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MFJ-259B vs. MFJ-266

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by DL1KSE, Oct 14, 2011.

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  1. DL1KSE

    DL1KSE Ham Member QRZ Page


    as i think of buying one of those antenna analyzers,
    what model would you recommend?

    Noteable is that the price of MFJ-259B and MFJ-266 are nearly the same at a seller.
    The MFJ-269 still costs more allthough MFJ-266 also does support UHF like the MFJ-269.

    At a first look there seems to be just differences in metering panels and connectors.

  2. KC9QVL

    KC9QVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 266 is a Feature Tech AW07a re-badged by mfj with a healthy price increase. The 259 does not do uhf but does more. Coax testing etc
  3. DL1KSE

    DL1KSE Ham Member QRZ Page


    Thanks for your nice answer.
    So it is now more clear to decide for the 259B, without it would not be noticed so easy about the lack of the features of the 259B.
  4. N6DMR

    N6DMR Ham Member QRZ Page

    MFJ-266 - Same Fuctions as the MFJ-269 including Coax tests

    The MFJ-266 does everything the more expensive MFJ-269 does but also includes a interference detection circuit built in.
  5. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a MFJ-259B and it works just fine for average antenna work. The 259B's performance range is somewhat limited by the 8-bit A/D converter so if I had it to do over again, I would get the more expensive model with 12-bit resolution.


  6. VA2GU

    VA2GU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why the mfj? Autek's VA1 is smaller/lighter, uses only ONE 9v and gives you the sign of X, phase, etc.
    Almost the same as the VNA2180 from Array Solutions (much more precise and expensive). Have all three of them, mfj autek and AS. Love the 2180 for its precision in tuning arrays. Va1 is close and much better than the mfj.
    roy va2gu
  7. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I hope these units are 10 times better than the MFJ because they are close to 10 times the price!

  8. AD7N

    AD7N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's a winning cheap combo:

    HF: VK5JST Aerial Analyzer ~$100

    VHF/UHF: T100 Vector Antenna Analyzer ~$200

    For 300 bucks, these two analyzers combined will knock the socks off MFJ's offerings in terms of features. Might cost more than a MFJ-259B combined, but the graphical interface of the T100, combined with it's computer hookup capabilities is a sure winner. AND you get full 70cm coverage.

    Granted that none of the above or MFJ's antenna analyzers would even be able to sneeze at a NIST certified instrument. But what do you expect for this kind of price?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  9. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The AIM4180 is really nice and only about twice the price of the MFJ-259B. Only used with computer - desktop or laptop.

  10. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The MFJ-259B is portable, I don't think I could haul my computer outside to do antenna checking!
  11. AD7N

    AD7N Ham Member QRZ Page

    You don't need a computer! You must be thinking of the AIM4180?

    This is the T100 Vector Antenna Analyzer:

    No comp required! Gives you a full screen readout right on the unit itself.

    Here's a good review of it:

    The VK5JST Aerial Analyzer is similar in use to the MFJ unit:
  12. K2POP

    K2POP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does anyone have any experience with a RigExpert antenna analyzers?

  13. G0HZU

    G0HZU QRZ Member

    I don't but I did look at the website.

    The ones that operate from LF to 54MHz use a pair of DDS chips with a rather neat approach using a square wave source and a downconverter.

    However, this does have the disadvantage that you can be simultaneously radiating several milliwatts on three frequencies when testing on just one of the frequencies.

    eg Fundamental + 3rd and 5th harmonics are radiated strongly.

    Not sure anyone would really mind at these tiny power levels but I'd be slightly concerned as to how this device would get through formal EMC testing if the EMC test house noted that the device radiated maybe 20 milliwatts at 4.7MHz when actually doing 'tests' at around 14MHz at just a couple of milliwatts.
  14. VA2GU

    VA2GU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dont know why everyone is shunning the Autek's VA1; it is not 10x the price of the MFJ. At $199US, it is actually less money than the MFJ.

    No computers needed and smaller than the battery pack of the MFJ.
    I dont see me climbing a tree with a back pack (mfj); i put the Autek in my shirt pocket with a spare 9v NiMH battery and you dont get hung up in the branches.

    But if you're phasing 5 loops on 80M, you will need the VNA 2180 (or other equivalent i'm not familiar with); no need to take your computer outside. You calibrate out ANY LENGTH feedline; the readings then are as if you're standing at the feedpoint.
    I know it works, i have phased my 80m loops with it and believe me IT WORKS; but you need much higher precision than the mfjs and auteks.
  15. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just through more into the mix , I had used MFJ-259 / none B , got it with issues and repaired , upgraded to the MFJ-269 also used with issues and repaired it .
    Now upgrade again to another used unit a Timewave TZ-900 AntennaSmith ,
    A comparison links , Radio/Experimentation/EvalAnalyzers.htm
    Missing the one I was thinking about , seem to lose lots of save stuff / bookmarks etc.
    Sorry I have a Tool-Jones , and like to compare :)
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