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MFJ-993 B IntelliTuner Review

Discussion in 'CB and Export Equipment and Accessories' started by Robb, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. Robb

    Robb
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    Yup

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    This isn't a one trick pony here.
    The IntelliTuner from MFJ was built for the Ham operator that runs less than 300 watts peak - with a low or high power setting. It is fitted with many usable features on any band between 10 to 160 meters. Those who use dipoles like a G5RV would find this unit a time saver. It was designed for the purpose of Ham operators that has a radio that is putting out OEM power levels. But it can also be used to run it on 11 meters, as I am doing for this review using a export 10/11 radio on the same antenna. Not a condoned practice, but I am doing this for the purpose of this review.


    Face of the future...It's automatic as well as manual
    [​IMG]


    On the far left of this sturdy built case, it has the favored cross needle forward/reflect with two scales. It is well-lit and is quite sensitive. Meter deflection is no better or worse than any meter movement I'd seen or used. But it is easy to read with the dimension of 2" wide and 1 1/4" high. The whole unit must be powered by a 12 volt sleeve plug to an external power supply. It draws about 1 amp.


    Meter and LCD
    [​IMG]


    An LCD screen that can be switched to different modes. This is the one of the great features here. In the first mode of this display, it has a real-time frequency counter and the SWR reading on the top tier of this display LCD. On the lower tier, it displays the FWD power out in watts. While the REF shows power being reflected back in watts. It is quick to update info as you key the mic and talk. The second mode displayed shows the freq counter AND a PEP watt reading. It will display the peak wattage and also has a modulating bar display to the left of the numeric readout. Sweet! I like and use this mode most often. Reason is, that the cross-needle is constantly giving REF and FWD. The meter fuction remindes me of the LP-100A; perhaps not as responsive.



    To use the IntelliTuner function is a breeze as it the controls are all quite intuitive. Just set it on AUTO and key up. It also will memorize settings as you change bandwidths when you use the TUNE. It is only a little noisy when tuning, but barely enough to be noteworthy. Tuning can also be done manually, with capacitance up/down buttons and the same for the inductance as well. The LCD will give you the values of each. The antenna switch will select between Ant 1 & Ant 2. The 993 B is also equipped with a balun inside. I ran a vertical IMAX so that I can use it on the upper FM portion of 10 meters. Just key it up, and it tunes and remembers.


    Back of unit
    [​IMG]


    It is a bit pricey, but for those who like automation and don't run a lot of power as I do not - the features are quite remarkable. Dipoles and long wire antennas can be used. It covers a lot of jobs for your station and does it with a small footprint. There is also a volume control for the beeping functions and a dimmer for the LCD recessed in th front panel. I will be adding to this review and updating it. I hope to be interviewing MFJ's owner soon as well.


    Close-up
    [​IMG]


    Final Thoughts...
    The pdf file at the bottom of the page is a WEALTH of info that I didn't cover here. There are so many functions that the read will be worth your while if you have considered the IntelliTuner for your station. If I covered it all, it would make this review much too long. I can say, that for using the IntelliTuner for both 10 and 11 meters has made tuning a snap. Having 1,000 memory points that can be stored makes re-tuning it for each band/frequency unnecessary - it remembers the last setting for that frequency. Chances are, that it will exceed your needs. Unless one wants to run more power than it can handle, of course.

    Conclusions...
    What is not to like? Hmmm; maybe if it were a little cheaper, there would be more interest in it. Better still, would be to make it capable of handling 500 watts for the same price. Then I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is a bit pricey for what it does - basically a tuner. Manual tuners can handle much more power and are cheaper - of course. But the frequency counter and auto tuning make it one cool breeze. The LCD is bit small, but it works fine as is. Makes the IMAX I have work all of 10-11-12 meters. Since it is quite easy to set up and operate, it makes for an excellent piece of gear for the beginner and veteran alike. The remote plug on the back with the external patch for a radio interface gives it full automation. That is a first.

    Some people have said in the past that MFJ gear is junk. There had been some inconsistencies. But not since Martin (owner: Martin F. Jue, K5FLU) made major changes in the quality control in some early production issues and dealt with some issues from parts vendors. In the past, I would pop open anything made by MFJ just to be certain that all of the solder joints are good due to this reputation. I checked this one for a lark; and all of the solder joints looked fine. All MFJ products now come with a 1 year 'no-fault' warranty on all products. I think that MFJ's reputation will be changing for the better from here on in. MFJ is quickly becoming the market leader in outboard Ham gear; so they are going a long way to shore up past inconsistenies in products. This unit was built quite nice, well thought out, and durable.


    [​IMG]


    Overall rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
    Product claims are accurate
    Recommended

    For more info:
    http://www.mfjenterprises.com/
    1-800-647-1800
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. GLR

    GLR
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    Keeping It Good Natured

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    Not in the pictures you aren't.
     
  3. mackmobile43

    mackmobile43
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    But his omega is.
     
  4. packrat

    packrat
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    Not to be picky, but a "one trick pony", as you put it, is a slam on something is something that only does one thing, but you rate the tuner as being good at doing several things well. Which is it???

    :unsure:

    PR
     
  5. Robb

    Robb
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    You're right. I'll cahange it; wuz warching the game.
    (y)
     
  6. mrgumby

    mrgumby
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    It is a bit pricey, HOW MUCH IS PRICEY??
     
  7. GLR

    GLR
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    I can't seem to locate that pdf file either. I'm looking though.

    edit:

    I see you uploaded it. I will study it thoroughly, thank you.
     
  8. GLR

    GLR
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    good question, what is retail and what did you pay?

    A quick search shows about $260 but I don't know how that compares.
     
  9. packrat

    packrat
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    Cool.

    What is the selling price?

    What happened to the Colts???
     
  10. Robb

    Robb
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    Yup

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    Thanks.
    Amended.
    Sells for around $250; I paid $219 for it at HRO...
     
  11. GLR

    GLR
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    Did you purchase this or was it provided? The review does not say.
     
  12. packrat

    packrat
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    I dont think that the price is too bad considering all that you get for the money. SWR, Watt meter, Frequency counter, antenna switch and balun. Not so bad.
     
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  13. GLR

    GLR
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    I would like to see a further review on the accuracy of the meter. I question what kind of quality you are getting for $250+. Perhaps it's better than I think it is, I just don't know.

    It appears to be holding it's own among people who've actually used it for some time:

    http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3662
     
  14. Robb

    Robb
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    I just had an interview with Martin Jue.
    I will publish that by tonight.
     
  15. DIRTYWHITEBOY

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    :pop:
     

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