Marius Lubbe ZS1ML

As a ham radio operator, I’ve had the pleasure of using a variety of antennas over the years, but the MFJ-1898 has truly stood out. This compact, portable antenna has become a reliable companion for my outdoor operations, and I’m excited to share my experiences with it.

The first thing you’ll notice about the MFJ-1898 is its design. The bottom part is a stainless-steel connector available in a ⅜ inch connector. The rest of the bottom section is a coil type adjuster made of stainless steel, aluminium, and fibre-reinforced plastic. This is a solid piece of kit, well-engineered and not easily breakable. It also has a hand-locking nut for when you’ve made your adjustment of the coil, you can lock it down, preventing the coil from slipping. In fact, I dare you to try moving it after you have tightened it down well. This coil will withstand a lot of wind and movement without going out of tune.

On the top comes a screw-in section of very durable telescoping antenna. This section is approximately 2190mm (just over 7 feet) long and has 13 sections to it. The telescoping part is lightweight and will not take very rough handling but is surprisingly well-engineered and quite adequate for the purpose it was designed for. I would, for instance, not drive with this top telescoping part fully extended, and mounted on my car. With some care, however, it will give you years of good service.

I was immediately struck by the extremely high quality of this antenna system, and it is clearly of the best quality you can expect from the top Japanese and USA makers. At the price, this is very good value for top-class manufacturing.

The antenna is complete, and when ordering, it comes with a ⅜ inch connector. It will fit a mount on a car or a tripod of your own construction.

Once mounted on a tripod, the MFJ-1898 antenna is easily set up in all sorts of terrain, and highly adjustable for uneven ground or rocky sites. It is even quite at home on a balcony in an apartment or HOA home where it will be stealthy and not attract attention.

Now, the question is, will it antenna? I am always skeptical of small antennas that promise to do everything a good HF antenna will do and have seen some spectacular failures by well-known manufacturers that promised big results in small packages. Not so the MFJ-1898!

I can immediately put your mind to rest with this MFJ-1898 antenna. It is everything you would want and a lot more in a small but sturdy form factor. The antenna is durable, easily tuned, and will last you a long time.

You start by screwing in the bottom (movable coil) part into the tripod or mount and putting the telescoping antenna on the top. Pull the telescoping antenna out to its maximum length and then start moving the bottom coil until you reach an ideal SWR on your antenna analyzer.

Once you are happy with your tune on the coil, you lock it down with the fiber nut and make small adjustments on the telescoping antenna section, if needed. That is it, you are ready to operate. I want to emphasize; this is a very good little antenna.

In conclusion, the MFJ-1898 is a reliable, versatile, and durable antenna that delivers solid performance for portable operations. Whether you’re a seasoned ham radio operator or a newcomer to the hobby, this antenna is a worthy addition to your gear.

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