40, 20, 10 AND 6 METERS 

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML

As an enthusiastic amateur radio hobbyist, I’m delighted to share my experiences with an exceptional piece of equipment – the MFJ-2012 Off-Center Fed Dipole (OCFD) Antenna, brought to us by MFJ Enterprises Inc.

Before diving into the specifics, it’s vital to appreciate the rich history behind this innovative device.

Let’s take a trip back to 1971 when Fritz Spillner, more commonly known by his call sign DJ2KY, forever altered the landscape of multiband antennas. His creation, the Fritzel FD4, marked a significant advancement from the original Windom antenna, which was solely designed for single-band operation.

Spillner’s FD4 introduced the concept of resonating on multiple bands, encompassing the 40, 20, and 10-meter bands. This breakthrough offered users like us greater operational flexibility. Moreover, Spillner’s FD4 innovatively proposed the idea of adjusting the balun type based on the antenna’s height above the ground, a factor that impacts feed point impedance and the transformation ratio of the balun. These groundbreaking concepts significantly influenced the design of today’s OCFD antennas, including the one I’ve come to admire – the MFJ-2012.

Now, let me introduce you to one of the cornerstones of my radio/antenna setup – the MFJ-2012. This antenna is nothing short of extraordinary. It can handle a staggering 1.5KW of power and operates flawlessly across the 40-, 20-, 10-, and 6-meter bands. It comes equipped with a full-sized radiator and a Matchmaker™ feed block, consistently delivering an efficiency rate of 98%. The built-in Guanella current-choke balun effectively curbs unwanted feedline radiation, assuring high efficiency, low SWR, and substantial gain – all without the need for a tuner!

One of the features I admire about the MFJ-2012 is its resilience. It’s designed to endure harsh weather conditions, boasting a 20.4-meter-long (67 feet) high-quality copper wire that’s 14-gauge (2mm) thick, and ceramic isolators at the ends. This antenna offers flexibility, whether you prefer an inverted-V setup like I do, or a flat-top configuration. You can expect optimal performance at heights ranging from 10.7 to 21.3 meters (35-70 feet).

In terms of performance, the MFJ-2012 is a dream come true. It operates flawlessly on the 40-, 20-, and 10-meter bands without requiring any tuning. When it comes to DX capabilities, this antenna stands out, especially on the 40- and 20-meter bands. And when the solar activity and propagation conditions align perfectly, it delivers rewarding local and long-distance contacts on the 10 and 6-meter bands.

I’ve had the opportunity to also try and compare the MFJ-2010, a lighter model capable of handling up to 300 watts. Both antennas prove their resilience in severe weather conditions. However, remember that the case housing the coil/balun isn’t entirely weatherproof, so a dab of silicone sealant around the edges where the case is seated on the base, may be necessary to keep moisture at bay.

Now, here’s the best part: as of June 2023, you can own the MFJ-2012. It’s available from MFJ Enterprises Inc for $109.95 or from DX Engineering for $124.95.

This antenna is not only versatile and powerful, but it’s also endorsed by the well-known Elmer, Dave Casler, better known as KE0OG in the ham radio world. It serves as his official reference antenna for his esteemed reference station.

I personally enjoy using the MFJ-2012 in an inverted V configuration on a 9-meter (29.5 feet) fiberglass pole. What I appreciate about this antenna is its quiet receiving capabilities, making it an excellent choice for radio beginners or anyone looking for a straightforward, ready-to-use antenna. Also, its unobtrusive design is perfect for those seeking a stealthy setup that can be neatly integrated along a house’s roofline without attracting unwanted attention.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend the MFJ-2012 Off-Center Fed Dipole Antenna. It’s been an absolute game-changer in my radio communications, and I’m confident it can do the same for you. With its rich history, innovative design, and impressive performance, this antenna truly stands out as a gem in the realm of radio communication.


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