|Customer Reviews for the MFJ-1835.|
|From: Ken N2VHZ|
|I purchased this antenna 3 days ago from HRO in Denver, and it was at the door 2 days later. I am in western Nebraska, just up the road from them!|
Built it in 2 hours, fairly good construction, average or above for MFJ quality and no defects found. The antenna wires are pretty thin but that keeps the weight down I guess? Also, they are terminated into ring type crimp lugs, that are crimped AND soldered.The cheap T.V. antenna type U-brackets that were supplied didn't fit inside the aluminum mounting sleeve so I had to use my own cheap T.V. type mounting brackets that did fit. It came packaged in a "Hy-Gain" antenna box that was re-purposed by turning it inside out. I was surprised by that when I opened the box completely to flatten it out!
I will erect the antenna in a few day as soon as the telescopic mast arrives.
I was able to tune it to resonance pretty easily on all bands, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters, 5 feet above the ground, and it seems it will be able to be usable across most of all the bands (phone portions) with an internal tuner (with a 150 ohm / 3:1 limitation) , even though it is kind of narrow and sharp on some higher bands, it absolutely did resonate on all the bands, just narrowly.....and it does maintain a 2:1 SWR inside the bands across the phone portions. Surprisingly I was able to get the SWR very low, even below 1.5:1 in the center of the phone portions on all bands! The 20 meter band seemed to be the best and easiest to tune, even though I had to add a short piece of wire instead of a "trim tab" as suggested in the manual....the "trim tab" wasn't bringing the frequency down far enough on the 20 meter band. The wire is about 3 inches long and is soldered into a ring lug crimp connector and the free end is just hanging downwards, as also suggested.
I also liked the reading the analyzer gave me on the CW and SSB 50 MHz phone lower end portion of 6 meters, but I will believe it once it is up on the mast. (I don't want to be too optimistic and then be disappointed?)
I used the "trim tabs" on 3 out of 5 bands, just installed them, then and cut the aluminum "trim tabs" down piece by piece (using the holes as reference) until it had the SWR dip where I wanted it.
I used "lock-tight" on the small screws and nuts that sandwich the spreader arms, mounting bracket and balun boom together through the two aluminum plates.
All in all, the tuning, at a slow methodical pace, took about 2 hours today....and I am pleased with the results so far. Lets see when I get it on the air and try it out this weekend?
(By the way, I also used an MFJ antenna analyzer to tune it today, the trusty ol' MFJ-259.)
73's from western Nebraska, Ken - N2VHZ
|From: Ken N2VHZ|
|Well, its built.....and tuned....AND modified because a few weak points were identified. One was the way that all 5 bands (the dipole ends) have an individual crimp on type ring lug (crimped and soldered) and they slip over the screw for the balun box connection. The instructions show you to splay out the 5 individual connectors sort of like a hand of cards, on the screw. That then leaves a few of them at a weird angle and adds to the chance of the wire breaking from the connector over time. It was probably done into individual connectors to make installation easier? It gathered them all together and cut the connectors off and combined them all into one rind connector (soldered and crimped) then slipped that over the screw. It is much better now having all 5 wires going into 1 connector! I also followed the suggestion I read here by another reviewer to use "lock-tite" on the screws and nuts. I tuned the antenna at the middle of the SSB band for each individual band, tuned it to for lowest SWR reading, and yes, it is very narrow in bandwidth. I did the tuning on a 6 foot mast in my driveway with no obstructions, RF or otherwise, nearby, as suggested by the MFJ instructions. When I finally mounted the antenna 22 feet above ground, I noticed the SWR dip changed dramatically, it moved higher in frequency by at least 100 Khz on just about every band. I am able to touch it up (the SWR) using the MFJ-1835 auto tuner to be able to get the full band out of each band, and it is even usable on 40 and 80 meters! It does show that 6 meters has a 1.7:1 SWR, but only 10 ohms impedance, so that is NOT usable! The one major weak point I didn't improve and identified is the mounting bracket and the way it is joined to the spreader plate. Thin aluminum to thin aluminum at a right angle using small screws, hmmm, lets see what happens this coming winter.|
I am using 85 feet of Times Microwave LMR-600 coaxial feed line that was swept and verified as perfect, before the antenna was installed.
So, on the air..... it "hears" as good or a few S units better than the 20/40 meter trap dipole I have been using. And the first two contacts I had were known previous contacts, and they remarked that I was +20 over 9 where in the past I was an S-7 or S-8.
With an A/B test between the dipole and the MFJ-1835 with receivers that have identical sensitivity, the 1835 seems slightly superior.
All in all, an interesting antenna, and lets see how it holds up to the elements?
Let's see if I can finally catch North and South Dakota using this antenna to finish up my W.A.S. award from this QTH!
73's, Ken N2VHZ in Western Nebraska
|From: Ken N2VHZ|
|Update on the MFJ-1835 CobWeb antenna: Anyone I hear on 80/40/20/17/15/12/and 10 meters SSB so far, I can QSO with, and also compliments me on my signal and audio. A noticeable improvement over the 40/20 meter trap dipole! I use the MFJ-939 auto tuner on both antenna also.|
73's, Ken - N2VHZ.
|From: Ken Weindl N2VHZ|
the antenna (MFJ-1835) has been through it's first Nebraska 60 m.p.h. wind storm, a hail storm, and small snow storm. EXCELLENT!!!
Still making contacts like crazy, if I can hear 'em I can work 'em with 100 watts!
Seems to be so far worth the $$$.
Check out the reviews on eHam.
They are all pretty favorable!
Some construction tips there too.
Talk to you with the Cobweb on HF, 73s, N2VHZ.
|From: Ken Weindl N2VHZ|
|Well, here it is, a few months after throwing the antenna up on a 25 foot push-up mast and I am still happy with it. Winter is rolling in here to western Nebraska now, and to my surprise, I was finally able to hear North and South Dakota QSO'ing during the A.R.R.L. Sweepstakes contest on November 20th! But I was only quick enough to QSO with South Dakota.....so just one more state (North Dakota)remaining for W.A.S. (I have two other W.A.S. awards from other QTH's) I am happy to report that it was just as I predicted in an earlier posting, that I mentioned about how I hoped I would be able to snag my last two states needed for W.A.S. with this antenna! Halfway there, and I am sure by the end of this winter I will achieve my goal! I am presently using it with a Yaesu FTDX-1200 HF/6 meter rig, and an external tuner to give me the extra bands and to slightly touch-up the S.W.R. but have also gotten super excellent results with the Icom 746pro using just the internal tuner! It's internal tuner (Icom 746pro)has allowed me to use the antenna on 40 and 80 meters, where the Yaesu has me using the external tuner. N2VHZ|
I give the antenna a 10 out of 10 for what it is!
73's, Ken - N2VHZ in Nebraska
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