The MFJ-1979 has surpassed all my expectations. Previously, I had (to some degree) thought of MFJ products either as "unfinished kits" or as disposable, temporary items.
I've owned several MFJ tuners, an antenna analyzer and an AL-80B amp. All of these items informed the above opinion.
And then came the MFJ-1979, which, if you don't know, is a telescoping whip antenna.
At full plumage, it's 17 feet (5.1m) long - a full 1/4-wave on 20 meters. Retracted, it's 27 inches (69cm) short. Partially retracted, it's a full 1/4-wave on any band between 6 and 20 meters.
No inductive loading as with Hamsticks. Add a few - two is enough - radials for a no-compromise DX antenna. Or for a quickly-erected POTA antenna.
Last night, with the MFJ-1979 in my backyard, on a 10-foot photo-type light stand, I copied VK3QI working TT8SN on 10m CW. With my FX-4CR. After their QSO, I called TT8SN and received a 559 from him - my 5th (of 6) continents with the FX-4CR/MFJ-1979 combo.
I need only Asia for WAC with this combo. Ironic, given where these products are made ;-)
The MFJ-1979 has activated many a park, worked a ton of DX and has traveled abroad in my suitcase. It still, after frequent, almost constant use, extends and retracts smoothly. For $90, it replaces five Hamsticks in less space, and does so with more efficiency.
Less money, less bulk, greater efficiency than Hamsticks. The only advantage of Hamsticks over this antenna is that Hamsticks can be used while in motion (mobile ops).
That's very interesting John. I'm always in search-mode for good HF antenna solutions for portable use. I'll look into the MFJ-1979. Thank you for posting this!ReplyDelete
73, Tom, MR7MCQ
Hi Tom - I can't recommend it highly enough. No affiliate links, just a suggestion for consideration.Delete
Thank you for the recommendation of the MFJ-1979 John! It's good to know this is a solid performer, unlike many products from MFJ, unfortunately.ReplyDelete
How do you set this up when going portable? Are you using a ground spike or another method? I love my Gabil antenna and tripod for quick portable setup and teardown, especially living in Central Florida when an afternoon thunderstorm can approach seemingly out of nowhere. However, I'm always experimenting with antennas either on my property or in the field somewhere.
I'd love to know how you set it up. If you have another blog post with this information, please direct me to it!
I use either a magnet mount or a vise grip mount,both of which have a 3/8x24 fitting for attaching the antenna. The mag mount can go on the car; the vise grip attaches to most anything...BBQ grill, camera tripod, etc. In the photo above, it's attached to a photo lightstand.
Interesting vice grip mount, simple and effective. I picked up a MFJ-1979 from the local HRO for $80. Got it tuned in with 1.1 SWR on 10m by adjusting the length. Mounted it on my Gabil tripod. Made a few FT8 QSOs. Thank you for the information on this antenna! I'm very pleased with it!Delete
Some people buy the most costly glamour antennas when this, or just a length of wire, work as well, and maybe even better.ReplyDelete
And there's no shortage of online shills convincing them to do exactly that, with the implication being that a more expensive antenna will perform better than a less expensive version of the same thing.Delete