Repair Tuner or Buy New

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N3WVB, Aug 8, 2017.

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  1. N3WVB

    N3WVB Ham Member QRZ Page


    This world-famous 3 KW MFJ-989C VersaTuner V features two massive transmitting capacitors and a roller inductor with a three digit counter. A roller inductor lets you tune your SWR down to the absolute minimum--something a tapped inductor tuner just can't do. A 3 digit turns counter plus a spinner knob gives you precise inductance control -- so you can quickly retune to your favorite frequency. You won't have arcing problems with this roller inductor. That's because firm springs put considerable pressure on a plated contact wheel. This gives you excellent electrical contact with the roller inductor wire and eliminates arcing problems. Wide low inductance straps are used for high current connections. A new core gives you excellent RF properties for minimum loss. Ball bearings on both the front and back shafts give you a velvet smooth vernier feel. Steel end plates and steel shafts give you lifetime durability. This High-Q roller inductor is mounted horizontally and centered vertically away from metal surfaces to maintain highest Q for maximum efficiency so you'll get full power out.

    With three continuously variable components--two variable capacitors and a roller inductor--you get the widest matching range and the most precise control over SWR possible. You can tune your SWR down to the absolute minimum from 1.8 to 30 MHz, including MARS and the WARC bands. Plus you have complete control over Q. You can select a low Q when you want convenient broadband coverage or select high Q when you need an extra measure of harmonic attenuation--it's your choice.

    You get a super heavy duty balun for balanced lines. It's made with two giant 2 inch powder iron toroid cores and wound with teflon wire connected to high voltage ceramic feed thru insulators. It lets you operate high power into balanced feed lines without core saturation or voltage breakdown.

    You get a two wafer ceramic antenna switch with extra large switch contacts to eliminate plugging and unplugging antennas. It lets you select two coax antennas direct or through the tuner, balanced line or random wire and dummy load. Plus you get a built-in 50 ohm 300 watt dummy load that makes exciter tuning fast and easy.

    Frequency range is 1.8 to 30 MHz. The peak and average reading cross-needle SWR/power meter has forward power ranges of 200 and 2,000 watts. The back panel has outputs for two coaxial cables, one wire or balanced line and dummy load are provided. Lighted meter with on/off switch (Light uses 12 VDC or 110 VAC with optional MFJ-1312D).

    Is it better to repair the Tuner through MFJ or just purchased a new one ?
    Please do not post The Made From Junk Lyric
    I have used this Tuner in amazement for over a Decade with no problems
    Now it needs some repairs is it cost effective to repair or just replace
    Anyone ever have any experience or regrets doing either ?

    AF6LJ likes this.
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Repair it yourself. ;)
    K8AI, NL7W, N2SUB and 1 other person like this.
  3. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    What is wrong with it?

    Tuners are simple beasts. If there is a bad solder joint, the fix will be easy and cheap. If one of the few parts inside has gone bad (arc damage, etc.), you will have to evaluate what the cost of a replacement part vs. junking the unit. If a replacement part is available, it will very likely be cheaper to replace than to buy a new tuner. All of this assumes you will do the work yourself. If you ship it to MFJ, etc., pay them to repair, and ship it back, it could easily be more expensive than buying a new one.
    KQ9J and AF6LJ like this.
  4. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    MFJ usually has replacement parts.

    General Information

    Technical Support
    NL7W, N2SUB, KK5JY and 1 other person like this.
  5. KK6NOH

    KK6NOH Ham Member QRZ Page

    if you do decide to buy new... please throw the old one in the trashcan in front of my place

    that is a sweet tuner

    and I am not above dumpster diving ;)
    K8AI, N2IIE, NL7W and 4 others like this.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    As already stated, MFJ sells all the parts and they're reasonably priced.

    You can probably just "fix it."

    If for some reason you go with a new one, don't buy it directly from MFJ who charges "full list price" for everything -- go to one of their dealers, who usually offer a discount and some offer free shipping as well.
  7. WD8T

    WD8T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is this an advertisement or is there something wrong with it? The only failure I've ever had with an mfj manual tuner was having to replace sensing diodes on an old mfj-948. MFJ sells parts and tuners are not complicated.
  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd also say fix it yourself. Or at least try to. MFJ has a tendency to include bad solder connections on their products and, although you didn't indicate what the problem is, there's good odds that you could repair it. Replacing it would be my last choice.
  9. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oh, golly... Was going to post something, but noticed I seemed to be channeling Burt...



    KV6O and WZ7U like this.
  10. WA9UAA

    WA9UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look up the ARRL review for this tuner, you may want to do something different.

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