MFJ-259B HF/VHF SWR Analyzer Review by ZS1JHG

An antenna analyser is a very useful piece of test equipment for antenna builders. T he MFJ 259B is a well designed antenna analyzer that will give you good info on how well your antenna is performing. you can see the resonant frequency ,reactance (R & X) and swr. Also available is the measurement of Impedance and Inductance very neat. The 259B can also be used as a frequency counter. On two units tested this was however not accurate (poor alignment?) but good enough for antenna work. The 259B does not give accurate readings if you have common mode current on your coax, so best used at all times with an RF choke. (This goes for all analysers that I have tested). The reactance readings in some combinations of R & X can be incorrect however this is not common and the errors are not large. It is best to use the 259B with a good mains power supply when heavy use is required as your batteries will not last long due to the high output generator. The accuracy also suffers when the voltage drops below 12 volts. The body of the 259B is rather large for normal sized hands and could do with a non slip rubberised coating. Some folk love the meters for swr and resistance , I never look at them as the LCD display gives more precise readings. On one of the units tested ( new out the box) the SO -239 sockets centre pin leaves were not a very tight fit on the PL259 plug and this caused fluctuating readings. Both of the 259B analysers were opened up and inspected and apart from a loose battery box on one unit seemed to be neatly assembled. The advanced operation menus were all tried and apart from distance to fault and magnitude of impedance mode did not add much. So if you are looking for a ready made Antenna Analyser with a usable built in frequency counter and Inductance/Capacitor measuring ability this unit competes well in its price bracket and lots available in the used market at an even better price.

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