MFJ to cease trading

Sorry to read that MFJ are packing in. There can’t be many folks who have never owned something from MFJ? They made all sorts of interesting portable operating gadgets. They had a reputation for poor quality although I can’t recall having any problems with their products myself. The company had been on the market for a few months. DX Engineering apparently made an offer but it wasn’t accepted (that’s the rumour anyway). Amateur radio companies are rather hard to sell (unless you get lucky). Along with MFJ, all the other brands they own, will also disappear. I can’t see a company like that ever existing again.

What was your favourite (or least favourite) MFJ product?


ARRL say Martin Jue is 80 so I think his retirement is deserved.

MFJ crappy product/build reputation is not something I have seen personally. I had an MFJ259B and have borrowed several before till I bought my own. All have been fine and worked as described. So it’s my favourite MFJ product.

Some of the issue comes from people not understanding specs and from “marketing specs”. i.e. You sell a 1kW antenna tuner. Then someone tries to tune up a massive mis-match at 1kW and wonders why there’s smoke and flames. Tune it at low powers then up the power and adjust the tuning.

Still there’ll be no more MFJ, Mirage, Cushcraft, Ameritron, Hy-Gain, names I’ve known for a long time.


Thinking on, Ameritron sell an 811 based amp. Sure for HF, a valved PA is simple. But you only get 800W/600W for 4x 811 and it’s a big box and you need to tune it. Which means there’s a chance of user error etc. There are plenty of off the shelf LDMOS PAs now which will be reliable and cooler and need no tuning. Buying commercial valved PAs maybe a thing of the past.


Must admit I am among that small group, but I’ve always recognised the potential of their products. I’ve just never owned anything of theirs.

1 Like

I believe the statement says that the production side of MFJ (and the companies it owns) are closing down mid-May and they will sell off existing self-made stock as well as keeping maintenance and service facilities open for some time.

It is unclear from the announcement whether MFJ will continue to trade, following the closure of the product production side, “just” as a major retailer - continuing to sell the products they do now from other companies.

I would expect there to be lots of bargains at the MFJ area in Xenia in 12 days.

As others have said at 80 years of age, Martin has certainly earned some good retirement time with his family.

Of course, it would be nice if the sub-companies were bought and kept running if only to keep the employees in jobs, but I suspect that is unlikely.

73 Ed.


I’ve also got one and still use it without any problems. I have heard of several local Hams who bought MFJ kit and did have problems with it. The biggest problem seems to have been their (lack of) production QA for several years, now fixed I believe.
One example I have actually witnessed was with a MFJ balanced ATU, it would never get a proper match, removing the covers revealed that a pair of ganged variable Cs controlled via a chain drive from a single knob were not aligned but were about 45 degrees adrift. Resetting the alignment resulted in superb performance.


I have one of their antenna analysers, and an iambic paddle. Both bought second hand, and both work well as intended. I don’t really have a favourite.
Sorry to see MFJ go, but I don’t begrudge a retirement!


My first antenna in the early 80s was an 11 Elt Yagi from Cushcraft for 144 MHz SSB…

(my dream was always an array of 4 x Cushcraft DX-120 :sweat_smile:)

73 Armin


I’ve had a few MFJ products over the years, never had a problem with them, and was unaware (until now) that they apparently had a reputation for poor quality.

I had a few QRP CW HF monobanders in the 1990’s (until I bought my FT817 ~21 years ago) and recall the fun I had with a MFJ-9040 40m CW QRP transceiver including working back to the UK whilst on a family camping holiday in France using a ProAm 40m whip on the car roof.

Ah, those were the days!


The only MFJ gear I have is a MFJ-949E versa tuner, I reckon it will tune anything, its a great piece of gear…but “Mighty Fine Junk” is a persistant gibe when I mention it!


In the start of 2012, I didn’t know if I’d like SOTA, so I bought a used QRP 40m MFJ transceiver for 100 USD, including filter and keyer options. With KE5AKL help, I got addicted and ended up with five of those, used, along with a dozen other used transceivers… the usual YouKits, Rockmites, Yaesu, and Elecraft plus Packer AMP and the DC powered Heathkit KW Compact. Still nostalgic about the drift-o-rama MFJ 90xx. The KX3 is a favorite, of course, well ahead of running 1,000 watts on a summit.

Elliott, K6EL


811s are more abuse tolerant than any MOSFET.

Don’t ask how I know.

And 800 W is a lot of steam.


Correct Ron… I was that soldier - and partly why as a backup for when my LDMOS linear fails (again) I just bought a 1998 built in Bulgaria Alpha 91B (2 X 4CX800 / GU74) as a backup. This will not be used for SOTA Chasing I hasten to add.

73 Phil G4OBK


I bought an MFJ Deluxe Versa Tuner II last May from Victor @GI4ONL.
This is a nice little tuner which performed well for me in CW NFD last year, when I came 2nd in my section.

This ATU allows use of a twin feeder as it has the balun built in, which allowed me to use of a 160m band doublet from G/TW-004 on the five contest bands from 160m - 10m in last Junes NFD. The tuner has a cross pointer meter - I wonder if MFJ had to buy a copyright from Daiwa who have made very good ones for decades (I have two).

Looking around my shack this is the only item I have that is MFJ, sad that they are to cease trading.

73 Phil G4OBK

1 Like

A properly designed solid state amplifier will be more reliable than any tube amplifier. It’s just that ham radio gear is not that well designed and built.

1 Like


Yes, but…
I was talking amateur tube amps vs amateur MOSFET Amps. A solid state amp designed for the military would indeed be a superior device in regard to reliability and resistance to abuse.

But there is the small matter of having to sell the wife, kids and my parents into slavery to buy one.

Here’s a short video from Waters and Stanton outlining a little MFJ early history and the belief the brands won’t disappear.

To be clear, I think MFJ have stopped manufacturing but presumably will continue to sell stock on hand.


1 Like

That amp is a few levels above the Ameritron 811A amp. Lots more protection circuits and those valves, ceramic devices, are a lot more hardy than the 811s. Or perhaps there’s a lot of lower quality 811s on the market now.

Interestingly the contest group I’m in have moved away from valved PAs. We used several dual 3CPX800 based amps for 2/70 when we were in the open sections. They were effortless in use apart from blower noise and all are still using the original valves which are 25+ years old now. But today it’s all LDMOS for high power on 2/70. We’re a bit limited on 23 only having 80W-ish from a quad Mitsubishi block amp. There is a 200W 23cms amp using multiple 3CX100/2c39 but it’s somewhat exciting in use. Tuning is done by unkeying, sliding back the anode cover, pushing bits about inside with a Delrin rod, sliding back the cover, keying and checking. Lather, rinse, repeat. It also has a blower louder than 4 Rolls-Royce Conways on take-off power!

1 Like

Obviously within your contest group Andy you have very good techie bods that can build or modify things like LDMOS liinears for UHF! I hold my hat up to them.

The valves in this 91B seem to be OK as far as I can tell. I wouldn’t want to overstress my feeders and baluns by runnng it up to its rated max of 1500 watts which would breach my licence and my EMF schedule. Also my Zetagii dry dummy load is only rated to 1 KW which the 91B achieves on all HF bands (except 60m where high power not allowed anyway) with 35 watts input.

The guy I bought the 91B from replaced it with an LDMOS linear that will run in excess 1500 watts according to the spec - a Flex Genius XL. Price currently £5999 from ML&S the owner is an HF contester…

The Flex Genius XL is a lot lighter than my 91B which I managed to fit into my shack without sufferiing an hernia or bad back, weight is 30 Kgs. A good part of that weight is in the mains transformer. Most parts for the 91B are still available, secondhand valves are currently selling for between £250 and £400 each.

The available commercial LDMOS HF linears work very well and whlst most of them will produce 1 KW they won’t run that much power for very long before reaching temperatures of over 60c on heavy duty cycles like FT8. In that application the linears with ceramic valves perform better and are more reliable.

73 Phil

1 Like

Brings back memories! In the early 1970s we had 4 x 2c39s on 23Cm, and the blower was a cylinder vacuum cleaner unit :grin:

1 Like