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MFJ-259B SWR Analyzer

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W1GUH, Apr 30, 2008.

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  1. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    As ubiquitous as I think these things are, I'm either preaching to the choir or being mind-numbingly repetitive here, but here goes.

    Got one yesterday, but had to wait til today to check it out because...

    First comment...

    Have a good screwdriver. The very first step is to take the case apart and position, or check, a jumper. I don't know how they put those screws in, but
    you'll need a hefty screwdriver or ratchet to loosem 'em. They're very tight. But the good news about that is you're forced to open it up, and that's a good chance to see if, maybe, you got one of their famous "semi-kits." ;)

    The construction looks to be 98% printed wiring, and I'm guessing that since that's probably wave solered, there's a good chance that there will be no cold, or non-existant solder connections. I think the only part that's not directly soldered to the board is the battery holder, and those connections looked good.

    Comment #2

    Pretty much lifted from another review I read -- the power button is very easy to turn on. In fact, mine came with the power button in the "on" position. An easy "fix" for this is to plug in a 2.1mm power connecter into the power jack. That will effectively act as a "safety", and the unit won't turn on with that inserted.

    So I measured the SWR of the rubber duck from my handheld (only thing I have here to test), and was pleased with how easy that is. As I've read before, "How did I live without this?"

    It seems AOK, and I can't wait to get home & try it with the various antennas/tuners I've got.

    Oh....and, in case you don't know, it also does a whole lot more than just measure SWR.
  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've found the MFJ-259B one of the best investments I've made in ham accessories. I use it constantly - not just for trimming new antennas. I have a coax switch to select between my transceiver or the MFJ-259B before the tuner, so I can check my tuning easily without transmitting with the rig.
  3. W6ONV

    W6ONV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I purchased one last week from HRO because of issues I had with my 6-BTV and I have used it considerably the past week or so. Not sure how exact you need to be when tuning the vertical, but tuning the frequency was very, very touchy. Simple and easy to use, I am sure I will find it more valuable as I continue to use it around the shack. Two thumbs up from me!
  4. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes it is, have you listened to it on a receiver? But it doesn't really need to be stable or slow tuning. It doesn't move around enough to appreciably affect the SWR measurement, and the counter tells you where it is.
  5. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    My MJF 259B is probably the second most used test equipment I own. I have had mine for about 10 years and wouldn't trade it for anything. The most used item I have is probably my AADE LC Meter.
  6. N4AUD

    N4AUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same here. There was a time when I had to cause QRM to other operators when adjusting my antenna tuner, but after I got my first analyzer I saw the error of my ways! I have two transceivers, and I have them and my analyzer on a coax switch. An analyzer is invaluable for antenna building as well.

    I just sold a Vectronix analyzer on Ebay. It is very similar to the MFJ, but a little different case and functions differ somewhat. I have the MFJ in the shack now and use it daily. An antenna analyzer is a "must have" accessory for any ham, IMHO.
  7. VK3ZL

    VK3ZL Guest

    I have had this unit for many years...Mine is actually the original prototype 2 before they went into production.It is in continual use in my workshop and probably the handiest and most used piece of test gear I have..Excellent for inductor work and setting up Pi networks in amplifiers and of course checking antennas and feed lines..

    Couldn't do without it....AAA+

    Bob VK3ZL..:rolleyes:
  8. W4INF

    W4INF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ive got one on my "wish list"... Wish I had the money to get one. One day though...

    TU for the post!
  9. K8WPJ

    K8WPJ Banned QRZ Page

    I finally broke down and bought one to use while working the kinks out of my 6BTV vertical, and I must say, I don't know how i made it this far without it...

    I use it constantly... I've used it on mobile radio installs, after putting radios in both my truck and my wife's jeep, and it been great finding problems I wasnt aware of, previously.

    My only complaint is that mine does not seem to be recharging the internal batteries...

    YES! I did read the manual.
    YES! I did check the jumper setting internally, and tried it in both positions.
    I am not using a factory power supply, but, rather a generic walwart, that exceeded the factory specs for a Power Supply. Left it on chanrge for more than a day, it functions fine on the wal wart, but refuses to charge the batteries...

    Otherwise, in all other respects, it's a great piece of hardware, and a valuable asset to any Ham's toolbox...
  10. K7FE

    K7FE QRZ Lifetime Member #1 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    One of our members, W8JI, Tom wrote the manual for the MFJ 259. He is a very knowledgeable RF engineer. Tom's posts are always worth reading.

    Terry, K7FE
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