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Difference in Timewave ANC-4 and MFJ-1026 Noise Canceler

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by N5YPJ, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. N5YPJ

    N5YPJ QRZ Moderator QRZ Page

    I'm shopping for a noise canceler. I am leaning towards the Timewave unit given MFJ's QC issues even though it costs a few dollars more. I welcome any recommendations anyone can give me on either unit.
  2. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I found the MFJ totally useless, and the ANC-4 worked very well!
  3. N9DSJ

    N9DSJ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have used both. The MFJ needs to be checked for the obvious...cold or non-existent solder joints and other workmanship issues such as excessive wire lengths in the RF path.

    Also look at

    The noise sensing antenna I have found to be very critical; also the adjustments to the noise canceler are pretty fine on both. It is not like adjusting an amp, tuner or transceiver final; much more sensitive to small adjustments.

    Also the effectivity depends a great deal on your noise sources...if in one direction it is much easier to deal with than multiple noise sources in differing directions.


    Bill N9DSJ
  4. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a Timewave ANC-4 even with a marginal noise antenna I get three S-Units reduction.
    This summer I expect to get more when a new noise antenna goes up.
  5. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am even thinking of hooking my ANC-4 up to the FTdx5000 as it works much better than the onboard Blanker
  6. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    YOu cannot go wrong by doing that.
  7. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sue , some details on the noise antenna ?
    Thanks John
  8. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Orientation of your noise antenna is important, but not critical.
    If you have the space try to orientate your noise antenna toward your strongest noise source.
    Longer is better, however the ANC-4 does have a preamp for the noise antenna.
    If you live near a strong AM broadcast station there is bandstop filter for the BC band and a notch filter for stubborn cases.
    Both are selectable by internal jumpers.

    You can use the ANC-4 and the MFJ as a steerable receiving antenna.
    Put up a pair of dipoles that are crossed, like a turnstile but fed with separate transmission lines.
    One is your main antenna the other is your noise antenna, The Noise Phase control on the canceler now becomes the steering control.

    The main thing to remember with this device is to avoid running the noise antenna too close to your transmitting antenna.
    My noise antenna and main antenna come very close to each other I have tested the degree of coupling on the bands I use and in all cases running a KW I have less than 50mw into the noise antenna. This works out for me because the noise antenna is not in the same plane as the main antenna.

    One thing I should mention the noise antenna can be just a peace of wire, however I have found that using an antenna fed with coax works best as the end fed wire from out of the back of the ANC-4 will pick up noise generated in the room which may reduce its effectiveness.
  9. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I spouse if I ever get set up with an antenna farm / lotto , then I may not need noise canceling .
    In a RV lot now so I have been looking at one of these and external antenna /s to help .
    Also have seen Tom's W8IJ mods page .
  10. N5YPJ

    N5YPJ QRZ Moderator QRZ Page

    Have you ever used your ANC-4 while running high power like your amp?
    I know that the unit goes before the amp in line but I'm worried about overloading the RX antenna with my 1 KW amp.
  11. K8GU

    K8GU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd have to look at it again, but when I checked a few years ago there were fundamental differences in the design of the phase shifters in the Timewave and MFJ units. The MFJ unit has a superior circuit design in my recollection, but with the usual MFJ QC issues. I sold my MFJ-1026 because although it worked OK, it was a total pain to get properly adjusted. DX Engineering also has a superior version of the MFJ design, both in RF/electrical and QC terms. But, I have not used one.
  12. KE6KA

    KE6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just purchased an MFJ-1026. It is working on some noises, but not others. I'm in the process of making a short continuously-loaded hamstick type antenna (but 8 ft tall) for 40 meters that I can hide in the shrubs, as I'm not able to get much more than a few S-units reduction on the noise that motivated me to buy the device. I noticed some improvement after placing a wire near my vertical, but the wire isn't picking up a signal strong enough to do much with. Hopefully the sensing antenna will improve on that.

    Curiously, some of the noise is nulled at 9 on the phasing, and more noise starts to null right at the end of its range, which is problematick. Changing the position of the sensing antenna doesn't do a thing. Another odd thing is most noises don't have sharp nulls or peaks. The noise will just decrease slightly over half of the range. I think this could be from using a random length of wire that is picking up the same noise along the length of the wire, or maybe due to the noise being radiated from different circuits in the AC wiring.

    Also, I am using RG-6 for the sensing antenna feed-line. After testing on a short length of RG-58 vs RG-6, the MFJ can't "hear" the signal on the 75 ohm line, but the transceiver can. It seems as though the MFJ doesn't like 75 ohm feed-line.

    I also hear a mess of broadcast stations below about 6 MHz with it on, making it useless on 75 or 160 meters unless I install a high-pass filter inline.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  13. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used the same noise antenna as I use for the ANC-4. I saw NO CHANGE in the noise level whatsoever when playing with the MFJ controls. I also took it apart BEFORE powering it up and corrected many solder errors and bad solder joints. What components I could I measured and all was well. But the circuit just didn't work. On my test bench, I hooked up the output to my Spectrum Analyzer and used clip leads as source and noise antennas. I watched the output as I ran a Dremel tool nearby (lotsa noise). NO REDUCTION whatsoever! And this was a BRAND NEW UNIT, just out of the box from HRO.

    That was $200 flushed away! I ran the same tests on the ANC-4 and it DID reduce the noise!
  14. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used a MFJ-1025 for a while and had success with it. That's the same as the 1026 without the preamp. It can be very effective if you can get it to work but it requires some understanding and patience. It can only really work with one noise at time because different noises will have different phases and levels so it won't help much if you have multiple wide band noise sources.

    It's best if you can position your noise antenna to receive the noise at as high a level as possible because you need to adjust the controls to get the noise levels equal on the two antennas and it's obviously better if you have noise to "burn" because then you end up balancing them by attenuating the noise antenna input rather than your main antenna input.

    The one frustration I had with it is that it doesn't quite do a full 360 degree phase shift. There's a "hole" in the midde of the circle that it can't quite do. I frequently seem to be getting close to a null just as I ran out of range because the null point was in the hole. You can check if this is happening by reversing the inputs but don't transmit like that! I modifed it to install a phase reversal switch which solved that problem.
  15. KE6KA

    KE6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was playing around with mine last night trying to see if I could null either WWV or WWVH. For some reason I could only null both of them at the same time. However, when I nulled out them out I could hear WWV's auroral scatter from the geomagnetic storm last night.
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