MFJ-259B SWR Analyzer

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

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  1. K7RQ

    K7RQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    You couldn't get mine away from me with a gun!
    One tip: Don't ever forget and leave it connected to an outside antenna. They are apparently static-sensitive and mine had to make a trip back to MFJ for repair.
  2. KE5UFH

    KE5UFH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Being a new ham, and one that is interested in homebrew antennas, everyone has told me that this is one of the most useful/important tools I could have in my shack. My question is though, is there any significant reason to spend the extra money and get the MFJ-269 vs. the MFJ-259B? I know the obvious is the UHF ability, but I see that most people just have the 259B.
  3. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only difference I know of is frequency coverage, so if you're not planning any UHF work, they're equivalent. I almost wound up with a 269. At first, the guy didn't think they had a '259 in stock, and gave me a deal on a 269, but when he went to get, he found the inventory on the computer was wrong and he did have a '259.
  4. K3RKS

    K3RKS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Regarding the use of a coax switch to switch in/out the 259B for tuner adjustment. Be sure to use a coax switch that will short out the 259B when the transmitter is connected to the antenna. It does not take much RF into the unit to fry the internal diodes. I recommend disconnecting it. The repair is not expensive, but it takes 3 to 4 months to get it back from MFJ.
    I use mine a lot. It does a creditable job when measuring l and C as well as coax loss. When measuring Inductors, the stray inductance, capacitance and core changes becomes apparent as frequency is varied.
    I have not needed to use any of the advanced features yet. I guess I would buy another if I really trash this one.
  5. N4AUD

    N4AUD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hasn't been a problem for me, I've done it that way for years. It might be a problem if I were using a cheap coax switch, which I'm not.
  6. KC4RP

    KC4RP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great Unit

    I've had 2 of these over the years and absolutely love them. I've used them to tune all manner of antennas I've built, most recently to verify that the new GAP Challenger was assembled right and had the right counterpoise to be resonant where I wanted it.

    Also used to check that receivers are working (at least somewhat). And if you do much homebrew work, the ability to match capacitors and inductors (or identify unmarked ones) is very handy. Frequency counter is nice too.

    One of my most used pieces of test equipment.

  7. M3RAX

    M3RAX Ham Member QRZ Page


    Ive got a 259B and on the few times ive used it ive been more than happy. However, I have noticed today that the Ohms meter (needle) and the LCD R is not moving at all. I have tried this on several antenna and it is the same. Does this sound like a trip back to MFJ?


    M3RAX (was)
    2E0RAX :eek:)
  8. N3DOK

    N3DOK Ham Member QRZ Page

    MFJ-259B SWR Analyzer using DC Power Supply

    I recall someone using a MFJ-259 series SWR Analyzer that had a problem when used with the DC power supply. The analyzer case be came AC Hot. Or if you where holding it, came in contact with ground, 120 volt potential became a problem. Was this on a prior model? Has anyone checked to see if there model is safe?

    I would like to purchase one. But recall this email in a group.

    Thank You,
    Bob N3DOK
  9. K7FE

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

    If your case has A/C on it when you are not connected to an an antenna or test gear connected to the A/C line, then your wall wort is defective. STOP using it and throw it away before it hurts you seriously. Buy a new battery eliminating wall wort. There are some inexpensive universal ones at stores local to you or you could order one from an electronics store like this one:

    Terry, K7FE
  10. KF4KRV

    KF4KRV Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's amazing sometimes how much off resonance an antenna can be when "cut to formula". Height above ground, ground quality, insulated/uninsulated wire antennas, proximity to trees, buildings, or other land features, etc., all affect the antenna....the 259 takes all this in to account without blinking an eye and quickly gives you a detailed reading!

    Also, for some of my analog tuned qrp rigs I use the 259 as a freq counter to determine a specific operating frequency or for marking band edges.

    I would be miserable without mine.

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