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Old 23-02-2018, 21:34   #1
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MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

At the March meeting (4th Mon, 26th) of a local radio club in north Texas they will have an auction and one of the items is an MJF-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner. Google it. I figure it would work well on a boat and maybe better than the built-in tuner of most HF rigs. My experience, anyway. How to get it? One way would be to PM me and let me know your top bid amount and I will bid on it for you. No handling fees from me, all it would cost is the bid and whatever shipping would be to you. What happens if more than one of you want to bid? Not sure I've thought that through . I suppose I would take the highest bidder from CF and use that amount at the auction. There wasn't much else there boat related except a Unimetrics SH-66 VHF marine transceiver. I posted this here instead of in the classifieds because this seemed to be the better place. Admins might disagree. If so, I apologize in advance.
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Old 24-02-2018, 03:40   #2
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

You seriously recommend people use this piece of crap on a boat?

Its a really a poorly designed and built Antenna Tuner whose ratings are very questionable. I have repaired a few of these for various sailors and I have seen them being used.

The ones that I came across got burnt out from minor indirect lightning hits, burnt out on the switch when used for too long on Pactor, Tuning capacitor arced out because of insufficient voltage rating. Thats before we start talking about the 250 volt rated non RF current rated switch.

To tune a end fed wire that could expose the parts to thousands of volts and high current using something as marginal as this MFJ tuner is extremely risky. But hey, some people have luck and if it works when they leave dockside thats all that they care about.

Attached inside picture.

Marginal capacitor, switch, voltage and current ratings. Thats before the whole thing gets eaten away by corrosion due to lack of weather resistance. There are much better choices out there. It would be a good present for your enemy.

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At the March meeting (4th Mon, 26th) of a local radio club in north Texas they will have an auction and one of the items is an MJF-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner. Google it. I figure it would work well on a boat and maybe better than the built-in tuner of most HF rigs. My experience, anyway. How to get it? One way would be to PM me and let me know your top bid amount and I will bid on it for you. No handling fees from me, all it would cost is the bid and whatever shipping would be to you. What happens if more than one of you want to bid? Not sure I've thought that through . I suppose I would take the highest bidder from CF and use that amount at the auction. There wasn't much else there boat related except a Unimetrics SH-66 VHF marine transceiver. I posted this here instead of in the classifieds because this seemed to be the better place. Admins might disagree. If so, I apologize in advance.
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Old 24-02-2018, 09:06   #3
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

I defer to your superior knowledge after noting that my experience with this device did not give the catastrophic results you had.
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Old 24-02-2018, 09:12   #4
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

Isnít this tuner just $70 online? Seems like a lot of trouble to ship around a used one when a new one is so cheap.

In the ham world there is a not so kind phrase that matches MFJ. Might Fine fill in the blank.
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Old 24-02-2018, 10:52   #5
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

MFJ is lowest-end stuff. In addition, this being a MANUAL tuner, it's not well-adapted to marine use unless you are going to use just one frequency, as it needs to be at the feed point.
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Old 24-02-2018, 19:30   #6
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

Good point. Mount it at the feedpoint and see how long it lasts! Even buried in a lazarette or locker would be so inconvenient. Feeding coax to a backstay and then using this tuner would be an act of technical stupidity.

This tuner would be great for an emergency antenna. Just say you got dis-masted and flooded out to the point where you loose all power. You could run a piece of wire out or attach this tuner to the lifelines and get a a match. Its not totally useless from this perspective. The Saving grace of this MFJ design is that its an L network meaning you could swap the input and output around to match high or low impedance's. Tuning a Aluminum boat hook could be feasible depending on the frequency.


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MFJ is lowest-end stuff. In addition, this being a MANUAL tuner, it's not well-adapted to marine use unless you are going to use just one frequency, as it needs to be at the feed point.
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Old 25-02-2018, 12:41   #7
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

As a long time tech in communications involving military ships & subs, in a seawater setting only a good metal housing commercial grade tuner is recommended. Never rely on "built-in antenna tuners within transceiver rigs" because they can not tune efficiently into long wires that are not at or close to resonant length (ie. meaning immediately close by one specific frequency). And as noted upfront by others, lightening & static build-up will damage and probably outright destroy your rig without some form of isolation. Even with an outboard tuner to gain isolation, also include a coaxial surge suppressor in between the tuner & rig, also well grounded to the hull plate. Buy the surge suppressor with a replaceable cartridge, not just a cheap "sparkgap" type. And buy spares for that to have available at-sea. Best to place a outdoor rated tuner within a foot or so of the long wire antenna, AND, run a heavy copper flat strap to the boat hull ground plate (or keel weight, etc.). Avoid sharing that ground run with other electrical or electronics on-board BUT do use it for the coax surge protector (because coax alone is NOT an effective ground circuit). Damage from lightning is impressive. Don't scrimp on safety of life equipment as this installation is, for open ocean passages.....
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Old 25-02-2018, 13:00   #8
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

" ... it needs to be at the feed point."

We could get into a rather protracted exchange regarding radio wave theory and the practical applications thereof but I kinda doubt the moderators would tolerate it, so ... I will just say "That isn't entirely true". Especially with the availability of snap on ferrite beads that just fit RG-58 o.d. and keep RF currents off of the shield and the fact that the coax length from radio to feedpoint is usually a small part of a wavelength, especially at marine band frequencies. I have worked all continents and many countries without a tuner running SWR values from 1:1 to 4:1, all with a 100W mobile rig. Which, by the way, is still operational after over 25 years.

I will concede the fact that this MFJ tuner is marginal for marine use BUT it is at auction and, as one said, the list is $70 so the auction price plus shipping is probably pretty low. Buy it, find a rock and a piece of ss wire and if it quits, make a hermit crab happy.
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Old 25-02-2018, 16:03   #9
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Re: MFJ-16010 HF long wire antenna tuner

The problem running a tuner into coaxial cable is not just about balance and shield current. The coax, not being operated anywhere near it's design impedance, can have much more loss than when matched - the other issue is that it adds about 30 pf per foot of shunt capacitance right across the load which reduces the range that the antenna tuner can match. You might get away with it just a few feet, but it's not a good idea in general.

As far as lightning protection goes, either unplug the antenna connector, or use an antenna switch to disconnect when lightning is expected.

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