collapses to 2 feet. Has standard 3/8 X 24
threads on a solid brass base that is 1 inch diameter by 3
inches long.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K1WJ Rating: 2013-07-18
7 month update Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Set up for 20m with single elevated 1/4 wave 20m radial, base of antenna & radial are 4ft off the ground. Antenna has held up good, retract to 2.5 ft when not in use. Tuned to swr 1.2-1.5 over 20m voice section. Many contacts, still working fine. Great for HOA BS. 73 K1WJ David
KK4BAW Rating: 2013-07-01
Excellent small space, no tuner antenna for 6-20 meters Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This has been a fun project and an excellent small space/ no tuner required/ stealthy antenna for 6-20 meters. My wife hasn't even noticed it yet! I paid $49.99 from giga parts for the whip and $8.00 for the MFJ-342 mount.

I stumbled on this excellent link before I purchased the antenna:

There you will see the setup in detail. I found Dave's web article, and he was even kind enough to answer questions in a few e-mails.

I have it mounted on a small aluminum stake in the yard using the MFJ-342T mirror mount. I have twelve 17' radials stapled to the lawn. You can tune this antenna by extending and collapsing the whip. Once you find the "sweet spot" for each band, you can mark it with a Sharpie or scratch it with a file to mark the spot. The SWR range is really quite forgiving so far in my case. A few inches up or down makes no real difference.
This antenna can be bought as a package with the pipe mount and a coil to add 40 meters. It's sold as the MFJ 2286 Big Stick.

As mentioned in other reviews, it can be used with fewer radials if they are elevated, but they must be cut to length for each band you intend to use. If the radials are on the ground, the 17' radials lengths for 20 meters works fine for the higher bands as well and require no adjustments.

It's been great for DX and stateside contacts so far. I actually worked New Zealand on it from North Carolina the first night it was setup. I mainly use it on 17 meters.

The whip seems to be of high quality. It is held together by friction only. There is no locking feature in the sections, but it seems tight enough to last for many seasons. I don't operate daily, so I collapse the whip and set it inside behind the door after each use. It would really be a great setup for portable use as well.

I was strongly considering the Hustler 4BTV before this, but for the difference in price, I'm glad to have the MFJ 1979 instead, even though changing bands requires walking outside and adjusting the whip. (about a 30 second process in my case.) I also love the fact that it packs away so easily.

For $50 I think it's a great addition to the arsenal of any casual operator, regardless of what antennas they already run or have space for!
K1YPB Rating: 2013-01-21
Great Well Made Antenna Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
This antenna is well made and should last a long time with reasonable care. As previously mentioned it makes an efficient 20 meter vertical. With Buddipole Low Band coil and Versatee it will do 80 meters. And when you are done, it neatly folds up to about 2 feet and you are done. I dampen a rag with WD40 and wipe it down to keep it clean and free from moisture. With a proper counterpoise deployed, this is a good antenna for places with antenna restrictions.
K8SDK Rating: 2013-01-10
Good Portable Solution Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought 2 of these for use on a cruise ship, along with an MFJ-347 dipole mount. There is significant sag to the whips when fully deployed horizontally but they withstood sustained 25 MPH winds with no damage and performed great. A very good solution for portable operation. No loading coils needed and easily tuned
AD5VM Rating: 2011-08-17
Awesome portable antenna Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
If you look really hard in the newer MFJ catalogs you might stumble on the tiny little spot where they mention the MFJ-1979. It's a 16.5 foot long telescoping whip made of stainless steel with a 1x3 inch solid brass base with standard 3/8x24 threads. I bought one for use as a portable antenna. Mounded a four dollar CB antenna mount with a HD spring on a PA speaker tripod from a music store. The feedpoint of the antenna is at 6 feet high and using 2-4 elevated radials it puts out a killer DX signal. No loading coils required. I believe it's too heavy to be mounted horizontally so I'm not going to try the dipole configuration but as a portable vertical, it can't be beat.
Last weekend I answered a CQ from Spain with this antenna and my MFJ-9420 rig (famous 10 watt SSB radio with an awesome speech compressor) and when I said "Rig here is an MFJ QRP radio and antenna is a telescopic whip on a tripod" a unidentified station keyed up and said "BullS%#t!"