opinion wanted regarding MFJ-1024

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gbriden

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So does anybody have any real world experience using an MFJ-1024 Active antenna.

I am able to get one virtually New at a good price.

Will it help enhance things that my North / South long wire doesn't see.

Unfortunately a second long wire is NOT an option.

Thanks
 

ka3jjz

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While I don't have one of these, there are a couple of caveats with active antennas that you should watch out for - firstly don't be afraid to cut the gain. Everyone thinks that you should run the gain flat out, and this is simply wrong. All this does is increase the noise level and the chance to overload, particularly when using it with your SDR. Next, actives like this one will pick up a lot of noise sources from around the home, so if you can, get it as far away as possible (this is true of most any HF antenna, for sure, but E field actives like this one, particularly so). It's entirely possible you may need to add some filtering,if you find you overload no matter where you adjust the gain. There are several suppliers of filters...

Actives like this one are omnidirectional, so they will pick up (relatively) equally well in all directions.

There are many other designs besides a random wire that don't necessarily take up a lot of space; but if I were looking at an active antenna, a loop would be my first choice. And I don't mean spending USD500 or more, as the Wellbrook and Pixel loops would. There are several other choices that don't cost nearly that much, and the W6LVP loop has been receiving some attention lately. Links with reviews (where we have them) can be found in our loops wiki...

Loops - The RadioReference Wiki

Mike
 

WA8ZTZ

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Have used the MFJ 1020C active antenna with my Satellit 750. On HF, not much improvement over the whip antenna on the RX. However, on AM BCB using the 1020C with a Grundig AN 200 loop produced dramatic results. In either case, too much gain overloaded the 750.
 

WA8ZTZ

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Another thought, you may want to consider the ApexRadio 303WA-2 vertical. It works well for me on LW through HF. Since you are unable to install a second wire antenna, this vertical may be the answer.
 

n2pqq

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I have a pixel loop with a Perseus sdr .
A loop is the way to go.
It will bring in stations that where in your noise
level .

I used a par end fed dipole before and there
Was lots of noise .
I also used a mfj 1020c and once again
there was a high noise level.

Go with some kind of loop for best
Reception and a quiter noise level.
 

nanZor

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I've used the 1020c with some success, but with a big caveat:

Changing bands and peaking / tuning it, along with adjusting the gain, can become a chore if you cruise the bands often. Sort of fun / retro kind of thing at first, but then becomes annoying.

Or course, keep your expectations of an amplified whip in check in the fist place. The thing to do is to take a portable, and use THAT to find the least noisy mounting location for it FIRST. Then mount the amplified whip there. Unless you live in the rf boonies, just throwing it up in the backyard eve mount may be a disappointment.

As for the Apex 303WA-2 mentioned, I had to find out what that magic was. Basically a short whip with no connection to the braid on purpose to cut down on common-mode interaction. I'm assuming there is also an additional transformer / choke in their special coax.

What that is REALLY designed for are those with hot front-end portables that need to get *something* outside, and with minimal common-mode interaction from the feedline bringing in noise from the interior due to that. Their antenna and feedline are a system, and you are advised NOT to cut, shorten, or replace it with your own.
 
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WA8ZTZ

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As for the Apex 303WA-2 mentioned, I had to find out what that magic was. Basically a short whip with no connection to the braid on purpose to cut down on common-mode interaction. I'm assuming there is also an additional transformer / choke in their special coax.
The coax supplied with the Apex vertical appears to be nothing other than a 30' length of RG-58A/U with a PL-259 on one end and a BNC male on the other. Have used this antenna with various portable receivers using different lengths of coax and always had good results. My guess is a matching transformer in the base of the antenna but not about to cut open a $100+ antenna to find out. ;)
 
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