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Thread: Help with MFJ-1622, APARTMENT ANTENNA, HF, 40M-2M

  1. #1

    Default Help with MFJ-1622, APARTMENT ANTENNA, HF, 40M-2M

    Greetings!!!

    Have been on somewhat of a amateur radio hiatus over the last 15 years or so... Recently dusted off my Icom IC-718 HF rig and have been trying to patiently work 20 meters through recent torrid band conditions with my portable MFJ-1621 (black box vertical antenna). Works well considering...

    I also have an MFJ-1622 apartment coil vertical antenna that I never used since taking the hiatus. Now I realize the 1622 has historically not gotten the best reviews, but I am determined to remember how to properly tune this beast and starting working 20 meters on it as well. I have no antenna analyzer or tuner. Just using the SWR meter on my 718 and checking the SWR while on RTTY mode @ 28 watts of power.

    Needless to say, it has been a headache this week trying to find the proper sweet spot on the MFJ-1622 for 20m with regards to the coil tap and counterpoise length and position. I can't seem to get any better than 2.75 to 3.2 : 1 on 20m. I used to use a Barker and Williamsson AP-10A back in 2000 on 10 meter and was able to tune like a champ... I guess mental rust has settled in...

    Using my MFJ-1622, my configuration for 20 meters consists of this:

    - MFJ-1622 mounted via bracket on my backyard deck ~ 11.3 feet off the ground.
    - Using the telescopic vertical whip/radiator which measures 5.5 feet in length.
    - 50 feet of RG58 coax with 30 feet of it set in a choke 18 inches from the antenna.
    - Loading Coil tap currently set on the 9th coil (have been experimenting between 8-9 coil).
    - Counterpoise - now here is my primary headache source:
    - the provided counterpoise wire is 35 feet.
    - I know that for this configuration, the counterpoise wire should be less than 1/4 wavelength of the desired frequency (using 14.2875 Mhz as my desired frequency) therefore the sweet spot should be somewhere between 20 feet and 33 feet of the counterpoise wire (of which the excess is wrapped accordingly in a small coil 3-4 inches in diameter).
    - However, here are my 2 questions:
    -- should this counterpoise wire (20-33 feet) be draped down from my deck and on the ground or does it need to be elevated much like a radial?
    -- because the antenna is 11 feet above ground is my math correct with regards to the counterpoise length? Seems a little high/long?



    Any insight/help/guidance would be appreciated as I am trying to get my sea legs back with ham radio...

    Thanks and 73:
    Vince (in Colorado)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    96

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    Forget it, I don't know why people with piece of crap antennas always thinks - it works great.. No, it doesn't work great, else you wouldn't be here! What you need to do is realize that your radio isn't a very good radio - has no filtering - which is why you are having problems.
    Then you need to address the antenna issue.

    When you become a ham, you need to realize that what you are doing is basically broadcasting - just like a radio station, just on a smaller scale. When you get involved with broadcasting - which is much more complicated then just listening - any radio / any antenna can be used to listen to something. You need to have a certain amount of equipment..

    Again - this is where having a TRUE ELMER comes in..

    You need to buy a REAL VSWR meter and a true dummy load. All hams should have a watt power meter and a dummy load!

    My advice is to break down, spend some money, buy some equipment - before you burn up your prize possession radio..

    Might I suggest you purchase a BUDDY-POLE.. That will solve your antenna issue..

    https://www.buddipole.com/

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KD5FQF View Post
    Greetings!!!

    Have been on somewhat of a amateur radio hiatus over the last 15 years or so... Recently dusted off my Icom IC-718 HF rig and have been trying to patiently work 20 meters through recent torrid band conditions with my portable MFJ-1621 (black box vertical antenna). Works well considering...

    I also have an MFJ-1622 apartment coil vertical antenna that I never used since taking the hiatus. Now I realize the 1622 has historically not gotten the best reviews, but I am determined to remember how to properly tune this beast and starting working 20 meters on it as well. I have no antenna analyzer or tuner. Just using the SWR meter on my 718 and checking the SWR while on RTTY mode @ 28 watts of power.

    Needless to say, it has been a headache this week trying to find the proper sweet spot on the MFJ-1622 for 20m with regards to the coil tap and counterpoise length and position. I can't seem to get any better than 2.75 to 3.2 : 1 on 20m. I used to use a Barker and Williamsson AP-10A back in 2000 on 10 meter and was able to tune like a champ... I guess mental rust has settled in...

    Using my MFJ-1622, my configuration for 20 meters consists of this:

    - MFJ-1622 mounted via bracket on my backyard deck ~ 11.3 feet off the ground.
    - Using the telescopic vertical whip/radiator which measures 5.5 feet in length.
    - 50 feet of RG58 coax with 30 feet of it set in a choke 18 inches from the antenna.
    - Loading Coil tap currently set on the 9th coil (have been experimenting between 8-9 coil).
    - Counterpoise - now here is my primary headache source:
    - the provided counterpoise wire is 35 feet.
    - I know that for this configuration, the counterpoise wire should be less than 1/4 wavelength of the desired frequency (using 14.2875 Mhz as my desired frequency) therefore the sweet spot should be somewhere between 20 feet and 33 feet of the counterpoise wire (of which the excess is wrapped accordingly in a small coil 3-4 inches in diameter).
    - However, here are my 2 questions:
    -- should this counterpoise wire (20-33 feet) be draped down from my deck and on the ground or does it need to be elevated much like a radial?
    -- because the antenna is 11 feet above ground is my math correct with regards to the counterpoise length? Seems a little high/long?



    Any insight/help/guidance would be appreciated as I am trying to get my sea legs back with ham radio...

    Thanks and 73:
    Vince (in Colorado)
    I read the manual for the MFJ-1622, and it seems like you're doing it properly. I had (I believe) the MFJ-2286 which is something like yours. I got it to use camping, and I had it fully vertical right on the ground with a counterpoise also on the ground. It took time to get things right and then I made marks and notes. It was sensitive to anything near it, including me. My only suggestions are to make sure the antenna components are screwed together tightly and that the tap only touches one coil ring. I'd try the counterpoise out horizontaly if you can manage it. It will work for you, but of course there are trade-offs. A tuner would certainly help but you can manage OK without. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Ots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Glendora, CA
    Posts
    89

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    After many hours with that antenna I concluded that it was truly meant for use on a balcony (hence the name perhaps?), which I don't have, and most likely the higher the better. I tried real hard though, and it sounds like you're doing all the right stuff with it.

    I did have some limited success with it in digital HF (PSK31).

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