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MFJ 1621 and CW Results

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by KN4ICU, Jun 9, 2019.

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  1. KN4ICU

    KN4ICU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I might have to start going with a MFJ 1621 portable antenna (the box like antenna with the dials and antenna). I know it is not a great choice (before every starts saying to get a real antenna), but with my current space limitations, I might have to start going this route. I wanted to ask if anyone had any experience using this with CW, and what the results were like when using it outside.
     
  2. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    The useful part of the antenna is the 50 ft. coax that connects it to your rig. Depending on
    how you set up that coax radiator, your results will vary. I think the Isotron "antennas" work
    in a similar way. The "antenna" part of the antenna is your matching device. Using a tuner
    with 50 ft. of wire and a few feet of wire as a counerpoise should be the equivalent functionally, or
    better.
     
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  3. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reading the instructions for using that MFJ antenna makes it look awfully inconvenient to use.
    I think the price is north of $100. Inconvenience should be cheaper. Much cheaper. Read the
    manual, available on line.

    Here's an end-fed antenna for 40 to 6M that should perform as well (or better) than the MFJ,
    does not require tuning and will cost you less than half of the MFJ costs, including shipping.

    http://www.hamuniverse.com/HEARCEndFed.pdf

    You can make your own end-fed wire with about $15 of parts, even if you have to buy
    everything new.

    Critical point: it's not the particular design of these end-fed antennas that matters for effectiveness,
    but how you arrange your piece of wire (either the antenna wire for the end-fed or the coax for the MFJ.
    Higher is better. Away from other things, especially conductors, is better. The end-fed wire should be much
    easier to put up (and NOT to attract attention) than the MFJ combination feedline and antenna which is
    bigger (larger in diameter) and heavier.
     
  4. KN4ICU

    KN4ICU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an end fed....It attracted attention.......HOA giving me problems about it..............
     
  5. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    The MFJ is essentially the same thing, but with a thicker wire. It won't be less obvious if you put it up the same
    way you installed your end fed wire.

    Your most simple solution might simply be to put the end fed back up, using as small guage wire as you can find,
    with insulation which matches the color of your installation environment. Or simply put the end fed up in a new way so
    that it is near-impossible to see. This is what many HOA dwellers do. Look at the antenna restrictions forum on eham
    for lots of discussion on antennas which are both effective and very difficult to see.
     
    W7UUU likes this.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Exactly what I did in a condo in 1998-1999. The building was chocolate brown so I just ran as much brown hookup wire I could under a window reaching out to the balcony off the living room - maybe 22 feet at best. No counterpoise options. No ground other than the power outlet. Rig was a Drake "B-Line" - and I had TONS of CW contacts all over the US. Worked really well - and unless you knew exactly what to look for, you could not possibly see the #24 wire against the brown building.

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  7. N8AFT

    N8AFT Subscriber QRZ Page

    USE THINNER WIRE, WAIT A MONTH THEN PUT UP WHAT THEY SELL AT THE WIREMAN.COM. ASK THEM BY PHONE.
    IT'S STRONG, SUPER THIN AND ABOUT INVISIBLE. ALSO LOOK AT K3WWP'S WEB PAGE AT HIS ANTENNAS, MOST OF
    IT/THEM IS INDOORS AND HE WORKS QRP FROM A VALLEY QTH VY WELL DISPITE THE LOCATION AND ANTENNAS.
    AND DON'T NEGLECT YOUR ATTIC AS A SPACE FOR THE WIRE,.
    NEED NOT BE STRAIGHT WIRES DIPOLE OR DOUBLET, LONG WIRE BENT WORKS..
     
  8. N8TGQ

    N8TGQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry to hear of your antenna issues, Jeff. I have the same problem here and finally pit together a permanent field day kit and just go to the park to play radio. Its a 15 minute walk so I get my excercise too! I do have a 20' fishing pole and 25' wire that I put up at home occasionally but take it down as soon as Im done. Counterpise is a 20' wire ran under the baseboards in the living room. My MFJ 971 tuner costs about 100 bucks and it tunes everything I can dream up to hook up to it.
    Also consider mobile operating. A drive on mast support or trailer hitch can hold up some pretty nice antennas!

    Good luck!
    N8TGQ
     
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  9. KD4ZFS

    KD4ZFS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll offer two standard suggestions, with the disclaimer that I haven't tried either of them . . . yet.

    1) If you have access to the attic, you could try putting your antenna there, as high up as you can get it.

    2) How about a loop antenna?


    I looked you up, and you really do not have much space for an antenna. But I did find some lovely guitar music. Nice playing. :)

    73 de Jon, KD4ZFS
     
    M6GYU and KN4ICU like this.
  10. N2OTG

    N2OTG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe a mag loop would be a good choice. They’re very compact. They are pricey because of the fancy capacitor that’s required. However, I’ve worked them many times and they seem to work very well.
     

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